VG: To me the album has three different kind of spirits to it. There’s maybe a song like “When Lonely Comes Around” that’s on the contemporary side, with a lot of really kind of searing guitar playing. And then the album has much more of a singer-songwriter stretch with songs like “The Old Lucky Diamond Motel,” which is very much like a Guy Clark kind of story song. And then there’s a real traditional side, really hardcore, guitar-driven, old traditional country slant. Funcoast: We see your better half has co-writing credit on the CD. What’s that like working with your wife? VG: She’s actually quite the gifted songwriter. That’s the best part. It doesn’t hurt she’s your wife and you can lay in bed and figure out certain things about the song or whatever. She’s had a brilliant career writing the majority of her own songs, and I’d be a fool not to try to take advantage of that. We don’t do it a lot. When we got married both of us felt like we didn’t want to try to become Sonny and Cher because we were married. So we enter each other’s careers in small doses. Funcoast: As far as your upcoming tour, what kind of show are you bringing to Sandusky? VG: It’s a killer band and some great musicians. Even though I do my regular shows, it’s a band mentality. I guess if you could be a country jam band or a hillbilly jam band, that’s kind of what we are. I like to let everybody play and we have extended solos and great musicianship and great harmony singing. We’ll tell stories. It’s pretty informal and a pretty good time. We play a handful of new songs but I can’t show up and have had a career as long as I’ve had and not do what people would expect to hear when they come to see me. Funcoast: What’s interesting about today’s country scene, it seems as though everyone wants to spend their summers touring stadiums. However, we don’t see Vince Gill attached to these bills, why is that? VG: If I could fill a stadium I would do it (laughs).
Funcoast: To be fair, for example Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw could have asked you to join their summer soiree and you’d have fit right in, right? VG: That’s true but they didn’t. (laughs) You can only go to the parties that you’re invited to. I get to do some of those things from time to time. For the most part I think people that are doing shows like that are trying to get the most bang for their buck. Get the hottest thing going, and I wouldn’t say that I’m that. Funcoast: There’s an intimacy factor about playing theaters, not to mention once an artist achieves a certain level of success there’s a comfort zone to boot. Do you feel that way? VG: I think so. I’d still love to have hit records. I’d still love to be playing in arenas because those things are fun. There’s an upside to everything and right now the kind of places I play are a little smaller, 2,000 or 3,000 seaters. That’s the level of business I can honestly do out there. I’m a realist. I don’t have my head in the clouds too often.
Funcoast: Finally, looking to the future, what’s the next big hill Vince Gill wants to climb? VG: Just the last few years have been so much fun for me. I’m doing so many things outside the box that I think people would probably never expect I would get to do or get invited to do. I just made a record with jazz trumpet player Chris Botti. I played on an Alice Cooper record not long ago. I got invited to [Eric] Clapton’s Crossroads Concerts and did a TV show with Sting. So things like that are coming my way. James Taylor and I are talking about maybe combining a band and doing some tour dates next year. So things that are so different than the real hardcore country music world that I run in are making my life real interesting. I find that there are all kinds of opportunities that are going to come before me that will be different from what I ever dreamed of. Vince Gill is scheduled to perform at 8 p.m. May 5 at the Sandusky State Theatre, 107 Columbus Ave., Sandusky. Tickets are $44.95 to $104. Call 419-626-1950 or 877-626-1950, or visit sanduskystate.com.