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Second Cup Cafe: Phil Vassar

You could say country singer/songwriter Phil Vassar is an open book, and his latest album is yet another chapter, this one delving deep into the Virginia native's many layers.

Vassar stopped by The Early Show Saturday Edition's "Second Cup Cafe" to perform songs from his latest album, "Prayer of a Common Man."

"I can look back on songs I've written, kind of smile, and remember what I was going through at the time," Vassar said on his official Web site. "But it's a different life for me now. Experience changes you and affects what comes out in your writing."

Now a father of two daughters, Vassar's priorities have dramatically changed. With a stronger faith and appreciation for his birthplace, his song, "Love Is A Beautiful Thing," can attest to his growth.

Humbled by his modest and what he calls "poor" upbringing, Vassar encompasses a die-hard work ethic. He grew up in a small town where factory work was the norm, but managed to break away and eventually pursue his career in music.

His running ability led to a track scholarship at James Madison University, which gave him a boost out of his small town, but ultimately it was his move to Nashville that gave him the real jumpstart he was seeking.

With a piano and his heart on his sleeve, Vassar gave it his all.

His perseverance proved fruitful and he landed impressive collaborations with Alan Jackson ("Right On The Money"), Tim McGraw ("For A Little While"), Jo Dee Messina ("Bye Bye," "I'm Alright") and BlackHawk ("Postmarked Birmingham").

Then he released his first self-titled debut, followed by several ASCAP's (The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) songwriter and writer/artist of the year accolades.

His other albums include, "American Child," "Shaken Not Stirred" and "Greatest Hits: Vol. 1."
By Melissa Castellanos