For Down to My Last Bad Habit, his 18th studio album, it would have been easy for Vince Gill to kick back a bit. After all, when you’ve sold more than 26 million albums, won 20 Grammys, and earned 18 CMA Awards (including two Entertainer of the Year trophies), you’ve done it all, right?
Not a chance, says this musician extraordinaire, who produced his new album with engineer Justin Niebank. Down to My Last Bad Habit, available February 12, is his first solo album as part of a new deal with MCA, the label he joined in 1989.
“Forty years into this, it’s still as much fun as it’s ever been to play music,” says Gill, sitting in his home studio in Nashville. “At the end of the day, what I get excited about is doing something I haven’t done before. When I record a song, I feel successful if I’ve accomplished something new.”
That’s no small feat, considering that on his first solo album since 2011’s Guitar Slinger, Gill returns to his favorite theme, love in all its incarnations: Love sweet and celebrated (“Me and My Girl,” “My Favorite Movie”), love on fire (“Take Me Down,” “Make You Feel Real Good”), love denied (“I’ll Be Waiting for You,” “Down to My Last Bad Habit”), and love lost and mourned (“I Can’t Do This,” “Reasons for the Tears I Cry”).
The Oklahoma native wrote or co-wrote all of the songs on the album. “I love the diversity of the songs. Some of them are brand new, and some of them have a lot of years on them,” he
notes. Gill took two years to make the record, during which he co-produced the second of two albums (Like a Rose, The Blade) with the old-soul vocalist Ashley Monroe. And with steel guitar wizard Paul Franklin, he recorded Bakersfield, an album composed of the hard-country songs of Buck Owens and Merle Haggard.
The new album likewise acknowledges country’s deep roots with the steel-guitar laced “Sad One Coming On (A Song for George Jones).” Gill, who approximates Jones’ clench-jawed vocal, sang at Jones’ funeral in 2013, but he was so broken up that he could hardly get through it. He wrote the new song as a way to assuage his own pain, and to give the King of Broken Hearts his due as perhaps the greatest country singer ever.
“If something’s country, I want it to sound about 1958,” says Gill, with a laugh. “I want it deep, as honest and authentic as it should be.”
The songs on Down to My Last Bad Habit run the gamut of styles, including the jazzy “One More Mistake I Made,” the down-and-dirty Chicago blues of “Make You Feel Real Good,” and the blistering “I Can’t Do This,” which hearkens to the pop power ballads of the ‘70s. One of the album’s highlights, “I Can’t Do This” captures the excruciating pain of a man who runs into his old flame with her new beau, and remembers the nights “I’ve seen that red dress hanging on our bedroom door.”
“Boy, you talk about torment!” Gill says. “But I like melancholy. It’s light years more fun to sing. There’s so much more emotion in it.”
As a producer, Gill wants every note to matter, and to feel equal to the others. He picks his musicians and guest vocalists much the way a film director makes a movie. “I’m always casting,” he explains. “I ask myself, ‘Who’s right for this part? Who will play it the best?’ That to me is the most fun part of making a record.”
While he chose such luminaries as Sheryl Crow, Alison Krauss, Bekka Bramlett, jazz trumpeter Chris Botti, Little Big Town and guitarist Sonny Landreth for this record, he also found new friends in Ellie Holcomb, Charlie Worsham and Cam, in addition to his favorite vocalists close by: daughters Jenny and Corrina. “I feel like the Partridge Family is rearing its ugly head in my life,” he says, laughing. “But in a great way.”
Fresh off a run of Christmas shows at Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium with his wife, Christian contemporary and pop legend Amy Grant, Gill reunites with Americana star Lyle Lovett for a 14-city tour in February and March, reprising their witty, wry, and musically superb concerts of 2015. In addition to his own solo concerts, he also does about 30 gigs a year with the Grammy-nominated The Time Jumpers, the sophisticated Nashville-based ensemble dedicated to revitalizing western-swing and classic honky tonk.
“Since I put this studio in the house, I think I’m playing, singing, and writing better than I ever have,” he offers. “And that inspires me.”
Though Down to My Last Bad Habit is sure to appeal to fans old and new. “I was meant to play music,” he says, summing it all up. “And I don’t want to leave anything in the bag.”
Shania Twain is scheduled to perform on NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon August 16th. Her new album, NOW, will be released September 29th.
Kacey Musgraves will appear on the season finale of CMT’s Nashville, which airs Thursday (August 10th) at 9pm ET.
— K A C E Y (@KaceyMusgraves) August 8, 2017
Hillary Scott has been nominated for Songwriter of the Year and Song of the Year for “Thy Will” for this year’s Dove Awards. Hillary and her family, the Scott Family, recorded and released “Thy Will” from their Love Remains album. The 48th Annual GMA Dove Awards will take place at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena in Nashville October 17th at 7:30pm ET. The Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) will exclusively air the awards show on Sunday, October 22nd.
— Hillary Scott (@HillaryScottLA) August 9, 2017
Chris Stapleton and Lady Antebellum have been added to the lineup for the all-star concert, All in For the Gambler: Kenny Rogers’ Farewell Concert Celebration. The event, which will be taped at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena October 25th, will also feature guest appearances by Little Big Town, Dolly Parton, Alison Krauss, Jamey Johnson and Elle King, among others.
