These Daysby Vince Gill
Apparently Vince Gill didn't set out to cut and release four albums containing 43 original songs all at once, but as he and some indefatigable musician mates got it rolling in the studio, the songs started piling up. Cutting across genre lines from country to rock to pop to gospel, These Days is not only one of the most audacious projects in country music history but also one of the best -- any one of these albums on its own would be considered among the finest of the year.
Workin' On a Big Chill: The Rockin' Record might also have been subtitled The Rockin' Soul Record, because it plants itself in greasy southern soul and pretty much stays there for 10 songs. A terrific cheating song, "Nothin' for a Broken Heart," features a salty guest turn by Gill's Notorious Cherry Bombs partner Rodney Crowell, and there's an abundance of horn charts influenced by the Memphis/Muscle Shoals axis, as well as chanting female choruses and slinky grooves that might as well have "Allman Brothers" written all over them, especially on the powerhouse workout titled "Bet It All on You." This disc introduces the dramatis personae for the whole project: Al Anderson sits in on guitar and pens more than a few songs with Gill; the guitarists are a Murderer's Row of pickers, numbering Richard Bennett and Steuart Smith along with Anderson (sometimes all playing on the same number, with Gill, a pretty fair picker himself, adding acoustic and electric throughout); and Michael Rhodes handles the bass. Typical of the surprises on the collection, "Son of a Ramblin' Man" (another Allmans connection, anyone?) is a herky-jerky, bluesy groove featuring Del McCoury on vocals and members of his band doing their thing in the midst of some familiar twin guitar solos, a moment that is about as far from bluegrass as the McCourys have ever ventured.
On The Reasons Why, Gill goes from "What You Give Away" (bolstered by a powerful 10-voice choir and an urgent guest vocal courtesy of Sheryl Crow) to a mellow saloon song, "Faint of Heart," that's strictly a closing time come-on, complete with a silky, sensuous guest vocal by Diana Krall, who engages in some cool give-and-take with Gill and adds her own spare, bluesy piano for the proper late-night glow. Later, Trisha Yearwood shows up to really lay the hurt on a sorrowful, jazz-tinged heartbreaker, "This Memory of You." Subtitled The Groovy Record, this disc features some of the most complex emotional scenarios of the set, many far from groovy, but they hurt so good.
Based on the evidence provided by Disc 3, Some Things Never Get Old, subtitled The Country & Western Record, Gill should have been on the scene in the late '40s through the '50s, when he would have fit in perfectly with Bob Wills, Ray Price, Hank Thompson, and Ernest Tubb. This is the prime-time disc in the bunch, so right on the money in every aspect. With Patty Loveless, Gill effortlessly cuts to the heart of the matter on a honky-tonk tear-jerker "Out of My Mind"; the delightful Ray Price-style shuffle "This New Heartache," also manages to cop some lyric quotations from Buck Owens; Gill's aching, graceful waltz "I Can't Let Go" soars with an ethereal harmony from Alison Krauss and Dan Tyminski; straightforward and jubilantly rocking, "Don't Pretend with Me" is so true to Ernest Tubb's style of western swing that you can almost smell the sawdust and beer; "Sweet Little Corrina," is something the Everly Brothers might have cut, and indeed, Phil Everly drops by to add a familiar harmony vocal, with a guitar solo that would honor Chet Atkins. Emmylou Harris, Lee Ann Womack, and John Anderson (adding some macho assertiveness to Gill's "Take This Country Back," a furious complaint on the dearth of real country music today) all make memorable contributions.
Although subtitled The Acoustic Record, Little Brother is Gill's bluegrass album -- acoustic, yes, but bluegrass right up to the final two numbers, both being sensitive ballads: "Little Brother" and a somber "Almost Home," with Guy Clark enacting the father part of a mysterious prodigal's return song. Elsewhere, high energy rules the day, from the opening, Flatt & Scruggs-style gospel barnburner "All Prayed Up" to the Del McCoury Band's authenticating the earthy heartbreaker "Cold Gray Light of Day," as well as the rowdy road song "Give Me the Highway," both featuring Del's distinctive keening harmonies. Not the least of this disc's virtues is Gill's daughter Jenny singing a captivating high harmony with her dad on "A River Like You."
It's a journey like no other, These Days, and more than worth the price of admission. Gill's sprawling set says something vital about contemporary country music: how enduring and vital its traditions are, and how the past can inform the present in a way that remains ever timely and timeless.
