From his infectious smile to his make-you-wanna-dance-barefoot-in-the-grass tunes, Scott Tiernan is a local musician you will instantly love – seriously. His songs are filled with positivity, joy, and dance-worthy melodies, as well as nostalgia, reflection, and hope. Once upon a time, Scott himself was a writer with Cville Niche, covering the music scene in this very series. Now, after two years working on his debut album with Philip St., Cville Niche is checking in with one of our own – a talented artist you won’t want to miss seeing live.
Come on out tomorrow, September 9, from 6-9pm to Stinson Vineyards to celebrate the release of “Travelin’ Thru,” Philip St.’s debut album! Enjoy live music, delicious food and wine, and, of course, the album!
Q&A with Scott Tiernan of Philip St.
I am from a little town in NY called Saugerties, which is on the fringe of the musically historical town of Woodstock, NY. I moved first to Richmond to record an album and then quickly discovered C-ville and moved that recording over here and stayed…. that was 6 and a half years ago:-)
What are some of your favorite local spots: to catch live music? to grab a drink? to eat? to write a song?
The Jefferson is magical. Absolutely my favorite place to see live music. Honestly my favorite place to grab a beer? Milli Joe. good prices, good beers, and great bright atmosphere. My favorite place to write a song is my living room. That’s usually where the magic happens.
What local musician(s) you are most excited about?
Well, she is not so local anymore, cause she’s moved on to bigger and better things, but Ashley McMillan put in her time here in C-Ville and is an amazing songwriter and classic performer.
What local music projects are you/have you been involved in?
Well, I have been part of several songwriting groups and circles, which has all been encouraging and growing. But, last Christmas, I was given the honor of being on a live Christmas album sponsored by Three Penny Cafe and produced by Butch Taylor, who has played in Dave Matthews Band. It was so much fun being part of a project with a community I feel very close to.
When and why did you start playing music/singing? What instruments do you play?
I started playing the piano when I was 10 and guitar when I was 14. But, according to a journal I filled out in kindergarten, I have sung “all the time” since before I can remember.
Most influential artist as a child? Teen? Adult?
As a child? Carman, The Christian singer. HAHA oh gosh so cheesy. A teen? Dashboard Confessional. I was pretty emo. As an adult? Jason Mraz, The Lone Bellow. Both amazing and inspiring!
You have an extraordinary voice. Is it a gift you’ve always had, or have you had voice training?
VOICE TRAINING! I was not born like this. I had a natural tendency to sing and perform but needed to learn how to use it well and not kill it. I was trained by a man named Herman Sebek, he was in the original cast of Cats on broadway. you can google him. He is the reason. So grateful for him.
When did you write your first song? What was it about?
My first song I can really attribute to as “my first song” was when I was 15, it was called “Lullaby in La” (not L.A.) and I still perform it. Things before that weren’t really finished cohesive songs.
What influences your writing?
Anything. Nowadays, usually my wife. But I am inspired by nature’s beauty and transformation and celebration. I’m a very positive, upbeat guy.
What aspects of life excite you and stir your affections, fuel your passions?
New beginnings. Progress. Hope. New Scenery. Encouragement and Support are beautiful and inspiring, too, when experienced or observed.
Do you get pumped or nervous pre-show?
Depends on the show. I used to get pumped…. now with new material I have a few more nerves. But it’s all still exciting.
What does a day in the life of a modern-day songwriter look like from your perspective?
It looks like a full iPhone with little voice recordings of thousands of song ideas. It looks like managing a webpage with no web design knowledge. It looks like working hard at a few other things so I can do what I love.
I want them to feel good and have a little more insight into what life is about and what their purpose is.
What does the not-so-distant future hold for Philip St?
Touring. Playing more shows. Possibly an acoustic album… Some radio time. Let’s get this puppy rollin’!
Lastly… Describe yourself in 10 words or less.
Dedicated to joyfully playing my part in the big picture.