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Phylis sent me a teaser cd, and I want to hear more. She is a STRONG voice. You know how at times Jewel sings from her depths? Reaches right down into her soul, where all the powerful vocals come from, and rips out some 'raw woman sounds'? Well, that's what happens nearly all the time from Phylis. She's helped out by some fine guitars professionalized by Frank Anastos and Mike Cannon. But of course, the songs - they are the champions here. 'Meet Me at the Café' is pretty damn good. Phylis backs herself up sleekly too, with a chorus of cat-like voices. Snare begins 'Bad Love Is Like Poison' and it's got that wild, wanky guitar from the 70s. A good way to end this 4 song cd. Sometimes I don't think this singer needs a mic. I think she's going to be great at outside concerts. And if you sit too close to the stage in the café, you'll be blown away.

Chicago Gigs

With a voice like Bonnie Raitt or Melissa Etheridge on a cup of strong coffee, Phylis Renee Marconi makes it perfectly clear that she is no damsel in distress. Though she sings about love's great difficulties, she is unafraid of announcing to the world with the utmost confidence that she is taking it all in stride. In "Back No More" she belts out the words that so many women have felt, but were afraid to voice-the assurance that despite finding difficulty in a relationship, that "the problem is sure not me." I found that the more I listened to the album, the more I believed every word she sang. Even better, it's not only her lyrics that portray this easy confidence, it's the way that she sounds s though singing was the very thing she was put on earth to do. The collection of musicians she had gathered to back her on her songs on "I'll Find My Way" are impressive in their own right. Most notable is guitarist Mike "The Iceman" Cannon who sounds anything but cold, nimbly strumming out funky rhythms and catchy solos. Marconi's songs are not terribly complex, but instead allow her gutsy lyrics to be the focal point of the band. My favorite song has to be "Meet Me At The Cafe" which is filled with equal parts folky sweetness and bluesy grittiness. The song reminds me a little bit of the country influenced Dar Williams, another woman who is not afraid to sing her mind. At a time when pop music is dominated by young women singing like little girls, it is refreshing to hear the very real voice of a true woman.

Popstops (FirstLook Magazine/Star Newspapers)

LOCAL FOLK-ROCKER PHYLIS RENEE MARCONI WILL HOLD A CD RELEASE PARTY FOR HER SECOND CD "LET ME IN," @ 8 P.M. WEDNESDAY @ FITZGERALD'S IN BERWYN. FANS OF MELISSA ETHERIDGE SHOULD DEFINITELY NOT MISS THIS SHOW OR THIS CD, WHICH INCLUDES STRONG FULL-BAND ARRANGEMENTS THAT RANGE FROM JAMMY ROOTS ROCKERS TO DREAMIER, STRUMMY ACOUSTIC MELANCHOLY. MARCONI HAS THE KIND OF SMOKY, POWERFUL VOCAL DELIVERY THAT SELLS EVERY SONG WITH SOULFUL EMOTION. "LET ME IN" OPENS WITH "FOOL ME THREE TIMES," AN ANTHEM FOR EVERYONE WHO'S EVER BEEN CONSISTENTLY LET DOWN IN A RELATIONSHIP......BUT KEEPS COMING BACK FOR MORE. "I'VE GIVEN YOU" FOLLOWS UP ON THAT THEME WITH ONE OF THE ALBUMS STRONGEST TRACKS THAT ADMITS "MY HEART IS NO LONGER WHOLE."

