Piano / Vocals
Phil Giallombardo immediately established himself in the music world when at the age of 16, he took his “Farfisa” organ and his ability to carry a tune and became one of the original members of the “James Gang”!
He quickly developed his talent playing with guitarist Glenn Schwartz, who went on to pursue his passion for blues with “Pacific Gas & Electric”. Joe Walsh soon replaced Glenn and several gold albums later Joe went on to a solo career and later joined the “Eagles”.
But when it first looked like the “gang” was calling it quits, Phil, Joe and drummer Jim Bonfanti formed a group called “Pie”. Though the “James Gang” was on shaky ground, they didn’t want to cancel a gig opening for the Cream at the Grande Ballroom in Detroit. So, the remaining trio of Jimmy Fox, Tom Kriss and Joe Walsh rehearsed a set, ABC Dunhill heard them, offered a contract and as they say…the rest is history.
Phil and Jim started a new version of The Choir, a band that enjoyed a few hits before it disbanded. Jim hooked up with Eric Carmen and formed a pop group called the “Raspberries” who had several Top 40 hits. Phil turned down a role with the “Raspberries” to form a progressive trio with Tom Kriss (the original “James Gang” bass player) and drummer Joe Vitale (who also played in “Barnstorm” with Walsh and later worked with the “Eagles”).
Phil was in a variety of other progressive groups, before he was asked to rejoin the “James Gang” to try and capture their old sound and played on its last album, “Jesse Come Home”, and toured with the group until it finally broke up for good a few years later.
Phil was in the thick of the music business throughout the 60’s and 70’s and toured extensively in his career sharing the stage with Aerosmith, The Allman Brothers, Ambrosia, The Association, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Barnstorm, Be Bop Deluxe, Black Oak Arkansas, Boston, The Brambles, Breathless, Brownsville Station, The Buckinghams, Canned Heat, Eric Carmen, The Cate Brothers, Cheech and Chong, Eric Clapton, Classics IV, Climax, Cream, Rick Derringer, Earth Wind and Fire, The Flock, Focus, Foghat, Peter Frampton, The J. Geils Band, Neil Geraldo, Glass Harp, Kansas, Phil Keaggy, Albert King, King Crimson, Terry Knight and the Pack, The Left Banke, The Lemonpipers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Benny Mardones, The MC5, The McCoys, The Steve Miller Band, Monte Rock III, Montrose, Ted Nugent, Benny Orr, Robert Palmer, Paris, The Paupers, The Psychedelic Stooges, The Raspberries, The Rationals, REO Speedwagon, Richard and the Young Lions, The Rock Mountain Band, Mick Ronson, Rush, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, Glenn Schwartz, Bob Seger, Sha Na Na, The Shadows of Night, The Shillings, Silk, The Michael Stanley Band, Stories, The Stuart Avery Assemblage, Styx, Ten Wheel Drive, Thyme, Tiny Tim, Tranquility, Robin Trower, Uriah Heep, Joe Vitale, Joe Walsh, Edgar Winter, The Yardbirds, Yes and the Youngbloods.
He has also been fortunate to have met the Blues Magoos, The Blues Project and Al Kooper, Ray Charles, Devo, Tom Dowd, Flo and Eddie, Chrissie Hynde, Donny Iris, Tommy James and the Shondelles, B.B. King, Moby Grape, Van Morrison, Ozzy Osbourne, Jimmy Page, Stephen Stills, The Strawberry Alarm Clock, Toto, Wild Cherry, The Young Rascals, Neil Young and ZZ Top.
