Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy Birthday to my wonderful Daughter!

Happy Birthday Cagney! 29 years ago today you came into this world. Since then you have brightened this world with your smile, personality, humor and kindness.
Now you are a mother and can pass all those wonderful qualities down to Gavin.
Thank you for making my world a better place to be.

I love you,


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Welcome to the world Gavin Bruce Barber!

I just wanted to share with you a picture of my very first Grandson! He was born November 27th and weighed 8 lbs 9 ounces. I am so proud of my Daughter for giving birth to Gavin naturally.
I cannot wait to teach Gavin his first guitar chords or how to hold a drumstick. This is going to be one special little guy. He was born to very amazing parents and some pretty awesome Grandparents. 

Welcome Gavin!!! I love you already!!


Papa Phil

Thursday, November 8, 2012

"Don't die with your music still in you." Wayne Dyer

Happy November 8th!! My wonderful Daughter emailed me this morning to remind me I was a Songwriter. I needed that because I had kind of forgot here lately. Yeah it's been busy and all, but that was just an excuse not to think about it for a while. So to break out of a slump, you have to go back to something that works for you...Wayne Dyer.

"Don't die with your music still in you. Find your passion. Your passion is what stirs your soul and makes you feel like you're totally in harmony with why you showed up here in the first place." - Dr. Wayne Dyer

It makes me want to pick my guitar up, stop worrying about politics or the weather and write what is in my soul. It's that simple to me.

Thank you to my Daugher Cagney for reminding me what I was here to do. :) I love you!

Peace and joy,


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Singer/songwriter Nicole Johnson On The Voice...Nailed it!!!

I did a story on Singer/Songwriter Nicole Johnson almost one year ago. She continues to amaze us all with her music and performance. She is definitely one of my favorite Singer/Songwriters in Nashville.

Now the entire world will know how talented this lady is after her performance on The Voice last night. I remember writing in my original post, "I can't wait to see what she does next." Well, she outdid herself by singing her butt off and landing a well-deserved spot on Blake Shelton's team.

I saw on the previews that she gets to work with Michael Buble? Now I am jealous!!

Take the time to check her out live or visit one of her music pages. You won't be disappointed at all. Keep up the good work Nicole!!



Thursday, September 13, 2012

Don't let your fire go out!!


Here's a quick Wayne Dyer story and a perfect example of the law of attraction. It was 2000 and I was in a horrible relationship, considering selling my guitars (I had already sold one) and never playing music again or writing or anything. I was at the lowest point that I can remember. I was sitting in my living room pondering everything and wondering what the hell I did to deserve all this...pity party. Deep down I still wanted to move to Nashville, write music, perform and live the dream, but it seemed so far away, I was ready to quit.

I was flipping the channels and paused on PBS just long enough to hear Wayne Dyer say, "Don't let your music die with you." Now that made me immediately break down. It was like God himself had spoken in an audible voice straight to me.

So, that week I wrote a song, "Don't let your fire go out.". It was the first of many songs that jump started me. A year later, the bad relationship was history, I was living in Nashville and starting a wonderful journey that has led me right here and now.

It was an amazing experience and I will never forget it. I just wanted to share that with you all. Keep the faith!! 

Peace and love,


Friday, August 10, 2012

Blown away by Maureen Murphy

Kristi and I had the pleasure of getting to hear R&B artist Maureen Murphy perform at Douglas Corner last night.
...Long catch my breath.
Now I know we all have our opinions and they are tainted/formed by past experience. And to preface this bold statement I am about to make, I'll remind you I have been a singer/songwriter, drummer, guitarist, musician and music lover for 40-something years. I have heard some great vocals in my time. But I have to say that Maureen's performance last night was probably the best live vocal performance I have ever witnessed. There were moments during one of her songs that I had chills and tears at the same time.
I think what hit me the most was her humble nature, but she still had complete command of the stage, the audience and her band. She was authentic, believable, powerful and vulnerable all at the same time. She sang from the soul and that is ultra rare. I swear I had a spiritual moment during her singing, "I won't be around". Vocally it was flawless, but she has that indescribable quality that takes it to a whole other level.

Unbelievable Maureen! I highly, highly recommend buying her 3-song EP by clicking this link. Thank you for giving us an amazing performance last night. I feel truly blessed to have been there.

Peace and love,


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

La Hacienda Songwriter night August 11th, 2012

Come see CT Robinson and Phil Bennett play August 11th at 7:00-8:00pm.