Luke Bryan, Little Big Town and Kip Moore are among the artists performing at the Gulf Coast Jam in Panama City, Florida September 1st – 3rd. Jason Aldean, Brett Eldredge, Dan + Shay and Granger Smith will also perform.
George Strait, Little Big Town, Vince Gill, Hillary Scott and Toby Keith are among the first-round performers at this year’s ACM Honors, taking place at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium August 23rd. The concert event, which will also feature performances by Brad Paisley, Kelsea Ballerini, Thomas Rhett and Maren Morris, will air September 15th at 9pm ET/PT on CBS.
As previously announced, Special Award recipients celebrated at the 11th Annual ACM Honors will include Kelsea Ballerini (Gene Weed Milestone Award), Toby Keith (Poet’s Award), Bob Kingsley (Mae Boren Axton Service Award), Reba McEntire (Mae Boren Axton Service Award), “Nashville” (Tex Ritter Film Award), Dolly Parton (Gary Haber Lifting Lives Award), Shel Silverstein (Poet’s Award, awarded posthumously), and George Strait (Cliffie Stone Icon Award). The evening will also honor winners of the Industry and Studio Recording Awards, along with Songwriter of the Year Award winner, Lori McKenna. The Academy of Country Music will present trophies to previously announced Special Award recipients Eric Church (Merle Haggard Spirit Award) and Willie Nelson (Poet’s Award) at a later date.
Keith Urban will perform songs from his current album, Ripcord, as well as several of his hits, during an Audience Network special premiering Friday (July 14th) at 9pm ET, which you can find on DirectTV and Uverse. The live performance and interview from the four-time GRAMMY Award-winning, platinum-selling artist was filmed on location during the AT&T Block Party at the 2017 NCAA March Madness Music Festival in Phoenix.
Shania Twain has been keeping up with the scores at Wimbeldon since one of the First Round champs, Milos Raonic, is from her home country of Canada. She’s been cheering him on, even sharing a recent photo taken of the pair.
— Shania Twain (@ShaniaTwain) July 12, 2017
Catch Lady Antebellum on Friday (July 14th) when they take over Good Morning America’s Summer Concert Series on ABC, performing a handful of their hits, including “You Look Good,” which is soaring to the top of the country charts.
Chris Stapleton is expected to drop by NBC’s Today Show to perform during their Citi Concert Series on July 18th.
Kip Moore has been releasing short video clips and teasers of songs from his upcoming album, Slowheart. The collection, which features his hit “More Girls Like You,” will be released later this year.
— Kip Moore (@KipMooreMusic) June 30, 2017
Lauren Alaina’s film debut, Road Less Traveled, will be available on DVD September 21st. The title was taken from her No. 1 song and album, Road Less Traveled.
Vince Gill will soon welcome another member into the family. His daughter Jenny Gill is pregnant with child No. 2 and the baby’s arrival is expected in January (2018). The new addition will join big brother Wyatt, who was born in August of 2014.
Father’s Day is Sunday (June 18th), and we have liners with many of your favorite country stars! Check them out and download below.
“Hey everybody! I’m Billy Currington, wishing you a very Happy Father’s Day!”
“Hey! This is TJ, and I’m John, and we are Brothers Osborne, wishing all you fathers out there a very Happy Father’s Day.”
“Hey! What’s up, guys? I’m Canaan Smith. Happy Father’s Day, Pops!”
“Hey! What’s up? This is Clare Dunn, wishing you a Happy Father’s Day.”
“Hey! What’s up? This is Darius Rucker wishing you a Happy Father’s Day.”
“Hey! This is Easton Corbin. Happy Father’s Day!”
“Hey! This is Eric Church, wishing you a Happy Father’s Day.”
“Hey! This is Eric Paslay. To all you father’s out there, Happy Father’s Day!”
“Hey! This is Gary Allan, and I want to wish all the dads out there a Happy Father’s Day.”
“Jon Pardi here. Happy Father’s Day to all you father’s out there.”
“Hey y’all! This is Josh Turner, and I just want to wish all you father’s out there a Happy Father’s Day!”
“Hey! It’s Kacey Musgraves. Happy Father’s Day!”
“Hey everyone! It’s Keith Urban, wishing all you Dads out there a Happy Father’s Day.”
“What’s up all you Dads out there? It’s Lady Antebellum, and we just wanted to wish you all a good, Happy Father’s Day. Thanks for being great dads. Hope you get pampered and you don’t have to barbecue. And we hope you get some good ties this year.” [Hillary laughs]
“Hey! It’s Lauren Alaina. Happy Father’s Day!”
“Hi! This is Little Big Town, wishing all you father’s a Happy Father’s Day.”
“Hey! This is Sam Hunt. To all you fathers out there, Happy Father’s Day!”
“Hi! This is Shania Twain. Happy Father’s Day.”
“Hey everybody! It’s Vince, and I just wanted to wish you a Happy Father’s Day. Wish mine was still around.”