Musician Spotlight: Phil Hurley

Jun 15, 2022

Phil Hurley has been playing in bands since he was eight years old. He now lives near Austin and plays all over Texas.

As a teenager in 1987 Phil moved from his hometown of Potsdam, NY to Boston, MA with his band Gigolo Aunts. Gigolo Aunts had a major label deal with RCA and toured extensively in the US and Europe with Counting Crows, The Cranberries, The Lemonheads, The Wallflowers, and others. They recorded music for films, including That Thing You Do, The River Wild, Swimming With Sharks, The Buddy System, In the Army Now, and the title track to Dumb and Dumber, “Where I Find My Heaven.” Phil performed in the original cast of the hit show Rock of Ages and wrote the theme songs for HBO’s Lucky Louie, The Greg Behrendt Show, and Weeds.

In Austin, Phil continued his success playing guitar with Jimmy LaFave, and recording with artists such as Hal Ketchum and Wendi Waldman. He released his solo album “Nowhere Left To Run,” produced by Chris Gage in 2019. His second solo album is currently under production.

We sat down with Phil to discuss how he got started playing music, what brought him to MTF, and what he’s got on deck for the rest of 2022:

How did you get your (musical) start? What inspired you to start playing music in the first place?

Much to my older bother’s chagrin, as soon as he started playing in bands at age thirteen, I joined in at age eight. Our whole family is musical and there was always music and instruments in our house growing up. Also, growing up in the college town of Potsdam, NY in the ‘70’s, there was live music everywhere and a great local music shop run by great folks who encouraged and fostered the local musical community.

Who are some of your musical inspirations?

Being the youngest of five kids, I had access to my older siblings records from my earliest days.

Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Stones, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Monkees were all fair game when I was little. When I first started playing in bands, the adults around us saw our interest in the blues and introduced us to Muddy Waters, Johnny Winter, Howling Wolf, and BB King In my teen years groups like The Police, REM, U2, Big Star and Television really started me on my personal journey.

What was the injury that first brought you into contact with MTF? How did it impact your ability to play music?

After decades of playing guitar, my left thumb was really hurting. It that it had left its proper mooring with my hand bones and was just floating away from my wrist. I played through the pain as long as I could. But, then luckily, I met Dr.Barron.

What was your experience like receiving treatment through MTF? How long did it take for you to be able to play again?

My treatment couldn’t have been better. Upon meeting Dr. Barron, he was quickly able to diagnose the issue and had a plan in place to make it better. His entire staff was so helpful and courteous.

Unfortunately, I had some complications after surgery and it was (and has been) a long and difficult recovery. I’m back to playing full time but it had required some major readjustment.

Are you releasing any projects soon? What’s going on in your life musically?

YES! I am just about to release a new five-song Ep called “The Firebird Sessions” under my own name. After a decade of playing in another group, I’m stepping out and trying to create my own brand. This is the first record that I’ve written and recorded all on my own. This one survived a nearly terminal hard drive crash. So, I’ve very proud of the amount of effort and energy that went into seeing this one through to completion.

Learn more about Phil Hurley and show your support by visiting his website.

Listen to their work:

Musician Spotlight: Hamed Shadad

What inspired you to start playing music? I remember at an early age I used to listen repeatedly to some of Chopin’s greatest works on a cassette tape. It had a great impact on me. Then early in my musical career, a former teacher gave me a CD of contemporary classical music, and from then […]

Musician Spotlight: Jeff Hill

What inspired you to start playing music? I started playing clarinet and singing in 4th Grade. When I got to middle school in 2012 I discovered Rock n Roll andJazz and I never looked back. Who are some of your musical inspirations I have always been inspired by musicians that made music their lifetime pursuit. […]

Musician Spotlight: Dr. Hailey Walterman

What inspired you to start playing music? I started playing the viola much like many other young musicians–through my 6th grade public school music program. However, unlike many others I was immediately drawn to the viola; during an instrument demo I absolutely fell in love with the rich sound of the viola. I always say […]