Vince Gill still has a lot of music he wants to make. The 66-year-old just dropped “Danny Boy” with Paul Franklin, from their forthcoming collaborative Sweet Memories: The Music of Ray Price & The Cherokee Cowboys album. it’s just part of a wide variety of songs that Gill plans on sharing with the world, and sooner rather than later.
“I only have so much time left,” Gill shared with Everything Nash and other outlets at a recent media event. “I gotta get busy. I don’t want to leave the world with a bunch of unfinished thoughts, a bunch of unfinished songs and whatnot. At this day and age, I’m trying to figure out what I should do, what I could do. I’ve written probably close to 100 new songs, and I like them. I don’t want to see them just buried in a desk drawer somewhere where I may get to them in 20 years.
“I may not be able to draw a breath and hold a note and sing as well as I do in ten or 15 years as I do today,” he adds. “So I don’t want to wait until I passed it. So I may record the majority of this stuff I’ve done and just have this kind of treasure trove full of creativity.”
Gill joined the band Pure Prairie League in 1979, before moving to Cherry Bombs in 1981, and then launching his solo career with The Things That Matter, his debut solo album on RCA Records, released in 1985. In the more than 45 years that Gill has been making music, much has changed, with the Country Music Hall of Fame member doing his best to adapt to the ongoing changes.
“There are no rules,” Gill concedes. “Now what’s beautiful is, Paul and I made an 11-song record, but the days of a ten or 11-song record have been shown to be numbered to some degree. We’re gonna be able to get our music in all kinds of ways.”
“I think that’s great. 15 years ago I did a box set of 43 new songs, and why can’t I do it again?” Gill reflects. “It even makes way more sense now given all the parameters. I feel like I’m at the best of my creativity, and the best ability and all that stuff. I would love to do a ton of work, and see what comes of it and get it out.”
Of “Danny Boy,” Gill admits he and Franklin wrestled with if it was the right song to include on Sweet Memories: The Music of Ray Price & The Cherokee Cowboys .
“This was a daunting and challenging choice, and we had to consider if it was the right one,” Gill explains. “It’s the one song on this whole collection that I would have been most skeptical about because it is so iconic. Paul and I decided that it could be incredibly beautiful if done the right way, for example if it was treated like Ray’s version of “Night Life,” so we decided to make the steel guitar predominant like it is in that particular song.”
Gill’s upcoming shows include two back-to-back performances at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival in Los Angeles, and his holiday Christmas At the Ryman residency with Grant. Find music and tour dates at VinceGill.com.