What happens when a legendary classic rock icon takes a shine to your material—and offers to collaborate with you? You drop everything and take them up on it! That was the case when Phil Everly, half of the timeless pop duo the Everly Brothers, made that very proposition to Los Angeles studio session man and singer/songwriter/ guitarist Brian C. Stewart. The late Everly brother (who died in January 2014) and Stewart had been friends for several years, but had never previously worked together. That all changed from February 2012 to June 2013 as they penned a dozen songs that eventually became the Smile Records release Get Your Phil.
“Tony was interested in this project because of Phil Everly’s involvement.”
Stewart and his band Lost Coyote approached Smile Records owner Tony Valenziano, whose label is known as a legacy and power pop-oriented label (the Knack, Dave Mason, Berlin). “It’s weird, I’m a nobody,” says Stewart with a chuckle. “I’ve been around the block for years. I just never made it over the big fence. But Tony was interested in this project because of Phil Everly’s involvement. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of great records that no one can get distribution for. I’m just being honest.”
Lost Coyote’s Get Your Phil will be released globally on March 15, with subsequent tour support in the planning stages. “Phil told me that he had no complaints with his life when we were working together,” recalls Stewart. “He said, ‘I will sing “Wake Up Little Susie” until the cows come home and be thankful to my soul for it. But for all the pats on the back and the awards I’ve gotten, I really wish people heard what I was doing now.’ Phil was my friend and that’s what I’m trying to do here.” – Eric A. Harabadian