released Dec 15th

from the album - Bobbi With An I

bio from all music

Contemporary country singer Phil Vassar made his name as a chart-topping songwriter before landing a record deal and becoming a hitmaking artist in his own right. Vassar was born in Lynchburg, VA, and won a track scholarship to James Madison University, where he first began to take music seriously. He moved to Nashville, learned to play piano, and sang his original material in clubs. One club patron and fan brought Vassar's demo tape to his father, crooner Engelbert Humperdinck, and Humperdinck wound up recording "Once in a While," a song Vassar had co-written with a bartender friend, in 1996. Vassar's songwriting career blossomed from there, as he landed a publishing contract with EMI and penned hits for Collin Raye ("Little Red Rodeo"), Alan Jackson ("Right on the Money"), Tim McGraw ("For a Little While"), Jo Dee Messina ("Bye Bye," "I'm Alright"), and BlackHawk ("Postmarked Birmingham"). He signed a record deal of his own with Arista in 1998 and was named ASCAP's Country Songwriter of the Year in 1999. His self-titled debut album was released in 2000, and the lead single, "Carlene," shot into the country Top Five; its follow-up, "Just Another Day in Paradise," went all the way to number one. "Six-Pack Summer" also reached the Top Ten, and yet another single from the album, "That's When I Love You," became Vassar's third Top Five hit in early 2002. Phil Vassar was certified gold for sales of half a million copies, and its follow-up, American Child, was released later in 2002. The title track gave Vassar yet another Top Five single. Prayer of a Common Man appeared in 2008 from Universal South.

album review from all music

Building on the conceit of 2008’s Prayer of a Common Man, Phil Vassar offers another conceptual record with its 2009 sequel, Traveling Circus. Again, this isn’t a strict concept album as much as a big loose tent that houses songs about “Life” and “Lemonade,” a "Tequila Town," and high-school football stars turned transvestites. It reads wilder than it plays because Vassar’s default mode is the piano-driven power ballad, a sound that suits his letters to longtime loves and odes to a Middle America where “a real man loves his God and mama,” but a sound that can wind up seeming a little generic, too much drama over too-small songs. Vassar remains best when he’s looser, whether he’s writing a silly cross-dressing novelty like “Bobbi with an I,” romanticizing the glory days of piano men in “Where Have All the Pianos Gone,” or even reviving that ‘70s spirit on “Save Tonight for Me” (a dead ringer for Andrew Gold, apart from the fiddles and banjos), because that’s where he displays a genuine personality, one that’s a bit goofy and oversized, fitting the Traveling Circus of the album’s title. Unfortunately, Vassar leans a little too heavily on placid power ballads to give this a truly carnivalesque kick, but when he does take the time to lay back he’s as good as he ever was.

Track Listing

1 Life Vassar
2 Lemonade Black, Rouillier, Vassar
3 Everywhere I Go Steele, Vassar
4 John Wayne Douglas, Vassar
5 Tequila Town Lovelace, Vassar
6 Bobbi with an I Vassar, Wiseman
7 She’s on Her Way Nichols, Outlaw, Vassar
8 A Year from Now Vassar, Wiseman
9 Save Tonight for Me Cole, Rouillier, Vassar
10 I Will Remember You Chesney, Vassar
11 Where Have All the Pianos Gone Slater, Vassar