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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.”

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COUNTRY STARS REACT TO THE HORRIFIC TRAGEDY IN LAS VEGAS.

Words are still hard to come by, emotions and unfamiliar feelings are flooding our hearts and souls and trying to process the horrific tragedy at the Rt. 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas on Sunday night (October 1st) is still something that we can’t quite do and which will affect us the rest of our lives. The Country Music family, community, fans and friends around the world have been shaken to the core by the devastating carnage from Sunday night.

It has taken days for me to post the following:

 

Eric Church performed at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville on Wednesday night (October 4th) and spoke eloquently and passionately about Sunday’s shooting in Las Vegas. He was one of the headliners at the Route 91 Harvest Festival and painted the picture of the fans who attended the festival. He dedicated “Why Not Me,” a song he wrote this week, to Sonny Melton, the Paris, Tennessee man who died protecting his wife from the bullets that were being sprayed into the crowd of festivalgoers. Check out the videos below.

 

While he performed “Here On Earth” the other morning for a national radio show, he’s also healing folks by talking to them and really listening to them, as well as giving much needed blood to the American Red Cross.

Heartbroken for all the victims and families involved in #LasVegas. Still in disbelief. I love you all

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#prayforlasvegas

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There are no words. Praying for all the victims and their families affected by the tragedy in Vegas.

A post shared by Easton Corbin (@eastoncorbin) on

Our hearts are so heavy this morning… sick to our stomachs.

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Psalm 91/Route 91

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Lord be near (Route 91) Psalm 91

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…And the greatest of these is LOVE. ❤️ 1 Corinthians 13 #prayersforvegas

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On the worst day ever. It got even worse. #nowords #prayforvegas #musicisawesome #tompettyandtheheartbreakers

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At a loss for words over what happened in Vegas last night…My prayers are with everyone involved.

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Audio / Before performing “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” at Monday night’s Candlelight Vigil at Nashville’s Ascend Theater, Keith Urban offered hope and prayers from his family to everyone who was affected by Sunday night’s horrific tragedy in Las Vegas.

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Keith Urban (Candlelight Vigil) OC: …in the world. 1:23
“I I want to firstly offer the prayers and love of my whole family to everybody affected by last night’s horrific tragedy. I started this morning by finding out about it, and being shell-shocked all morning getting my kids ready for school. And our nine-year-old, as I was driving her to school this morning, said to, ‘Dad, you seem quiet.’ I said, ‘Yeah, it was a lot of people killed last night.’ She said, ‘Did you know any of them?’ I said, ‘Not that I know of.’ Then she said, ‘Well, why are you so sad?’ I said, ‘Well, first of all, these were innocent people horrifically taken. Secondly, they’re like family.’ It’s the one thing about country music that’s always been at the center of it. It is community. It’s about community. So, I did know those people in that way, and it just really hit me. I feel very grateful for this moment tonight to be able to put some light in the world.”

 

Audio / Before performing "Go Rest High On That Mountain" at Monday night's Candlelight Vigil in Nashville, Vince Gill gave his thoughts to the horrific events of Sunday night.

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Vince Gill (Candlelight Vigil) OC: …innocent people. :17
Thank you for the opportunity to come and lift up 58 families who lost somebody last night. An honor to be here as a voice for the innocent. May we never lose our voice for innocent people.”

 

Audio / Vince Gill's wife, Amy Grant, led a prayer at Monday night's Candlelight Vigil in Nashville to honor those who lost and risked their lives Sunday night in Las Vegas.

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Amy Grant (Candlight Vigil) OC: …each other. Amen. 2:21
Father in Heaven, thank you for the gift of each other. Thank you that none of us is born alone or dies alone. But you go before us and beneath us and beside us and within us. Thank you for loving arms that were there to catch every fallen child, man and woman. Thank you for your presence that never leaves us. Thank you for word said over and over again, ‘Fear not.’ ‘Fear not.’ Father, in silence, we lift up, we just imagine all of the people rebuilding their lives. Broken. Grieving. And as a group, I don’t even know how to imagine lifting them all up, but I’m just picturing us almost like slinging them on our backs, lifting them up in our arms to the light of your love. We lift them up now, God, in silence. We lift up grieving spouses, God. We lift up moms and dads grieving the loss of a child, a son and a daughter. We lift up the doctors and nursing attending to the hundreds of people recovering. Give us the grace, God, every day, to see each other. To see each other. To see our differences. To see our similarities. To observe. To learn rather than judge. Fill our hearts with courage to not be afraid. To love, love, love. Thank you that you began this story that we’re all a part of, and you will finish it. And it began in love, and it will end in love. Thank you for the gift of each other. Amen.”

Video / Eric Church performs "Why Not Me" on the Grand Ole Opry.

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Video / Eric Church honors the victims and heroes and fans at Sunday night's horrific tragedy in Las Vegas.

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NEWS AND NOTES: Shania, Kacey, Chris, Lady A, LBT, Luke, Kip, George, Vince and more

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.

 

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.

 

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.

NEWS AND NOTES: Keith, Shania, Lady A, Chris, Kip, Lauren, Vince

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.

 

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.


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.

https://www.facebook.com/jennygillmusic/photos/a.140479882650153.18687.134855256545949/1562361313795329/?type=3&theater

 

 

 

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