Phil Vassar’s voice may be new to country radio, but his words are far from a stranger to the airwaves. Vassar virtually lit the fire for Jo Dee Messina’s flaming success by penning her first two #1 hits, “Bye, Bye” and “I’m Alright”. Country music
superstar Tim McGraw, known for his knack at finding hit singles, unearthed a few of Vassar’s treasures including “For a Little While” and “My Next Thirty Years.”
Vassar has song-writing credits on albums by many other artists such as Alan Jackson, Collin Raye, Blackhawk. It was perhaps because of his stellar song writing history there was such a buzz created in Nashville, that Phil Vassar landed his very own record deal with Arista Records.
And, imagine the gems such an esteemed writer saves for himself when he releases his self-titled debut!
Vassar’s first single “Carlene” is an extremely catchy, upbeat song about a jock and the Valedictorian running into each other 10 years after graduation. (“I was the quarterback in the back of the classes, she was the whiz kid with the horn-rimmed glasses”) With a hint of autobiography, the two play catch up. (“I write songs you probably didn’t know and I finally got a couple out on country radio/ she said, What a switch, ain’t life funny, I gotta Phd. Now I’m modeling for moneyÃ¢Â?Â¦”)
Another album highlight is “Just Another Day in Paradise,” an anthem about just how special every day life really is. (“Kid’s screamin’, phone’s ringin, dog’s barking at the mailman bringin’ that stack of bills, overdue, good morning baby how are youÃ¢Â?Â¦.”)
Anybody ready for heat? Track #6 will take you there! (And what a strategically placed title!) “Six Pack Summer” replicates the perfect summer dayÃ¢Â?Â¦ just a group of buds on a boat, with the sails up, ice down and chillin’ with a six-pack of your favorite brew. “Six Pack Summer” will be a prime contender to be THE radio hit of the Summer of 2001. Ten years from now when people hear this song on the radio, they will reflect back to that very summer. Some songs have a way of doing that, and this is one of those songs.
Most of Vassar’s album is upbeat, but every album needs that powerful ballad and he does it well with, “Rose Bouquet”, a beautifully written song about two lovers parting ways, and primarily reflects back to their wedding day. (“We sang, we laughed, they all watched us dance, they circled round us and toasted to foreverÃ¢Â?Â¦and you threw it all away, like your rose bouquet.”)
Probably the most foot-stomping tune is the rousing tale of “Joe and Rosalita”, high school rebels/sweethearts dubbed ‘legends of love” in their small town. (“Ã¢Â?Â¦old Mr. Rosenblaum kicked ’em out of the senior prom, busted for dirty dancing, sent ’em home and he called their momsÃ¢Â?Â¦pulled the old pillow trick, they both snuck out, showed up two days later, still in their tux and their prom gown, got married on the steps outside the courthouse, people still talk about it nowÃ¢Â?Â¦”)
As you keep listening to Phil Vassar, more gems will be found, such as “That’s When I Love You” (in which Jo Dee Messina lends back-up vocals) and “Lucky as Me”.
There is a certain vibe about a Phil Vassar song that can almost give you chills as there is just a “make you feel real good” element in every song he’s ever written and/or recorded. His choice of words, his fine art of story-telling and amazing talent of creating an “oh geez, that song is stuck in my head” chorus makes Phil Vassar a lyrical and musical genius with a most promising career ahead. But please, get a copy of Phil Vassar and hear for yourself. He is contagious.