If you need to complain, avoid Vince Gill this weekend.
“No whining allowed. That’s my motto,” the country music singer said in a recent phone interview.
He performs Saturday at the Columbus Civic Center.
The local concert is just one item on Gill’s crowded to-do list. He’s recently recorded on albums for artists like Chris Botti, Don Williams, Bonnie Tyler, Rita Wilson and Rodney Crowell. On top of that, he’ll embark on a bluegrass tour in June.
“I like a full plate,” Gill said.
He’s known for hits like “When I Call Your Name,” “I Still Believe in You,” “One More Last Chance” and many more. A member of the Grand Ole Opry, Gill has sold more than 26 million albums.
In addition to what he’s achieved on his own, Gill has attracted attention as a collaborator.
Among the highlights? He shared the stage with Sting for an episode of “CMT Crossroads.” During the evening of music, they collaborated on hits like “If I Ever Lose My Faith in You.”
“This one musically made sense to me,” Gill said of working with Sting. “It was really fun to dive into what he does and learn it.”
His focus on collaboration extends to his family. He recently produced an album for his daughter, Jenny Gill.
What’s the secret to collaborating with a friend or family member without breaking your personal ties?
“You have to understand the role in whatever it is you’re doing,” said Gill, who is married to singer Amy Grant.
Given Gill’s success in the world of collaborations, I couldn’t help asking if he’d ever consider a musical pairing completely outside his genre — say, performing a duet with a rapper.
“I would give anything a whirl,” he said. “I don’t have any kind of prerequisite that I won’t do this or I won’t do that.”
Since releasing his solo debut mini-album in 1984, Gill has witnessed a diverse evolution of country music. He suggested something’s lacking in the genre’s current state.
“I miss traditional country music,” Gill said. “What I miss is a song like ‘He Stopped Loving Her Today.’”
He also acknowledged that country music’s fan base has evolved, and perhaps doesn’t include a wide demand for traditional music. “Maybe that core audience is not there,” he said.
But don’t think Gill is whining.
He’s not one to get bogged down by these discussions. After all, he has stuff to do. Yes, there is music — but there is also his longtime involvement in philanthropic efforts. Not to mention his passion for the Nashville Predators hockey team.
Get on the phone with Gill and you’ll realize why there’s no whining allowed.
“Life’s great,” he said.