BRIDGEPORT, Texas – If music is deep in Phil Hamilton’s heart, Texas music is his soul.
He will put it all on the line Saturday, May 9, during a special concert as part of the annual Butterfield Stage Days celebration. The two-day gathering also features the Karl Klement Butterfield Stage Days Rodeo set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 8, and Saturday, May 9, at Sunset Retreat Arena, formerly the Bridgeport Riding Club Arena.
Hamilton originally is from Burleson, Texas, about an hour southeast of Bridgeport. His style of music is the perfect fit for the Butterfield Stage Days celebration, and it’s why event organizers made plans for the Texas native to be part of the show.
“We’re very excited to have Phil Hamilton being the entertainment Saturday night,” said Susan Miller, a key member of the volunteer committee that produces the annual rodeo. “It’s generated a great deal of excitement for us, and I think the community feels the same way.”
Hamilton has loved music since childhood, growing up in a musical family. His grandmother sang opera, and his aunt sang country. As a young adult, he discovered Texas acts like Robert Earl Keen, Charlie Robison and Pat Green, and Hamilton found his niche.
“I started writing some originals, but it didn’t come natural to me at first,” Hamilton said in his biography. “Back then I hadn’t had enough experiences with love and loss and all that stuff to make great songs.”
He continued to practice his writing skills and focusing on it.
“That’s when things started to take off,” he said. “The next thing I knew I was being offered a deal with Winding Road Music to record a full record.”
Nothing To Lose was released in 2009 and featured two singles that reached the top 15 on the Texas charts. His second album, Renegade Rock N Roll, featured three No. 1 songs: “Bad,” “Running” and “Back of a ’73.” He followed that with a third album from a legendary Fort Worth, Texas, club, Live At The Whiskey Girl Saloon.
“I was excited to show what we do live,” Hamilton said. “My only rule was that it had to be real authentic and 100 percent live, not re-cut or re-tracked, and we did it that way and it worked. It was just a phenomenal experience, and we captured the music just the way I wanted.”
When he’s not on the road playing before raucous audiences, Hamilton enjoys his time at home in Grandbury, Texas, where he combines his passion for music with the outdoors. It’s a great place for him to unwind and open the possibilities for his songwriting.
“I live on the road, but I don’t write on the road,” he said. “There are too many things going on, and it’s too tough for me to put my thoughts down out there. Hunting and the outdoors are my main things. When I’m home, half of the week I’m always out in the woods hunting or fishing.”