Sat, Apr 5

Glen Phillips

Lead Singer of Toad the Wet Sprocket

During his years as lead singer and main songwriter of Toad the Wet Sprocket, Glen Phillips helped to create the band’s elegant folk/pop sound with honest, introspective lyrics that forged a close bond with their fans. When Toad went on hiatus, Glen launched a solo career with his album Abulum, and stayed busy collaborating with other artists on various projects including Mutual Admiration Society, with members of Nickel Creek and Remote Tree Children, an experimental outing with John Morgan Askew.

“Until recently, I’ve seldom stayed in one place for very long,” Phillips says, explaining the genesis of his new album, THERE IS SO MUCH HERE. “I was lucky during the COVID lockdown to move in with my girlfriend, now wife, and to be home for the longest stretch I’ve had since the birth of my daughter, 20 years ago. I began noticing the little things. After a life of travel and seeking out peak experiences, I began to appreciate sitting still, watching the paint dry and loving it.

“I’ve been playing a songwriting game with Texas folk singer Matt The Electrician, for about ten years. Every Friday, he sends out a title. We have a week to write a song that includes it. The process allows me to write songs I wouldn’t write on my own. I’m always surprised at what comes out.”

“When my friend John [Morgan Askew] invited me to come up to his studio and make music, I said, ‘Yes’, as I collected a bunch of the new songs and headed up to Bocce Studios, in Vancouver, WA. John invited drummer Ji Tanzer and bass player/multi-instrumentalist Dave Depper along. When we started playing, I wasn’t sure we were aiming for, but as the process unfolded, the songs began to make sense together.”

Phillips’ previous solo record, SWALLOWED BY THE NEW, was about grief, a post-divorce outing while THERE IS SO MUCH HERE finds Phillips writing love songs again focusing on gratitude, beauty and staying present. “With this batch of songs, I noticed I was writing hopeful music again. I’d turned the corner and was more interested in curiosity and play than I was in gazing at my navel. I was finally in a state of being that wasn’t about grief and loss. Things felt doable and even exciting again.”

“As I sat still during the lockdown, I realized how much is always here – in the space around me, in the sensations of my body, in the sounds and smells and tastes and thoughts that emerge and drift away. It’s not a new concept, but it is a novel experience when you’ve spent your life running from one thing to another.”

Ultimately, as Phillips reflects on the album, he shares: “This is an album about showing up for what is and letting it be enough.”


Jess Merritt

Jess Merritt is an Ann Arbor, Michigan singer and songwriter whose rich,
soulful voice evokes a unique emotional resonance. From power ballads to
velvet keys, soul and rock to blues and pop, listeners are headed into a
memorable experience by this expansive and versatile local favorite.
Finding inspiration in the natural world, she draws from deep roots to deliver in ways bot captivating and raw taking listeners with her on a journey of
healing through feeling. Jess has shared the stage at venues and festivals
with the likes of Lindsay Lou, The War and Treaty, Rachael Davis, Erin Zindle &
The Ragbirds, the California Honey Drops, Antwaun Stanley, and many more.

Sat, Apr 5
7:00 pm
8:00 pm
Box Seat (seats 4 people)
Buy Tickets
Franke Center For the Arts