AMERICAJR NETWORK :: COACH'S CORNER PRO SHOP :: SAND CREEK RECORDS :: LIFE MADE EASY

DETROIT, MICHIGAN USA << >> LIVE STOCK TICKER

OUR HOMEPAGE

NEWS
Current News Index
Local News
National News
Downtown Hoedown
Pictures (NEW)
Meet the Web Team
Metro Detroit Traffic Info
Detroit Auto Show
SPORTS
Current Sports Index
Schedules and Results
NHL Hockey
NBA/NCAA Basketball
NASCAR Auto Racing
Sports Pictures
WEATHER
Weather Index
LIVE Detroit Radar
LIVE Regional Radar
U.S. Forecasts
TRIVIA
Jeopardy! Trivia
Archived Trivia
ENTERTAINMENT
Entertainment Index
New Movie Releases
New Movie Reviews
New CD Releases
New Music Reviews
Video Game Reviews
Detroit Concert Listing
Restaurant Reviews
TV Award Shows
Downtown Hoedown
YOUR OPINION
Our Message Boards
Become a Member
Testimonials
GUESTBOOK
Sign Guestbook
View Guestbook
ABOUT US
Read About Our History
Corporate Thank You's
Advertise on Our Site
CONTESTS
Register to Win Prizes
Meet All Our Winners
SITEMAP
Listing of Every Page
AMERICAJR EMAIL
Email Login
Password
New users
sign up!
 
Find a Job
Keywords:
Location:
Job category:

<< News >>

Entertainment News

CMA: Vince Gill Making the Most of "These Days"

PHOTO BY JIM MCGUIRE

MCA Nashville recording artist Vince Gill.

By Lorie Hollabaugh
© 2007 CMA Close Up News Service

These days are very good days for Vince Gill. Over the course of his incredible 30-year career, he's certainly experienced both sides of this fickle business of music. But Gill has remained steadfast in one thing - his passion for making music. Well, maybe two things - he has also managed to hold on to his wonderful sense of humor through it all.

Both qualities are in evidence on the Platinum-selling These Days, a panoramic four-CD, 43-song set that captures the eclectic musical styles that have characterized Gill's work over the course of 19 No. 1 singles, three Platinum and six multi-Platinum albums. But there's something else at work here; or maybe something not at work. On every track on These Days, Gill seems looser, more at ease and more willing to cut loose and play than on his previous, more abbreviated albums. According to Gill, Eric Clapton gets some of the credit. Back in 2004, the legendary guitarist phoned Gill to request his presence at Crossroads Guitar Festival in Dallas. And that one call fired Gill up in a way he hadn't been in quite a while.

"That was a big, life-changing thing for me," Gill recalled. "Here was someone who saw me as a fellow musician, not as a Country star, and he's one of the finest musicians who has ever lived. For him to invite me to this festival as someone whose work he admired - I was just inspired to go play again."

Approaching the recording process with renewed excitement, Gill found he couldn't stop. He also found himself really letting go for once.

"If I wanted to be rocking, I let it rock as hard as it wanted to," he said. "Instead of feeling like there were lines I shouldn't cross, I took the lines away."

If Clapton was an instigator in this ambitious project, The Beatles also provided some inspiration. Gill was recording at Nashville's Blackbird Studios when he noticed a poster advertising three Beatles albums released in the same year.

"I knew I wasn't going to be satisfied picking 10 songs, and I was trying to figure out how to not lose all this material we had done. So I thought, 'Why can't I release all these records since they're stylistically different from each other?'"

Gill approached Luke Lewis, UMG Nashville Co-Chairman, about the idea of releasing a Country album, a ballad CD and an up-tempo, contemporary disc. Lewis loved the idea and suggested adding a fourth and releasing it all as a boxed set - an unprecedented idea for a project containing all-new material.

"The idea for the set was born out of necessity," Lewis said. "We were discussing marketing and Vince said he had more songs and would like to record them acoustically. He was obviously on an incredible creative streak, and I would have been a fool to stop him. I had been involved in marketing a four-CD Johnny Cash boxed set, so, like most good ideas, it was stolen.

"Vince suggested we work different tracks at different formats, so we are working singles at Country, Christian, bluegrass and jazz radio. Vince had very good, definitive ideas about how to market it, and this collection will be a bargain for consumers. For the price of two CDs, they will get four, and there is no 'filler.' I don't know of another artist today who is even capable of writing and recording 43 great songs in a relatively short period of time for a collection of this caliber."

