The story of Phoenix 23 is one that began one cold November evening in a small blues bar, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, back in 2007. A chance conversation with legendary Supertramp guitarist Carl Verheyen at one of his intimate gigs lead to a demo being exchanged... the 3 cousins Gav Campbell, Neil Donnelly and Glenn Donnelly didn't foresee the journey they were about to begin.
"Travelling with my band I get dozens of CDs from aspiring musicians from all around the world. To be honest, most of them end up in the hotel trash can, but something about the Phoenix 23 demo compelled me to hang on to it and bring it home to California. This music is pure....a rarity these days!"
Carl Verheyen A couple of months down the line singer/songwriter Gav built up the courage to contact Carl for some demo feedback... the next thing they knew they had been invited to fly to LA and start recording their debut album with Carl at the world famous Sunset Studios where The Doors, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Prince, to name but a few, have all recorded.
Phoenix 23 were a 3 piece at this stage but this didn't matter, Carl played all the lead guitar with drummer Stevie Di Stanislao (David Gilmour, David Crosby and Joe Cocker) playing all the percussion on the album.
Bernie Matthews (KD Lang, Sheryl Crow, Ice T, and Earth, Wind & Fire) was flown in from New York to engineer... the album was on!
"I had a such a blast working with Phoenix 23, not only are these guys very talented but they all have such wonderful senses of humor which made for days of great music and a lot of laughs"
Stevie Di Stanislao (Drums) "Phoenix 23 brought a refreshing style of music and performance to the sessions. Both familiar and unique. These cats belong in the studio and on the stage. Great music, great hang. I can't wait to get them back in."
Bernard Matthews It was onwards and upwards for Phoenix 23 with a mini tour of Seattle a year later, where again they hooked up with Carl as guests at one of his intimate gigs... they later returned the favour and supported him in Northern Ireland whilst he was on his European Tour.
They have had movie success with 3 of their tracks appearing on the soundtrack of the Sir Ben Kinsley movie Fifty Dead Mean Walking; the song 'Hit the Ground Running' featuring at number 4 in Empire Magazines must hear sound track tunes.
"When I first heard, 'Hurricane', from Phoenix 23's debut album, I was really excited and instantly it received a lot airplay at the station. Now after hearing the full album, it's great to see they have a real passion about their music that is so refreshing to see... I am in no doubt that these guys are going to have great success, they are great live and the tracks on the album are huge... what an achievement also to feature on the soundtrack of the Sir Ben Kinsley film, 50 Dead Men Walking...Check out these guys, I guarantee you'll love them!" Gareth Stewart Drivetime Cool FM.
Their fan base is growing stronger on a daily basis with them reaching far and wide...from Australia to the US; from Malaysia, Germany and Italy!
Phoenix 23 recorded their debut album in Sunset Sound Recording Studio, Sunset Blvd, Hollywood, Los Angeles.