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Maverick Magazine


Philip Marino is an American singer-songwriter living in England, Essex to be precise. Here is a simple case of our gain and their loss. Days Like These was recorded in New York’s Catskills Mountains, and produced by a man from the area, Simon Felice. Beautifully produced, as one would expect with Felice having something to do with it, the 5-track release has both Simone and his brother, James Felice contribute. Simon plays drums, percussion and harmony vocals, while James’ harmonium, piano, organ, accordion, synthesizer and harmony vocals form a solid working bass. Anna Sauchuk likewise lends vocal support to Marino (guitar), and doesn’t his guitar sound good.

Marino’s opening tracks of Everybody Knows and arguably better still Hand Grenade set a high benchmark, and though he struggles a little to match the beauty or general evocative feel on the next two songs (Days Like These and Hero; and they are still good! In fact the former could well be the best track on the record) he isn’t too far away with the restless, ever probing Long Road as he speaks mystically of life’s uncertain journey. Back to Everybody Knows – on opening with nothing but acoustic guitar and female harmony vocals the track has a simple and beautiful feel, one that would be hard to match. Hand Grenade is more dramatic and with his impassioned vocals warmed in a flowing melody featuring accordion a fine balance is struck. The character in the song finds himself running from his sins and whatever he started.

I can’t wait to hear from Marino; a wonderfully cultured singer-songwriter, the likes of whom we need to lend more support. 8 out 10.

The Appetizer Radio Show

After releasing the impressive Self Made Man (EP, 2014) and Nothing and Everything (Album, 2015), there was a lot of expectation when Philip Marino announced he was working on a new EP. This was due to his story telling qualities and his own style of Americana that together deliver an irresistible charm.

Philip wanted to create songs that would take his music to a new level and to do so he had to go for a different approach. He raised the funds to head on out to New York’s Catskills Mountains to record his new EP and in doing so was able to work with one of his idols, Simon Felice, who produced the EP. Philip learned a lot from Simon during the recording process which helped him to assemble the 5 track EP Days like These’.

‘Days Like These’ is a captivating journey with the focus on the storyteller and his guitar. Philip has a vocal presence which you would expect from the old time legends of the Americana world. What this means is that he shares his well-crafted stories in a way that has an authentic soul and subtly grabs your attention. The additional vocals from Anna Sauchuk, James Felice, and Simone Felice help to give this EP extra depth which makes it stand out even more.

Philip Marino has always demonstrated a wonderful way with words and has always delivered songs to a high calibre. But listening to the outstanding Everybody Knows and Hand Grenade, he has shown that he has, even more, to offer by creating gems like these. The detail in the lyrics which are supported with such a wonderful warm but emotional tone, is something special and shows why this EP needs to be heard. Head over to Philip’s Bandcamp page to listen to ‘Days Like These’ in full and appreciate the talent that is on show.

If you want to learn more about this talented musician then take a trip to his website at From here you can find information about where to buy his music (ITunes or Bandcamp) and upcoming gigs. You will also find links to his social media sites at Facebook and Twitter.

Philip was kind enough to chat with us at Appetizer Radio about his world of music which included his work on the new EP and a little more. This is what he had to say.

Who or what was it that inspired you to become a musician?

I’m not sure I have a specific answer to that. Growing up, my parents had a pretty wide-ranging collection of music in our home. So at a very young age I was exposed regularly to Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Rolling Stones, many Motown artists, Simon and Garfunkel, Elton John, Elvis Presley, Cat Stevens, Jim Croce, Jackson Browne, Chicago… Many more that I can’t even think of. I have basically no memory of listening to music meant for children, but some of my earliest memories are of holding – and staring at – the album covers of ‘Blood on the Tracks’ or ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ while listening to those records… At some level, I have to believe that this early exposure to music like this played a major role in my desire to be part of making music. My first attempt was as a drummer in a typical high school garage rock-and-roll band. We played covers, of course… Everything from Led Zeppelin to Iron Maiden. It wasn’t until many years later, in 2000, when I decided to learn how to play guitar that I started thinking about singing and writing, but even that (especially the writing) took many more years to develop.

After your journey into the world of music began, which musicians have been the biggest influence on you and your sound?