My cousin CT Robinson will be featured from 7:00-7:30pm and I will play the next half hour until 8:00pm. This songwriter night is hosted by Brian Mac. They offer dollar tacos and drink specials. It is worth the trip just for the dollar tacos. :)

Just come to:
La Hacienda Restaurant
1110 Hillsboro Rd
Franklin, TN 37064

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I beg to differ!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

I wanted to share some thoughts that have recently occurred to me. I'll start by saying that I am pretty proud of myself. I don't go around boasting or anything, but I am proud of what I have accomplished so far in my life. I have two great kids, a wonderful fiance, a great job, a pretty cool catalog of music, some great friends, plus I am going to be a grandpa in November. I have to say that God has really blessed me.

Recently, I was told I worried too much about what people thought and that was my main problem. That was pretty much word for word. It bothered me for about a day and got me thinking. I beg to differ!!!

At my job, I hope to please my boss by doing a great job. I repair medical equipment for a living and with every IV pump I repair, a Nurse is happy that she can care for her patient. The patient is happy that they can receive treatment and hopefully go home sooner, the Doctor is happy to treat a patient...all because I am a people pleaser.

I write an incredible love song for my soon-to-be Misses, it makes her happy, she's happier at work...etc. I pitch it to my publisher, it makes him happy because he likes the song. He pitches it to an artist, it makes her happy because she needs a love song for her next CD. It gets released to radio and makes the listeners happy, CD sales go through the roof making the record company happy...all because I am a people pleaser.

What I have noticed in my years, rude and selfish people label being a "people pleaser" as a bad thing. Labeling it a bad thing allows them to justify their own asshole behavior. I have litterally given my last dollar to a homeless man. If that is a bad thing in your world, then we live on different planets.

"If you have the choice between being right or kind, choose kind." Wayne Dyer

I will not change, I will not budge, I will not conform to the negativity in this world. We are here to love and be loved...PERIOD!! Oh, I just thought of another people pleaser...Jesus!

Love and peace to all,


Monday, July 16, 2012

Be a part of Anna Johnson's next project

Happy Monday everyone!!

As you know I love to promote local, independent artists. With the help of, Anna Johnson is raising funds for her next project; The Anna Johnson Christmas CD. Personally I cannot wait to hear it, but she needs your help to raise the money for the project.

Simply click on this link. It will take you to the project page where you can donate as little as $5 or as much as you want. Find your inner Santa Clause and do it for me!!

Love and peace to all,


Thursday, June 28, 2012

New song by Maureen Murphy

I hope you had the chance to listen to some of Maureen's music. I just found out Maureen was releasing a new song today. I just listened to it and was so impressed, I had to share it. Take a few minutes and listen. Leave her a comment as well.

Peace and happiness to you all!!


Monday, June 25, 2012

Maureen new favorite R&B singer

Happy Monday everyone!!!

If you have read my blog before, you know I love to showcase local talent and you know I support local, independent artists. In this case I am going to spell TALENT with capitol letters.

I was surfing facebook and Reverbnation and came across Maureen Murphy. She is an R&B/Soul singer who moved to Nashville from Massachusetts in 2003. Since then she has sang at some of the best venues in town, including singing the National Anthem at Predator's games. I feel very blessed that I came across her profile and cannot wait to see her sing live. I hear it's an amazing experience. Based on the following youtube video, I bet that is true. Please take a minute and watch this video of Maureen performing at Hayman's Loft.

  You can buy her 3-song EP by going to her itunes store. Please support your local artists by buying their music and going to their shows. They put their heart and soul into their them back. Until next time...peace and love, Phil

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Credit where credit is due.

As some of you know, I grew up in a musical family. My Dad was a preacher and Mom was the piano player at our little church. They had us boys singing in church at a very young age. We even recorded an album when I was young. My Uncle Stormy played the guitar and sang with us. It was a great way to grow up.

This is when I fell in love with music and the GUITAR. He played a Martin D-28 and it was the first guitar I ever played. I actually remember forming my first chord. It was a D...then I learned the G and then the A. The love affair continues to this day.

The first song I ever learned to play was an old gospel song we used to perform, "Life's railway to Heaven". It took me months, but I learned the intro just like my Uncle Stormy played it. I used that same intro on my song, "I'll remember you" which I wrote for my Dad after he passed away in 1999. It was meant to be a tribute to my main musical influence growing up and to my Dad.
I taught myself to play the drums on my mother's tupperware when I was 12. I finally got my own set when I was 16. I praticed non-stop and got pretty good. When I was 18, my Uncle got me my first gig as a drummer. I am so grateful for him and the influence he had.

