Dan MacIntosh – Roughstock
Vince Gill’s Guitar Slinger is a good old fashioned country album. (That’s a compliment, by the way). Its songs address a lot the biggest questions in life, such as heaven, hell, sin, salvation and all that sorta messy stuff. In the wrong hands, such subject matter might come off preachy. In Gill’s capable guitar slinging hands, though, it’s never less than beautifully touching.
There a few truly pitiful characters studied during this thoughtful work. One poor soul named Billy Paul – in a song of the same name – chronicles the life of a man who ends up committing murder, and the narrator wonders why it all went so wrong. Then with “Bread and Water,” Gill sings about the essentials of life through the story of a homeless man. “Threaten Me With Heaven,” one of this album’s most touching songs, speaks frankly about death and how the afterlife is not a future to be feared. One of its four songwriters was Will Owsley, who later committed suicide. One has to wonder if he was contemplating this final act while he was writing the lyric. It’s simply chilling.
By MICHAEL McCALL – The Associated Press
The title of Vince Gill’s new album focuses on his instrumental skills. But the music more intently highlights another talent: songwriting. On “Guitar Slinger,” Gill concentrates on lyrics about friends and issues, turning out stories that are sometimes entertaining and often touching.
Some draw on his sense of humor: The title is a roadhouse rocker inspired by Gill’s catastrophic loss of musical equipment in Nashville’s 2010 flood. Others confront tragedy: “Bread and Water” is based on the death of Gill’s older brother, who struggled with daily existence after suffering a severe head injury. “Billy Paul” questions why a close friend took such a deadly turn, while “Buttermilk John” honors the late steel guitarist John Hughey, who worked with Gill for many years.
It’s hard to believe, considering what Vince Gill has accomplished over the past three decades, but the triple threat singer-songwriter-guitar picker may be in the most creative, productive stretch of his lengthy, remarkable career. Five years after Gill’s Grammy-winning 4-album 43-song box set “These Days,” his latest 12-song release again finds Gill tapping every ounce of his immense talents. The title song sums up his reputation as an ax man worthy of playing Eric Clapton’s Crossroads guitar love-in, but once past the six-string chops it’s again apparent just how good this guy is with a pen.
Threaten Me With Heaven and Bread and Water are among the most gut-wrenching ballads that Gill has ever written.
GAC asked you to come up with your questions for Vince Gill, now check out his answers! Questions range from his “band mentality”, golf, and of course guitars! Watch Vince’s answers here!
The country veteran discusses his track record, work ethic and the family affair behind his new music
By Phyllis Stark – Special to MSN Music
Vince Gill is doing his best to earn his place in the Country Music Hall of Fame, never mind that he’s already a member.
Inducted in 2007, at age 50, Gill still admits to feeing a bit unworthy, despite his numerous career accomplishments, which include winning a whopping 20 Grammy Awards and selling more than 26 million records.
“I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I’m so young,” says Gill, now 54, who has been making music professionally since the 1970s. “And I can’t help but look [at other stars] and go, ‘Well, I think THAT person should be in this hall long before I should.’ That’s just because of my respect for what’s come before me.
“The other side of it is I do want to go earn it,” he continues, describing what he calls his “workingman’s mentality.”