A talented singer, piano man, one of Nashville’s best songwriters, businessman, father and all around nice guy just barely scratches the surface when describing country artist Phil Vassar. He’s one of the best and most respected in the business.
The first time I ever saw Phil perform was back in 2010. He was doing a show for the radio station that I work for. I honestly didn’t know much about him or his music at the time. All it took was about 30 seconds of seeing him perform to know that he has a talent and passion that is unmatched by many artists. The way he captivated the audience with his songs, piano playing and charismatic energy was electric! His music isn’t conventional country but I think that’s what makes him so unique. It made me understand why he has such loyal fans. I quickly became one of them.
Since then I have seen him play more times than I can count and he never disappoints. No fancy bells or whistles when he performs. All it takes is him, his piano and his incredibly talented band members to put on an amazing show. I’ve been lucky enough over the years to spend time with Phil and his band members and I have so much respect for them and their talent.
In preparation for our upcoming #Cmchat this Monday, I managed to steal a little of his time during his crazy schedule to give our community and his fans a little more insight into him.
What is the biggest thing you’ve learned since starting out in the music business?
“Just to be with honest with yourself and do what makes you happy. Take advice but do what feels right to you.”
You’ve had an insanely busy year with touring, a new single, your record label Rodeowave, being a dad, etc….How do you balance it all?
“I don’t, haha. As best I can I guess. I just take a deep breath, get up every day and keep moving forward. It’s all I can do.”
Speaking of touring, you play everything from small venues, large festivals, full band, acoustic shows to holiday shows. Do you have a preference of which kind you like to do?
”They are all fun in their own way. Big shows have so much energy and the smaller venues are more intimate. If I had to choose I would say that the shows I do where it’s more a singer/songwriter setting, where I can explain the songs and tell why I wrote them are probably my favorite.”
As someone who has been an artist on other labels, what experiences have you taken from that to put into your own record label, Rodeowave Entertainment?
“I just think now I can do what I want to do. Once again, it lets you be true to who you are and you can do what you like. You don’t get pigeon holed into a category. Like some record labels will say, “Ok, you’re this guy or that guy, you’re this band or this rapper. When a label guy tries to tell me what type of artist I am, I’m like hey a**hole, I’ll tell you who I am.”
One of the things that is near and dear to your heart is The Miller Home for Girls in your hometown of Lynchburg, Virginia where you do a charity golf tournament and concert each year. What made you want to be involved with this organization?
“I remember when I was a kid in my church’s youth group, we would go there to sing. I just remember going and thinking this is so sad. I felt so bad for them. They seemed so lonely. I just felt for them. When I went looking for a charity in my hometown, my mother and sister ran into the woman that ran it. I didn’t realize it was still open and apparently it was about to close because it wasn’t doing well. So we took it under our wings. It’s been amazing for everyone involved. Maybe more for me than them. We’ve raised a lot of money and watched these girls grow. I feel like their my kids and they’re all grown up. It’s amazing.”
Your latest single “Love is Alive” was released this past summer. When can we expect more new music or an album from you?
“Well, I was in the studio today. I just plan on writing and recording for the next few months. The whole new album will be next year. I was hoping for this year but I just got home from touring. I want to make it the best I can. It’s my first studio album in about 5 years. I’m really excited about it.”
What’s in store for 2014?
“Gosh, I don’t know. A lot. The new album, tv pilot, we’ve got this movie thing in the works. A lot of stuff going on. Battening down the hatches and just getting all kinds of stuff done.
Make sure you join us to find out more about Phil Vassar coming up on #Cmchat this Monday night at 6pPT/9pET. And definitely make sure that when he comes to your city, that you get your hot little hands on a pair of tickets. You won’t be sorry and you can thank me later!