Christian 'Piano Man'

Mitch Nassar of Hermitage sits at his old piano playing a song he's written for his soon-to-be-released first CD.

Mitch Nassar’s a Christian “Piano Man.”

Like Billy Joel, the Hermitage resident’s first instrument is the piano. But unlike the veteran rocker, Nassar’s tunes serve a higher purpose.

“The music kind of speaks for itself,” he said of his songs.

He’s been into music most of his 54 years, the last couple of which have been filled with creative activity.

“It just started pouring out of me,” Nassar said, sitting in the basement music room of his home in Hermitage’s Hunter’s Woods.

A vintage stereo system amplifies the sounds of “Who Holds The Light?” — Nassar’s first compact disc.

The soon-to-be-released 14-song collection includes a variety of musical styles and is inspired by the groups Nassar’s enjoyed over the years.

Some of the tracks are multi-layered, with multiple instruments and vocal overdubs, while others are bare-bones song craft, featuring Nassar alone at a piano.

That’s the pose Nassar affected during this interview, sitting at the old piano with nicked green paint that used to be used in a bar room.

The chorus of the John Lennon-Paul McCartney standard “Let It Be” poured softly from Nassar’s mouth as the piano chords filled the room.

The passion for his craft can be seen in the sparkle of his eyes as he plays or listens to the songs he recorded over the last year-and-a-half at a McKeesport studio.

He’s a regular performer at Hickory United Methodist Church, where he’s also a member of the choir.

Recording the CD was a family affair as he sought help from his twentysomething daughters Courtney Day and Taylor Lee Nassar. His son Elias’ hands are featured on the cover art of the CD and his wife Lou Ann has been supportive as he’s worked on the project, he said.

“The theme is ‘Who Holds The Light?’,” he said.

The answer:

“You do, everyone does,” Nassar said.

The songs, with their varied musical stylings, “should appeal to everybody,” he said.

His topics revolve around his life and faith.

“Everyday things we face,” he said. “There’s a lot to do with life and what we do here. All of us seem to reach for something beyond ourselves.

“Basic Christian fundamentals are guiding me the whole time,” he said.

Nassar’s awaiting the final details of the CD, which is being released by the Oasis Group. He’s also putting a band together and is set to perform at the Hermitage Arts Festival next month.



For more information about Nassar, visit myspacemusic.com and search for his link or e-mail him at nassar@roadrunner.com