Starting out with open mic nights in SoHo and the Village, Phil eventually co-founded the band, Girlfriend, with singer Robin Cryer establishing a popular residency at the infamous Augie's on 106th St and Broadway and at the legendary Irish coffee house, Cafe Sin-é on St. Marks Place, where Jeff Buckley recorded his Live at Sin-é, EP. 

Broadway producer, James Simon and Nancy Shefts, signed Girlfriend to a recording deal with John Morand producing their debut album, Girlfriend, The New Me in Phil's hometown at Richmond VA Sound of Music Recording Studios. 

Girlfriend dominated the NYC indie band scene from 1993 to 1999 opening for New Wave icon Howard Jones in NYC and enjoyed a sit down radio interview with rock legend Joey Ramone on WDST FM, Radio Woodstock, after Girlfriend's set at Woodstock 1998, A Day in the Garden.

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