FirstLook Magazine/Star NewsPapers

"Let her in....Marconi puts heart and soul into her music" When it comes to singer-songwriters, there are certainly a multitude of them in the Chicago area. But rather than compete with her fellow musicians, Phylis Renee Marconi embraces them, and is part of a community that fosters camaraderie. The Chicago Heights resident has co-produced the Singer Spotlight Unplugged showcase at Chicago's Uncommon Ground for nearly three years. "There are so many singer-songwriters out there doing this part time, or for a living, with the rewards being too few and far between," she said. "No matter what their talent or experience base is, they all have the same opportunities. And all are searching and hoping for some kind of commercial success. "I feel very fortunate in getting to celebrate my mini-successes in such a vast field. Believe me, I'm always counting my blessings." Among Marconi's blessings is her new CD, "Let Me In," which was produced by Kraig McCreary — who's known for his jingle work — at Lucky Penny Studios in Roselle. "The thing about working with Kraig, instead of the full band on this CD, is that I wanted a different direction for the new CD," she said. "Sometimes, it is easier to work one on one to achieve the vision you want for a new song. I really wanted the final product to match what my vision for these new songs were. "Although recording with the full band can be awesome, sometimes when there are many musicians in the mix, the vision can be lost." Helping to complete her vision was Danny Leake, of Urban Guerilla Engineers in Chicago, who mastered "Let Me In." He has worked with several high-profile clients, including Stevie Wonder, Tom Waits, Ramsey Lewis and Janet Jackson. Marconi celebrated the release of "Let Me In" at FitzGerald's in Berwyn in March, but said she wanted to have another CD-release party closer to home for her family, friends and south suburban fans. That's where Scott's Market/Kingsmen Lounge in Olympia Fields becomes part of the picture. "It's a quaint little bar," Marconi said. The new live music venue is where Marconi and guitarist Frank Anastos, of Olympia Fields, will perform music from "Let Me In," as well as covers ranging from Bonnie Raitt to Sheryl Crow, on Saturday. "You're going to hear some new tunes and some eclectic tunes, but you're also going to hear a mixture of familiar covers that you would be comfortable with," Marconi said. Scott's Market is also one of the local stores that carries Marconi's CD for sale. Others in that mix are All That Glitters in Frankfort and the D&D Food Store in Chicago Heights. Marconi, who also plays guitar and piano, said she is trying every avenue to get the word out about "Let Me In." "I've just started working on distributing to small stores in my hometown," she said. "You never know where your support will be coming from. "You start small, and you have to see who's interested, and I think the Web is an awesome vehicle for that because you'll pick up fans." Marconi's music — which features hints of rock, pop and soul — also is available on iTunes, Amazon.com and CDBaby.com. "There's a lot of people out there, and the Web is really an incredible vehicle for music," she said. CDBaby also helped Marconi land radio airplay in Washington, after a disc jockey there heard some of her music online. "They e-mailed me. I didn't even have to work at that," she said. Granted, a musician's work is never done, and Marconi said all the effort and time she has put into her latest release will be worth it if she can reach a wide audience. "I really want people to give this CD a listen," she said. "I feel like I have really evolved with this CD — changing players, and changing the type of music." "My first one is mostly rocking. This one is a little bit more polished. Everybody who has listened to it said they're enjoying it a lot." Jessi Virtusio may be reached at jvirtusio@starnewspapers.com or (708) 802-8854.

Phylis Renee Marconi Sings From Her Guts To Yours

Phylis is the kind of musician who writes her songs from personal experiences - not in a Taylor Swift kind of way, but in a Phylis Renee Marconi kind of way. She defies The Laws of Physics by being tough and tender, gritty and smooth, raw and polished at the same time yet she sings from her guts right into yours. It seems she empathizes with your soul and has a kind of "Been there, done that, know how you feel" directness that can play with your emotions or be right alongside of them. I will admit I am from the same hometown as Phylis but did not know of her music until a few months ago. We have become "social media friends" and as an internet DJ, I play her music on every one of my shows because IT IS THAT GOOD. In my humble opinion, she gives Bonnie Raitt and Melissa Etheridge a good run for their money. Personally I think she's a better singer and composer than both Bonnie and Melissa.
Phylis doesn't sing because it sells records. Phylis sings because she HAS to - she has to get that emotion out and over to you so you can grab it and run with it. I hope to goodness that you do. You won't be sorry.