- Release Date:
- Mca Nashville
- Workin' on a Big Chill
- Love's Standin'
- Cowboy Up
- Sweet Thing
- Bet It All on You
- Nothin' for a Broken Heart
- Son of a Ramblin' Man
- Smilin' Song
- The Rhythm of the Pourin' Rain
- Nothin' Left to Say
- What You Don't Say
- The Reason Why
- The Rock of Your Love
- What You Give Away
- Faint of Heart
- Time to Carry on
- No Easy Way
- This Memory of You
- How Lonely Looks
- Tell Me One More Time About Jesus
- Everything and Nothing
- Which Way Will You Go
- These Days
- This New Heartache
- The Only Love
- Out of My Mind
- The Sight of Me Without You
- I Can't Let Go
- Don't Pretend With Me
- Some Things Never Get Old
- Sweet Little Corrina
- If I Can Make Mississippi
- Take This Country Back
Performance CreditsVince Gill Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus,12-string Guitar,Baritone (Vocal),Soloist,Guitar Effects,Guitar (Resonator),Vocal Harmony
Jerry Douglas Dobro
Buddy Emmons Steel Guitar
Alison Krauss Vocals,Vocal Harmony,Guest Appearance
Del McCoury Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Tenor (Vocal),Guest Appearance
John Anderson Vocals
Guy Clark Vocals
Rodney Crowell Vocals
Emmylou Harris Vocals,Guest Appearance
Patty Loveless Vocals,Vocal Harmony,Guest Appearance
Trisha Yearwood Vocals,Guest Appearance
Amy Grant Vocals,Guest Appearance
Michael McDonald Vocals,Guest Appearance
Bonnie Raitt Vocals,Guest Appearance
Phil Everly Vocals,Guest Appearance
Sheryl Crow Vocals,Guest Appearance
Eric Darken Percussion,Chimes,Tambourine,Bells,Vibes
Dawn Sears Vocal Harmony
Eddie Bayers Drums
Bekka Bramlett Vocals,Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony,Guest Appearance
Mike Bub Upright Bass
Chad Cromwell Drums,Tambourine
Mark Douthit Tenor Saxophone
Stuart Duncan Fiddle
Paul Franklin Dobro,Steel Guitar
Carl Gorodetzky Concert Master
Barry Green Trombone
Mike Haynes Trumpet
John Hobbs Piano,Hammond Organ,Choir, Chorus,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer
Jim Hoke Harmonica
Jim Horn Horn
John Hughey Steel Guitar
Rob McCoury Banjo
Ronnie McCoury Mandolin
Gene Miller Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Doug Moffet Baritone Saxophone
Nashville String Machine Strings
Justin Niebank Choir, Chorus
William Owsley Background Vocals
Michael Rhodes Bass,Upright Bass
Steuart Smith Electric Guitar
Dan Tyminski Vocals,Vocal Harmony,Guest Appearance
Billy Joe Walker Electric Guitar
Pete Wasner Synthesizer,Piano,Hammond Organ,Electric Piano,Wurlitzer,Hammond B3
Jeff White Acoustic Guitar,Background Vocals,Tenor (Vocal),Vocal Harmony
Andrea Zonn Vocal Harmony
Diana Krall Piano,Vocals
Charlie Cushman Banjo
Kim Keyes Vocal Harmony
Lisa Cochran Background Vocals
LeAnn Rimes Vocals,Guest Appearance
Jon Randall Vocal Harmony
Billy Thomas Drums,Vocal Harmony
Lee Ann Womack Vocals,Vocal Harmony,Guest Appearance
Jimmy Cox Hammond Organ
Leslie Satcher Vocal Harmony
Tom Britt Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Slide Guitar,Gut String Guitar
Wes Hightower Vocal Harmony
Tom Bukovac Electric Guitar
Rebecca Lynn Howard Vocals,Guest Appearance
Desmond Pringle Choir, Chorus
Benny Garcia Choir, Chorus
Gretchen Wilson Vocals,Guest Appearance
Katrina Elam Vocals,Guest Appearance
Drea Rhenee Choir, Chorus
Jenny Gill Vocals,Vocal Harmony,Guest Appearance
Sonya Issacs Tenor (Vocal)
Calvin Nowell Choir, Chorus
Technical CreditsGuy Clark Duet
Rodney Crowell Duet
Craig Allen Art Direction
Neal Cappellino Engineer
Terry Christian Engineer
Vince Gill Producer,Audio Production
John Hobbs Producer,Audio Production
Jim Horn Horn Arrangements
Steve Marcantonio Engineer
Justin Niebank Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Michael Omartian Horn Arrangements
Diana Krall Duet
Jay Orr Liner Notes
Drew Bollman Engineer
Otto Kitsinger Composer
Leslie Satcher Composer
Tia Sillers Composer
Terry Elam Management
Larry Fitzgerald Management
Mark Hartley Management
William Matthews Art Direction,Cover Painting
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I am not what I would consider a huge country music fan in general, but this is much more than a country album. My wife is the country fan, but I borrowed her CD's and listened to them in my car while driving to work. This is a mix of pop, rock, jazz, blues, country and bluegrass. I was pleasantly surprised and this only reinforced what a versatile artist Vince Gill really is. He didn't play it safe with just one genre of music here. Good music is just good music, which is what you get with most of this multiple CD set.
