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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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NEWS AND NOTES: Eric Church, Vince Gill, Josh Turner, Mickey Guyton

Eric Church will release a special physical edition of his 2011 EP, Caldwell County, on vinyl for Record Store Day on April 20th. The 7-inch disc will feature the songs “His Kind of Money (My Kind of Love),” “My Heart’s Got a Memory,” “Faster Than My Angels Can Fly” and “Chevy Van.”
He posted the news on his Instagram stories.

Vince Gill will join Blake Shelton and his own All For The Hall at the Bok Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma on March 30th. The show will benefit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and will also feature performances by Ronnie Dunn, Kristen Chenoweth, Wade Hayes and The Swon Brothers.

Josh Turner will be on hand to help induct Scotty McCreery into the Grand Ole Opry on April 20th. Scotty got his start during Season 10 of American Idol, and he auditioned by singing Josh Turner’s hit, “Your Man.”

 

Mickey Guyton is attending New York Fashion Week for the first time. She was invited by famed fashion designer Michael Kors. In her Instagram posts, she’s wearing a beautiful, above-the-knee white dress by Kors.

 

 

 

GRAMMY AWARDS 2024: Chris Stapleton, Brothers Osborne, Dierks Bentley, The War And Treaty, Kacey Musgraves, Vince Gill and more

The 66th annual GRAMMY Awards are taking place this Sunday (February 4th), and several country artists will be taking home some coveted trophies.

Chris Stapleton has three nominations, including Best Country Song (“White Horse”), Best Country Solo Performance (“White Horse”) and Best Country Duo/Group Performance as a featured performer on Carly Pearce’s “We Don’t Fight Anymore.”

Brothers Osborne nabbed a pair of noms, including Best Country Album for their self-titled fourth record and Best Country Duo/Group Performance for “Nobody’s Nobody.”

Kacey Musgraves picked up two nominations for her featured performance on Zach Bryan’s “I Remember Everything” for Best Country Song and Best Country Duo/Group Performance.

The War And Treaty are nominated for two GRAMMY Awards, including the overall Best New Artist and for Best American Roots Song for “Blank Page.” The husband-wife duo have several events leading up to Sunday night’s GRAMMY Awards Show, including Spotify’s Best New Artist party, and Michael and Tanya (pr. Tonya) will perform at the MusiCares Person of the Year Gala honoring Jon Bon Jovi on Friday (February 2nd).

Dierks Bentley is nominated in Best Country Duo/Group Performance for “High Note,” featuring Billy Strings. When the nominations were announced, Dierks posted a heartfelt message of gratitude on his Instagram, writing, “Thank you Billy for lending your talents. Been fun to watch your career explode dude since we recorded this. It must have been the collab!! Haha. The song actually started off pretty grassy with Billy, @sambushband @bryansuttond28 @jerrydouglas on it (and my band). And then we went back in a year later and gave it a little more of a country vibe. Thanks to my friends @jimbeavers and my pal @charlieworsham for writing it and letting me make it my own. This song is why Charlie has been in our band the last two years. After he recorded the acoustic lick at the top, I remember asking him how in the hell are we gonna play this live on the road. @bhelson is on electric and there’s no way I can play it. He said, ‘Well I could come out and do it.’ And he did!! And he still is haha.”

Vince Gill and Paul Franklin are nominated in Best Country Duo/Group for “Kissing Your Picture (Is So Cold)” from their latest collaboration, Sweet Memories.

George Strait‘s Blue Clear Sky album was nominated for Best Immersive Album. The collection must be commercially released for physical sale or on an eligible streaming or download service and must provide a new immersive mix of four or more channels. Award to the immersive mix engineer, immersive producer (if any) and immersive mastering engineer (if any).

The 2024 Grammy Awards will air live from the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles on Sunday (February 4th) at 8pm ET/7pm CT on CBS and streaming live on Paramount+.

