Calling all country music fans – Especially those from New England! Someone very special is in town this weekend and it’s not Santa! It’s Phil Vassar! We’re lucky to have him here alongside Lonestar to play not one, but two shows in Massachusetts on their “Not So Silent Night Tour.” You can catch them Friday 12/14 at Memorial Hall in Plymouth, MA and Saturday 12/15 at the Memorial Auditorium in Lowell, MA. We, at New England Country Music, were excited to get to chat with Phil Vassar about his latest single, his current Christmas tour with Lonestar, some Vassar family Christmas traditions, as well as what he has in store for next year.
You may be most familiar with some of Phil Vassar’s hits such as ‘Just Another Day in Paradise,’ ‘Love is a Beautiful Thing,’ ‘My Next Thirty Years,’ and ‘Carlene.’ The skillful piano player, talented song writer, and passionate singer certainly has an infectious personality. We were first introduced to Vassar back in the late 1990’s and his fanbase has been growing steadily since then. The fifty-four-year-old has had quite the musical career, dropping three studio albums, a “greatest hits” record, and many singles over the last twenty years. His accomplishments include ten “number one” songs, fifteen “top ten” songs, and twenty-six “top forty” songs.
Vassar collaborated with Lonestar and they cut their latest single, ‘Not So Silent Night.’ Released back on November 2nd, it’s a fun Christmas song that is a little bit country and a little bit jazzy. Vassar was eager to tell us how much he enjoys working with Lonestar. “I love those guys. We’ve been friends for a long time, even before we had record deals. We go way back.” When asked about how fans are reacting to ‘Not So Silent Night,’ Vassar told us: “Everybody loves it. It seems to really go over well in concert which is how I base everything. Whenever I write a song, I play it live, and if people like it then I know I did something right.” Adding to the excitement surrounding the new single, they even have a music video. Vassar told us a bit about the production process: “We had a great time doing it. We shot it at my house in October. It was before Halloween so if you walked in my house, you’d go there’s a Christmas tree up and pumpkins on the porch!” Keeping with the true spirit of the season and a way to give back to the community, Vassar and Lonestar decided to donate all of the proceeds from ‘Not So Silent Night’ to The Salvation Army. The 153-year-old organization helps millions of people during the holiday season. He said: “It was a natural partnership with it being Christmas and all. When I think of Christmas, I always think of those kettle bells. I remember as a kid, having change and leaving Kmart, and putting my change in the kettle bells.”
Launching back on November 30th, “The Not So Silent Night Tour,” appropriately named after their single, has hit four cities already and is set to reach Massachusetts in just a couple of days. Vassar is having a great time on tour with Lonestar: “I’ve been on tour with a lot of people in my career and this is just one of the best times that I’ve ever had.” This tour is a mix of each artist’s songs as well as traditional Christmas songs. When we asked if Vassar enjoys singing his originals or classic Christmas songs, he told us: “I love Christmas songs. Christmas has always been my favorite time of year. It’s cool because (on this tour) I get to do both. That’s why I like these shows so much. It’s not all Christmas. I do my hits and they do their hits and everybody really seems to like it. And then of course we come out together and sing some of the classics together. And we get somebody up from The Salvation Army every night singing with us. That’s been fun too.”
We chatted a little bit about Vassar’s favorite Christmas song. “I think the best Christmas song ever written is ‘The Christmas Song.’ There’s nothing better than Nat “King” Cole.” Next thing we knew he treated us to some piano playing and began to sing: “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…Jack frost nipping at our nose…” He went on to explain: “’White Christmas’ is Great. And ‘I’ll be Home for Christmas.’ I love ‘Merry Christmas Darling’…That’s a great song by The Carpenters. The list goes on and on for me. I grew up listening to the Bing Crosby’s of the world.” Keeping with discussing Christmas favorites, we touched a bit upon the Vassar family Christmas traditions. “Whenever Nat “King” Cole’s Christmas record comes on it’s Christmas to me. Even my kids, they’re grown up now but they even say “Dad, put the Nat King Cole on”. It’s our tradition for sure. I’m divorced and my first wife is remarried and has two little boys. They’re all grown up now, 12 and 10. Presley’s 15 and Haley’s 20 now. We always get the kids together and read ‘The Christmas Story.’ Then we all get together on Christmas Eve and we have dinner. One of the coolest Christmas traditions that we do is we put this brown paper wrapping all over the floor of the garage and the kids dip their feet in paint and they walk allover it. And it dries and that’s what we wrap our presents in. And now all the kids do it every year. We’ve been doing it for twenty years.”
With Christmas less than two weeks away, Vassar is looking forward to his upcoming shows this weekend here in New England. We, New England fans, hold a special place in his heart. “Boston’s WKLB was one of the first people to ever play my record. So, it’s always been special to me to go back. My fans from the North East are my top market, always.”
With 2019 right around the corner, Vassar let us in on some of his plans for the new year. He has a TV show, ‘Songs From The Cellar,’ that is just starting to air now on PBS. “That’s gonna start airing by the first quarter of the year. It comes out actually this weekend in Detroit and Tampa. So, I’m gonna start shooting some more of that. And I’m doing a new record, and I haven’t done a new record in a couple of years. New songs, new music! I’m gonna keep on going as long as people keep coming to see me.”
If you’re ready to get into the Christmas spirit and listen to a little country music, there are still some tickets available.
You can purchase tickets to his Plymouth show here.
You can purchase tickets to his Lowell show here.
If you haven’t listened to his latest collaboration with Lonestar, their Christmas single ‘Not So Silent Night,’ check it out on iTunes here.
The music video is a true “must see!” Be sure to view it here.