An ancient tribal instrument from Northern Australia, the didgeridoo is considered the oldest wind instrument that exists today.
The hypnotic, haunting sound it produces can induce listeners into a trance-like state and is even thought to have a special healing power.
Harnessing this power to produce an irresistible fusion of reggae and funk-influenced rhythm and song is multi-instrumentalist Shane Philip, who is in the Okanagan this week.
“I just play what comes from my heart and soul,” said Philip.
The Courtenay-based artist, who will play at Lorenzo’s Café in Ashton Creek Thursday night, and then will take the Big Blue Stage in Oyama at Gatzke Orchards Friday, is known worldwide for his dynamic didgeridoo-infused music.
Philip is a one-man force on stage. His feet wildly work his drum kit while he plays guitar, the aslatua, the djembe and, of course, his didgeridoos.
Self-described as a singer/songwriter “first and foremost,” Philip uses his arsenal of instruments to bring his songs to life, and the effect is so cutting edge that some mistake it for electronic looping.
“That’s the ultimate compliment for me,” he said. “I know people that like electronic music hear a little bit of that when I get the kick drum and high hat going, and the didge, but that’s as close as I get.
“I’m doing it live off the floor so it’s completely 100 per cent organic.”
A familiar face from performances at Vernon’s Komasket Music Festival, Philip has been touring the globe upon the release of his 2006 album Earthshake, which he followed with 2009’s Live at Baker Studios.
His latest album, Life Love Music, is rich with vocals and features much more of that mesmerizing sound that is powerful enough to fill a room with dancing fans and soulful enough to quiet a packed house.
On Life Love Music, Philip hooked up once again with producer Joby Baker (Cowboy Junkies, Alex Cuba), who plays bass and drums on some of the album’s tracks. The album took eight days to record, which might sound quick, but considering The Baker Studios album took two days to complete, is actually akin to the pace in which Philip works.
Philip plays live at Lorenzo’s Café, 901 Mabel Lake Rd., east of Enderby, Thursday. Doors open at 6 p.m. Concert starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10. Call the café at 250-838-6700 to reserve.
He also takes the stage at Gatzke Orchards, located on Highway 97N, in Oyama (midway between Kelowna and Vernon) Friday at 5 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance at Gatzke’s or $15 at the door. The show is all ages.