Phil Vassar

The Kent Stage Presents

Phil Vassar

Theresa Rose, Hailey Whitters

Thu, January 28, 2016

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 7:30 pm

$27.50 - $35.00

This event is all ages

Phil Vassar
Phil Vassar
Phil Vassar is as driven today as he was when he first left his Lynchburg, Virginia home to pursue – and realize – his dream of making his mark in entertainment. A career that has seen the release of eight albums, two ASCAP Songwriter of the Year trophies, Billboard Country Songwriter of the Year, countless hits as a singer and songwriter and a mantle full of awards and the launch of his own Rodeowave Entertainment label continues to expand and evolve.

As a singer/songwriter, Phil has hit the Top 5 seven times with songs like “Carlene,” “Last Day of My Life” and “American Child” and topped the charts with “In A Real Love” and the perennial favorite “Just Another Day in Paradise.” Known as one of Nashville’s top tunesmiths, his songs other artists have taken to #1 include “My Next Thirty Years” by Tim McGraw, “She’s Right On The Money” by Alan Jackson, and Jo Dee Messina’s “Bye, Bye” and “I’m Alright.” New artist David Nail had a hit with Phil’s “The Sound of a Million Dreams,” which Billboard named the #1 song in their Top 10 Country Songs of 2012.

Vassar continues to churn out incisive, soulful lyrics and infectious melodies that capture the heart and soul in the unique and special way that only he can. For Vassar, his philosophy about songs has never changed during his time spent writing hits for himself and other artists, it’s important for a song to carry a message and make the listener feel something.

Phil Vassar is an artist who has endured his share of ups and downs in life and the “biz,” and one who is not only riding a diverse wave of success but sharing it with others. “I’m not going out there to try and change the world, but for me, this is my thing, this is my little world that I can control now, and I’m really excited about this journey, getting new music out to the fans and working on other avenues to entertain people. For me that’s what it’s all about.”
Theresa Rose
Theresa Rose
For the past 5 years, fans have known Theresa Rose as the female lead singer of Caliber, one of Cleveland’s most popular country bands. Caliber is a favorite among local clubs and festivals playing more than 60 dates each year. In addition, with Caliber, Theresa has opened for many national Nashville touring acts including:
•Sara Evans
•Darrius Rucker
•Chris Young
•Lee Brice
•Trace Adkins
•Love & Theft
•Craig Morgan
•& many other well-known artists.

Theresa released her first solo CD in 2013, “Hold On” which was a collection of originals that well received among fans and the media. For her second release, Theresa wanted to push her musical boundaries beyond her musical comfort zone. She wanted something that was more personal and reflective of her changing and expanding musical taste.

All that came together when she found her perfect partner in music and life... world renowned guitarist Neil Zaza. Together they have crafted a collection of songs that go well beyond the boundaries of traditional country music and explore the alt-country rock genre with fresh ideas and sounds.

Theresa plans on performing at a number of solo shows with her new backing band during the next year and is currently booking a number of dates in the area. Her first show as a solo artist will take place on November 19th at the Kent Stage as she and her new backing band will open for Nashville artist, Phil Vassar. Accompanying her will be guitarist Neil Zaza.

Her new solo EP, “Never Learn”, is expected to be released in 2016 and will be available on her website, iTunes and other music distribution sites.
Hailey Whitters
Hailey Whitters
Hailey Whitters has an endearing habit of suggesting she's perennially late to the party. "I've always just felt like a late bloomer," she says, with a sigh that turns into a laugh.

She's awfully hard on herself.

Whitters grew up in Shueyville, Iowa, population just shy of 600. "It's such a little town. It's getting bigger, but we don't even have a post office," she says. "We have two bars, a wine cellar, and a church."

The oldest of six children born to a large Catholic family, Whitters grew up a determined but unexpected artist, drawn to songs and singers but unsure why. "I didn't grow up in a super musical family," she says. "I just had a weird inkling to do music." The Dixie Chicks, Trisha Yearwood, Patty Loveless, and other women who drove 90s country radio were her gateway heroines, which led to a deep dive into classic country, and ultimately, Americana storytellers such as Patty Griffin, John Prine, and Gillian Welch.

"I took my first trip to Nashville when I was 16 and fell in love," Whitters says. "I immediately knew I wanted to move here." A year later, she did. She also enrolled in college, and paid her proverbial dues as a nanny, waitress, and salon receptionist before signing with left-of-center lighthouse Carnival Music in 2012.

"When I was younger, I just mimicked people that I admired," Whitters says. "I learned how to tell a story." With an arresting voice effortlessly rooted in honky tonk's long tradition of angelic sopranos who are equally comfortable mourning and raising hell, she has spent the last several years discovering that she has something of her own to say -- along with a unique way to say it.

Whitters writes and sings songs that detail the search for and acceptance of her own life -- sometimes dreamily, other times with rollicking irreverence.

"Black Sheep," written with the Wrights' Adam Wright, moodily canvasses the rewards and frustrations of sticking out, and ultimately offers a defiant resolution keep going her own way. "I feel that way a lot, especially in this town," she says. "To do what nobody's doing…it's kind of cool, fuel for the fire. It's invigorating to be different."

The guitar-soaked stroll "Late Bloomer" is an autobiographical ode to lollygagging in a variety of situations. "I was the oldest of six, so I was very naïve, I felt like," she says. "But I finally came to accept that it's actually okay to figure out who you are and what you want later in life."

Whitters penned live-show standout "One More Hell" alone after her little brother was killed in a car accident. "He was 19. It was awful," she says. "I went home to be with my family, and we went out West that summer. We had no plan, just got in the car and drove. It was really therapeutic and good being all together -- we all just kind of disappeared for a month."

She sat down to write when she got back to Nashville, and "One More Hell" came quickly. "The first time I ever played it live, this stranger in the front row was bawling," she says. "It's a sad song, but it's kind of a happy song, I always say -- people just feel it."

In her late teens and early 20s, Whitters performed almost exclusively around Nashville, starting with dive bars and storied Lower Broad honky tonks, singing cover songs for tourists and tips. At local writers' nights, she began ditching others' songs in favor of her own. The town noticed: Music Row critic Robert K. Oermann praised her, urging, "Keep your ears on this newcomer," while the Nashville Scene declared Whitters "summons the space-country aesthetics" of 90's Emmylou Harris and Willie Nelson.

Winning over a crowd delivers an inimitable high for Whitters, who relishes connecting live. "I love performing 'One More Hell,'" she says. "You think no one's listening, and then the middle of that song, you see them raise their beer glasses in the air and know that they're listening and that you're all on the same page."

Lately, Whitters' taken to gigging all over the country. She's opened shows for acts ranging from Randy Houser to Chris Knight, and is sincerely grateful for every opportunity. "I will play just about anywhere," she says with a laugh. "There's something about getting out on the road and traveling that I just love."

When she's not touring or writing, Whitters is in the studio, hard at work on her debut album.

"I'm a risk taker," Whitters says. "My friends always laugh because I'm kind of one extreme or the other. I'm not really a middle ground kind of person. You take these risks, and then the reward is just…" She trails off for a moment. "I feel like the part that feels so awesome about it afterwards is knowing that you were scared to do it, but then you did --
Venue Information:
The Kent Stage
175 East Main
Kent, OH, 44240