Music

Vince Gill: These Days

Dan MacIntosh

Four complete CDs is a healthy box set for many artists, but usually not a singular offering for most. Nevertheless, these days are certainly happy ones for Vince Gill fans.


Vince Gill

These Days

Label: MCA Nashville
US Release Date: 2006-10-17
UK Release Date: 2006-11-27
Amazon
iTunes

"This didn’t start out as a set of four very different CDs,” is how this project’s CD booklet begins. “There was no plan to record 43 original songs and gather them into an unprecedented offering of diverse, accomplished artistry,” it continues. Well, that’s for darn sure! Four complete CDs is a healthy box set for many artists, but usually not a singular offering for most. Gill's intention was to throw together a few hardcore country tunes, some bluegrass touches, and a little gospel –- he is married to contemporary Christian queen, Amy Grant, after all. But These Days turned out to be no ordinary project, not even by eclectic Vince Gill standards.

Disc One is subtitled “The Rockin’ Record”, although that title is a misnomer. Gill is a lead guitarist extraordinaire, but he has never been a loud rocker. He doesn’t cross over into Southern rock territory the way, say, Charlie Daniels can. A better title would have been “The Electrified Blues Record” because horns pump up the groove for “Love’s Standin’”, and Gill’s playing is mostly of the B.B. King, stinging guitar variety. This disc only breaks out into honest to goodness rock & roll on “Nothin’ for a Broken Heart”, where Gill shares vocals with Rodney Crowell. Bluegrass great Del McCoury sings with Gill on “Son of a Ramblin’ Man”, but the banjo in its mix is a mountain music dead give away of the track's true stylistic origins. There's also plenty of mandolin on it, too. Michael McDonald lends his distinctive pipes to “Smilin' Song”, Bekka Bramlett joins in on the acoustic guitar-backed “The Rhythm Of The Pourin’ Rain”, and the swinging “Nothin’ Left To Say” closes out the set's first disc.

Disc Two is subtitled “The Groovy Record”. Its 13 songs are filled with a large group of guest vocalists -- all women. Two of these gals are special in Gill’s life. “Tell Me One More Time about Jesus” includes his wife, Amy Grant, and his daughter Jenny Gill is his duet partner for “Time to Carry On”. The rest of this girl club is mostly made up of country singers, like LeAnn Rimes, Alison Krauss, and Trisha Yearwood. One of the vocal wild cards, however, is the piano bar saloon song, “Faint of Heart”, where jazz vocalist Diana Krall partners up with Gill.

Steel guitar and duel fiddles introduce “This New Heartache”, the opener for Disc Three. If that isn’t enough of a clue, Gill’s lyrical line about hitting his first glass of whiskey ought to reveal once and for all that this piece of auditory software is “The Country & Western Record”. Gill’s vocal friends include old pal Patty Loveless, Emmylou Harris, Lee Ann Womack, Dan Tyminski, and Alison Krauss a second time. There’s a hopping number titled “Sweet Little Corrina”, which features Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers fame. Its rockabilly-lite rhythm makes it the musical twin brother of “Wake Up Little Suzie”, so it fits perfectly with the rest of the Everly Brothers’ repertoire. The disc closes with a chugging “Take This Country Back”, a duet with John Anderson. Its lyric about too many dime store cowboys and not enough Nudie suits is like marching orders for traditional country music fans dedicated to taking their favorite musical genre back.

The last member of this box set is referred to as “The Acoustic Record”. But it is really mainly bluegrass music. The opener, “All Prayed Up”, is a banjo plucking, fiddle bowing, acoustic strumming gospel rave-up. The Del McCoury Band backs Gill for “Cold Gray Light of Gone”, and returns as his group for “Give Me the Highway”. His daughter Jenny sings with him again during “A River Like You”, and Rebecca Lynn Howard is the female vocal presence of “Girl”. The CD closes with “Almost Home”, a duet with troubadour Guy Clark.

This package is a whole lot of Vince Gill music, but because the performer makes it sound so easy and natural, nothing is forced or like filler. These days are certainly happy ones for Vince Gill fans.

7

So far J. J. Abrams and Rian Johnson resemble children at play, remaking the films they fell in love with. As an audience, however, we desire a fuller experience.

As recently as the lackluster episodes I-III of the Star Wars saga, the embossed gold logo followed by scrolling prologue text was cause for excitement. In the approach to the release of any of the then new prequel installments, the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare, followed by the Lucas Film logo, teased one's impulsive excitement at a glimpse into the next installment's narrative. Then sat in the movie theatre on the anticipated day of release, the sight and sound of the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare signalled the end of fevered anticipation. Whatever happened to those times? For some of us, is it a product of youth in which age now denies us the ability to lose ourselves within such adolescent pleasure? There's no answer to this question -- only the realisation that this sensation is missing and it has been since the summer of 2005. Star Wars is now a movie to tick off your to-watch list, no longer a spark in the dreary reality of the everyday. The magic has disappeared… Star Wars is spiritually dead.

Keep reading... Show less
6

This has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it.

It hardly needs to be said that the last 12 months haven't been everyone's favorite, but it does deserve to be noted that 2017 has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it. Other longtime dreamers either reappeared or kept up their recent hot streaks, and a number of relative newcomers established their place in what has become one of the more robust rock subgenre subcultures out there.

Keep reading... Show less
Theatre

​'The Ferryman': Ephemeral Ideas, Eternal Tragedies

The current cast of The Ferryman in London's West End. Photo by Johan Persson. (Courtesy of The Corner Shop)

Staggeringly multi-layered, dangerously fast-paced and rich in characterizations, dialogue and context, Jez Butterworth's new hit about a family during the time of Ireland's the Troubles leaves the audience breathless, sweaty and tearful, in a nightmarish, dry-heaving haze.

"Vanishing. It's a powerful word, that"

Northern Ireland, Rural Derry, 1981, nighttime. The local ringleader of the Irish Republican Army gun-toting comrades ambushes a priest and tells him that the body of one Seamus Carney has been recovered. It is said that the man had spent a full ten years rotting in a bog. The IRA gunslinger, Muldoon, orders the priest to arrange for the Carney family not to utter a word of what had happened to the wretched man.

Keep reading... Show less
10

Aaron Sorkin's real-life twister about Molly Bloom, an Olympic skier turned high-stakes poker wrangler, is scorchingly fun but never takes its heroine as seriously as the men.

Chances are, we will never see a heartwarming Aaron Sorkin movie about somebody with a learning disability or severe handicap they had to overcome. This is for the best. The most caffeinated major American screenwriter, Sorkin only seems to find his voice when inhabiting a frantically energetic persona whose thoughts outrun their ability to verbalize and emote them. The start of his latest movie, Molly's Game, is so resolutely Sorkin-esque that it's almost a self-parody. Only this time, like most of his better work, it's based on a true story.

Keep reading... Show less
7

There's something characteristically English about the Royal Society, whereby strangers gather under the aegis of some shared interest to read, study, and form friendships and in which they are implicitly agreed to exist insulated and apart from political differences.

There is an amusing detail in The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn that is emblematic of the kind of intellectual passions that animated the educated elite of late 17th-century England. We learn that Henry Oldenburg, the first secretary of the Royal Society, had for many years carried on a bitter dispute with Robert Hooke, one of the great polymaths of the era whose name still appears to students of physics and biology. Was the root of their quarrel a personality clash, was it over money or property, over love, ego, values? Something simple and recognizable? The precise source of their conflict was none of the above exactly but is nevertheless revealing of a specific early modern English context: They were in dispute, Margaret Willes writes, "over the development of the balance-spring regulator watch mechanism."

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image