Zach Phillips is a Chicago-based singer-songwriter unafraid to pigeonhole himself in the rock/folk/alternative-country category. Of course, this would not be completely accurate, as it would ignore his love of atmosphere and lush musical arrangements.

It would also ignore the fact that while he believes Bob Dylan to be a divine apostle, Zach admits to pulling out Kate Bush and Tori Amos albums on a cold winter night.

Zach has an interest in Eastern philosophy and spirituality, a quality that could spoil a lesser rock artist. He does, however, love satire and thinks Kurt Vonnegut is the best living American writer. He also thinks John Kennedy Toole's "A Confederacy of Dunces" is the funniest book ever written.

He's not much of a rebel, but still wears his hair longish.

He thinks folk and country music is misunderstood, grunge is overrated and punk is okay.

He thinks John Lennon's first two solo albums are as rewarding as any Beatles album.

He loves Bob Dylan's voice, and doesn't like cover versions of Dylan tunes for the most part.

His belief system leans to the left, but he thinks extremism creates destructive behavior.

He thinks laughter may be the sound at the center of the Universe.

He's only opinionated when given the platform (like now).

Zach loves people, and has been described as outwardly intense and loud, but inwardly peaceful.

Zach's current state of affairs involves playing out with the Walk-Ins, a group of the finest musicians and human beings in the Chicago area. After some cajoling and gambling bets gone awry, he convinced them into playing all of his songs, including tunes from "Still Night" — his latest CD, which was released in late 2003. He intends to continue gigging with the Walk-Ins, until they realize they're equally talented, if not better, songwriters and leave him to front their own bands.

"Still Night," Zach's second album, is a mellower, edgier affair than his first, offset by pretty arrangements and melodies. It was recorded in his tiny basement studio with the help of some very talented musicians, many of whom are current members of the Walk-Ins.

And, yes, Zach can be pretentious about his art, making him feel a close kinship with other singer/songwriters.

Similar Artists/Influences: Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Lucinda Williams, Wilco, Whiskeytown, Nick Drake, Elvis Costello (he's been told)