Phil Hyland began working professionally as a stage actor at the Virginia Repertory Theatre (Barksdale Theatre & Theatre IV) in his hometown of Richmond, VA, then as a screen actor in New York NY and Los Angeles CA.  

Early in the 1990s there was a folk music revival in the coffee houses and bars of NYC which attracted Hyland and prompted him to start performing his original songs at open mic nights.  He eventually co-founded the band, Girlfriend, with singer Robin Cryer, establishing  popular residencies at the infamous Augie's on 106th St & Broadway and at the legendary Irish coffee house, Cafe Sin-é (pronounced shin-AY, Irish Gaelic for That’s It) on St. Marks Place, where Jeff Buckley recorded his "Live at Sin-é", EP. 

Broadway producer, James Simon and his partner Nancy Shefts, signed Girlfriend to an independent recording deal debuting their album, Girlfriend, "The New Me" recorded at Sound of Music Recording Studios in Richmond VA.

A chance meeting with folk legend, Pete Seeger, encouragement from Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul & Mary), opening for New Wave icon Howard Jones in NYC and a sit down radio interview with legend Joey Ramone on WDST FM (Radio Woodstock) after Girlfriend's set at "A Day in the Garden / Woodstock 1998"  have made a colorful splash on Phil's songwriting adventure.