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Phil Turk Band: You and I Are Brave

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Phil Turk lives in beautiful Fort Collins, Colorado where he is a professor of Statistics at Colorado State University.  Growing up near Cleveland, Ohio, he started learning guitar as a teenager, listening mostly to classic and hard rock.  He attended Ohio University and cut his teeth playing in a pop rock cover band during his time there.  After moving to Western Illinois University to work on an MS in Biology, Turk became influenced by 80’s pop rock and several excellent guitar players.  He began writing songs and formed another college band to play originals.  Realizing the need for a major market, he moved to Chicago and teamed up with a drummer recently graduated from Berklee School of Music to put together a hard rock band (House of Tomorrow).  At the time, the Chicago music scene was blossoming with exciting acts like Smashing Pumpkins, Urge Overkill, and Veruca Salt.  House of Tomorrow had limited local success cutting a CD, playing shows, radio, and television before disbanding.

 

After much reflection, Turk moved to Bozeman, Montana where he attended Montana State University to obtain his PhD in Statistics in 2003.  Subsequently, he taught at several major universities.  During a stint at West Virginia University (WVU) from 2008-2014, Turk felt the musical itch return to his soul.  Now with various refined musical tastes, even genres including classical and adult contemporary to name a few, and many life-changing experiences under his belt, Turk picked up the guitar and began writing songs for his inaugural solo effort CD after his lengthy hiatus from music.

 

While working on the songs for the CD, entitled You and I are Brave, Turk had the good fortune of meeting several talented local musicians who agreed to work on and complete the CD at a nearby studio.  In particular, this included bassist Duncan Lorimer and keyboard player and professor of music Juliana Yap.  Hence, Phil Turk Band was born.  At the beginning of 2014, Turk began recording tracks for the CD and it was released towards the end of the year.  To round out the project, Turk asked several music students from WVU and additional musicians to contribute their time and arrangements for certain songs.  Notably, this included the acclaimed flutist and recording artist, Nina Assimakopoulos.  As well, Yanling Yue contributed the unique, haunting sounds of an instrument from China, the hulusi.  Interestingly, You and I are Brave also includes a song that Turk wrote and sang in Chinese. 

 

The CD takes the listener on a lyrical journey through the beauty and joy of life, along with some of its inevitable difficulties, interwoven through a tapestry of pop and rock influenced by the singer-songwriter genre.  Turk promoted You and I are Brave for all of 2015, playing live in Fort Collins and the Denver metropolitan area.  He also co-produced and released a video for “Flow Like a River”, one of the more popular songs from the CD.  The video was shot entirely in the beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park.  Currently, he continues to play solo, plans on forming a live band, and has been busy writing material for a second CD.   

 

In his spare time, he enjoys exercising, adventures in the outdoors, travel, museums, reading books, following the news, ethnic dining, one-on-one time with friends, and strong coffee.  While it has been a long, winding journey to this point, Turk is happy with where his life is at right now and looks forward to being able to passionately focus more on his music.