He's not yet answering to "Elmo," but Vince Gill is tickled that his four-disc box set has become the must-have item as the holiday season approaches.
"It beats the (heck) out of the alternative, doesn't it?" he jokes. Turning serious, he says that because he had not had a record out since 2003, his team was not sure how much interest his collection of 43 new songs would draw. The demand is so strong that stores are selling out.
"The truth of the matter is, if it hadn't been a project like this, it wouldn't have garnered this much attention," he says. "This record was so unique and against the grain, it made people very curious.
"It's gratifying to me, regardless of what happens, that right off the bat people got it. I was just trying to follow my heart and play music that inspired me. The fact that it was beyond well received was . . . I had no idea.
"I've got to tell you, I had great fear that at some point somebody would say, 'That's nice, but 11 (songs) would have been plenty.' "
Wife Amy Grant joined him on the road for a few days, but she's had her own tour schedule. He won't return home until Wednesday. "I'm a cell phoner," he says of how they stay in touch. "I don't do text-messaging. I don't do the computer either. I'm old school; I like to hear her voice, so we talk several times a day."
Vince will join Kyle Petty as honorary co-chairmen of the second annual Spring Sound & Speed, a fundraiser that unites country stars and NASCAR drivers that will be held downtown Jan. 12-13.