Join us for a very special, intimate evening of solo acoustic music with a Tucson favorite, Vince Gill!
Vince paid nearly a decade-and-a-half of dues en route to becoming one of the most popular country stars of the ’90s. Starting out as a bluegrass singer and multi-instrumentalist, he initially made his name with country-rockers Pure Prairie League and spent the ’80s as part of country’s new traditionalist movement before finding massive success as a contemporary country hitmaker. Gill had strong mainstream appeal, yet enough songwriting chops and grounding in tradition that he could maintain his artistic credibility without being branded a crossover-happy hack. That balance made him the kind of performer who awards ceremonies can feel good about honoring, and honor him they did: Gill has won more CMA Awards than any performer in history, and his 14 Grammys tie him with Chet Atkins for the most ever by a country artist.
It would be easy for Vince Gill to kick back a bit – After all, when you’ve sold more than 26 million albums, won 20 Grammys, and earned 18 CMA Awards (including two Entertainer of the Year trophies), you’ve done it all, right? Not a chance, says this musician extraordinaire, who just produced his 18th album, Down to My Last Bad Habit, (available February 12).
“Forty years into this, it’s still as much fun as it’s ever been to play music,” says Gill. “At the end of the day, what I get excited about is doing something I haven’t done before. When I record a song, I feel successful if I’ve accomplished something new.”
That’s no small feat, considering that on his first solo album since 2011’s Guitar Slinger, Gill returns to his favorite theme, love in all its incarnations: Love sweet and celebrated (“Me and My Girl,” “My Favorite Movie”), love on fire (“Take Me Down,” “Make You Feel Real Good”), love denied (“I’ll Be Waiting for You,” “Down to My Last Bad Habit”), and love lost and mourned (“I Can’t Do This,” “Reasons for the Tears I Cry”).
This new music likewise acknowledges country’s deep roots with the steel-guitar laced “Sad One Coming On (A Song for George Jones).” Gill, who approximates Jones’ clench-jawed vocal, sang at Jones’ funeral in 2013, but he was so broken up that he could hardly get through it. He wrote the new song as a way to assuage his own pain, and to give the King of Broken Hearts his due as perhaps the greatest country singer ever.
“If something’s country, I want it to sound about 1958,” says Gill, with a laugh. “I want it deep,as honest and authentic as it should be.”