He's a singer, songwriter, producer and now a TV host as well. Phil Vassar is into his second season hosting Songs From the Cellar, where celebrities delve into their own personal stories, in music and in life. Filmed in Vassar's wine cellar in his historic home in Nashville, guests include people like Tommy Shaw, Peter Frampton, Mike Tyson, Charles Esten, Carrot Top and more.
"It's a very wide array of guests, but I like the fact that it's just different that way," Vassar told PopCulture.com. "We talk about music, we talk about life, pop culture, whatever we talk about, everything. It's been a lot of fun. We just had Dennis Quaid on. And so it's really going well, and I love it. It's amazing how many people love music.
"Music is the thread that ties us all together really," he added. "I've enjoyed learning a lot about folks and interviewing them, actually, which is kind of fun, being on that end of it."
Big & Rich's John Rich unintentionally became at least part of the inspiration for Vassar to delve into people's lives behind the music, when Vassar realized there were plenty of people, like Rich, who had their own stories to tell.
"John Rich and I were actually talking and had this little conversation in my cellar downstairs, and I said, 'This is gonna be cool. It's gonna be a cool show or whatever,'" Vassar recounted. "So I just got some cameras; it was just on the fly, really. And it just turned into this whole thing. And you know, being in this town, we have so many folks just right down the street. You can't throw a rock without hitting an artist or a songwriter or an actor or something. So it's been really, really fun."
Vassar also just released a brand-new album, Stripped Down, showcasing stripped-down versions of songs he wrote over the years but never recorded on his own, including "Postmarked Birmingham," and a duet with his own daughter, rising star Haley Vassar.
"With technology now, with Pro Tools and all these things, we have the technology to use about 1000 tracks," Vassar said. "Everybody seems to do that anymore. So I thought it would be fun to break it down to the bare minimum. And I think a good song stands on its own merit, really, and doesn't need to be over-produced.
"Some songs really need to be over-produced," he continued. "But for me it was fun to just sort of break it down, keep it simple; I cut my records here at my house. And it was fun just to go down there and sit down at the piano and play these songs and see what happened. I really love this record. It was fun."0comments
Vassar is spending much of 2020 on the road, on both his acoustic Stripped Down Tour and Hitseria, which is with a full band. Songs From the Cellar airs on the Circle Network. Find details by visiting the Circle Network's website. Tour dates can be found at PhilVassar.com.
Photo Credit: Getty / John Lamparski