The Story behind Deadlines

This album project is born of destruction and heartache, as many beautiful stories often begin. A few years back (July of 2009 to be exact), our dear friend and bandmate, Tim Phillips (lead guitar), was diagnosed with lung cancer. Picture this… Tim (at age 44), his beautiful wife, Lenore and their son, Dylan (who was 6 at the time), all sitting together in this tiny doctor’s office (the office was tiny, not the doctor!) and they’re all told that Tim has 9 months to live. 9 months! I cannot even imagine how that feels. Nothing short of devastating, to be sure. But, for Tim it was a call to arms. His love for Dylan and Lenore, and their love for him, has kept him fighting to stay alive. Tim was resolute not to miss his son’s childhood, their son’s LIFE, and the beautiful life that the three of them made together. That day when Tim was given a death sentence was almost 8 years ago. It’s pretty crazy – the power of love.

And you know what else? MUSIC has kept him alive. I use it as a metaphor, but I believe it also to be true. He keeps fighting back to continue to write and play the most BEAUTIFUL music. Boy oh boy, can he play that guitar. And write. Oh my god, does he write. I/we can’t even keep up to it. Check this out… last August, over the course of one weekend (and into Monday), Tim sent me 13 new songs he had written. And only weeks earlier had he finished up a particularly grueling 6 weeks of radiation and chemo. Saying that Tim is inspired is a understatement.

So we wrote a lot of songs. Our beloved piano man, Tom Palof, returned to the fold to contribute his abundant talents: playing, writing, arranging. He arranged the hell out of this album, and I love him for it. Tom and I have been writing together since we were 16 & 17, respectively. We started the band in like ’90/’91? I’m 48 now. Which, I guess, makes Tom 47. This is some of the best stuff this band has every written.

We’re SO proud of the songs. We picked 10 that we feel perfectly represent us right now and what we’re all going through; when we’re together and when we’re away from each other. There’s a story here too. And, we want to share it with you. We’d like you to be a part of that story. To help make it happen; to will it into existence.

Our excellent drummer, Mike Magestro will once again be designing the album artwork. He did a stellar job on our last two albums covers, but I’m really looking forward to seeing what he does with the large, vinyl format. DEADLINES will be our 5th album/CD release but our 1st release on VINYL! I can’t even explain to you how excited I am to hold a spanglemaker record in my own two hands!

Just for the record (pun intended)… our lovely bass player, Caly Phalen came up with the album title: DEADLINES. I think it’s a brilliant description of this time capsule we’re about to record. And, I mean, who doesn’t love a double or triple entendre?

And, now Jake Sippel (rhythm guitar/vocals). My son Jake has been playing in the spanglemaker project since he was 16. And, here we are 6 years later, recording our first album together. (*well, technically, that’s not true because we did use a sample of some of his baby talk for our second album). But, I’m really looking forward to studio times with my kid and my friends. What a beautiful life!

We’re recording in mid-March with Kevin Ardnt at The Exchange in Milwaukee. Mike Zirkel (who mixed our third album at Smart Studios in Madison) will be assisting once again with mixing, and (realistically) also with production. Both of these guys are extremely talented and have really great taste. We look forward to working with these fine gentlemen!

This will likely be Tim’s last album.There’s also a real possibility that this will be the last spanglemaker album. And that’s just fine. I am at peace with it. But, you can damn well be sure that it’s going to be the BEST spanglemaker album of the lot. We saved the best for last, folks! And we are so very grateful to even have this opportunity. Please join us in making this happen. We’ve got to get these songs out into the world!

It’s a really good story. Be a part of it. (*please do not hesitate to share our story with your family & friends!) Please sign up for our newsletter. We will notify you of our progress.


Much Love & Many Thanks!


Your Help is needed to Help fund our Album for Tim!