Some of Phil Vassar’s fellow country artists aren’t very happy with him.
Since he began recording on his own in 2000, Vassar has been saving his best material for himself — which means folks such as Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw and Jo Dee Messina, who have all had hits with Vassar-written tunes, no longer get their pick of his litter.
“I’ve had a couple of people give me the ‘I hate that you became an artist. It sucks,’ ” says the Virginia-born Vassar, 42, who came to Nashville in 1989. “But there’s great songwriters and great songs out there. Me not giving out songs anymore is not hurting anyone’s career.”
It’s certainly made Vassar — ASCAP’s 1999 Country Songwriter of the Year — a formidable competitor, though, thanks to a string of hits that includes “Carlene,” “Just Another Day in Paradise,” “Six-Pack Summer,” “American Child” and “In a Real Love.” He’s also launched a couple of singles (“Last Day of My Life,” “The Woman in My Life”) from his latest release, “Greatest Hits, Vol. 1,” which also features Vassar recordings of some of the songs he wrote for other artists.
But even with his own career going strong, Vassar’s not averse to selling songs; “I’m excited about that,” he says. “I love having other people do the songs.” And on his wish list, alongside Paul McCartney and Billy Joel, is local hero Bob Seger.
“His songs are like the story of my life, growing up, ‘Night Moves’ and all that stuff,” Vassar says. “I remember being in junior high, trying to fi gure out what in the world’s going on in life, and (Seger) was right where I was coming from.”
IF YOU GO
Phil Vassar, Emerson Drive, Steve Azar and Taylor Swift perform at 7 p.m. Friday (August 25th) at DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road north of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $20 pavilion, $10 lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit
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