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again… The biggest influence on me and on my music is John Mellencamp. I started listening to John when I was in high school, growing up in the corn fields of the Midwestern state of Illinois. Here was this singer-songwriter on the radio (and on MTV) from the neighbouring state of Indiana, singing songs about growing up in the Midwest, often filming his videos near farms and corn fields, much like where I lived. I connected immediately to his music. To his lyrics. There was an honesty and an authenticity to what he was doing that was quite unusual during that time (the 80’s) when synth music, and glam looks were pretty much everywhere on MTV. Here was a guy with an acoustic guitar (and eventually a fiddle player and an accordion player) making music that was breaking through to the top of the charts. Over the years, I’ve seen Mellencamp 10 times in concert, and have tried to emulate his approach to music and songwriting as much as I can, while also trying to maintain my own sense of ‘self’ in the process. More modern influences include artists such as Jason Isbell, First Aid Kit, The Felice Brothers, The Avett Brothers, Horse Feathers, and Ryan Bingham.

After your two impressive releases, what were your goals when you began tackling these new collection of songs?

Thanks for “impressive”… That’s kind of you to say. With these new songs, I was looking for a sound that was coherent with the previous CDs, but that also added something new to the mix. My first CD (‘Self-Made Man’ from 2014) was very low-key. Mainly me on acoustic guitar with just a couple of embellishments added to each song. My second CD (‘Nothing and Everything’ from 2015) took the arrangements up a notch, with my good friends Chris Ozzard, Thom Aston, and David Atkins playing lead guitar on various songs… We also added a fair bit of light percussion on that album and we worked quite hard on backing vocals and harmonies to really provide a lift to the songs. With this new set of songs, I wanted to take that approach to the next level. I was looking for a bigger sound, but I also wanted to find those moments that required space and air, and make sure we handled those moments well. There are a couple of songs on this new CD that are fairly exposed in the sense of the lyrics and the original arrangements, and it was important to me that we stayed true to those original intentions. At the same time, there are some songs that I knew going into the studio needed to be big… At least compared to what I had done in the past, and I wanted to make sure that we hit that mark, too. In all things I do, I wanted a sense of authenticity to come across. Not big production tricks for the sake of doing them. I hope/think we accomplished that.

I see this EP was produced by Simone Felice. What was it like to work with this critically acclaimed singer-songwriter?

It was really great. I was listening to Simone’s music before I wrote my first song, so to be working with him one-on-one on my music was at times quite surreal. Back in 2008 I discovered The Felice Brothers (the albums ‘Tonight At The Arizona’ and ‘The Felice Brothers’) and immediately was drawn to their raw Americana/folk-rock sound. As I told Simone, it was one of his songs (“Your Belly In My Arms” from ‘Tonight At The Arizona’) that really drew me in and made me start thinking about writing songs that are straight from the gut. From the heart. I’d seen the Felice Brothers twice in concert here in the UK, but unfortunately that was after Simone had already left to pursue his solo career. I kept up with his music when he started his next band ‘The Duke and the King’ and eventually when he went ‘fully solo’. So, yeah… Working with him on MY music was mad. He had this great sense of what I was looking to get from the songs and he knew how to help make that happen. He brought in his brother James Felice, and that was incredible, too. James is on every one of the songs in one way or another… Wurlitzer, synth, accordion, harmonium, backing vocals… You name it. He’s a true pro. I was probably a bit tight on day one, working on my songs with Simone, but he has a real low-key, “all is cool” vibe about him and that translated into the space we were in. We would burn some Palo Santo wood sticks to get a real nice atmosphere in the room, something I carry with me even today when I want to calm down and find a nice even keel. With Simone, James, and Pete Hanlon (the engineer who often works with Simone), the process felt natural and yet at the same time quite focused. We accomplished a great deal in a relatively short period of time and Simone really helped make my vision for the CD come to life.

From these songs, which one is your favourite and why?

