Friday, July 12, 2024

Ethan Phillips, The Schwa, Exiled to Earth, Ill Spector play diverse sets at Bonhoeffer’s


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Photo and story by Micaela Griffin / Contributing Writer

On Thursday, an audience gathered to see Ethan Phillips, The Schwa, Exiled to Earth and Ill Spector at Bonhoeffer’s in Murfreesboro.

Ethan Phillips headed the evening’s lineup—just a man and his guitar—and played a good mix of covers and classic covers. The Cookeville native recently transferred to MTSU to study Audio Production join the vibrant music scene.

“I just wanna play a lot more shows, that’s the biggest thing,” said Phillips. He said being a musician has taught him to keep playing no matter what.

With music influenced by folk and jazz, Phillips captivated the audience with his impressive guitar picking style as he performed tracks from his released EP, “Wayfarer.” He also covered the classic jazz tunes “Fly Me To The Moon” and “Georgia On My Mind” as part of his set.

Phillips said to be on the lookout for music releases soon and to keep up with his projects through social media.

The Schwa is band featuring Eric Intile, Cooper Phillips, Garrett Victor and Connor Stith. They describe themselves as a “Post-garage rock band of the early 2000’s.” They packed high energy and thrill into every song, including their most recent single, “Bound to Happen.”

The Schwa began as a joke in Greenville, SC, when Phillips and Intile wanted to make a band. “This is a joke that went too far,” said Intile, and they learned it is as easy as everyone says, and even more fun.

Phillips said their goal is for people to have and enjoy the music. “We want people to have a good time when they come out to see us, no matter what they believe. Everyone can come and enjoy The Schwa together.”

Next to take the stage was Exiled to Earth, an alternative rock trio of Hogan Roberts, Ethan Ervin and Elizabeth Chaney. Being a band has taught them the struggles of scheduling and time constraints. They have seen firsthand how small changes in a person’s life can hugely impact the dynamics of a band.

Lunch break rehearsals are not out of the question for Chaney and Roberts, the students in the group. “We actually have a great time recording in general and love playing back to ourselves,” said Ervin.

Roberts said the band has gotten more official as of late. “Now, it’s like we’re a band and we’re going to be serious about it.”

Exiled to Earth wants readers to listen to the music and respond. Supporting local bands is wildly important to them.

“There’s a lot of great music out here, definitely go out and enjoy,” Ervin said.

Ill Spector, a newer alternative band from Franklin, closed the evening featuring the talents of Brenna Kassis, Zephan Bean, Liam Cauley, Ethan Faulk and Max Colbert.

“It was originally just Max and I,” said Cauley, “and Zephan wanted to join so he learned the bass.”

They all came together about two years ago when they began working on their first single, “Honey,” now available to stream.

Ill Spector brought an eclectic and unique vibe to the stage, filling the room with moody harmonies from Cauley and Kassis. Their set was artistically unpredictable, all members sitting on stage at one point and jumping around at others. The band never failed to keep the audience engaged and entertained.

In addition to their released music on Spotify, they announced that they have an album on its way and music videos for a few singles to be released soon.

To contact Music Editor Hayden Goodridge, email

For more updates, follow us at, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter/Instagram at @Sidelines_Life.

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