Thursday, October 13, 2005

"Next Big Thing" - Vince Gill

Vince Gill, like a fine wine, just gets better with time. Vince is still making the same great country music and tear-jerker love songs that he was making ten years ago. Vince produced the album. The album was recorded by Justin Niebank at Ocean Way in Nashville and mastered by Doug Sax. Vince wrote or co-wrote every song (17 songs) on the album. He also plays lead guitar and sings back-up vocals. The sound quality of this recording is as good as anything I've ever heard, just a great production.
Vince starts out the album with the 1st single and title song "Next Big Thing" which is a comical stab at the music industry, where the labels are always looking for the next big thing. The 2nd single "Someday" is a beautiful slow love song about love coming some day.
There's a host of guest backup singers including his wife Amy Grant, Lee Ann Womack, Emmy Lou Harris, Dawn Sears and Kim Keyes. Long time pedal steel player John Hughey plays all of the pedal steel. Stuart Duncan does an awesome job with all of the fiddle work.
This album has a lot of emotional, mellow tunes in that high range that Vince Gill has owned. His vocals sound as good or better than ever.
"Whippoorwill River" is a great acoustic story song with some great acoustic lead guitar by Vince. "The Sun's Gonna Shine On You" is a Vince Gill upbeat country rocker with Vince takin' off on an awesome electric guitar break reminiscent of " One More Last Chance". "Young Man's Town" is a sad song about Nashville and it's infatuation with young artists. Vince sings this with no bitterness. Vince shows much maturity on this song which contains a line that says "sometimes you gotta stand back and watch 'em burn it to the ground, even though you built it, it's a young man's town." "Without You" is a great upbeat shuffle song. "This Old Guitar And Me" (a personal favorite) is an acoustic ballad about a man and his guitar and his travels thru life playing music, a really very touching song.
"These Broken Hearts" is another great sad love song that only Vince could sing and it is produced so beautifully. The Nashville String Machine fills in nicely in the background. "You Ain't Foolin' Nobody" is an acoustic bluegrass song with banjo and fiddle and Vince playing licks on his Fender. His guitar really just cries on this song.
Well, I can't tell you about every song, but he sings about every style of country song on this album that exists including some Irish and Zydeco influences. Out of seventeen songs, there is not a throwaway in the bunch, every song is a quality song. Vince Gill is a class act, that was built to last. He's every bit talented as a lyricist, as a singer and guitar picker. Never heard Vince better.
The sad thing is that most of this album won't receive the airplay it deserves, because it's too country. I think, that out of all Vince has recorded, this is his masterpiece.

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