Concert Reviews

Phil Vassar Delivers Hit after Hit at Dusty Armadillo

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Country music needs Phil Vassar. He comes from a rare breed of songwriters that truly understand the craft of writing good, catchy songs that make everyone sing along. While country music may have moved on from artists like Vassar, his fans remain strong, loyal and enthusiastic to the core.

If the reception that Vassar and his band received this past Saturday (May 12) are any indication, country music radio really needs to pay more attention to what the fans really want to hear.

Vassar and his band delivered a very energetic and hit-filled show to all those in attendance at the Dusty Armadillo in Rootstown, Ohio. Playing for about 90 minutes, Vassar kept the near capacity crowd singing along to some of his most well-known songs and a few surprise cover songs.

When you attend one of his concerts you may be surprised at all of the songs you have heard before, but maybe didn’t know that Vassar wrote including, “Little Red Rodeo” (Collin Raye), “Bye-Bye” (Jo Dee Messina), “My Next 30 Years” (Tim McGraw), “I’m Alright” (Messina) and “Island Boy” (Kenny Chesney), as well as his own recordings of “American Child” and “Carlene.”  Vassar also threw in a few cover songs including “On The Dark Side” by John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band and the Billy Joel classic, “Piano Man.” One of the new songs that received a good response was “Wish You Were Beer,” form his American Soul Summer album.

Backed by a four-piece band consisting of guitar, bass guitar, drums and sax player, each band member demonstrated their musical skills and had plenty of opportunities to shine throughout the set. This group of musicians was incredibly tight and well-rehearsed and clearly enjoyed performing with Vassar.

As for the man himself, it is very apparent that even though the days of radio airplay may be gone, Vassar is at his best when he is performing for any audience. He was clearly having fun, taking requests from the audience and working hard to show why he is one of the most talented singer/songwriters in Nashville.

Yes, country music needs Phil Vassar and artist like him who truly work at their craft and give all at every performance. Country radio may not realize it, but his fan surely do.

Phil Vassar at Dusty Armadillo (5.12.18) – Photos by Rod Flauhaus

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