Probably the CD’s first track, ‘Everybody Knows’. It’s a very gentle tune that is about as honest a song as I’ve ever written dealing with the end of my long-term marriage. As I recall, when I was recording the song for the CD I did only two vocal takes and was nearly in tears by the end of the second one. When I asked the folks in the room if I they were ready for another take, Simone said to me something along the lines of “Why? You just channelled Townes Van Zandt… I think we’re done here”. That was something I won’t ever forget. Plus, the song has some lovely backing vocals from my dear friend Anna Sauchuk who came down from Canada to share the experience with me, and I just love listening to her sing. It was actually Simone’s idea to make the song the CD’s opening track. My instinct would have been to start off with something more up-tempo and bury the softer one somewhere in the middle. I trusted his opinion and I think it’s a really strong way to open the CD.

If there were to be a film about your life with music. Who would you choose to play the part of you and why?

This is an interesting question and quite difficult to answer. I guess Jeff Bridges. He’s the dude… and I love him in the film ‘Crazy Heart’. 

What are your future goals for your music?

As always, my goals are to keep moving forward. I have some new songs that I’m starting to really nail down with my band, which will be part of the next CD. I have no immediate plans for recording that next CD, but I do know that my latest CD will not be my last… At least to the extent that I’m around to make that decision! I’m playing more with my band, which is great fun. Playing solo (or even as a duo) is cool, but there’s something really special about taking the stage with a fuller sound and really bringing those big songs to life. Obviously, my goals include playing better venues to bigger audiences… But of course, there’s only so much you can do to control that sort of thing. At the end of the day, I want to continue to grow as a musician, as a songwriter, and I would love for my music to reach a wider audience. Not for the sake of sales or attention, but because there’s something special that happens when your music touches people and they respond to it. Music is meant to be heard and shared and experienced. The energy created in that process feeds back to me and inspires me to keep going. That’s what I’m after.


The Alternate Root

A deep loneliness echoes in the voice of Philip Marino on his latest release, Days Like These. To capture the resonance, and surround the vocals with haunting layers of lightly picked guitars coaxing ethereal accordion breaths (“Long Road”) and shuddering percussion backing whispered harmonies (“Everybody Knows”), Philip Marino sought Felice Brother, Simon Felice (The Lumineers, Bat for Lashes) as producer. The Felice Brother adds drums and percussion, bringing in bandmate and brother James Felice for keyboard work (piano, organ, accordion, harmonium). Philip Marino guides the songs with a powerful presence for Days Like These, adding heft to the tracks with the honesty of a Folk singer.

American-born Philip Marino has taken up residence in Essex England for the past six years. He has played stages from London to Norwich, honing and molding the flesh and blood truths in his songs before a live audience. Days Like These pumps a heartbeat groove underneath “Hero” to inspire and quietly tosses out “Hand Grenade” to blow apart living beyond our dreams as Philip Marino shuffles out a rhythm to back the questions and advice of the title track.

Art Will Fall

Days Like These is the exciting new release from Philip Marino. The American singer-songwriter, currently based in Essex, is set to unleash a brilliantly raw collection of songs shrouded in Americana, acoustic-country tones. 

How did Days Like These come to be? Well, in August 2016 Philip packed his guitar and jetted to New York to record and produce an album with none other than Simone Felice of The Felice Brothers (The Lumineers, Bat For Lashes). Against the backdrop of the Catskill Mountains, the pair set about bringing Philip's songs to life, also employing the instrumental skills of James Felice and the dainty backing vocals of Anna Sauchuk.

The release features five reflective and honest yet uplifting and driven songs. Everybody Knows softly introduces the CD with picked, melodic acoustic guitar accompanying humble, reflective lyrics. Next up is Hand Grenade - a song that deals with the struggle between running away from and coming to terms with one's demons. The chorus chants "you pulled the pin, and now you're just running from your sins", before sending the message "you can still find your way in the dark" - a glistening reminder that there is hope to be found no matter how dark life seems.

Title track Days Like These is, structurally and semantically, central to this collection of songs. Upbeat and confident, the song seems to encompass a message that can be drawn from the CD as a whole: "days like these are not the end". Hero is a particularly empowering number, full of conviction and driven by Philip's passionate vocals and deliberate, punchy guitar strums. Contrastingly to the previous track, Long Road sets a more sombre tone. The song draws to a close with sincere lyrics, complete with effective scratches in the vocal and droning bass notes.

