Phil Vassar may have big plans for this New Year's Eve, but they'll likely pale in comparison to the way he rang in 2011 -- recording his new CD, 'The Hits Live on Broadway,' in front of an eager hometown crowd of thousands in downtown Nashville. The project is a first for Phil, who admits he's a big fan of live albums and had always wanted to make one, but his record labels never seemed to be on board with the plan. So when he took the reins and formed his own label, he also decided to take to the streets and record the new CD, which features some of his biggest hits including 'Carlene,' 'Six Pack Summer,' and 'Just Another Day in Paradise.'

"My deal was up at the label," Phil tells The Boot, "and I had always wanted to do it, and the label always said nobody cares about live records, and I get it. But 'Frampton Live' and some of those records are still some of my favorite albums. I just love live music, and I love going to live shows, and getting the chance to cut this thing in Nashville on New Year's was just so much fun! It came out killer, I'm so happy with the way it came out sonically and all those things. It's something that I've always wanted to do."

Country's Piano Man covers plenty of fan favorites on the new CD (as well as hits like 'I'm Alright,' and 'My Next Thirty Years' that he penned for other artists), but pressed to choose one of his songs as a personal favorite, he's stumped. "I could never pick one. On any given night it's a different song. It's always fun to sing your music and watch people sing it back to you -- I don't care what song it is, it's really cool. For big concerts, it's always fun to do the uptempo songs, and for acoustic shows or songwriters' nights or a storytellers concert in a theater, I love doing different songs. And for some of these things, it's fun to pull out the album cuts that never were singles -- that's kind of cool too."

Phil will perform some of those crowd-pleasers at the Grand Ole Opry next Tuesday at the Ryman Auditorium and appear at the Opry Originals store downtown following the show to sign copies of both his new live CD and his new holiday album, 'Noel.' The holiday CD is another project Phil has always wanted to make and features a mixture of originals and timeless classics of the season. "I've always dreamed of making a Christmas record," Phil says. "From the time I was boy, listening to Nat King Cole, Andy Williams, Bing Crosby, and all the classic singers ... I've always wanted to do this."

Fans can also hear some of those holiday favorites when he performs at Nashville's Hard Rock Café for the Country Network's Live From the Ledge concert series benefiting the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on December 15th.

Watch Phil Sing 'American Child' in Our Studio