Through the years I was fortunate enough to perform a lot of music with my Uncle. I hope he knows how much it meant to be. Well today is Stormy Bennett's birthday and this is my way of wishing him a happy birthday. We haven't talked in a while, but I appreciate all you have done for me over the years.



Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What's your opinion?

I hope everyone is doing well today.

I have noticed a considerable increase in visits to my blog so far this year. So I thought I would reach out to you all and see what you thought.

Drop me a line and let me know what you think of my blog. I have been at this for 3 years now and would really like to often do you drop in? What things do you like about the blog? And what things would you like to see more?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Here is my email:

Have a blessed day!!


Friday, June 8, 2012

"When my ship comes in"

When I was a kid and would ask my Dad for something like a new toy or a bike, his response was always the same.

"When our ship comes in, we can get it."

Now we lived close to the Mississippi river and I just knew one of those barges coming and going carried all the things I dreamed of. It was filled with toys, bikes, GI Joes and games. What a dreamland of childhood delight.

Even though I know now that there isn't a magical dream vessel holding all the treasures of my childhood, I do have hope that my ship is just beyond the horizon. I know my ship exists, because my Dad would never lie to me. So, even though I am happy, healthy and abundant now, I still keep my eyes on the horizon. Because I have hope that my ship is coming.

What is in your ship?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Happy Birthday to my friend Jeff Allwood...

This is a repost from a couple years back. Today is Jeff Allwood's Birthday and I just wanted to share my story of how we met. He was such a wonderful guy.

Let me tell you how I had the pleasure of meeting Jeff Allwood.

I met Joe Allwood on the first day of kindergarten waiting for the bus. We were best friends all through school and graduated together. Joe's little brother Jeff was always there with us after school and on the lucky weekends when I got to stay the night at their house. Jeff, Joe, Johnny Warren and I sang in a barbershop quartet in high school. Their Mother Judy Allwood was my music teacher starting in third grade until I graduated. Their Dad was our high school principal. They were truly my extended family.

Jeff, Joe and I were like the three stooges at times. We would laugh and joke until we ran out of laughter, take a break and do it all over again. When I was 17, we started a country band and Jeff played lead guitar. We played several gigs together, including one for the entire Clopton High School where I graduated.

Jeff taught himself to play guitar, piano and eventually any instrument with strings. He was probably the most talented musician I have had the privilege to share a stage with, an event that happened way too infrequently. But I cherish every second I spent with the other two stooges.

Miss Judy was our biggest fan. She said our harmony was like that family harmony that is so rare. I have not sang with the Allwood brothers since the late 90's I guess. I always thought we would do a reunion show at our old high school when we were old, gray and wildly successful.

That show will have to be in some other place and time because Jeff passed away March 20th, 2009. He was an inspiration to us all by always pursuing his dream of playing music for a living, which is all he ever did.

I am going to miss my friend. Life is short folks, don't waste a second.

Peace and love to all,


"Prayer of Jabez"

And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying,

"Oh that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!" So God granted him what he requested.

I just love this and I post it every now and then to remind myself. "Enlarge my territory"...That means different things to every single person who reads it. What does it mean to you? I think it is worth thinking about for a little bit.

Peace, joy and love to all who read this,


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I'm gonna be a Grandpa!!!!

Well, it finally happened! My amazing Daughter Cagney and her Husband Alex are gonna have a baby. I have known for a few weeks, but was sworn to secrecy. We announced it to my Mom Sunday on Mother's Day. How cool is that?? Maybe this will inspire me to write a song about it.

So it's going to be Papa Phil sometime in the near future. The baby is due at the end of November and I cannot wait!!

What a wonderful and much-needed surprise.

Love to all,


Friday, May 11, 2012

Remember your purpose!

"There is a voice in the Universe urging us to remember our purpose for being on this great Earth. This is the voice of inspiration, which is within each and every one of us." Wayne Dyer

What inspires me? Well a lot of things do, but I will give you the short list of this week.

1. Getting to see the Nashville skyline everyday. I remember the first time I drove into Nashville and knew I had found my home.

2. Dreamers. I'm a dreamer and I am engaged to a dreamer and I love that she thinks there is much more to life than a 9 to 5 job. She inspires me.

