Vince Gill Tackles The Tough Conversations On His New Album 'Okie' & Recalls First GRAMMY Win
Country singer/songwriter and guitar-slinging legend Vince Gill has done it all, and yet his new album Okie sitll manages to cover vast amount of uncharted territory. After over 40 years in music and 21 GRAMMYs, perhaps it isn't surprising the Oklahoma native feels and sounds more comfortable in his own skin tha n ever. And with Okie, Gill not only reclaims an old slur with its title, but redraws the boundaries of taboo in its songs.
"You shouldn't be afraid of conversations about anything. Whether it's race, or it's religion. There's a song about teen pregnancy. There's a song about sexual abuse... There's a ficticious song about a guy killing his dad to protect his family," Gill told the Recording Academy Behind the Scenes at the GRAMMY Museum. "I mean, yeah [these topics are] not the norm. But in a sense they really are the norm of what's really going on with people when they struggle."
Gill hopes tackling these tough subject matters head-on will inspire listeners to do just that: listen.
"If you can have a decent conversation without judgement, without people drawing lines in the sand," he said, "It's amazing to me how devisive we've gotten with each other, so hopefully these kinds of songs can maybe make someone who doesn't agree with that listen with a different heart."
Gill also reflected on his very first of a 21 GRAMMY wins, which came back in 1990 for Best Country Vocal Performance, Male for his song "When I Call Your Name."
Hear more about the spirit of Okie, how Gill identified Ken Burns' new series "Country Music" as a great connector between some of his new material and Jimmie Rodgers and more in the video above.