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Monday, Jan. 18, 2010

Phil Vassar

Tonight @ Potawatomi Bingo Casino, 8 p.m.

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Country singer Phil Vassar built his singing career the old-fashioned way, by first paying his dues as a songwriter. He penned hits for bigger stars like Tim McGraw and Alan Jackson in the ’90s before issuing his self-titled debut in 2000. He remains an oddity in the genre for his choice of instrument: In a field dominated by gruff guitar players, he’s a balladeering piano man. His subject matter can be equally unconventional. The lead single from his latest album, Traveling Circus, follows the travails of a high-school football star who reinvents himself as a transvestite. Vassar does 8 p.m. shows at the Potawatomi Bingo Casino through Wednesday.