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<< News >>

National News / Entertainment

Monday, 1 February, 2010 8:11 PM

Phil Vassar releases new album, Traveling Circus, in stores now

PHOTO BY JIM HINDY / ©MAGAZINE OF COUNTRY MUSIC

Phil Vassar performed at the 2009 Downtown Hoedown at Hart Plaza in Detroit.

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Phil Vassar was born on May 28, 1964 in Lynchburg, Virginia. He is best known for the number one singles “Just Another Day in Paradise” and “In a Real Love.” I had the opportunity to speak with him on the phone recently. The country singer attended James Madison University and graduated with a degree in business administration.

“I guess it’s a good thing now,” he said. “I love everything that goes along with the music business. It’s a good thing I probably have that background. But I always knew I was going to be an artist.”

Vassar opened a restaurant with a friend before making it big in Nashville.

“I used to play at a lot of clubs, I had this following in Nashville,” the country singer said. “There was this building right down the street from this club I used to play all the time. It had sat vacant for years literally. We put a club in the basement and his restaurant on top. It did really well, had it for about five years. Sold it when my first single came out.”

Throughout his career, Vassar has co-written songs for Tim McGraw, Jo Dee Messina, Collin Raye and Alan Jackson. Which do you enjoy more – performing or writing?

“Well, I love them both,” he admitted. “I love every facet of what I do. I love writing, playing the piano, getting on the stage. That’s sort of a payoff, when everybody’s singing the words back to you. It’s always fun to play LIVE. I’m always going to love that. I do love the songwriting aspect of it.”

The country singer has also had hits with “Carlene,” “That’s When I Love You,” “American Child,” “Last Day of My Life” and many others. Which song is his favorite to perform?

“I don’t know if I have a favorite to be honest with you,” Vassar responded. “It’s hard to say like picking a favorite kid.”

He was one of the judges on the third and fourth season of Nashville Star on the USA Network.

“I had a good time doing it while I was doing it,” he said. “I just thought it would be kind of an interesting thing to do. It was fun to watch the talent out there. I think I did it long enough. Two years was good for me. I think more than that would really have been a stretch. It’s such a commitment to do a TV show and play LIVE. I have two kids, two young girls. It’s so hard to do too many things.”

The country singer released a new album, Traveling Circus, on December 15, 2009.

“I love this record,” Vassar said. “The guys from the band played on this record. I go to go in the studio with these guys, sort of take my time the way we wanted to do it. I think it just came out really, really great.”

What’s the story behind your new single “Everywhere I Go”?

“I wrote the song with Jeffrey Steele, a songwriter in Nashville,” he responded. “It’s a song about loss. A song about losing somebody and thinking about them all the time, how they cross your mind. It really relates to a lot of people. You lose a parent or somebody you love or whatever it is. It’s a powerful tune.”

Vassar is very energetic at his shows. Fans may remember him jumping on the piano, climbing the side of the stage and moving around a lot. What gives you the energy to do all this?

“Drinking a lot of coffee, a lot of coffee. We try to keep active. I try to write a lot. I really do have a good time. I used to watch Rod Stewart and a lot of guys like that put on great shows and ran all over the place. That’s probably me, you know.”

The country singer will be performing at the upcoming CMC Rocks the Snows 2010 festival in Australia.

“I’m excited about that,” he admits. “Next week, I leave for London, Dublin, Glasglow, Belfast, Frankfurt, Munich and Milan. I’m in Europe next week. Then we come back and head to Australia. We’re literally playing all over the world in the next few months.”

Vassar doesn’t have any dates scheduled for the Detroit area at the moment.

“I hope so, you have a great station there. Those guys are my buds. I just love playing Detroit, it’s a great town. People there are just real. I love that. It’s a real rockin’ town. I always grew up a huge Bob Seger fan. He’s from up there and I’m such a big fan of him as a writer/singer/performer. He’s one of the reasons I do what I do.”

The country singer performed at the Downtown Hoedown last year and said he would like to return again soon.

“If they have me back, I’d love to play it. It’s one of the best I’ve ever been to. It really is. There’s a lot of folks there.”

For more information, visit www.philvassar.com and check out his new album, Traveling Circus, in stores now!

 

CD cover courtesy of www.amazon.com

Phil Vassar's new album, Traveling Circus, is in stores now!

 

Photo courtesy of Rink Entertainment

Phil Vassar surprises fans Tim and Janice Gustafson with private concert at Red Roof Inn.

 

 

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