3. All of my favorite singer/songwriters in Nashville. Nicole Johnson, Anna Johnson, Joel Shewmake, Buck Johnson, Alice Bergeron. There are many more, but they inspire me to keep plugging away and keep the faith.
4. The mountains. We live 4 hours from the Great Smokey Mountains. What a beautiful place to get away to; and the scenery is amazing all year around.

5. All the random people I cross paths with everyday. I had a wonderful conversation with a homeless guy on the corner a while back. I didn't have any cash, so I rolled my window down and talked to him while I was waiting on the light to change. I might not have made his day, but it made mine.

6. My Mother. She is one of those Mothers that would support me even if I was on death row for killing a Nun. I don't give Mom enough credit for all she has done for me.

Finally, it's Wayne Dyer that put me on the path toward self actualization. I don't really know exactly what that means. I just know when I listen to that small voice inside, that little piece of God that lives in all of us...I am happier and make better decisions.

Peace and joy!!


Monday, May 7, 2012

The moon was SUPER!!!

If you are spontaneous then you will appreciate this. If you are not, you might think we are crazy.
     When I heard about the Super Moon and how big and bright it was going to be Saturday night, Kristi and I decided to drive down the Natchez Trace a ways and see if we could watch it come up. After watching it show its giant face, we got on 65 South trying to decide where we were headed next. (Love the song "Heads Carolina, tails California) After a while, we just decided to drive on down to the Gulf and watch the moon set into the ocean. We never dreamed it would be so beautiful.

I had never watched the moon drop into the ocean, but it is something I wil NEVER forget. See you next year Super Moon!!



Wednesday, April 25, 2012

La Hacienda Songwriter night May 2nd, 2012

There is a new songwriter night in Franklin, Tennessee hosted by Brian Mac every Wednesday night starting at 7:00. It is held at La Hacienda Mexican Restaurant, 1110 Hillsboro Rd, Franklin, TN 37064.

On May 2nd, I will be playing from 7:00-7:30. I will be accompanied by my new singer/songwriter/guitar-playing friend, Gary Pailer and my percussion friend William Ramirez who plays a mean drum.

Other singer/songwriters performing that night are Clint Byron, Larysa Hamilton, Sam & Luke and the featured writer is Bellamy Baylor.

I hope you all can make it out and support this songwriter night.

Keep writin,


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sometimes faith is all we have...

As a songwriter, I try to focus on the things I think I can control. That is a pretty short list if you think about it. My creativity might dry up tomorrow and there is really nothing I can do about it. My song plugger can pitch my songs to every artist in town and there is no way I can control who listens or ultimately decides to record on of my song.

So many external forces control what kinds of songs come to you and honestly, there is really nothing you can do about it. After a broken heart or a family member's passing, all you will write is sad songs. At least that is how it is for me. At the very least the events will affect your mood and that in turn affects your music.

So, what is it that I can control? Not much really. For me...that is where faith comes in. Faith, to me, means that there is some unseen, coordinating force to the Universe. There is somebody out there that is in control of things and putting the right people in the right places at the right time.  Call it what you want, I call him God .

I cannot and will not ever believe it is all random! Have faith folks. Along with your passion and your inspiration, anything is possible.

Peace and love to all,


Monday, April 2, 2012

New video from Anna Johnson

I am really looking forward to hearing Anna Johnson and her band tomorrow night at 12th & Porter when they celebrate the release of their newest CD, "Winding Road". This is one very talented singer and songwriter.

Make sure and drop by Anna's page to listen to more of her music. Tell her Phil sent you. As I always say, support your local artists by buying their music!

Peace, Phil

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Happy Birthday to the reason I am Mom

"A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts." ~Washington Irving

Happy Birthday to my amazing Mom!

I love you,


Sunday, March 18, 2012

My 1st visit to The Bluebird Cafe was memorable!

After living in Nashville for 9 years, I finally visited the legendary Bluebird Cafe. My main reason for going was to catch my favorite songwriter, Joel Shewmake, and my friend David Bradley along with Shannon Cain and friends.

What a great show it was! Shannon Cain is always amazing as is David Bradley. David ended his portion of the night with a very moving song called "Get a hero home". I suggest you click on his link and listen to his music.

Joel was amazing as ever. I finally got to hear him sing, "Toothbrush", which has been recorded by Brad Paisley. He ended the night with a new song...I think it is called "Tough people do".

So a great night at a great venue. I feel like an idiot that it has taken me thing long to visit the Bluebird. Now I need to play there.