Full of simplicity and charm, Days Like These is a wonderfully produced release defined by well-crafted and observational songs. Starting with a release show on 24th June at Three Wise Monkeys in Colchester, Philip Marino is sure to make his latest release a success and entice his growing audience along the way.

Maverick Magazine


Sophisticated guitar, honest lyrics and something unmistakably raw about this soul-searching album

A follow up to his 2014 EP, NOTHING AND EVERYTHING is Philip Marino’s new album release (October 2, 2015). It boasts 12 tracks; all penned by Marino himself, and all with their own sense of individuality. Some will make you think, others will make you smile, and one or two might even make you move. But all of them will make you take note of this talented American artist.

With the help of celebrated Essex singer-songwriter and producer, Kevin Pearce, Marino has managed to create a diverse album that showcases his talent as both a songwriter and an artist. Of course,

you can hear his musical influences, which include the likes of Neil Young, Bob Dylan and John Mellencamp, to name but a few. Ultimately though, it is the distinct Marino flavour that makes this a hotly anticipated release.

The stunning instrumental that is the intro to Big White Moon grips listeners immediately, whilst Marino’s voice stands out with just the right balance of grit, emotion and dynamism. A strong start to the album. Following the opener, we have soulful tracks like Feel The Fire and Away, as well as the more up-tempo All Fall Down, with its quiet defiance and just a hint of the 1970s to it.

Never Enough is next, and it is a poignant track. Musically, it is a soft, sweet number. Lyrically, it’s an honest look at life and a stark realisation at what most of us already know; ‘there’s never enough time when you’re just passing through’. Fittingly, the twelfth and final track is entitled End. And as Marino assures us that ends and new beginnings are good things, you can’t help but wish there was more album to listen to.

- Amy Jones

Daily Gazette

WHEN life gives you a second shot - then you grab it with both hands.

When it's within the music industry, you drop everything and fly to America.

That's what Colchester singer/songwriter Philip Marino will be doing next month after one of the US's top music producers, Simone Felice, agreed to help him record his latest release.

"Quite some time ago I saw Simone had posted an open offer for artists to send their demos in to him," Philip says. "So I sent mine off and incredibly he shortlisted me as one of the artists he wanted to work.

"Unfortunately at the time I just didn't have the finances to go out to America and work with him so I e-mailed him to say I couldn't make. Even then I knew it was a decision that was going to haunt me for the rest of my life and sure enough I started reading how he was now working with Bat For Lashes and The Lumineers and I though 'oh well that's that then'.

"Then a few years later one of my friends said 'just e-mail him, what have you got to lose' so I did and that afternoon his assistant got back in touch and said 'sure Simone remembers your songs and would love to still work with you'.

"I just couldn't believe it. I honestly thought it was some kind of trick but it's all true. I've sent him some new songs I want to do and we're both ready to start working.

"I've been a fan of Simone's and The Felice Brothers before I wrote my first song, so I am unbelievably thrilled to work with him, but what's doubly exciting is we're going to record them in his home town in the Catskill Mountains and in an old stone church, which he's got special permission to use."

Originally from the US Philip grew up just outside Chicago, where he still has family, but he's also lived in Minnesota and California.

He started his musical career as the drummer in a classic garage band listening to bands as diverse as The Kinks and then later AC/DC.

"It wasn't until years later that I actually picked a guitar," he explains, "but I've always been around music, went to a ton of shows in Chicago and I do remember going to see Foreigner in front of about 30,000 people and it absolutely blew my mind."

But things could have been very different for Philip.

He says: "I had to sell my drums when I was young because my family were moving in with my 70 year-old grandmother and there wasn't space for it. I was pretty sad at the time. It was a really cool drum set. It even had a cowbell.

"That said I probably would have continued with the drums if I hadn't sold them. I loved being in a band. It wasn't until I bought that first guitar, when I was living in California, that I started getting back into playing. I had a couple of lessons but that didn't really stick with me so I taught myself how to play and the rest went from there really."

Philip moved to Colchester in 2006 for his job as a lecturer at Essex University and it was a few years after that when a rather more traumatic event took its effect on his songwriting.

