800763 d1a6d0ee4f0f4e3e9e24fc94dba8cda0.jpg srb p 284 185 75 22 0.50 1.20 0THIS WEEK ON TOUR...

Phil Vassar and the band are in Nevada this weekend for a pair of shows, Friday night in Wendover and Saturday night in Las Vegas.

Wednesday, August 12: Volunteer Jam '15 - Nashville, TN

Can't wait to share the stage with Charlie Daniels and friends at Volunteer Jam Wednesday night.

Friday, August 14: Peppermill Concert Hall - Wendover, NV

Nevada, opening the weekend at the Peppermill Concert Hall.

Saturday, August 15: The Railhead at Boulder Station Hotel & Casino - Las Vegas, NV

Vegas see you Saturday night!

August 21-22: Illinois Trip
The band will be taking a quick trip through Illinois at the end of August with stops at the Bloomington Beer Fest (August 21) and the Backwoods Boat Festival (August 22).

September 5-6: Return to Virginia 

Always fun to head back home to Virginia, Saturday in Rocky Mount and Sunday in Virginia Beach.

October 2-3: Florida Weekend 

Florida heading your way the first weekend of October with shows in Fort Myers (The Ranch) and Port St. Joe (Scallop & Music Festival).

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Courtesy - CBS Local

Although it was only April when Phil Vassar last played Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill, Southern California was anxious to welcome country’s own piano man back to Rancho Cucamonga Saturday night (April 8th). And since he doesn’t determine his setlist before the show, it was far from a repeat of performancefrom four months previous.

Phil encourages his audience to tweet him their requests during the show using the hashtag #noPHILter, and if you happened to search #noPHILter during the show, it was neat to see Phil acknowledge the requests and work them into his set; for example, he wished a fan named Jacie a “Happy Divorce!” before he played the songwriters’ version of Jo Dee Messina’s “Bye Bye.” One would think it would be a bit nerve-wracking not to have a setlist determined ahead of time, but Phil remains undaunted, saying, “It’s easy!”

Phil often plays his versions of songs that have been recorded (and made hits) by other artists, and tonight was no exception, featuring Tim McGraw’s “My Next Thirty Years,” Collin Raye’s “Little Red Rodeo,” and Jo Dee’s “other” Phil Vassar hit, “I’m Alright.” He played a verse of “Jingle Bells” before going into “Joe and Rosalita” (a request for Sara), explaining, “I just wanted to see how drunk you are!” Other surprise album cuts included “Amazing Grace” and “Baby Rocks,” and fun covers like “Summer Nights” (from “Grease”) and Huey Lewis & the News’ “Workin’ for a Livin’.”

And of course, he played signature songs like “Just An other Day in Paradise” (a request for Maggie), “In a Real Love,” and the poignant “Last Day of My Life,” as well as the humorous “Bobbi With an ‘I'” and the playful “I’ll Take That As a Yes!” And when he wasn’t playing the piano, he could be found standing, sitting, and lounging on it, creating subtle changes in the visual levels of the performance, all while keeping the energy at a maximum.

I suspect that if he returns in another four months, his fans won’t complain one bit!


1. Baby Rocks

2. In a Real Love

3. Six Pack Summer

4. Love Is a Beautiful Thing

5. Jingle Bells / Joe and Rosalita

6. My Next Thirty Years

7. Carlene

8. 500 Miles (Proclaimers cover)

9. Just Another Day In Paradise

10. Bye, Bye

11. I’ll Take That As a Yes! (The Hot Tub Song)

12. Last Day of My Life

13. Amazing Grace

13. That’s When I Love You

14. Bobbi With an “I”

15. Summer Nights (from “Grease”)

16. I’m Alright

17.  Little Red Rodeo

18. Workin’ for a Livin’ (Huey Lewis and the News cover)

19. Piano Man (Billy Joel cover)

→ Pepper is the evening host on KFRG 95.1 FM Riverside & KXFG 92.9 FM Temecula. Follow Pepper on Twitter: @KFROGPepper and on Facebook.

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Phil Vassar, known for his high octane country performances, will perform in Rancho Cucamonga

The combination of a piano stored in the basement at his home in Virginia and soul and funk group The Commodores inspired country artist Phil Vassar to begin tickling the ivories when he was in high school.