Best Country Album
Kelsea Ballerini, Rolling Up the Welcome Mat
Brothers Osborne, Brothers Osborne
Zach Bryan, Zach Bryan
Tyler Childers, Rustin’ In The Rain
Lainey Wilson, Bell Bottom Country

Best Country Song
Brandy Clark, “Buried” (Brandy Clark & Jessie Jo Dillon)
Zach Bryan featuring Kacey Musgraves, “I Remember Everything” (Zach Bryan & Kacey Musgraves)
Tyler Childers, “In Your Love” (Tyler Childers & Geno Seale)
Morgan Wallen, “Last Night” (John Byron, Ashley Gorley, Jacob Kasher Hindlin & Ryan Vojtesak)
Chris Stapleton, “White Horse” (Chris Stapleton & Dan Wilson)

Best Country Solo Performance
Tyler Childers, “In Your Love”
Brandy Clark, “Buried”
Luke Combs, “Fast Car”
Dolly Parton, “The Last Thing On My Mind”
Chris Stapleton, “White Horse”

Best Country Duo/Group Performance
Dierks Bentley featuring Billy Strings, “High Note”
Brothers Osborne, “Nobody’s Nobody”
Zach Bryan featuring Kacey Musgraves, “I Remember Everything”
Vince Gill & Paul Franklin, “Kissing Your Picture (Is So Cold)”
Jelly Roll With Lainey Wilson, “Save Me”
Carly Pearce featuring Chris Stapleton, “We Don’t Fight Anymore”

Best New Artist
Gracie Abrams
Fred again..
Ice Spice
Jelly Roll
Coco Jones
Noah Kahan
Victoria Monét
The War and Treaty

Best American Roots Song
“Blank Page” — Michael Trotter Jr. & Tanya Trotter, songwriters (The War And Treaty) 
“California Sober” – Aaron Allen, William Apostol & Jon Weisberger, songwriters (Billy Strings Featuring Willie Nelson)
“Cast Iron Skillet” – Jason Isbell, songwriter (Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit)
“Dear Insecurity” – Brandy Clark & Michael Pollack, songwriters (Brandy Clark Featuring Brandi Carlile)
“The Returner” – Drew Lindsay, JT Nero & Allison Russell, songwriters (Allison Russell)

Best Immersive Audio Album
Blue Clear Sky — Chuck Ainlay, immersive mix engineer; Michael Romanowski, immersive mastering engineer; Chuck Ainlay, immersive producer (George Strait)
Act 3 (Immersive Edition) – Ryan Ulyate, immersive mix engineer; Michael Romanowski, immersive mastering engineer; Ryan Ulyate, immersive producer (Ryan Ulyate)
The Diary Of Alicia Keys – George Massenburg & Eric Schilling, immersive mix engineers; Michael Romanowski, immersive mastering engineer; Alicia Keys & Ann Mincieli, immersive producers (Alicia Keys)
God Of War Ragnarök (Original Soundtrack) – Eric Schilling, immersive mix engineer; Michael Romanowski, immersive mastering engineer; Kellogg Boynton, Peter Scaturro & Herbert Waltl, immersive producers (Bear McCreary)
Silence Between Songs – Aaron Short, immersive mastering engineer (Madison Beer)

Audio / Dierks Bentley jokes around about his GRAMMY nomination for Best Country Duo/Group Performance with Billy Strings.

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Dierks Bentley (Grammy 2024) OC: …a fun ride. :50
“I think this is my 16th nomination. At 17, they give you one out of pity, so I just have to get one more next year to get the courtesy win. No, but this is my 16th nomination, hey, I’ll take the nominations all day long. This is a tough thing to be nominated for, and I’m proud of the nomination. Actually, when I heard the news – I didn’t even know the song was submitted for a GRAMMY, so when I heard the news, I’m like, ‘Wow! Billy Strings! This might be the one. I’ve got the hottest guy in all music.’ And then I look down the list, and I was like, ‘Oh, we got Lainey Wilson and Jelly Roll. Oooof, that’s tough. We’ve got Zach Bryan and Kacey Musgraves, they’re GRAMMY darlings, so I don’t know.’ But the nomination is good enough. I’m proud of it, and I’m grateful for Billy for his time and doing it and it was a fun ride.”

