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.

As usual, Gill’s guitar playing adds color to his songs, and he balances the  difficult stories with those of love and faith: “Who Wouldn’t Fall In Love With  You” is a beautiful love song to his wife Amy Grant, and “Threaten Me With  Heaven” explores his religious beliefs.

Altogether, “Guitar Slinger” shows Gill utilizing a veteran’s craft to delve  into truths essential to who he is. It shows how a superstar can age gracefully  while continuing to sharpen his talents.

CHECK OUT THIS TRACK: “If I Die,” written with Ashley Monroe of the Pistol  Annies, is an emotionally resonant prayer that balances sin and salvation in  beautiful terms.



Author: admincw

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