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I'll admit it. Those of us living in Nashville feel like we get really good music performed by artists from all over the world way before anyone knows about these artists just because we we live in Music City. Case and point: several years ago there was a restaurant in Nashville called the Courtyard Café. Part of the Courtyard's charm, besides some really killer oysters on the half shell, was its entertainment. The piano player was this guy with a great voice, fantastic playing ability and a true talent to connect with the audience uniquely for every night he performed. Many of us who frequented the Courtyard in the late 80s actually made a point of it to make it to the Courtyard every weekend to see the entertainment just because Phil, the entertainment and his band, looked like they were having fun playing the music and entertaining the crowd. Fast forward to 2003 and you see that same energy and fun feeling exhibited every single time Phil hits the stage.

Phil first came to Nashville in 1987 to pursue his musical dreams. Most of the work he did then was related to songwriting and getting into the business of running his own club. While it does take time to get the wheels turning on Music Row, they started to spin quicker when word of this animated, artistic gifted artist playing the club circuit in Nashville hit the streets. This notice gave Phil the chance to write songs for several top artists like Tim McGraw ("For a Little While," "My Next Thirty Years"), Alan Jackson ("Right on the Money") Jo Dee Messina ("Bye Bye," "I'm Alright") and Collin Raye ("Little Red Rodeo").

In 2000, Phil signed with Arista Nashville to share his onstage talent with a world audience. His debut CD was a hit immediately. The Country Music Association honored him with a nomination for its prestigious CMA Horizon Award in 2001. His many performance awards include ASCAP Country Artist/Songwriter of the Year for 2001, Billboard magazine Top New Country Artist of the Year for 2000, and Music Row magazine Breakthrough Artist of the Year for 2000. He was also named in 1999 Country Songwriter of the Year by ASCAP. In 1998 he was named Billboard Magazine Country Songwriter of the Year and Music Row Magazine Breakthrough Writer of the Year.

Phil's latest release, American Child, exhibits the same varied ability he has to rock the listener with tunes like 'Houston' or the red, white and blue CD title hit song.

Phil's ability to create an honest connection with the listener is a gift not to be missed if you get the chance to see him on stage. Those of us remembering Phil from those early years are just sorry it took so long for the rest of the world to take notice of this truly gifted performer.

Get the latest scoop about where Phil's performing and what he's up to through his website at: http://www.philvassar.com/