"Phoenix Jordan is skydiving through the stardust of personal wonder . . . A beautifully produced hour of love songs."
Jim Stricklan, Hall of Fame DJ
Love is Heaven, Love is Hell, has just been named Album of the Week by Terra Nova Digital Audio.
Phoenix Jordan is a singer songwriter hailing from Henderson in East Texas, and was raised in a small town in the greater Houston area. He currently resides in Buda just south of Austin. With an eclectic sound stemming from influences such as American crooners, to Texas Country and Gospel-Soul, his music leans more toward the country spectrum yet it is edged with soul. His influences include: Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, Dan Fogelberg, Glen Campbell, and the artists of Motown. Phoenix is releasing his first secular record, Love Is Heaven, Love Is Hell on August 18. The music tells the story of the women in his life: his mother, grandmother, daughter, two wives, and a few lovers sprinkled into the mix. Whether these women lifted him up or tore him down, the relationships helped to shape and inspire these songs. As the album title suggests, the songs are about love in all its wondrous variety,that can lift us to heaven or plunge us into hell.
Music has always been a passion for Phoenix, whose parents never deemed music as vital, let alone supported it as a career. His grandfather was his main musical supporter and was a professional musician himself, playing saxophone in the Lincoln, Nebraska symphony orchestra. Although he put music aside professionally to grow his family, he continued to conduct the choir at his church, keeping music as a hobby throughout his life and into Phoenix’s. Music may have been unsupported in Phoenix’s household, but he was singing publicly by the age of five and throughout elementary school and into his teenage years. In high school Phoenix picked up a guitar in self-defense, because he couldn't get a song in edgewise in a jam session without one. The first song he learned on guitar was the Ray Charles rendition of, “I Can’t Stop Loving You.” Growing up he was listening to 45’s spanning from Skeeter Davis and Nat King Cole to The Beatles, given to him by his parents, grandparents and aunt.
As a young man, Phoenix was stricken with a life-threatening illness for which there is no cure known to man. But he has gradually made a full recovery, thanks mostly to a God he didn't think existed. Phoenix is inspired by a vision of a better world here on earth -- a world of safety and security, prosperity and success, peace and harmony, and intimacy with a higher power who leads us to more and more profound levels of well-being. Other non-musical inspiration comes from Phoenix’s family, sports, historical figures like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Joan of Arc, and writers such as Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, Isaac Asimov, and Upton Sinclair.
Love Is Heaven, Love Is Hell, was produced by Patrick Conway, “a terrific producer in all phases of the process, from pre-production and arranging, to budgeting, scheduling, choosing strong musicians who kick ass on their instruments, and all the intricacies of mixing.” The album was produced at Blue Rock Studio, which is in a beautiful, comfortable, and state-of-the-art setting in Wimberley, TX. Billy Crockett, the owner, “is a man of integrity and generosity and a terrific artist in his own right, who lives to create art in words, and inspires others to do the same.” Billy, for his part, describes Phoenix's new album as "Great singing! Songs full of courage and heart." Dees Stribling, of the avant garde 3-piece jazz band Blue Healer, worked with Phoenix on a past project and helped to recruit the musicians for Love Is Heaven, Love Is Hell. The marvelous instrumentalists behind this work of art are, Warren Hood - violin, Dees Stribling (Blue Healer) - drums, Sean Giddings (Pat Green) - keys, David Beck (Blue Healer) and Sam Pankey (Balmorhea, Sometimes a Legend) - bass, as well as Anthony Browne (Marshall Anderson and Family Dollar Band) - lead guitar, Kristin de Witt (Sara Hickman), Debi Jones (Phil and Debi Jones), and Pamela Cooke - backing vocals. Phoenix encourages listeners to appreciate and reflect on the loves in their life that lift them higher, and for those loves that have led to heartache, “I want them to know they are not alone. I hope they will find songs they can sing, tunes that stick in their heads, and emotions they can identify with.”
When he is not writing and performing, Phoenix is a math tutor who specializes in working with children with learning disabilities such as ADHD and Dyslexia, runs a small nonprofit ministry, and formerly taught music at the Marbridge Foundation, a home for cognitively challenged adults.
Phoenix will be celebrating the national release of his new album, Love Is Heaven, Love Is Hell, August 18 at Manchaca United Methodist Church.
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