ABC News called Grant-Lee Phillips, "One of the most gifted songwriters of his generation..." Phillips has had a consistent and enthusiastic following among fans and critics alike. He’s enjoyed notoriety as a recording artist, comedic actor and film composer. His career started as frontman of Grant-Lee Buffalo. He was named “ male vocalist of the year” in 1995 by Rolling Stone. USA Today called him a, "soulful balladeer" and one "who continues to solidify his place in the upper tier of Americana." His music has been featured in a diverse range of films: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, Velvet Goldmine, Mad Love, Zigzag, Easy, Arctic Tale and television shows, from Friends, Witchblade, The Gilmore Girls (a show where he also held a reoccurring role as the Town Troubadour) to Roswell, Six Feet Under, What About Brian, The Return of Jezebel James, House, Men In Trees and Grey's Anatomy.
With Phillips at the helm, Grant Lee Buffalo released four recordings on Slash/Warners Bros. in addition to various soundtracks, live releases, and a box set retrospective. The endorsement of some of music’s biggest bands, REM, Pearl Jam and The Smashing Pumpkins (all of whom the group toured with) helped to fuel the band’s popularity. Some of the modern-rock radio hits penned by Phillips both from his days in Grant Lee Buffalo and as a solo artist are: Mockingbirds, Fuzzy, Honey Don’t Think, Testimony, Lonestar Song, Happiness, Jupiter and Teardrop, The Shining Hour, Bethlehem Steel, Homespun, Truly, Truly,Heavenly, Humankind, Love’s A Mystery, Spring Released, Calamity Jane, Lily-A-Passion, Same Blue Devils, Raise The Spirit, and Soft Asylum. All of these songs contributed to a devoted following both in the states and abroad. The trio disbanded in 1998 when Grant Lee Phillips struck out on his own. A new generation of fans continue to discover the timeless songs of Grant-Lee Phillips and the music of Grant Lee Buffalo.
In 2000 Grant-Lee Phillips, released the self produced Ladies Love Oracle on his own label, Magnetic Field Recordings. It has since been licensed worldwide. He signed with the Boston based Rounder Records, releasing Mobilize in 2001 to rave reviews. As a solo artist Phillips took more of a hands on approach to studio production, playing nearly every instrument himself. The twenty-first century would find him juxtaposing his trademark guitars with string arrangements and electronic drum programming, creating a whole new sound.
His follow-up, Virginia Creeper in 2004 was a live acoustic recording where all the players interacted with one another during the process, very much in contrast to the technological solo experimentation of Mobilize. Mojo magazine dubbed Virginia Creeper, “Effortless…near genius”. One of the songs, Susanne Little touches upon Phillips Native American roots, telling the story of his great grandmother’s struggle to overcome adversity. In 2006 Phillips released Nineteeneighties, a tribute to his favorite cult bands and songs of the era – a nod to the underground artists who blazed a path for the Nirvana generation. With barely a breath in between, Phillips released his next CD, Strangelet in 2007. “Sixteen years into one of the most joyously melodic careers of our age…Phillips is writing the most intimate songs of his career …” wrote Goldmine.
Revered for it's lyrical depth and sweeping cinematic scope, the music of Grant-Lee Phillips extends beyond the realm of recording artist. For over a decade and a half, the music of Grant-Lee Phillips has added emotional richness to a diverse range of films and television shows. He wrote songs for the main character of Director Todd Haynes glitter-rock film, Velvet Goldmine and songs from the perspective of the sea lions in National Geographic’s Arctic Tale. Phillips also composed the musical score for the ABC’s drama What About Brian and Fox’s half hour comedy, The Return Of Jezebel James and for indie films Easy and Zig-Zag.
Grant-Lee Phillips' recently collaborated with Helios Dance Theater in a modern interpretation of Homer's, The Odyssey. The performance entitled, The Lotus Eaters showcases Phillips hidden talent for mixing traditional orchestral instrumentation with experimental song formats. The piece premiered in October 2008 at The Cerritos Center for The Performing Arts. Upcoming engagements include, The Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, and The Symphony Space in New York City.
Phillips has been a guest performer on such popular shows as Late Show With David Lettermen, Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Late Show With Conan O’Brien, Real Time With Bill Maher to name a few. He continues to tour worldwide, and is a fixture at his second home, Largo, the prominent cabaret hosting a diverse group of musicians, and comedians such as Aimee Mann, Jon Brion, Paul F. Tompkins, Greg Proops, Patton Oswalt, Jack Black and others. Phillips hosted a variety show at Largo with 24 star, Mary Lynn Rajskub, and often makes guest appearances in comedy shows. Encouraged by his comedian friends, Phillips came to surpass his singer/songwriter tag, even doing a stint as a comedy writer for the VH1 sketch show Random Play. He was a regular musical guest on comedian Greg Behrendt’s daytime talk show, contributing satirical ballads inspired by the show’s daily theme. For Phillips, who cut his creative teeth in childhood as a comedian, actor, singer and magician in a vaudeville revival house, “It’s all in a good days work. I grew up around old guys who played the saw, honky-tonk piano players and escape artists. Like mercury, it stays in your blood.”
Frank Critelli writes songs. He dabbles in haiku and other short poetry. He also writes other things. Like postcards. His songs are available on compact disc, download, or stream at places like iTunes, CD Baby, Spotify, and Pandora
Frank Critelli often performs live. Sometimes he performs solo, sometimes he is accompanied by one or more musical co-conspirators. Over the years he’s played in streets and subways, barrooms and classrooms, coffeehouses and colleges, theaters, festivals, and (most recently) in his kitchen.