This album brings everything Vince Gill is about musically and artistically to the fore. From beginning to end, this effort is totally enjoyable. 43 gems. He rocks your socks and then strokes you with a sweet romantic Waltz, all without the pretentious "Hey, I'm writing hits here". Vince is not simply a country artist crossing over. He's the quintessential musical, artistic "everyman". You'll hear jazz, rock, blues, bluegrass and traditional style country at it's best on this album. I highly recommend this wonderful 4 cd work, though I wonder how in the world he follows this.
Vince has created what I believe will become his signature classic album. It includes 43 all new songs on 4 CD’s (each in a different genre – yet keeping close to country as Vince always does). The up-tempo CD includes his signature “rocking” guitar work and guests like Gretchen Wilson and Rodney Crowell. This up-tempo music fits easily into today’s “country” format on country radio. The more hard core country CD should please all those that love to hear Vince sing a more traditional country song with fiddle and guitar (Like he did in his classic CD “The Key”) including guests like Alison Krauss and Lee Ann Womack. The groovy CD is the more ballad oriented love song CD that will please those who enjoy hearing Vince sing his trademark slower ballad songs (With guests like Sheryl Crow and Lee Ann Rimes). The acoustic CD will please all those that love a more stripped down Bluegrass type sound (with guests like Guy Clark and Del McCoury) All in all 43 new songs, that are all pure Vince as the ultimate singer, songwriter and guitarist at the top of his form. The man does it all with class and ease. It also helps he brought along so many friends to flush out the sound he was going for, from Diana Krall to Del McCoury, Phil Everly etc. (a list so long you can take a look at the credits and just say “WOW!”) as far as the superstars Vince asked to contribute to this CD set. This will be the one everyone is talking about at the end of the year on all the “Best Of” lists – for ANY genre of music! Again, this is pure magic. Highly recommended…. Thanks Vince.
I've always admired Vince's music and I was expecting a lot from this CD...but it far exceeded my expectations. The range of music is unbelievable and the quality of each song is amazing. This is unmatched my any artist out there...to write, produce, and play on 43 original songs and not a dud in the bunch is unprecedented...Way to go Vince!!!
This collection of cd's from Vince is a masterpiece of musicianship! It's nearly impossible to single one or 2 out(believe me I have tried). Each song is just as amazing as the next! If you have not purchased this wonderful collection you are missing a treat! Put it at the top of your holiday wish list!
Vince has created what I believe will become his signature classic album. It includes 43 all new songs on 4 CD’s (each in a different genre – yet keeping close to country as Vince always does). The up-tempo CD includes his signature “rocking” guitar work and guests like Gretchen Wilson and Rodney Crowell. This up-tempo music fits easily into today’s “country” format on country radio. The more hard core country CD should please all those that love to hear Vince sing a more traditional country song with fiddle and guitar (Like he did in his classic CD “The Key”) including guests like Alison Krauss and Lee Ann Womack. The groovy CD is the more ballad oriented love song CD that will please those who enjoy hearing Vince sing his trademark slower ballad songs (With guests like Sheryl Crow and Lee Ann Rimes. The acoustic CD will please all those that love a more stripped down Bluegrass type sound (with guests like Guy Clark and Del McCoury) All in all 43 new songs, that are all pure Vince as the ultimate singer, songwriter and guitarist at the top of his form. The man does it all with class and ease. It also helps he brought along so many friends to flush out the sound he was going for, from Diana Krall to Del McCoury, Phil Everly etc. (a list so long you can take a look at the credits and just say “WOW!”) as far as the superstars Vince asked to contribute to this CD set. This will be the one everyone is talking about at the end of the year on all the “Best Of” lists – for ANY genre of music! Again, this is pure magic. Highly recommended…. Thanks Vince.
a great value for the money. fantastic musical experience
I am not usually a country music fan. Listened to the clips at BN and was hooked. This is a great record regardless of what kind of music you like. I highly recommend this album to anyone who appreciates great music regardless of the genre.
To the reviewer Gladys....Vince has a lot of "featuring" singers. They are meant as background vocals NOT as Duets. There are four songs that are true duets on this CD set and they are described as such. The music is wonderfull and because you cannot hear background vocals as clearly as you want does NOT take away from how wonderful and great this music by Vince truly is - if you want an all duet CD buy the latest Tony Bennett!....jmho.
This is an AMAZING set! I bought it the day it came out & it hasn't left my car yet! This set is STILL in the Top 100 of B&N and also still on the Billboard Top 200 even after 4 months! This is unheard of for a boxed set. Have seen four shows on this Tour & the live set is captivating!
As always, Vince proves he is the ultimate musician, songwriter and singer. This is an AMAZING collection of music, showcasing his talent in multiple musical genres. From the rollicking up-tempo tunes and gritty honky-tonk country to the tender blues ballads, smooth jazz and high lonesome bluegrass, Vince's talent never falters. I HIGHLY recommend this for any music lover - there's something for everyone. Vince never goes wrong, but this is, I believe, his most incredible release to date.
I like Vince Gill and I thought this cd would be great. All you can hear is his voice and not the artists he had sing with him.