Grapevine Live
Philip Marino is an American singer songwriter now based in Colchester.  He has been given the opportunity to have his music produced by Simone Felice in New York.  Simone has just produced the number one album ‘Cleopatra’ by ‘The Lumineers’ and Philip has long been a fan of Simone’s music.  Not surprising then that he is a little excited at the prospect of working with Simone.

To anybody who has never heard you play, how would you describe your music?

Well, from a genre perspective, it sort of falls in between categories of what people today call alternative country and Americana.  At the core those two are basically American folk music, it is not country music in the way that popular country music is thought of today, that has changed so much.  That is why this alternative country genre has emerged – it is basically acoustic and story telling, soul searching type music – if that makes sense?

That makes perfect sense, I’m just amused at the way American Country music is almost looked down upon in some circles.

It sounds very… I think pretentious is the word, there is this snobbish thing. And I don’t mind some of the Country Music, I was a big fan of the show Nashville, certainly a lot of that show had that pop-culture country music in it.  I don’t want people to think that I make that sort of music, not that I would be ashamed to do it, I just don’t do it.

As an American living and working in the UK, how different is the music scene here and there?

Here it feels very much, I don’t know what the word is that I want to use, it feels like in the UK it is… a bit more of who you know.  Knowing the circles that run the area that you might be in – who books the venues.  It is a community, it has history.  That was difficult for me showing up out of the blue.  Fortunately in the time I have been here and playing and making music I have been able to become a part of the group and feel like I am part of that community.  My limited experience of when I was playing in The States is there it is much more… well, partly it is just the numbers, it is a numbers game – six times as many people and more venues in general.  So there were better opportunities to just show up and play.

The reason you got in touch with us is because you are about to record your next CD with Simone Felice – something you are just a little bit excited about.  Tell us about the project.

Yes, I am incredibly excited.  The thing that is amazing for me is… I have released a couple of CDs, I’ve worked with David Booth and with Kevin Pearce on the last album in 2015.  This, even though I loved working with David and Kevin – Simone Felice is a guy who’s music I’ve been buying as The Felice Brothers Band.  I was listening to his music before I was writing my own songs.  The opportunity to record a CD with someone whom you have been a fan of for years is just beyond my expectations.  The fact that in that time he has gone on to produce a number one album ‘Cleopatra’ by ‘The Lumineers’ and he co-produced ‘The Bride’ by ‘Bat For Lashes’ – both acts taht appeared at Glastonbury this year!  Now I’m not saying that this is my future but the realisation that this just doesn’t happen to someone who plays The Bull in Colchester!

So how did the whole thing come together?

Some time ago I just happened to look at Facebook at the right time, I follow his artist page.  I think the original thing was maybe a year and a half ago – a post came up, obviously not written by him from the tome of the message.  It just said “Simone is looking to move into producing, if you have some demos send them to this email address”.   I had four demos recorded from the album that I did with Kevin last year and I sent them off.  A week later I got an email back saying Simone has heard your demos and he thinks that with the right production and the right attention they could be great and he would love to work with me.  Then in the Skype conversation I had with him recently he said he got over 200 artists sending stuff in but that I was definitely one of the ones he wanted to work with.  I felt really quite honoured to have someone who has played on the same stage as some very big names in the business to have listened to my demos and think they were worth working on.

And the recording itself is going to take place in The Old Stone Church in Palenville, New York?

Yeah, built mid 1800s apparently. The thing that I am really excited about, obviously the space and the place will be magical, but it is in the town that SImone was born in, a mile from where he lives currently and his assistant early on when we were setting all of this up, told me that this is a church that he has been wanting to record in for years and he has just finally been granted permission.  That means that he is coming in with an extra bit of excitement about the project – he is going to have his own energy along with my energy and that will combine well I hope.

You are funding this through a Kickstarter fund.

Kickstarter is only a portion of this project, I am putting in a lot of money, there is some money from family coming in.  The Kickstarter is just to offset some of the costs – it is expensive to make a recording.

But if you don’t meet your Kickstarter target, will the project still go ahead?

