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Published on November 16th, 2011 | by Sam

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Review: Vince Gill, “Guitar Slinger”


The guitar seems like it is in the middle of a renaissance (or maybe near the tail end of one) in country music. There are guitarists like Brad Paisley and Brent Mason who are constantly getting press with their chicken pickin shreddin.

Vince Gill is one of the more recent guitarists who frequently gets ignored. It seems like he’s trying to change this, or at least put his name in the game on Guitar Slinger.

For my money, Gill turns in one of the best guitar performances on record recently. After attempting to digest his 4 disc These Days (which was a good set by the way) I was still not that familiar with Gill’s guitar playing. He plays a solo on nearly every tune on this album, and there are probably half a dozen or so that just kill. He plays a great bluesy solo on the title track. His solo on “Threaten Me with Heaven” is worth wait, and his semi-clean tone on swinging “Tell Me Fool” solo kills.

Gill’s solos are rarely face melters. Instead he opts for incredibly melodic and well crafted solos. He flaunts technique here and there, but the technique always serves the song, instead of the other way around.

If there was any doubt that Vince Gill doesn’t deserve a spot at the table with Paisley, Mason, Urban, etc, you only need to listen to this album to understand that he is certainly deserving of mention with those other guitar heroes.

The only complaint I have with this album would be the lack of lyrical creativity. The songs are relatively bland, if well crafted. Vince Gill doesn’t typically test boundaries, so it’s probably to be expected for him to stay well within the boundaries of country songwriting. “When the Lady Sings the Blues” has one of my personal pet peeves in music, singing about other music. I can’t dock him too much though! (The other P.P. For those wondering is writing about food, like the “Sippy cup of milk” or “sweet potato pie” songs!)

For me, this album is about the guitar playing and Gill keeping pace with some of the popular slingers of today. He can certainly hang, and if you are looking for some great country playing outside the Paisley/Mason/Urban triumvirate, look here first.

4.5/5

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