VINCE GILL PERSONABLE, HEARTFELT IN HOMECOMING AT THE JOINT
Vince Gill celebrated his Oklahoma homecoming with his second show of the weekend in the state at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
“I love this. I love being back in my home state,” he proclaimed after his opening song, “One More Last Chance.” “The dirt is red and the Mexican food is world class!”
Born in Norman and raised in Oklahoma City, Gill has spent the last three decades in Nashville, Tenn., where he rose to superstardom in the 1980s.
Nashville may be the capital of country music, but Gill lamented that, “the best Mexican food in Tennessee is Taco Bell.”
He jokingly noted the casino atmosphere as he introduced his classic cheating song, “Pocket Full of Gold.”
“Who knows what goes on in a casino. Is anyone here with someone they shouldn’t be?” he asked as the house lights exploded on to the audience. “Country music was founded on good cheating songs and good gospel songs.”
Next up was the toe-tapping “High Lonesome Sound,” which showcased Gill’s highly impressive band, which included steel guitar, keyboards, and an organ.
On “Next Big Thing,” Gill displayed his own virtuosity on the guitar, serving as a reminder that he paved the way for Brad Paisley and Keith Urban as the next generation of master musicians as country pop stars.
Gill gave a lengthy explanation mid-song during, “It’s Hard to Kiss the Lips at Night That Chew Your Ass Out All Day Long,” the lone hit from a side project he recorded in 2004 with singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell.
The audience laughed with Gill for several minutes straight as he recounted how his father had given him the idea for the song years before, and how it finally dawned on him that his own mother was the inspiration.
“My mother loves me, but she hates this song with every fiber of her being,” he said.
Steel guitarist Paul Franklin was good enough to make you want to weep during Gill’s classic hit, “Look at Us.” Gill thought so, too, because afterward he said, “He gets to playin’ so good, I forget to sing.”
But the highlight of the show came late in the evening, when 15 members of the Cherokee National Youth Choir joined Gill on stage for the moving “Go Rest High on That Mountain,” which was named the 1996 Country Music Association Song of the Year.