Phil Vassar's Songs from the Cellar

Phil Vassar's Songs from the Cellar

In 2015, Phil completed his underground wine cellar at his 1929-built Nashville estate. Filled with cocktail favorites, candles and, what else, a piano, the cellar quickly became his favorite place to write, play and hang out with friends. The environment inspired his idea to create a series with his talented friends. Songs from the Cellar was born! SFTC will feature artists, songwriters, entertainers, athletes, comedians and wine enthusiasts will be guests on the show. Each episode will spotlight conversations and collaboration alongside a shared drink (water, coffee, wine, whatever!). Season One guests include Charles Esten, Jessie James Decker, Tommy Shaw, Steve Cropper, Mike Tyson, John Rich, Peter Frampton, Cam and Hunter Hayes. Season Two includes Dennis Quaid, Vince Gill, Brothers Osbourne, Jo Dee Messina, Chingy, Larry Gatlin, Craig Wiseman, Gavin Degraw, Kix Brooks, Kellie Pickler, and many more.

Episodes

July 16, 2021 21 min

The second part of the best-of episodes “Kix” off with a hilarious unreleased story from when Brooks and Dunn opened for The Rolling Stones, told by the man himself, Kix Brooks. Phil introduces one of his favorite up and coming artists in Nashville, Lexie Hayden, as she performs her single, “Relit Cigarette.” They bond over the correlation between personal growth and growth as a songwriter, and how they directly influence the other...

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The first best-of episode starts off with a never-before-heard, extended interview with Tracy Lawrence talking about his famous tour pranks. Phil then recalls one of his favorite moments of the whole series - getting to hear the behind the music story from Larry Gatlin on how he created one of Phil’s all time favorite songs, “I’ve Done Enough Dying Today.” Next is a special moment for Phil - an interview and performance with his da...

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July 2, 2021 22 min

Country music icon Jo Dee Messina visits Phil in the cellar to tell the stories behind their many hit records. Phil admits to almost making one of the biggest mistakes of his career in initially trying to talk Jo Dee out of recording “Bye Bye”; thinking it wouldn’t be a fitting female song, the track became both of their first #1’s. The two talk about the draining difficulties that come with constant touring and what they have to f...

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Phil features an array of his favorite up-and-coming female artists in the cellar. First off, Stephanie Quayle shares the good times had while creating her single, “Whatcha Drinkin ‘Bout.” Singer-songwriter Parker McKay tells Phil about her musical journey that brought her to Nashville and performs her song, “Honest.” Artist and guitar prodigy Arielle talks about meeting and working with her guitarist idols, namely Brian May of Que...

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Country music songwriter and Old Dominion frontman Matt Ramsey comes by the cellar to catch up with Phil and share stories from early in his career. He reminisces on his first trip to Nashville, brought by Phil’s sister, and getting to see some of his songwriting idols perform at The Bluebird before meeting Phil at the same cellar they’re recording this episode in. They connect over the importance of honing the songwriting craft, a...

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June 11, 2021 22 min

Phil’s longtime friend, legendary country singer Tracy Lawrence stops by the cellar to share hilarious tour stories from the 90s, and talk about the differences between both record deals and radio singles having success between then and now. Tracy shares the story of how his hit song “Alibis” was almost a hit record for another “Tracy.” He talks about how he constantly tries to work on and adapt his live show to engage the audience...

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June 4, 2021 22 min

Country music superstar band Lonestar hangs with Phil in the cellar and share stories of their recent Christmas tour together. They discuss the real life inspiration behind their #1 hit, “Front Porch Looking In” and perform it. They tell the history of their chart topping song “Amazed,” and a few interesting “awards” it has earned along the way. Tons of laughs are had as they recall the time that Lonestar’s lead singer, Richie McDo...

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May 28, 2021 22 min

Legendary country music singer and songwriter Vince Gill visits with Phil in the cellar, where they share stories about their many experiences at the Grand Ole Opry. Vince shares some songwriting tips that were passed down to him, along with how his musical-playing styles directly translate to how he writes lyrics. He also shares how important it is to be authentic as an artist as you form your own sound in search of success. Gill ...

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May 21, 2021 22 min

Brooks & Dunn frontman, legendary radio host, and Phil’s longtime friend Kix Brooks stops by the cellar to share old stories and talk about all things wine. Kix reminds Phil of a story about how the latter’s parents not-so-gently directed him away from becoming a drummer. Brooks shares his process of starting a winery in Tennessee - which used to be the 3rd largest grape growing state before the tobacco boom - and how Arrington...

