You would have hardly known that we had just experienced a pandemic, judging by the jovial nature of the Replay on Friday evening. Lawrence had zero issues getting back into the swing of things when the community gathered to celebrate Cory Phillips’ album release show.

The place was packed! Packed, I tell you! They piled in like sardines and pulled out all the stops, even unfurling a red carpet for the groovy soiree. Who knew that Cory Phillips could be the one musician to unite us all. There were rockers, folk musicians, a couple of punks, city officials, writers, and even a barefoot hippie all gleefully cheering along Phillips as he plowed through the songs off his new album with a full band. A full band! This was quite possibly our first show with actual percussion involved since vaccines became Lawrence’s hottest accessory. Phillips assembled an ensemble of powerhouse players from the Lawrence music scene. Nate Holt was pounding away on the keys and *gasp!*, is that Michael Hamm on the guitar? Let me tell you that this audience lost it every time Hamm busted out a solo (everyone here is on the Hamm train). Phillips, the ringleader of this rag-tag group of musicians, was flawless. His roaring vocals and thrilling riffs got the crowd moving (and even a little hot and bothered because his lyrics are a tinge on the sultry side). No one’s tushy was safe, for if you found yourself trying to remain still, your ass would betray you and get down. Sex Thirsty Love Hunger (meee-YOW) is out now, and you can find more information on Phillips’ website.

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Fally Afani is an award-winning journalist with a career spanning more than 15 years in media. She has worked extensively in radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and more.

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