K. Phillips returns to San Antonio

Casey Luna

Born and raised in Texas and named after Kris Kristofferson, K. Phillips was born to be a country star. He recently made huge strides when he was personally selected by Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows to open for their summer national tour and is now touring with Grammy-Award-winning artist Johnny Lang.  In anticipation of his upcoming show on Thursday, Oct. 13 at the Aztec Theatre, Phillips discussed growing up in West Texas, living in San Antonio and transitioning to Nashville, as well as his new album titled “Dirty Wonder.”

Raised in a small town in the Concho Valley, Phillips felt that music was pressed upon him. He began learning how to play music at age five and was playing in bar bands by 14.

“There’s nothing else to do but play music,” Phillips said, attributing his fascination with music to living in a small town.

Influenced by classic outlaw country artists like his namesake, Kris Kristofferson, and modern rock influences such as the Counting Crows and Matchbox 20, Phillips realized the importance of finding a personal identity.

“I learned you got to have your own voice and tell your own stories,” Phillips said.

After meeting local promoter Tim Slusher at a house show in San Antonio and being introduced to Adam Duritz of Counting Crows, Phillips was able to work with one of those influences.

“The Counting Crows covered one of my songs at a concert in New York City,” Phillips recollected. “I was there and from that, we happened to become friends.”

After seeing Phillips perform at “The Outlaw Roadshow,” Duritz personally invited Phillips to join the Counting Crows’ national summer tour. Phillips was able to work with Duritz for “Hadrian,” the lead single on his new album.

“(Working with Duritz) was amazing,” Phillips gushed. “He just comes in and he nails it every time. Whatever he does, when he sings, you’re just like, ‘oh, it’s him.’ It’s unmistakable.”

Phillips humorously describes “Dirty Wonder” as “the greatest break-up record that’s ever been written by (him),” and he hopes that fans will connect.

“It’s not mine anymore, it’s for whoever wants to listen to it,” Phillips said. “It belongs to anyone who wants to put it in their life. I want people to feel feelings again. I feel like everything that happens these days is to kind of numb people or keep it on the surface.”

Phillips recently moved from San Antonio to Nashville to further his career, but he is excited to make his way back home for his concert with Johnny Lang on Oct. 13.

“I just have always had a special connection with San Antonio,” Phillips said. “I mean, you can’t get better food. Living in Nashville, it feels sometimes very cultureless.”

Living in Nashville certainly has its perks, especially for a country singer, but it’s not quite home to Phillips. San Antonio’s culture and cuisine

“What I like about (Nashville) is that I can write with some of the greatest songwriters in the world at any time,” Phillips said. “But if I could retire, I would probably go back to San Antonio.

“You can’t take a bad picture in San Antonio,” Phillips continued. “I love all the old houses in Alamo Heights and Olmos Park, and I love the Riverwalk and just the Latin influence that (San Antonio) has.”

Be sure to check out Phillips’ new album “Dirty Wonder” at his website www.kphillipsmusic.com and catch him opening for Johnny Lang at the Aztec Theatre on Oct. 13. For more information on ticket pricing and availability go to www.theaztectheatre.com.