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Vince Gill - These Days 
Review By Jim Moulton, CSO Staff Journalist

Vince Gill has proven that he is still at the top of his game, releasing a four disc set of all new material in four different genre's. Vince said he got the idea from Eric Clapton a few years a go at a guitarists get together. Initially when I saw box set, I thought it was some kind of best of thing, but, no, it's all brand new. In 2005, Vince started recording a song a day with the help of Justin Niebank and John Hobbs in the production area. He had invited a lot of vocalists to help out with the backup vocals. Singers include Sheryl Crow, Bonnie Rait, Diana Krall, Rodney Crowell, Phil Everly, the Del McCoury Band, Emmylou Harris, John Anderson, Lee Ann Womack, (daughter) Jenny Gill, Amy Grant, Leanne Rimes, Gretchen Wilson, Guy Clark, Trisha Yearwood, Bekka Bramlett, Michael Mcdonald and musicians that he has worked with over the years, including Richard Bennett on guitar and Buddy Emmons on pedal steel plus many others.

The sound of these four CDs have a bit of a different timbre than previous recordings, not as polished, yet still very warm, mastered by Adam Ayan of Gateway Mastering who masters lots of Rock CDs. The set is very inexpensive, about twenty four dollars average, very attractive packaging, a cream colored sturdy box, with the four discs in their own Cardboard cover CD holders, plus a sixty four page booklet that tells you everything you need to know.

The first disc is the Rockin' Record titled Workin' On A Big Chill, which delivers, and Gill enters some new areas as a guitarist playing some great electric, Clapton-like blues guitar. I really enjoy this disc, not a wasted track and it moves well. "Workin' on A Big Chill" really rocks out with a very melodic style and some great textures. This disc reminds me sometimes of the CD he made with Rodney Crowell a couple of years back "The Notorious Cherry Bombs", but he really takes his guitar playing further, working well with Richard Bennett. "Love's Standin" has some great Chuck Berry like guitar interaction going on. I guess my two favorites are "Nothin' For A Broken Heart" with Rodney Crowell and the cookin' "Son Of a Ramblin' Man" with Del McCoury.

The Groovy Disc, The Reason Why, showcases Gill at his best doing pop ballads and his vocals never sounded better. The emotive "The Reason Why" with Alison Krauss is one of the best songs on the whole set. "Faint Of Heart" with Diana Krall is a real smoky-jazz flavored song with Gill playing some jazz guitar, excellent. "Tell Me One More Time About Jesus" with Amy Grant is a beautiful gospel ballad. "These Days" is an excellent ballad which sounds autobiographical and is a song showing the good place that he is in life now.

Some Things Never Get Old is the traditional country disc. This is pedal steel, twin fiddle stuff. He is great with Patty Loveless on "Out Of My Mind". "The Sight Of Me Without You" is classic Gill. "I Can't Let Go" with Alison Krauss and Dan Tyminski is a great ballad. A very special song for me is "If I Can Make Mississippi" with Lee Ann Womack, a great country heartache ballad. It just happened to be recorded on the day of hurricane Katrina. Finally, "Take this Country Back" with John Anderson is a great Patriotic song.

Little Brother, the Acoustic Disc, is my second or co-favorite to the Rockin' CD, just love the textures. "A River Like You" is an incredibly moving acoustic ballad with his daughter Jenny. "Ace Up Your Pretty Sleeve" is a neat acoustic song that moves well with some great lyrics. "Little Brother" with just Vince on guitar and someone else on baritone guitar. He works some real story lines with the lyrics, very moving. "Almost Home" with Guy Clark made me cry. A very cerebral song about a father and son that has Guy and Vince Singing to each other.

This 4 CD set is a real winner, first time this has ever been done to my knowledge, and has just entered Billboard's country chart at number four. These Days is a must have for Gill fans, an exceptionally well done project.

Imprint - MCA


Click on the CD cover to order yours!
Disc: 1 Workin' On A Big Chill (The Rockin' Record)
1. Workiní On A Big Chill
2. Loveís Standiní 
3. Cowboy Up (featuring Gretchen Wilson)
4. Sweet Thing 
5. Bet It All On You
6. Nothiní For A Broken Heart (Duet w/Rodney Crowell)
7. Son Of A Rambliní Man (featuring Del McCoury)
8. Smiliní Song (featuring Michael McDonald) 
9. The Rhythm Of The Pouriní Rain (featuring Bekka Bramlett)
10. Nothiní Left To Say
Disc: 2 The Reason Why (The Groovy Record)
1. All Prayed Up 
2. Cold Gray Light Of Gone (featuring The Del McCoury Band)
3. A River Like You (featuring Jenny Gill)
4. Ace Up Your Pretty Sleeve 
5. Molly Brown 
6. Girl (Guest Vocalist: Rebecca Lynn Howard) 
7. Give Me The Highway (featuring The Del McCoury Band) 
8. Sweet Augusta Darliní 
9. Little Brother 
10. Almost Home (Duet w/Guy Clark)
Disc 3. Some Things Never Get Old (The Country Record)
1. This New Heartache
2. The Only Love
3. Out Of My Mind (featuring Patty Loveless)
4. The Sight Of Me Without You
5. I Canít Let Go (featuring Alison Krauss & Dan Tyminski)
6. Donít Pretend With Me
7. Some Things Never Get Old (featuring Emmylou Harris)
8. Sweet Little Corrina (featuring Phil Everly)
9. If I Can Make Mississippi (featuring Lee Ann Womack)
10. Take This Country Back (Duet w/John Anderson)
Disc 4. Little Brother (The Acoustic Record)
1. What You Don't Say (featuring LeAnn Rimes)
2. The Reason Why (featuring Alison Krauss)
3. The Rock Of Your Love (featuring Bonnie Raitt)
4. What You Give Away (featuring Sheryl Crow)
5. Faint Of Heart (Duet w/Diana Krall)
6. Time To Carry On (featuring Jenny Gill) 
7. No Easy Way
8. This Memory Of You (featuring Trisha Yearwood)
9. How Lonely Looks 
10. Tell Me One More Time About Jesus (featuring Amy Grant) 
11. Everything And Nothing (featuring Katrina Elam)
12. Which Way Will You Go 
13. These Days

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