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May 14, 2021 22 min

Legendary rapper Chingy visits Phil in the cellar, where they discuss their shared appreciation of blurring the genre lines of music. He shares his love of Nashville, and the overwhelming number of hip-hop fans who live there. Chingy tells Phil of the artists from many genres who influenced him growing up, wo span genres from hip hop, pop, blues, soul, RnB, and gospel. He talks about the wild levels of success from his chart toppin...

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Hit singer songwriter Steve Wariner reminisces about the early days of his and Phil’s success, and they bond over the hilariously humbling moments that came early in their careers. Steve talks about his first days in Nashville as a 17 year old, working with Dottie West, Larry Gatlin, and Chet Atkins - who provided Steve with tons of wonderful experiences and tales to tell. Wariner shares stories of working with Garth Brooks early i...

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Up and coming artist Abby Anderson shares with Phil that he was one of her childhood inspirations that helped her get through her dreaded piano lessons. They talk about the first concerts they ever attended, and how they both greatly influenced them respectively as artists. Abby talks about growing up in a large family of many girls and the values that her parents instilled in them, and how that all translated into writing her firs...

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Acclaimed actor Dennis Quaid spends the day at Phil’s Nashville estate, and the antics are endless! Quaid discusses his “first love” - music - and how he’s been able to incorporate it into his acting career. The two bond over the release and emotional benefit that comes from writing songs. Dennis talks about playing Jerry Lee Lewis in “Great Balls of Fire,” where he only had 1 year to learn how to play piano, and was given lessons ...

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April 16, 2021 22 min

Famed country music songwriter Craig Wiseman stops in the cellar to catch up with his longtime friend, Phil Vassar. They share stories from their early days co-writing songs, to being crime fighters in their shared neighborhood at the start of their careers. Craig tells the real life stories that inspired his legendary Tim McGraw hit, “Live Like You Were Dying.” He also shares his feelings on blending musical styles and blurring th...

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April 9, 2021 22 min

Legendary singer-songwriter Larry Gatlin shares some of his songwriting tips, including how to steal from yourself at times! He talks about how growing up in church and listening to Gospel music greatly influenced his (and his brothers’) style of harmony. Larry shares a story about beating out a local band fronted by the great Roy Orbison in a children’s music competition in Texas. He discusses being brought to Nashville by famed s...

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April 2, 2021 21 min

Kellie Pickler explains the differences between telling stories via two of her talents: acting and singing. Phil and Kellie talk about their shared passion for giving back to the community, and the famed country duets they got to perform together on their joined tour in 2017. The two bond over their experiences hosting TV shows and discuss what they enjoy about doing so. Kellie tells Phil about her time on Dancing With The Stars an...

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March 26, 2021 22 min

Brothers Osborne talk about their long history with Phil, including TJ first starting out in the music business by driving the truck for Phil’s tour. They all three discuss the lesser known job requirements and time consuming aspects that come with being an artist, but also the plus sides of working in music compared to other fields. John Osborne shares that the majority of songs that songwriters create never end up being hits, or ...

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March 19, 2021 21 min

Hunter Hayes tells Phil of the inspiration and feeling behind his hit song, “Amen.” He and Phil discuss the process of writing an entire record, and all of the different thoughts, emotions, and  ups and downs that come along with it. Hayes walks Phil through the timeline of learning all the various instruments he knows how to play, starting out as a two year old on the accordion!

Performances:

“Amen” - Hunter Hayes

“That’s When I Love...

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Phil takes a tour of the world famous Jack Daniels distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee, and gets the inside scoop on how that famous Number 7 Tennessee whiskey is made. Hit songwriter Tony Arata stops by the cellar to talk about the unique path his song “The Dance” took en route to fame with Garth Brooks. Pat Alger shares pieces of advice that he passes along to his Belmont University songwriting students, and details the success he...

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Famed songwriter Mike Reid asks Phil about the timeline of writing his hits, revealing a number of the latter’s hits were written before moving to town and becoming a professional songwriter. Reid shares a piece of advice given to him about why writing “believable” lyrics is so important. Phil discusses the mentality he encapsulates to perform in any sized venue and to any sized crowd. Sister Hazel swings by to express their gratit...

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