Peace and love,


P.S. Support your local songwriters and my friends by visiting their sites and buying their music. They are just hard-working people doing what they love.

Monday, February 13, 2012

"When I dream" Words and Music by Phil Bennett

I hope all of you are having a great Monday.

I thought I would start out your week with a song I wrote and recorded for Youtube a couple weeks ago. I posted it on facebook and was asked where I got the idea for the song.

If you listen to the words you hear that it is about a little girl talking to her Dad about where she goes when she dreams. I have read that people with disabilites often dream about running. I know for me, although I am not totally disabled, I miss running. So there are times when I wake up from an awesome running dream. It is usually a very simple dream and all I can remember when I wake up is the wonderful feeling of running as fast as I can. I love that dream!!

So that's where the song idea came from originally. The rest of the song just sort of fell into place. I feel blessed that this song is being listened to by some very talented people. My hope is that it will be cut by this Summer.

Wish me luck,


Make sure and subscribe to my Youtube Channel!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

THE FARM - Home Sweet Home

Check out this group. They are getting a lot of attention these days and they deserve it. Check out their youtube channel.



Tuesday, January 31, 2012

"When I dream" by Phil Bennett

I wanted to share another youtube video I made over the weekend. It's a song I wrote titled, "When I dream". I hope you enjoy it and I hope you are having a great week!

While you are there, subscribe to my youtube channel. I have 4 songs posted now.



Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A testimonial by Robert K. Wolf

I am an artist first. Here's a tiny bit of testimony. I'll word it as best as I can as it relates to a song I wrote on 23 Jan 2012 with Tim Bezy
Being myself middle aged, there's a fairly lengthy thread of experience that resides in various levels of my consciousness. Depending on what day it is and what is experienced, certain, shall we say, highly charged segments of that experience will come to the surface. Our song managed to process a number of very intense events in my life and bring them up. I would say that, somehow, we filtered these events through the prism of the adage "Don't let the truth get in the way of a good song."; however, the effect remains. In 3 minutes and 9 seconds, I was given 27 years of therapy. 
As a performing songwriter, I have been blessed with a work worthy of my playing live and recording. I did record it on 23 Jan 2012, on my laptop. There is no knowing what will happen with this song, but my gut tells me that it is going to touch people. Naysayers within and without, of course, will find reasons to say it's just another verse chorus verse chorus bridge solo half chorus tag, and I must move on to throwing more words on the canvas, keeping whatever objectivity I can. Time will unfold the outcome. 
In the meantime, it's onward and upward. If you got this far, thank you for reading. If you happen to be an artist--and you are whether you realize it or not--keep getting it down no matter how much the critics and unkind circumstances bring you down. Keep moving and believing and loving what you do. I'll do the same and maybe we'll meet at a campfire down the road, enjoying each others' company and saluting this amazing thing called living. 
Have the sweetest day you possibly can. That is my intention.

I just had to share this with you. Thanks for reading and keep doing what you.



Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A songwriter's wish

I read posts on facebook all the time and occasionally respond or click the "like" button. When I read this quote from a fellow songwriter, it hit me how perfectly she had put into words what most songwriters want.

"A writer's dream is to find a voice that gets excited about singing what they hear you singing as the creator, and knowing that that voice can probably make your song sound amazing!"

Sherry Bach

Thank you Sherry for making my day.



Saturday, January 21, 2012

Crappin' on the steps of the stadium

I am a songwriter and also a sports fan. I wrote this song for all you sports fans out there. I have felt the immense pain of following a crappy team...I am a Kansas City Chiefs fan.

I channeled all this emotion into a simple song that explains what I want to do after the season.

I hope your team doesn't suck as bad as mine did ths year. If so, then you will like this song.



Saturday, January 7, 2012

Pass it on...

Greetings and Happy New Year!!

I had to share this picture that was taken over the holidays. This is my Great Nephew Landon. I was tuning my nephew's guitar when Landon crawled over and pulled himslef up. My Niece snapped the picture just in time.

My hope is that I can pass my love of music and talents down the line and hopefully inspired the younger generation to follow their dreams. Won't you do the same?

Peace and joy,


My favorite Songwriter Joel Shewmake

Quote of the year...

“Be not the judges of men, but love your brothers and sisters, and find ways to reach out to them in common goals and aspirations. Where there is love in common, the divisions of creed will melt away and reveal the true nature of man’s eternal destiny -- one of unity in purpose, to be perfect as the Father is perfect."

Author Brilliant but Unknown

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