And as Vassar put it, it wasn’t a gentle ribbing of the keys, “I started ripping into the piano and fell in love with playing,” the singer/songwriter said in a recent phone interview before a concert in Milwaukee.

“I still remember hearing the song ‘Easy’ and being captivated,” Vassar said.

Vassar, along with a piano, will perform at Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill in Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday, Aug. 8.

The basement piano jam sessions were squeezed in between a busy high school schedule that included playing football and a spot on the track team. The energy Vassar needed to compete in two sports in high school hasn’t waned.  Vassar said his shows run 90 minutes to two hours and carry a party-like atmosphere. It’s not unusual to see him sliding across the piano and putting on an energetic show. Aside from performing, Vassar said he doesn’t party much and does what he can to take care of himself and his voice throughout the brutal touring schedules.

“The shows are very physical and can be a pretty exhausting workout,” Vassar said. “I know it sounds boring and unrockstar-like to take it easy.”  Vassar said he recently saw the Rolling Stones and was blown away by Mick Jagger’s intense stage antics.  “He is my hero,” Vassar said with a laugh.

Vassar said he grew up poor and had dreams of becoming a medical doctor but the siren call of music and his love of the piano proved too strong. He moved to Nashville in 1988 to begin his career in music.  He fondly remembers the first song he penned that was recorded by someone famous, Engelbert Humperdinck. The song was “Once in Awhile.”  “My Grandma thought it was the coolest thing ever,” Vassar said.

Since then, Vassar has gone onto write numerous hit songs not only for himself but for fellow artists including Jo Dee Messina, Tim McGraw and Alan Jackson.

All the while still playing the piano, even though he has never had a lesson.

“I was supposed to take lessons years ago and a week prior, the teacher called to tell me he had a scheduling conflict and said ‘I can’t teach you,’” Vassar said. “I was destined to not take lessons.”

Vassar continues to write songs and for the last five years has been working on a yet-to-be titled album, which will be released “when it’s ready,” he said.

“We have mastered 17 songs and will break it down to the best 11,” Vassar said. “Between life, love, kids and friends, there is always something to write about.”

Courtesy - Northeast Phoenix Republic

Join Phil Vassar at Toby Keith's I Love this Bar & Grill (8/7).  In addition to penning hits for Tim McGraw and Jo Dee Messina, Phil has made his own mark on the singles charts with such records as "Just Another Day In Paradise" and the rollicking '"Carlene."   A high energy performer, Vassar usually features some wild piano work in the Jerry Lee Lewis tradition in his concerts. 

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800763 37b19443cd6240f0b4bd4c858bbcb22a.jpg srb p 315 173 75 22 0.50 1.20 0THIS WEEK ON TOUR...

Phil Vassar and the band are out West this week for a trio of shows at Toby Keith's I Love This Bar, starting in Denver, then Phoenix, and closing in Rancho Cucamonga.

Wednesday, August 5: Toby Keith's I Love This Bar - Denver, CO

Denver, heading your way for a mid-week show!

Friday, August 7: Toby Keith's I Love This Bar - Phoenix, AZ

Heading back to Arizona for a Friday night in Phoenix

Saturday, August 8:  - Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Rancho, had so much fun this spring, had to come back again!

August 12: Volunteer Jam - Nashville, TN
Joining Charlie Daniels and his friends for Volunteer Jam '15 to benefit the Journey Home Project.

August 14-15: Nevada Tour

Nevada, heading your way the middle of the month. August 14 at Peppermill Concert Hall in West Wendover and then August 15 at The Railhead at Boulder Station Hotel in Las Vegas.

August 21-22: Illinois Trip

The band will be taking a quick trip through Illinois later this month with stops at the Bloomington Beer Fest (August 21) and the Backwoods Boat Festival (August 22).

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Courtesy - NashvilleGab

He may as well be, after spending time with these two celebrated comedians!

Phil Vassar actually performed at the Marine Corps Air Station in North Carolina over the weekend, sharing the stage with award-winning comedian Tom Green and Comedy Central stand-up comedian Mark Viera. The event, which was only open to active military duty, gave the guys unfettered discretion to perform as they see fit — which meant Phil covered every inch of the stage, worked up a crazy sweat, and ended up on top of his piano at some point. It also likely meant that Tom Green discussed his “manhood” and Mark Viera dropped an “f-bomb” or forty.

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