Not many 12-year-olds get the thrill of being nominated for a national music award, but Hopkins County’s Jack Phillips is among nine young finalists in the Josie Awards country category. As a finalist, he was recently interviewed live by phone by founder Josie Pasantino. Within the last few years, the Josie Awards has begun to fill a niche by recognizing the top independent artists in all music genres. The awards show is a glittering gala event bringing the best to one stage in Nashville, Tennessee. For 2017, the event will take place at Nissan Stadium on Sunday September 17 and will be televised on the Josie Network. In addition to Traditional and Modern Country categories, Pop/Contemporary, R&B/Soul, Folk/Bluegrass, Gospel/Country Gospel, Southern Rock, Jazz/Blues, Outlaw Country, Tribute Category, Songs of America and Multi-Genre Music categories will be represented. The red carpet will be rolled out for the top artists in each category.
In a KSST Good Morning Show interview, we found out that Jack and his parents Mark and Allison Phillips of Sulphur Bluff are unsure of how the Josie Award nomination came about. They believe the nominator might have been a bandleader or instructor that Jack has worked with since January 2017. Jack received the news while out on the road, and he has spent much of the summer on the road playing numerous dances and attending music camps. In fact, the family has logged over 12,000 Texas and Oklahoma miles on his dad’s new pickup since February 2017. And riding in the back seat, while practicing his guitar, fiddles and mandolin, Jack has been dreaming of walking down that red carpet! While in Nashville, he also plans to visit the Grand Ole Opry and tour the Opry museum.
Jack began playing the fiddle at about age 6, first taking formal lessons from a teacher in Winnsboro. Today he receives weekly training from Western Swing instrumentalist Hank Singer of Corsicana and he attends week-long music camps hosted by Western Swing and country bandleaders. Earlier this year, his first CD “Jack Phillips” was released. For gigs, his two favorite fiddles are carried in a double case. One was made in 1917 and Jack loves it’s rich tone. While traveling in the truck, Jack practices with a small size guitar that fits the tight space, often playing along to songs on “Willie’s Roadhouse” for 3-4 hours at a time. His dream is to play on the Grand Ole Opry stage someday. With the help of his parents, he’s kept up a heavy summer travel schedule. Over the next 10 days he will appear on Industry’s Four County Opry near Houston, will play for a dance at the Longhorn Saloon in the Ft. Worth Stockyards and will appear on the Bluebonnet Youth Revue at Schroeder Hall in Goliad, the oldest dance hall in Texas. On August 5, he is invited to be part of the band celebrating the 90th birthday of Leon Rausch, famed vocalist for Bob Wills. And Jack will soon head back to class at Sulphur Bluff ISD where he has been an Honor Roll student.
As a supplement to the points system in the Josie Awards, the Fan Choice nominations are still open through July 31. Comments about Jack and his music may be posted. Go to josiemusicawards.com, go to the Fans Choice Nomination tab at the top of the page, and post your comment. Also, find out more about Jack, order his CD and view his bookings at jackphillipsmusic.com