"Phil Ayoub has an MBA degree. He also has some kind of ear for
commercial pop-rock melodies and intelligent lyrics. Ayoub's first solo
release, 'Schoolbus Window Paper Heart,' is filled with radio-friendly grooves
and themes that range from the 9-11 nightmare to carefree romance ."
-The Sun Chronicle
We've all known that great musician friend from high school or college,
that talented guitar player or singer who we just knew would be on American
Bandstand, or American Top 40, or American Idol someday. But more often
than not, that "can't-miss kid" did miss. They'd fail to make
it in music and quit, probably to go back to school, get a graduate degree,
and settle down to a more "normal" life working in insurance
or maybe investments.
Well, some people do things a little bit backwards. Phil Ayoub failed
at normal life and quit. After earning an MBA from Boston
College and finding his way to a prosperous job at a large investment
company, Ayoub left it all behind to write songs. After earning B's in
business school (well, B-minuses actually), Ayoub enrolled himself in
the school of Bruce, Bono, and Bob
While he was still working his day job, Phil made a local name for himself
creating, fronting, and engineering the Boston band Riverside Train. With
Riverside Train, Ayoub (pronounced A-yoob) amassed a solid, loyal fan
base, performing at some of the top music venues in Boston and New England.
The band also earned national recognition when Hall of Fame baseball journalist
Peter Gammons wrote "If your tastes include The Black Crowes and/or
Three Doors Down, get the debut disc of a great new band, Riverside Train.
Try their web site. You will not be disappointed," in his ESPN.com
When he eventually brought Riverside Train to its final stop, Ayoub walked
away from the band, and his job, armed with experience, new friends, a
growing legion of fans, and over 40 acoustic demo songs ready for an album.
He toyed with the idea of moving from his native New England (he splits
his time between Boston and Rhode Island) to New York, Los Angeles, or
Nashville, but it was at this crossroads that the hand of fate stepped
in. Or more accurately, the mouse-click of fate.
Ayoub came across an online ad from a producer looking for new talent
to work with. The location was Providence, Rhode Island and that producer
turned out to be Tim Bradshaw. Bradshaw is the keyboard and guitar player
for David Gray and has been with him since the 1990's, including playing
on Gray's breakthrough record White Ladder and worldwide hit "Babylon."
Bradshaw had recently relocated to Providence, liked Ayoub's demos, and
signed on to produce his solo record.
The result of this collaboration is Schoolbus Window Paper Heart, the
debut disc from Phil Ayoub. Americana pop-rock at its best, the disc consists
of 12 brand new songs written or co-written by Ayoub. The record also
features the drumming of Ed Toth, formerly of Vertical Horizon ("Everything
You Want," "You're A God") and currently with the Doobie
Brothers. In addition to continuing to write, record, and perform in Gray's
band, Bradshaw, formerly of Dog's Eye View ("Everything Falls Apart"),
also appears on the most recent records by Liz Phair and Josh Ritter.
Inspired by Springsteen, U2, and Oasis, Phil has the energy of Bruce,
the passion of Bono, and none of the attitude of Oasis' Gallagher brothers
(well, not usually ). Hear his brand of "grad-school rock"
on the startling new disc Schoolbus Window Paper Heart and hear it live