Some musicians age exceedingly well. Vince Gill is definitely one of them.
Seeing him last night in Boston only reinforced that sentiment. Gill has been a regular in Boston for years - as he said near the end of the meaty 2 1/2-hour show, "what's not to like?" or something along those lines. He was talking about Beantown.
One could easily say the same about Gill. He's different than what's out there today on radio. He's not all that polished from what he wears - blue jeans, a t-shirt and now glasses. No fancy outfit for Gill. If he did wear one, you know something must be wrong with him.
He's always been a player to hear on guitar. Just like Brad Paisley or Keith Urban (I've not seen Urban to be honest but that's what the reports have always said). Gill is not some sort of studio creation with limited concert abilities. He is not Mr. Flash out there either, but just does his thing with often steely, fluid guitar runs.
Of course, there is his sense of humor, which is quite keen. He can go on for awhile with his stories, but somehow they sound fresh and entertaining, not like he's told them a million times before or with little to say beyond the hackneyed "How you doing?" Gill's humor has been one of the aspects that makes him so appealing, and he acknowledged how he likes to joke with people.
He tells jokes at his own expense, including about potentially hot button issues such as being overweight. He also joked about his father, but it was almost in a scary way. Gill often talked at this show about his father as he has done in the past. Gill would imitate his scratchy voice tugging at cigarettes, while relating how he wasn't the most easy going guy. Despite that, Gill showed his love for the man - warts and all.
Gill's last CD was a tour-de-force, "These Days," from 200. It was quite unusual - a four-CD set featuring different types of music (rock, groove, country and western and acoustic) on each CD. He took the set on the road, and it was great fun. That was about four years ago. The CD produced no hits, but he managed to keep his longstanding record deal with MCA.
Gill will be back out with a new CD in late October - "Guitar Slinger." According to the Boston Globe, it's a strong CD. Whether it produces any hits, who knows, but that doesn't mean the quality will not be there. It'd be great to hear Gill on the radio again with his heartfelt new single Threaten Me With Heaven, for example, but don't hold your breath.
What they can never take away is the enthusiasm, skill and ability that Gill brings to his craft. He can write, sing, play and entertain. As a long-time fan of Gill, I sure hope that he gets his due with the new CD and reach a new audience as well. Gill has been a cornerstone of country music for many years and is true to his roots. Vince Gill always has been a credit to country music. Long may he run.