These Days, on MCA Nashville, highlights Gill's versatility and demonstrates his chameleon-like ability to channel vastly different styles; from Appalachian bluegrass to old-school Country to torch-singing jazz. He taps into his smoldering side on Workin' on a Big Chill (The Rockin' Record), while indulging his songwriter side on Little Brother (The Acoustic Record). The Reason Why (The Groovy Record), lives up to its nickname with the title track and single with Alison Krauss and a gorgeous jazz standard with Diana Krall, as well as appearances from Sheryl Crow, Bonnie Raitt, LeAnn Rimes and Trisha Yearwood.

The album's liner notes read like a who's who of music: John Anderson, Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell, Phil Everly, Emmylou Harris, Krall, Del McCoury, Michael McDonald, Gretchen Wilson and many others add their voices to These Days. Many have worked with Gill before, like Bekka Bramlett, who lends her considerable chops to "The Rhythm of the Pourin' Rain." Bramlett sang backup for Gill on his recent tour as well.

"Working with Vince is always a pleasure," Bramlett said. "It's a lesson on how to stay true to your music. It's easy to blow all the whistles and ring all the bells in the studio, so to keep it organic the way he does is what I admire most about how he records. I learn a lot from him about how to maintain a professional work ethic."

Lee Ann Womack, who recorded the wistful "If I Can Make Mississippi" with Gill for the Country CD, Some Things Never Get Old (The Country and Western Record), echoes Bramlett's sentiments.

"Vince is one of the best singers and all-around artists we've ever had in Country," Womack said. "I live to work with people like him. He makes us look good."

One of the tracks Gill is most pleased with is "Sweet Little Corrina," which he recorded with Country Music Hall of Fame member Phil Everly, of the Everly Brothers.

"That song is one of the greatest musical moments of my entire life," Gill said. "I revere their music so very much. I am so drawn to that family harmony. When two people sing together and it becomes one - that's when it's really magic."

That seamless family harmony is apparent on "A River Like You," which Gill wrote 22 years ago and dusted off to sing with his daughter, Jenny Gill. Hearing the resultant blend of their voices brought a tear to Gill's eye.

"Something happens when people of the same blood sing together," Gill said. "Jenny really got to shine and I can't even describe how much that really undid me . to hear those two voices shake in exactly the same way - wow."

The project was a family affair in more ways than one, with wife Amy Grant lending her vocals as well. A duet on Grant's last album helped Gill loosen up vocally on this project.

"Singing 'Rock of Ages' on Amy's last record, I felt the urge to let loose, and there was this peace of just freeing myself and letting go. I said, 'Let's leave no stone unturned. If the amp needs to go to 12, turn it to 12,' and it was very freeing."

In that spirit Gill recruited string arranger David Campbell to create charts unlike anything usually heard in Country. Keyboardist John Hobbs and engineer Justin Niebank also helped Gill push the production limits, along with talented musicians including Big Al Anderson. Though he may sound like a perfectionist in the studio, Gill said he's actually far from it, preferring to see where the music takes him instead of leading it by the nose.

"Anyone who knows me, knows I live in the moment and fly by the seat of my pants," he said. "Some people need preparation and structure. . Amy needs those things. We're total opposites in that way. She likes knowing what's going to go on. . I just like reacting to it."

These Days went Platinum in December, a first glimpse of how Gill's longtime fans reacted to this latest gutsy endeavor. But after releasing singles in recent years to lukewarm reception at radio, Gill seems to be at peace with whatever the outcome - as long as he can continue to make high-quality music that challenges him as an artist and moves his soul.

"This is an interesting business," he said. "When you finally get that faucet running, you don't want to turn it off, you know? I've watched artist after artist, myself included, become caricatures of themselves because they find something that works and beat it into the ground. I'm still trying to have hit records and be as big a part of this as I ever was. But I can't control it, and I've learned to let go of all that. I believe if I make a record that sells 10 million or sells 1,000, either way none of the notes are ever going to change."

On the Web: www.vincegill.com

AmericaJR.com is Detroit's exclusive media outlet for this syndicated weekly column!

You can join the web team by writing an article and emailing it to americajr@americajr.com. We are looking for reviews of music, movies, video games and sports. The minimum is three paragraphs. Thanks for all your help!

Here's Your Benefits:

  • Your article is published on AmericaJR.com with your name
  • You will get your own email address @AmericaJR.com
  • After five stories, you get a FREE AmericaJR.com T-shirt

>> Bookmark This Site Now! <<

 

doteasy.com - free web hosting. Free hosting with no banners.

 

BACK TO THE AMERICAJR ONLINE HOMEPAGE

Copyright © 2007 AmericaJR.com. All Rights Reserved.
Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, Site Template, Graphics and or Site Design is Prohibited by Federal and International laws. See our Notice/Disclaimer.

AMERICAJR NETWORK :: COACH'S CORNER PRO SHOP :: SAND CREEK RECORDS :: LIFE MADE EASY