Oh yes! I’m going to go – I will pay whatever I have to pay and my family is helping.  Kickstarter will help to make the financial aspect of this hurt a little less!

The whole thing sounds like a wonderful opportunity, the team here at Grapevine wish you well and expect to hear all about the experience when you get back.. For now thank you for taking the time to talk to us.

My Random Jukebox

When I first got my hands on a copy of the album I was excited to hear how his song writing has grown, especially his lyrical content as this is what stood out for me on his previous release. Well, I was not disappointed as he has created another great collection of songs that showcases his wonderful songwriting talent. I like the detail in his storytelling for each song which takes you on its journey. Personally, I think his lyrical technique has got stronger which just confirms that this is an album that deserves attention.

- See full review and interview at:

The Alternate Root

Philip Marino (from the album Nothing and Everything) - The Roots of Philip Marino have dug into British soil. Philip is a U.S. expatriate who has set up and played in Essex, England, performing at U.K. venues stretching from London to Norwich. As a singer/songwriter, Philip Marino takes on the role of advisor, offering experiential advice with the soft tones of a healer, the eye of a skilled observer, and the warmth of a friend. Nothing and Everything is Philip’s recent release, the album coming into existence on footfall rhythms that walk through memories of good times, longing to find home in “Big White Moon”. A heartbeat is the grounding rhythm as Philip Marino urges losing lovers to patiently let the pain in to “Feel the Fire” as he lightly picks notes to open his heart and reveal that there is “Never Enough” time to spend with love, strums as the “Road to Ruin” crumbles under false promises while “Long Gone” accepts reality and sings it a song.  

- See more at:

The Dutch Guy Blog

In a world of guitar screaming rock, dope beats HipHop and sexy blazing horns Soul, once in a while I get something in my inbox that makes me wanna sit back, relax and reflect.

When I got a sneaky-peek copy of his album, it was this stripped down Americana sound and his emotional clever songwriting that grabbed me. While you can hear John Mellencamp influences, he added these pinches of soul to make it his own!

With dropping his new album ‘Nothing And Everything‘ 12 days ago, I want you to introduce you to the man who got me spinning my chair with my eyes closed while listening to his entire album, Philip Marino:

- See more at:

Americana UK

Promising debut EP from this American ex-pat

Philip Marino wears his influences on his sleeve. Schooled in the song craft of Jim Croce, Cat Stevens and Neil Young from an early age, his debut EP clearly illustrates that schooling didn't go to waste.

Here he roams similar territory, with the songs being reflections and tales of people that he may, or may not, have met on his journey. Nothing For Something is a strong opener, with Marino sounding something like a road weary Springsteen (is he relaying his own story, or that of someone else?). Fine With Me and Walking In The Moonlight have echoes of Steve Earle and the aforementioned Young.

However, it can be hard to hear Marino’s own voice despite it being clear that he has no problem structuring a song. Perhaps if the songs were left as sketches - shorn of the flourishes of electric guitar and occasional percussion – it would separate him from the rest of the crowd. Let us hear the weary traveller and not just his tales. Regardless, “Self-Made Man” is a fine introduction and there’s enough here to suggest that he is capable of something truly engaging next time round.

The Alternate Root

A deep loneliness echoes in the voice of Philip Marino on his latest release, Days Like These. To capture the resonance, and surround the vocals with haunting layers of lightly picked guitars coaxing ethereal accordion breaths (“Long Road”) and shuddering percussion backing whispered harmonies (“Everybody Knows”), Philip Marino sought Felice Brother, Simon Felice (The Lumineers, Bat for Lashes) as producer. The Felice Brother adds drums and percussion, bringing in bandmate and brother James Felice for keyboard work (piano, organ, accordion, harmonium). Philip Marino guides the songs with a powerful presence for Days Like These, adding heft to the tracks with the honesty of a Folk singer.

American-born Philip Marino has taken up residence in Essex England for the past six years. He has played stages from London to Norwich, honing and molding the flesh and blood truths in his songs before a live audience. Days Like These pumps a heartbeat groove underneath “Hero” to inspire and quietly tosses out “Hand Grenade” to blow apart living beyond our dreams as Philip Marino shuffles out a rhythm to back the questions and advice of the title track.