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Grant-Lee Phillips headlines Third Annual Chelsea Song Fest

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Lori Coryell for the information in this story.)

The Chelsea District Library (CDL) recently announced the schedule for its third annual Chelsea Song Fest, a celebration of the art and craft of songwriting.

The all-day fest takes place on Saturday, Sept. 14 and will feature one-on-one songwriting mentoring sessions with Ben Daniels, Judy Banker, and Annie Capps; a Variety Showcase (sign up for your slot now!); and a family-friendly concert and junior troubadour instrument parade featuring the legendary Frank Allison

New this year, the fest will offer a phenomenal opportunity called Play with the Band. Three lucky local songwriters will have their original songs selected and will work with Chelsea’s own Mo’ Easy in rehearsal sessions with the goal of a band performance at the Variety Showcase.

To be considered, please submit your tab sheet with song chords and lyrics to [email protected] by Sept. 2

The fest will culminate with headliner Grant-Lee Phillips in an up-close and personal conversation with 107one’s Martin Bandyke followed by an acoustic performance at Chelsea First Congregational Church.

This is a rare opportunity to hear this acclaimed singer-songwriter who was named Male Vocalist of the Year by Rolling Stone Magazine in 1996. From an early career fronting the band Grant Lee Buffalo, to a stint as the town troubadour on the iconic television series Gilmore Girls, to exploring musical genres in his solo career, Phillips continues to surprise and delight listeners. The fest will continue following Phillips’s performance at Zou Zou’s Cafe where CDs will be available for purchase and signing. 

CDL Song Fest 2019 Schedule

Saturday, Sept. 14

12-1 p.m. Frank Allison’s Fun Family Concert & Junior Troubadour Instrument Parade

1-3 p.m. One-on-One Songwriting Mentor Sessions

3-5 p.m. Variety Showcase Featuring Play with the Band Performances

7 p.m. Grant-Lee Phillips Live! At Chelsea First Congregational Church

9 p.m. Song Fest Meet and Mingle at Zou Zou’s Cafe

Visit for complete event details and along with information on how to register for select programs.

About Grant-Lee Phillips
Grant-Lee Phillips came to prominence in the 1990s with his band Grant Lee Buffalo. Originally from Stockton, Calif., Phillips, who is a registered member of the Creek Native American tribe, traveled south to Los Angeles to study film, but instead found himself caught up in LA’s blossoming Indie rock scene.

He formed Shiva Burlesque, a band that released a pair of albums, before founding Grant Lee Buffalo, which doubled that output. While Grant Lee Buffalo was acclaimed among critics and artists alike (Phillips was named 1996 Rolling Stone Male Vocalist of the Year and Michael Stipe of R.E.M claimed their 1993 record Fuzzy was the best album of the year), the band struggled to find commercial success.

Phillips disbanded the group in 1999 and shifted gears toward a solo career. Since 2000, Phillips has released eight albums of original material and another of covers, paying homage to his favorite music from the 1980s. Known for soulful vocals and intricate song construction, Phillips has a loyal following and continues to attract new fans, old and young.

For more information on Phillips, visit

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