Phillip-Michael Scales is a gifted songwriter who happens to be the nephew of BB King. His sound fits snuggly between folk and soul; demonstrating his knack for thoughtful, catchy melodies. Whether singing about heartbreak, following dreams, or growing up; his perspective, coupled with his command of language is incredible. It's no surprise in 2013, he won an International Songwriting Award.
Along with his gift for writing critically acclaimed songs (Huffington Post, Chicago Tribune, American Songwriter) comes his ability to captivate his audience in a live setting. Armed only with a guitar, Phillip-Michael uses his strong, soulful tenor, and quick wit to deliver both a musically and emotionally dynamic performance. "There's something so great about earning a crowds trust, leading them through an emotional journey and coming out the other side together."
Phillip-Michael has spent time all over. He was born in Metro-Detroit, moved to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music, and settled in Chicago. He is no stranger to touring and has been on the road for the better part of five years opening for such acts as Guster, David Cook, Bethany Joy Lenz, Crystal Bowersox, Tyler Hilton, Jon McLaughlin, Cory Brannan and Kate Voegele. His music has taken him all the way to the Middle East, as well as festivals across the US and Canada.
"The singer Songwriter has a knack for Getting in touch with his audience through sincere lyrics that capture just how you're Feeling, be it your best (or worst) Day." Jeff Milo - The Detroit Free Press
"A clever and heartfelt lyricist, Rabbit's sometimes-painful honesty seems genuine, which salvages it from becoming over-earnest oversharing." - Julia Leconte, Now Toronto
"Hailing from Chicago, singer-songwriter Briar Rabbit's quippy lyric-heavy folk pop – or, as he's come to call it, thought pop – has been winning over critics and music blogs one by one for years." - The Globe and Mail
"He has just released his latest album, “From Your Bones,” which is as literate and soulful a pop album as its predecessors." - Jessica Hopper, Chicago Tribune
"On his newest album, From Your Bones, Rabbit bounces between tall tales and biographical stories while a folk-pop band churns up some rootsy, rollicking noise in the background. “So Long” is the first single, which we’re happy to premiere. Get ready for story time, folks." -Andrew Leahey, American Songwriter
"As a lyricist, Rabbit balances deft metaphors and surprising turns of phrase with lines as blunt as “sometimes the best teacher is pain”. Rather than slice through emotional knots, he works to untangle them, strand by strand." - Sasha Geffin, Dingus
"Briar Rabbit finds a way to make even the most life-shattering events into fun sing-a-longs that play perfectly at parties or, if you’re like me, when driving alone in a car and singing at the top of your lungs. I don’t remember what or where I heard Briar Rabbit first, but I know that immediately there was something special about him. With his new single “So Long,” he has proven me right yet again." - Music Defined
"Singer-songwriters such as Briar Rabbit (Philip-Michael Scales) create sensitive, soul-searching tunes that don't activate the cheese filters. Between the intelligent lyrics and busy arrangements is delight. Yes, he's singing and strumming. Yes, you will see the words "intelligent" and "busy" and think it's some dude just showing how smart he is. Wrong."
- Kevin Williams, Chicago Tribune
"Briar Rabbit’s warm personality was exemplified by this act, and was a main reason why the Canadian debut of thought-pop was a success at NXNE."
- Emerson Brito, Razmataz Magazine
"Briar Rabbit's new concept album "The Great Routine!" is beautiful and cutting. Dismiss it at your own intellectual peril." - JC Brooks, (of JC Brooks and The Uptown Sound)
"Briar Rabbit is the project of Phillip-Michael Scales, who writes charming little indie pop songs that never cross the line into too-cute territory. This is sensitive, sincere music well-suited to a mix CD, if people are still making those anymore."
- Metro Mix Chicago (Top 12 for Taste 2011)
"Charming pop you want to put in your pocket."
- Matt Pais, Red Eye (Rock n Vote 2011)