Audio / BROTHERS OSBORNE'S TJ OSBORNE EXPLAINS WHY THEY SELF-TITLED THEIR FOURTH STUDIO ALBUM.

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Brothers Osborne (self-titling album) OC: …Brothers Osborne. :58
TJ: “John and I have really shared so much of our personal lives since the release of Skeletons, and I guess we didn’t realize when we created that there was some sort of barriers there that maybe we didn’t realize and certainly didn’t want there. And this time around, while we didn’t necessarily pointedly or specifically talk about those topics, it was the first time we were able to create without any barriers, and it just made the process a lot more fun. We got to explore a lot more musically in the studio, and we felt like for the first time completely 100% us. And I think, I hope, but I feel that the record reflects that. We thought, usually people do that on their first record, but we thought this is a new beginning for us, so between the change of the producer and a lot of the musicians and stuff, so we just thought this was kind of a fresh thought. So we kind of thought we’re gonna lean in more than we have previously and this us—Brothers Osborne.”

Audio / BROTHERS OSBORNE'S TJ OSBORNE TALKS ABOUT THE DUO'S SONG, "NOBODY'S NOBODY."

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Brothers Osborne (about Nobody’s Nobody) OC: …by that. :21
“So, ‘Nobody’s Nobody’ was really inspired just by us thinking, ‘You know what? I don’t care who you are or what you do, we all have our differences and we sometimes get on each other’s nerves, but you still are somebody. Everyone is someone in this world and it takes literally every one of us to make it go around.’ So, ‘Nobody’s Nobody’ was inspired by that.”

Audio / Chris Stapleton talks about the GRAMMYS.

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Chris Stapleton (GRAMMYS) OC: …very cool. :22
“It’s such a convergence of different aspects of music. It’s just like a big melting pot of stuff that is just so fantastic to watch people interact that you don’t get that any where else, really. The GRAMMYs are great to see that and you always see some cool collaboration or something that’s going on at the GRAMMYS that it’s not going on anywhere else. I think it’s a real honor to be nominated for GRAMMYS, and I think it’s very cool.”

Audio / The War And Treaty's Michael Trotter Jr. talks about their Grammy-nominated song, "Blank Page."

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The War And Treaty (Blank Page) OC: …someone new. :16
“Picture this – you meet someone, both of you decide to fall in love and all of a sudden, you decide to bring in past failed relationships into the equation. No. ‘Blank Page’ is simply about starting from a clean slate and building your own history with someone new.”

Audio / The War And Treaty's Michael Trotter Jr. talks about the Best New Artist nominations at this year's GRAMMY Awards.

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The War And Treaty (Best New Artist nod) OC: …for that. :33
“It was very shocking, one. I just couldn’t believe that it was happening, but I felt really humbled and really blessed to be in that category with so many amazing artists, trailblazing artists, artists who set a standard. And just to call their names out – Gracie Adams, Fred Again, Victoria Monét, Coco Jones, Ice Spice, Noah Kahan and the man, the myth and the legend, Jelly Roll. It feels so good, and we have a role to play. We have a place right there amongst them, so we’re just grateful for that.”

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BRAD PAISLEY, LITTLE BIG TOWN, LUKE BRYAN, SAM HUNT AND VINCE GILL TO HONOR SUPER GROUP ALABAMA.

Brad Paisley, Little Big Town, Sam Hunt, Toby Keith are among the artists performing during CMT’s upcoming special event, CMT Giants: Alabama.” The star-studded tribute concert, which will also feature performances by Blake Shelton with Steve Wariner, Jason Aldean, Old Dominion, Jamey Johnson and Riley Green, will celebrate the extensive and extraordinary career and music of one of the legendary supergroup, Alabama.

Filming at Belmont University’s Fisher Center for the Performing Arts in Nashville, the two-hour special will air later this year. Luke Bryan, Vince Gill, Lionel Richie, Martina McBride, Pam Tillis, Lorrie Morgan, boxer Evander Holyfield, among others will appear both in-person and virtually to share personal stories on Alabama’s impact on music, plus an all-new interview with Alabama.

 

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