Crooning for a Cause

songwriter plans new record, fundraiser

Lindsey Quinnies

A little less than a year after the release of his album Living in the Chippewa Valley, local songwriter and teacher at the Eau Claire Music School Phil Circle has been working on another musical project that not only showcases his message and abilities, but also benefits our community. His newest album, The Unsung, is all about “celebrating music no one has heard,” and features a variety of covers done in his own true Chicago-style blues, including “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young.
“Other than Neil Young, which is an obscure Neil Young (song), everybody else that I picked are people that I know personally who are astoundingly good songwriters,” Circle says.

In producing the album, Circle worked with another local that he met at open mics around town, Evan Middleton, who has worked with other Eau Claire artists such as Jeff White and Acoustihoo and who has lent his name to a music scholarship at Pine Hollow Audio south of Eau Claire.

Circle says, “I like an engineer that is a producer of objectivity. I like people to hear me. I don’t need to hear me.”

In addition to producing an album with a different perspective than usual, Phil has also joined this project with a fundraiser via Indiegogo (a crowd-funding website where people can raise money for the arts) he began to give back to the community: “Well, because I’m going to take time off and I have no means to give back to causes I care for, I put together this Indiegogo fundraiser where a percentage of money raised on there, which also goes to producing this album and such, goes to the Chippewa Valley Free Clinic – which is very personal to me. … They’ve been very good to me, (and) taken care of my health in quite a few ways.” Funds raised will also go toward music scholarships at  the Eau Claire Music School.

The overall goal is to raise $3,500 by Feb. 15. You can donate to this amazing fundraiser and the community by visiting Indiegogo.com/TheUnsung, by following the link on Circle’s Facebook page, or attending the release show.

Why should you listen to this album? According to Circle, “Listen to the songs, listen to the variety of styles that happen on one album, don’t feel like it all has to be homogenized. Go listen to their versions; you might like theirs better, who cares. … Go look for the good music.”

CD release show for Phil Circle’s new album, The Unsung, 8pm, Friday, Feb. 15, Pizza Plus, 208 S. Barstow St.