In December 2001, Phil Pritchett sat in his songwriting office in Nashville and found his true calling; however, it wasn't in Tennessee. After eight years of living in Austin and playing his original music to fans all over the South, he'd come to Nashville to try and change country music for the better. After nearly two years, he realized a better way to handle this task. Said Pritchett of his time in the Music City, "I came to realize that the blood and guts of doing music for a living was doing your thing and working hard to keep doing it. There are people everywhere who talk about getting record deals, cutting songs, looking for managers and whatever. But it is all just talk. The guys in the game who aren't standing around talking are out there making things happen, even if it's just a club gig for $400. I began to see the beauty and purity in being a guy that acted, that produced, rather than a guy that was good at networking and 'knew a lot of people.'" So Pritchett packed his family and belongings and headed back to Texas where he assembled The Full Band (Ryan Lynch on bass and Jason Stolly on drums). Immediately, Pritchett hit the road, returning to the business of providing his large and supportive fan base with the live sounds they had sorely missed in his absence. In August 2002, Pritchett and the Full Band independently released "Tougher Than The Rest" to critical acclaim and a sales reception topping any of Pritchett's previous works. Over the next eighteen months, the band played more than 200 dates in seven states in an attempt to prove themselves as the hardest working band in the South. Because of their dedication, in June of 2003 Phil Pritchett and the Full Band were selected to be part of Budweiser's True Music Live sponsorship and promotion program. For the band, this not only meant national radio campaigns featuring their music, but an even greater touring schedule to accommodate the multitude of Budweiser events around the region. The result of the constant touring was evident to anyone who witnessed a live show. These occasions turned into half party, half rock and roll revival. Though Pritchett released a live record, "Phil Comes Alive," in 1998, fans of "Tougher Than The Rest" begged him to capture a snapshot of his most recent incarnation of the live show. Phil obliged, and in the Fall of 2003 he enlisted the help of Cedar Creek Recording's veteran engineer Adam Odor. That November, Pritchett and the Full Band recorded two nights in their home state of Texas. The product of these special nights became "Cool and Unusual Punishment: Live," the new 14-track record available in March 2004.
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