Styx will be performing a series of concerts at the Shermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, Tenn., on Feb. 19, 20 and 21, with the Nashville Symphony. In 2006 Styx took the stage with the Cleveland Contemporary Youth Orchestra backing them up. That original performance was recorded and released on CD and DVD as a project called “One With Everything.”

Styx has been a non-stop, working, touring rock and roll band for years now, playing a steady schedule of concerts all around the United States and the rest of the world. They’ve played in every venue size imaginable, from the smallest club in Aspen, Colo. to two separate Super Bowls. This special Nashville series of performances is going to be unique in its structure, stage and musical arrangement.

With the Nashville dates coming up, the bassist for Styx, Ricky Phillips, took a few minutes to talk with TAM about the show, what goes into it, and life on the road.

The Nashville shows with the Nashville Symphony is going to be a cool event for Styx fans. What kind of show can they expect?

Well, it’s really hard to describe, but it will be something that they won’t forget. Styx music with a symphony orchestra really works nicely in tandem with one another. We’ve done it once before with the Cleveland Youth Symphony and we actually made a DVD of that which is out. We’ve had really nice arrangements made, which are sometimes preludes to the actual song. Styx music just lends itself so nicely to all aspects of a symphony, not just string, but woodwinds and brass. For us, it’s just a blast to hear it. It adds this dimension that makes the song so huge. It’s something you really have to hear.

The thing about Styx music is that it’s not just straight 4/4 rock beats. There’s things in 3/4, 7/8 5/6 time… whatever. The band as a writing force is clever enough to write material that seems like nice little pop songs for radio, but underneath, musicians kinda know what’s really going on there. That translates so well with a symphony orchestra.

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Written By Tillman Cooper