Best of Vail: Best Local Musician |

Best of Vail: Best Local Musician

Veteran Vail musician Phil Long

1. Phil Long

2. Johnny Schleper

3. Scott Rednor

Phil Long has been singing, strumming and tickling the ivories in Vail for 33 years, the first 28 of which he spent as the stalwart face of music at The Red Lion on Bridge Street. Two years ago, he became partner in the Vail and Beaver Creek Chophouse restaurants and moved his act to the Vail location — and many of his loyal fans followed.

“My hope is that people feel super welcome when they come in and they feel like the most important person in the room, and I have something to do with making them feel that welcome,” Long said. “I’ve been really lucky over all these years to have people return over and over again, and it feels a lot like my living room now, people feel comfortable to come and have a nice time.”

Long’s winter apres gig runs from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and he plays everything from Train, Nickelback and Matchbox 20 to James Taylor, Billy Joel and Tom Petty. With more than 400 songs in his repertoire, he can usually find something to play from your favorite band, or something like it.

“I’m very cover oriented and very audience oriented,” he said. “I try to do as many requests as possible.”

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