Vince Gill received one of the greatest gifts of his professional life when he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2011. One listen to Guitar Slinger, his first record in five years, makes it easy to comprehend why: he has carried the genre forward to embrace the rest of popular music without sacrificing its tradition. Gill can be forgiven for not recording for so long; after all, These Days was a four-disc set of all-new material.
The title of Guitar Slinger suggests Vince Gill is looking to show off his considerable and underrated chops as a guitarist. But instead of a mostly instrumental project akin to Brad Paisley’s Play: The Guitar Album, Gill’s effort actually turns out to be a survey course of the types of country music he loves most. That may not make for the most ambitious or thematically cohesive album, but Guitar Slinger makes up for its lack of focus with some truly inspired songwriting and performances.
Vince Gill has earned a lot of respect over the course of his illustrious Nashville career. An exemplar of the country gentleman, his sweet tones and tasteful pickings have attracted fans from both sides of the modern/classic country divide. As a session player and solo artist his credentials proceed him in the soon to be released album Guitar Slinger.