Phil Madeira to appear at Hearts & Minds bookstore in Dallastown

Phil Madeira is an interesting character. The singer-songwriter-legendary session player has a new faith book out that is unlike any faith book you’ve ever read.

As Byron Borger puts it, “How many religious books do you know that have a play list in the back which includes stuff like Muddy Waters and Sister Rosetta Tharp, Taj Mahal and Blind Willie Johnson?”

Borger owns Hearts and Minds bookstore in Dallastown, where Madeira will appear at 7 p.m. Saturday. Madeira has authored his first book, “God on the Rocks: Distilling Religion, Savoring Faith” (Jericho; $24.00).

In it, he describes being raised fundamentalist, and his subsequent lifelong journey through various Christian experiences and churches. At this point, Madeira is a liberal Episcopalian, Borger noted, but is for sure “a man admittedly still on a journey.”

Born in 1952, Madeira was raised in Barrington, Rhode Island and attended Taylor University, which he graduated from in 1975. He has been a part of the Nashville music scene almost ever since, working with Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris, Dave Matthews, Vince Gill, Boz Skaggs, and others.

His songs have been recorded by Buddy Miller, Alison Krauss, Toby Keith, Ricky Skaggs, Bruce Hornsby, Keb’ Mo’, Garth Brooks, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and others.

In 2009, Phil received the Dove Award for “Recorded Country Song of the Year” from the Gospel Music Association, for his song “I Wish”, co-written with Cindy Morgan.

Currently a part of Emmylou Harris’ band “The Red Dirt Boys,” Madeira produced “Mercyland: Hymns For The Rest Of Us” in 2012. The heralded recording features Harris and many others.

As for the book, Borger describes it as “a fantastic book with fabulous stories, tons of clever lines, upbeat tellings of his roundabout life, and some honest telling of some downbeat stuff.”

About John Hilton

I grew up in Susquehanna County, Pa. and graduated Syracuse University with a dual degree in journalism/political science in 1998. After working for nearly three years for a weekly paper in upstate New York, I came to southcentral Pennsylvania. I spent 13 years as a reporter and editor for The Sentinel in Carlisle and joined the York Daily Record as religion reporter in September 2011.
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