|Studio album by Phil Vassar|
|Released||December 15, 2009|
|Phil Vassar chronology|
|Singles from Traveling Circus|
Traveling Circus is the fifth studio album by American country music singer Phil Vassar. It was released on December 15, 2009 as his second album for the Universal South Records label. The album contains the singles "Bobbi with an I" and "Everywhere I Go," both of which have charted on the U.S. country singles charts. Vassar produced the album on his own, and wrote or co-wrote every song on it as well.
The album's first single was "Bobbi with an I," a song about a transvestite man, which peaked at #46 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. Following it was the ballad "Everywhere I Go," which peaked at #36 in late 2009.
Vassar wrote or co-wrote every song on the album, collaborating with Nashville songwriters such as Jeffrey Steele, Craig Wiseman and Tim Nichols, as well as singer Kenny Chesney on the track "I Will Remember You." Vassar produced the album himself, and used his road band on it. His high school art teacher, Jason Erwin, painted the album cover, and a young director named Chris Cella directed the music video for "Everywhere I Go."
The album was originally slated for a February 2010 release, but in November 2009, it was announced that the release date would be moved to December 15, 2009. It is Vassar's second release on the Universal South Records label, following 2008's Prayer of a Common Man.
LGBT themes in "Bobbi with an I"
The song centers around a man named Bobby, who suddenly begins to cross-dress when out with his life-long friends in public. While at first surprised, his friends readily accept "Bobbi" and support his lifestyle. The singer explains they "live and let live" by continuing to go to the local bar with him, cheerily explaining his lifestyle to others when someone encounters "a chick in the men's room."
Bobby expresses many stereotypically-masculine traits: he is a former linebacker who "benches 335" pounds, works as a tow truck driver, and even gets in physical confrontations in defense of his lifestyle. Nonetheless, he is apparently a convincing transvestite, as the singer advises the listener the "big-boned girl with a platinum curl" and "shapely, sexy thighs" is, in fact, Bobbi.
The music video downplays the LGBT aspects of the song, with its version of Bobby dressing as a woman simply to obtain free drinks during the bar's ladies' night.  The lyrics, however, remain the same.
|The New York Times||(positive)|
Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic gave the album three stars out of five, citing the up-tempo songs as standouts: "Unfortunately, Vassar leans a little too heavily on placid power ballads to give this a truly carnivalesque kick, but when he does take the time to lay back he’s as good as he ever was."
Sam Gazdziak from Engine 145 gave "Everywhere I Go" a thumbs-down, saying that it "sounds so familiar and commonplace that it’s pretty much impossible to stand out in a crowded radio playlist," while Bobby Peacock of Roughstock considered it similar in sound to Vassar's first album and said that it had an "interesting" structure.
|2.||"Lemonade"||Vassar, Charlie Black, Tim Ryan||3:34|
|3.||"Everywhere I Go"||Vassar, Jeffrey Steele||4:17|
|4.||"John Wayne"||Vassar, Tom Douglas||4:10|
|5.||"Tequila Town"||Vassar, Kelley Lovelace||4:00|
|6.||"Bobbi with an I"||Vassar, Craig Wiseman||4:38|
|7.||"She's On Her Way"||Vassar, Jeff Outlaw, Tim Nichols||3:57|
|8.||"A Year from Now"||Vassar, Wiseman||4:17|
|9.||"Save Tonight for Me"||Vassar, Ryan, Julie Wood||3:59|
|10.||"I Will Remember You"||Vassar, Kenny Chesney||3:57|
|11.||"Where Have All the Pianos Gone"||Vassar, James T. Slater||3:23|
|U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums||29|
|U.S. Billboard 200||198|
- Stephen L. Betts (2009-11-23). "Phil Vassar Brings Circus to Town Earlier than Expected". The Boot. Retrieved 2009-12-02.
- Sarah Norton (2009-11-02). "Phil Vassar Is Ringmaster of Traveling Circus". Country Hound. Retrieved 2009-12-02.
- "Phil Vassar's New Album Scheduled for Dec. 15". CMT. 2009-11-23. Retrieved 2009-12-02.
- "Vassar releases CD ahead of schedule". Country Standard Time. 2009-11-26. Retrieved 2009-12-02.
- "Phil Vassar's "Bobbi with an I" Official Music Video".
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Traveling Circus - Phil Vassar". AllMusic. Retrieved 2009-12-17.
- Jessen, Wade (2010-01-19). "Phil Vassar, 'Traveling Circus'". Billboard. Retrieved 2013-11-15.
- Caramanica, Jon (2010-01-03). "New CDs (Phil Vassar: 'Traveling Circus')". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-11-15.
- Mansfield, Brian (2009-12-14). "Phil Vassar, Traveling Circus: Piano Pitchman". USA Today. Retrieved 2013-11-15.
- Sam Gazdziak (2009-08-21). "Phil Vassar — "Everywhere I Go"". Engine 145. Retrieved 2009-12-02.
- Bobby Peacock (2009-09-01). "Phil Vassar — "Everywhere I Go"". Roughstock. Retrieved 2009-12-02.