About Vince Gill
There is one place where you can always find Vince Gill performing on stage with 10 other musicians through a set of Western swing classics for a packed house. That venue is the famed club third and Lindsley in Nashville, and the group Gill plays with is just one more footnote on a rather distinguished solo career as an artist, singer, songwriter and guitar virtuoso.
Surely by today you’ve heard of the Time Jumpers, the outfit Gill hooked up with four years ago that is possibly the best group of moonlightsession players anywhere. Though Gill is seen as the Jumpers’ de facto leader, names like (fiddle player) Kenny Sears, (drummer) Billy Thomas, and (steel guitarist) Johnny Cox are just some of the names involved. In fact, the group’s lineup changes quite frequently, especially during gigs in the Nashville area. Regardless, they were nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2007 and again in 2012.
These days, Gill is perfectly content with speaking his mind about the current state of the so-called “bro country” movement (he tells Rolling Stone he “doesn’t like it much”) – but he also refuses to be critical about the current crop of artists or the direction of country radio. Instead, Gill is encouraging older artists to “do what makes you great,” and ultimately believes the current trend of pop country will come back around again to protect the treasure sounds of old Nashville.
If you’re looking to see Gill on stage outside of Music City, you’re in luck. He’s got plenty of upcoming tour dates on his schedule, especially though the heartland of the U.S. He’ll be playing at Arena Theatre in Houston, the Riverwind Casino in Norman, Oklahoma, and at the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, OK in July. Later this year he’ll also return (alongside wife Amy Grant) for “Christmas at the Ryman” beginning December 3rd.
He is a genuine professional and the most sought-after vocalist in music. Period. From bluegrass and contemporary country to rock and pop, Gill’s famous pipes can be heard in almost every genre of music stretching back more than four decades.
Consider this – by the time Gill was just a teen, he played banjo and guitar, then added bass, dobro, fiddle and mandolin to his resume. By high school, he had joined the bluegrass band Mountain Smoke, just the first of many outfits Gill would perform with. And finally, in 1982, he signed a solo deal with RCA and made the move to Nashville.
Though Gill enjoyed some success early on, it took nearly seven years and a label change to MCA to make the transition from star to superstar. It started with 1989’s “When I Call Your Name,” which won Gill his first Grammy. Then there was “Never Knew Lonely,” “Liza Jane,” “Look At Us” and “I Still Believe in You.” Inside of a four-year stretch, everything Gill touched had turned to gold.
It’s remarkable that Gill’s career has never showed any serious decline. From “Don’t Let Our Love Start Slippin’ Away” and “One More Last Chance” to “The Heart Won’t Lie” (his smash duet with Reba McEntire) and “Tryin’ to Get Over You,” top hits and best-selling albums were par for the course for the soulful singer. His 1998 project, “The Key,” was a return to what critics deemed ‘hardcore country,’ and proved to be his very first album to be at the top of the charts.
He has sold over 22 albums until today, was honored by the Country Music Association with 18 CMA Awards, and earned more than 20 Grammys. And when Gill isn’t doing his thing as a solo artist, he’s been a guest vocalist for everyone from Carrie Underwood and Bonnie Tyler to Kelly Clarkson and Chris Daughtry. In 2012 he joined the country swing group known as the Time Jumpers, and in 2013 released series of new albums.
Is Gill going to slow down soon? If you’ve followed his career or combed this bio, you already know the answer. Unlikely.