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All posts tagged "Billy Paul"

Oct 19

GAC Album Review: Vince Gill’s Guitar Slinger

Vince Gill

Vince Gill's 2011 CD, Guitar Slinger. Photo courtesy of UMG Nashville.

Vince Gill is getting personal on his new album. Very personal. In some ways, the title Guitar Slinger downplays the heavy themes that Vince confronts on his new twelve-song collection. Songs with names like “If I Die,” “Threaten Me With Heaven” and “When Lonely Comes Around” give an indication that strong feelings will not be ignored. Vince, who wrote or co-wrote every song on this record, took much inspiration from events or people in his own life when writing it and offers a look at the human condition in the process.

Guitar Slinger, which was recorded at Vince’s home studio, is a complex work that deals with, and sometimes questions, human nature. Take “Billy Paul” for example, a thumping outlaw country-inspired tune with a reserved vocal trying to work through the actions of a man Vince knew well. Through the second verse, Vince sings, Said they found a woman dead up in your room/ I hit my knees and prayed it wasn’t true/ Man, it killed me when I found out it was you, before wondering, What made you go crazy, Billy Paul?

“Threaten Me With Heaven,” the album’s first single, is an introspective take on the meaning of one’s passing. With a sad, reflective guitar lead and open chords, the song dives into weighty subject matter. What’s the worst thing that could happen if they say my time is through?, Vince sings with a subtle strength before delivering powerful lines like, I hear angels through the window pane calling my name. “Threaten Me With Heaven” is also one of the finest examples of Vince’s beautiful, instinctive guitar work and where the title, Guitar Slinger, really comes alive.

In many places throughout the record, Vince’s soulful lead guitar work is like a fantasy meeting of Eric Clapton and Brad Paisley. “When The Lady Sings The Blues,” a R&B/blues-infused cut with dancing blues riffs and a thick bass line, pays understated tribute to Billie Holiday while dropping song names like “God Bless This Child” in the last verse. The title-cut “Guitar Slinger,” which opens the record, feasts on a twangy lead theme while offering not one, but two fiery guitar solos over a honky-tonk blues. Well I was livin’ the life of a guitar slinger/Womens and wines and whiskey for dinner/ Oh, I knew I was in trouble the first time I seen her/ I went and married that Contemporary Christian singer, he sings with a little chuckle on the song. Continue Reading

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Posted at 1:02 pm | Permalink
Jun 17

Vince Gill to Release New Single & Album

Vince Gill photo courtesy of UMG Nashville.

Vince Gill fans, wait no more! Late this summer, he’ll release his first single in four years, “Threaten Me With Heaven,” which he co-wrote with wife Amy Grant, Dillon O’Brian and Will Owsley. The song is from his upcoming album, Guitar Slinger, due out this fall.

“Since the song was recorded, my friend Will Owsley took his own life, so the song has a profound impact on me now,” said Vince. “In my lifetime, ‘Go Rest High On That Mountain’ has been the song that helped a lot of people through their grief. I think this one will in turn hopefully do the same thing. It’s a powerful, powerful song.  I feel like it’s the crown jewel of the new record.”

Also on Guitar Slinger are the moving songs “Bread and Water” and “If I Die,” as well as more lighthearted tunes that feature Vince’s unmatched guitar skills. Vince wrote every song on the album, which was the first project recorded from start to finish at his new home studio.

“I feel like the emphasis has been on the songs and the songs have gotten better,” he said. “They really run the gamut of what they are about, how they feel, how they sound. It’s not an all-traditional record, it’s not Continue Reading

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Posted at 4:47 pm | Permalink