by Utah Phillips
U. Utah Phillips aka Bruce Phillips taught us so much about life, love and conscience as a folksinger, storyteller and singer of songs. He could weave story and song as few can. His instincts were keen and his stories filled with immediacy and intuition. He could wield words with the depth of a master in flannel shirt and suspenders - a quick mind and a golden tongue, Utah's legendary for anecdotes and stories along with songs he wrote and sang with straight from the gut - to hold the audience right to the end. Utah Phillips was a dedicated friend to the The Sisters of the Road Café in Portland, and their work and vision that made it possible to feed so many hungry and homeless citizens with hope, dignity and compassion. Utah headlined the annual Winterfolk fundraiser concert for Sisters at the Aladdin Theater to a full house year after year until his heart played out in 2008 at the age of 73.