CD: Guitar Slinger
Artist: Vince Gill
Label: MCA Nashville
Release Date: 10/24/11
I could make this extremely short and to the point by just saying, "it's Vince freakin' Gill y'all, it's awesome, the guitar gods are smiling right now" but I won't. The reason I won't is because this cd is so good, it deserves thought and detail, description and acknowledgement. But, come on, it IS Vince freakin' Gill y'all, do you expect any less from a music legend with 18 Grammys, 4 ACM's, 11 CMA's, and a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry?
"Guitar Slinger" is Vince Gill at his finest. You won't hear anything on this cd other than stellar, smooth, flawless vocals and pure instrumental brilliance. This cd shows a deeper side of Vince Gill, the center of his emotion and that emotion will extend beyond the melody. It explores the soul of the lyrics and the communication of each melodic story as only Vince can deliver. It's like the doors of musical Heaven have opened and Vince's voice is the trumpet that welcomes you inside.
Track one, the title cut, is 100% guitar blazing Vince. Slapped up tempo combined with great balls of fire piano playing makes you want to grab whoever's within reach and sling 'em around a dance floor so hard that you almost pull their arm right out of the socket. It almost reminds me of his 1989 duet with Reba, The Oklahoma Swing. I swear I can see Jerry Lee Lewis kicking his shoes all over that keyboard like a mad man. The next song, "Tell Me Fool" again takes me back a few years when Vince was all over radio, he was THE MAN. You couldn't go anywhere without hearing his music and that was alright with any fan of country music. I love the way he's stirring up reminders of the very reason that anyone who appreciates truly good music loves Vince Gill. He doesn't add the fluff and extra fillers that some artists who are currently trying to resurrect their careers are doing, he's keeping it pure, keeping it country and keeping it Vince. His current single and one that I absolutely LOVE, "Threaten Me With Heaven" is a lesson in not taking this life for granted. I watched Vince perform this on GAC the other night and he told the story about how one of the songwriters, Will Owsley, committed suicide after the song was written. Knowing this, it adds a poignant and real meaning to the song. Now, we all know that the guitar slinger is married to Amy Grant and yes, she does make a vocal appearance on the cd in "True Love" (imagine that!) and also as a co-writer in "When Lonely Comes Around". Spreaking of ... hey, isn't that the sequel to his earlier hit, "When Love Comes Around"? Ok, you knew I was going there. LOL!
"Guitar Slinger" is a virtual storybook full of various tales including the homeless and Jesus ("Bread and Water"), he hits up his inner Delta bluesy-soul side with "Lady Sings the Blues" and he even tells a tale of murder-suicide with "Billy Paul". I love it! It's like books on tape! Well, on iPod anyway. LOL! Best of all, Vince reaches for the heartstrings with his love ballads, they're his staple, his best known songs and he doesn't leave those out on this cd. It may be called Guitar Slinger, but trust me, it's also silently called "Tear Jerker" if you listen to "Who Wouldn't Fall in Love With You" which also happens to be a question I ask myself in the mirror every other day. Vince just knows how to reach me and to obviously reach millions through his music.
Guitar Slinger is the first release in a few years for Vince and I am so happy he's back. I missed him and welcome him back with open arms. I'd throw in a big ole sloppy wet kiss but that "Christian singer chick" might not like that. Ha ha! Welcome back Vince, we missed you and you couldn't have come back at a better time for country music.
You can purchase Guitar Slinger on iTunes, Amazon, Best Buy and most other major music retailers. You can also purchase on Vince's official website, www.vincegill.com.