And Phil has performed at some choice venues in his career: The Agora Ballroom (Cleveland and Columbus, OH); The Akron Civic Theater (Akron, OH); Akron University (Akron, OH); Allegheny College (Meadville, PA); The Aragon Ballroom (Chicago, IL); The Arena (St. Paul, MN); Ashland College (Ashland, OH); The Balloon Farm (Mansfield, OH); Beachland Ballroom (Cleveland, OH); Beginnings (Schaumburg, IL); Bowling Green University (Bowling Green, OH); Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA); Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH); The Castle (Morgantown, WV); The Century Theater (Buffalo, NY); Cincinnati Gardens (Cincinnati, OH); The Civic Arena (Pittsburgh, PA); The Civic Center (Springfield, MA); Cleveland State University (Cleveland, OH); The Coliseum (Evansville, IN); The Coliseum (Ft. Wayne, IN); The College of Staten Island Auditorium (Staten Island, NY); The Convention Center (Indianapolis, IN); Crow’s (Cincinnati, OH); Dane County Coliseum (Madison, WI); Duluth Arena (Duluth, MN); The Electric Circus (New York, NY); The Electric Flag (Wheeling, WV); The Evolution (Parkersburg, WV); The Fairgrounds Coliseum (Indianapolis, IN); The Fieldhouse (Erie, PA); The Grande Ballroom (Detroit, MI); JB’s (Kent, OH); John Carroll University (University Heights, OH); Keil Auditorium (St. Louis, MO); Kent State University (Kent, OH); La Cava (Cleveland, OH); The Lantern (Ft. Wayne, IN); The Madhatter (Louisville, KY); Marietta College Fieldhouse (Marietta, OH); The McIntosh Center at Ohio Northern University (Ada, OH); Mertz Hall at Loyola University (Chicago, IL); Miami University (Oxford, OH); The Milwaukee Arena (Milwaukee, WI); The Music Box (Cleveland, OH); Music Hall (Cleveland, OH); Muskingum College (New Concord, OH); Northeastern Illinois University (Chicago, IL); Ohio State University (Columbus, OH); The Ohio Theater (Columbus, OH); The Omni (Atlanta, GA); The Plaza Theater (Canton, OH); Purdue University (Calumet, IN); Reflections (Cincinnati, OH); Riverfront Coliseum (Cincinnati, OH); RKO Orpheum Theater (Davenport, IA); Roberts Stadium (Evansville, IN); The Rush Up (Chicago, IL); Saggamon State University (Springfield, IL); Salisbury State College (Salisbury, MD); The Spectrum (Philadelphia, PA); The Sports Arena (Toledo, OH); Steve Paul’s Scene (New York, NY); Toledo University Fieldhouse (Toledo, OH); The Tomorrow Theater (Youngstown, OH); The Triangle (Greenville, OH); The University of Wisconsin (Oshkosh, WI); Urbana College Community Center (Urbana, OH); Vets Memorial Auditorium (Columbus, OH); The Western Bowl (Cincinnati, OH); Western Reserve Academy (Hudson, OH); The Windmill (Louisville, KY); Wing Stadium (Kalamazoo, MI); Wittenberg University (Springfield, OH); and The Zodiac (Pittsburgh, PA) to name a few.
He had an opportunity to tour with “Ambrosia” when their keyboard player decided he was tired of the road, but Phil was working on his new band, The Jump that included members of “Wild Cherry” (Play that Funky Music) and the “Michael Stanley Band”. Personalities clashed when Phil was asked to fly to Detroit to audition with Bob Seger, who had remembered him from several shows they had played together. When that didn’t work out, Phil decided to forget performing and began to concentrate on songwriting and studio work on both keyboards and vocals.
In the mid 90’s, Phil was asked to play at his church and he decided to write his own song to perform. That was the beginning of his Christian songwriting career. When he moved to North Carolina in 2000, he formed a Christian group a few years later and called it “Wing and a Prayer”. They released 4 CDs over a span of 12 years where Phil wrote, arranged, and produced most of the songs along with some inspired lyrics by Charlanne Tippett. Their music can be found on many platforms online.
Although his faith was still a guiding force, after retirement Phil joined a classic rock band just for fun and he enjoyed playing some more aggressive classic rock tunes again (Kansas, Boston, Journey, Steely Dan, etc.) along with some of his original tunes with some truly great players; Bill Wrenn - drums, Ricky Chaffin - lead guitar, Billy Darr - bass, Max Riley - 2nd lead and Starr Everhart - vocals.
Phil moved closer to the beach in 2018 and wondered what his musical future might be. Then he met Christine Harrington, an accomplished cellist from the Northeast with an entirely different background, and they decided to get together to see what they could do. What they did was have so much fun putting tunes together that they decided to record a few for others to hear. The end result is Pianacellada – ".....at play" and ".....upon reflection".
Phil’s take, “I just love the natural sound of two acoustic instruments in a quiet setting. I wanted to record a handful of tunes exactly as we’d play them live. No tricks, no overdubs, no Autotune. We are both so passionate about music and hope it translates well in our recordings.”