About the Artist Composer Philip Aaberg writes music that connects a global audience to the sweeping landscape of the West. By translating Montana's farms, ranches, and native cultures into musical concepts, he's forged a unique keyboard style that paints an audible portrait of his home state. Although classically trained, Philip celebrates many traditions with his compositions. He weaves strains of blues and bluegrass as well as rock and new music throughout his melodic tapestries. Besides playing piano with the Boston Pops and participating in the Marlboro Chamber Music Festival, Philip has appeared with Peter Gabriel, Elvin Bishop, and the Doobie Brothers. He has cut eight solo albums, one of which, Live From Montana, received a 2002 Grammy nomination. As a guest artist, Philip has performed on over 200 albums and on PBS's All-American Jazz, which earned him an Emmy nomination. 'He is a true composer, as well as a great interpreter,' says fellow pianist George Winston. 'His music so deeply captures the essence of Montana and yet it is so universal.' Album Description Piano Blues - Blue West is the first release out of the new Sweetgrass Music recording studio 'The Bin' in Chester, Montana. From the liner notes of Blue West: The Blues is simple soul music - you can't just try to sound like somebody else. My biggest lesson on that was hearing Little Brother Montgomery in Chicago. I'll never forget it. He was politely received by the crowd, but he knocked me out playing his music his own way... and taking his time. A road doesn't always just take us around the block. Occasionally, I'll abandon tradition and use what Zawinul calls 'crystal structure'...organic form. You can hear it on 'Yellowstone Paddlewheel' where, when the slow funky gospel feel comes back, it's like traveling on a river... you're on the same boat, but there's something new around every bend. Music has always been a big old adventure to me. I was never inclined to play 'pure' blues or 'pure' anything. There is no such thing in the historical art of music. We're all in this soup together...DNA will tell you that. This is a blues record...maybe not a 'pure' blues record by some definitions or store labels, but it's MY blues record...a Montana blues record. I hope you smell sagebrush, see the Big Sky, hear the train, and feel the river... before you sit down in your nearest friendly roadhouse to listen to the piano picker. -Philip Aaberg, June 2005 Chester, Montana.