Plenty of glasses were raised to Phil Vassar during his fantastic, high-energy show at the beautiful and intimate Wilson Creek Winery in Temecula Sunday night.
Fans who braved the heat and humidity and arrived early caught the blues-inspired country-rock of local singer-songwriter JD Priest, and as the sun went down, so did the heat, and the perfect summer night had arrived by the time Phil Vassar took the stage.
Someone who isn’t entirely familiar with Phil’s careermay have found themselves wondering why Phil was doing so many cover songs, when in reality – most of those “covers” are songs Phil has written!
Included in his at Wilson Creek Winery were the songwriter’s versions of Tim McGraw‘s “My Next Thirty Years” and “For a Little While,” Collin Raye‘s “Little Red Rodeo,” and the exquisite title track from David Nail‘s The Sound of a Million Dreams (Phil explained that this song was about how the radio had changed his life).
The audience didn’t seem to quite know what song Phil was playing when he started his version of Jo Dee Messina‘s “Bye Bye,” but by the time he got to the chorus, they’d caught on and were singing along with every word.
Of course, Phil has wide musical interests (he says his first concert was Merle Haggard, and his second was Van Halen), and since he’s known for being country’s own “piano man,” he worked in some fun snippets of songs from Jackson Browne, the Proclaimers, the Four Seasons, AC/DC, Queen, Rick Springfield, and Billy Joel (for which he played double-duty – both the piano AND the harmonica).
Phil performed for almost a half hour before pausing to note, “This is awesome!” and to make a point of toasting the crowd with Wilson Creek Winery’s famous almond champagne (perhaps you heard Kelli Green talking about it earlier this week on the Frogmen in the Morning show?).
To add a local touch to the show, Phil changed the lyrics in “Just Another Day in Paradise” from “Friday, you’re late,” to “Sunday, you’re late.” Another reference to “Sunday” came up during his cover of “Piano Man,” during which he also name-checked Mr. Wilson, of Wilson Creek Winery.
After nearly five years, Phil is finally recording a new album (and according to his Twitter, using Ronnie Milsap‘s piano to do it!). And more music – and hopefully more tours – from Phil can only be a good thing.
1. Baby Rocks
2. In a Real Love
3. Carlene / I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)
4. Six Pack Summer /Stay / December 1963 (O What a Night)
5. Let’s Get Together
6. Bye Bye
7. Sound of a Million Dreams
8. My Next Thirty Years
9. Just Another Day In Paradise
10. That’s When I Love You
11. American Soul
12. For a Little While
13. Last Day of My Life
14. You Shook Me All Night Long / Jesse’s Girl
15. Little Red Rodeo
16. Bobbi With an “I”
17. I’ll Take That As a Yes (the Hot Tub Song) / Fat Bottomed Girls
18. Piano Man
Pepper is the evening host on KFRG 95.1 FM Riverside & KXFG 92.9 FM Temecula. Follow Pepper on Twitter: @KFrogPepper
THIS WEEK ON TOUR...
Phil and the Band have a busy week scheduled with three tour stops plus a couple of private shows.
Thursday: Wisconsin State Fair (click here for ticket information)
Heading back to Wisconsin to open the State Fair!
Friday: McLean County Fair (click here for ticket information)
The Midwest weekend continues with a stop in Bloomington, Illinois!
Sunday: Feast of the Blessed Sacrament (click here for information)
Massachusetts, been too long.. see you guys on Sunday in New Bedford!
August 8-9: Weekend in Oregon
Two day trip out to Oregon for shows at the Tillamook County Fair (Friday) and Umatilla County Fair (Saturday).
August 15-17: Texas Trip
Three day swing through Texas with stops in Dallas (Gas Monkey Bar N Grill), Sulphur Springs (Hot August Night BBQ), and Houston/The Woodlands (Dosey Doe).