Guitarcity is the first release from native Philadelphian Phil Romeo. Born and raised in South Phily, Masters in music education from Temple University, Guitarcity will hopefully bring well deserved recognition to this musician.
Romeo’s first release has eleven tracks of which Penn’s Landing opens the CD. The tune was also the initial inspiration behind this first CD. “I love riding my bike through the city at night, I was walking with my bike on Penn’s landing one night and there was a really cool vibe going on and the melody started running through my head. I couldn’t get home fast enough to write it down” Phil recalls. Romeo’s spoken thoughts about his music are organized as well as his music, each line bringing the perfect transition into the next note culminating in a perfect cadence.
Sitting down with Phillip and his wife Barbara in their south Philadelphia home to talk about his CD over cappuccino and Barbra’s biscotti gives this witness a visual image behind the inspirations for Guitarcity. The kindness and love in the lyrics on the 7th track, For my Girl is exhibited as I watch both Phil and Barbra interact. The personal side of Romeo’s life are the notes played on his guitar for us to hear.
Lyrics aside, the skill, technique and ideas in his playing are flawless. When asked why he never went out to try to “make it in music” Phil points to a family portrait next to his piano and proudly states, “because I always wanted to have a family”.
Romeo plays guitar, bass, percussion, harmonica, soprano recorder, and vocals. Backing Phil is Steve Tanzer on flute. While the commercial use of his music isn’t what Phil is striving for, the track that inspired the CD would be a perfect soundtrack for an advertising campaign for Philadelphia tourism with the closing line, I’m Mayor Michael Nutter and this is Philadelphia.