NYCS First Impression: Vince Gill ‘Okie’
Time and time again, twenty-one time Grammy Award-winning Country Artist Vince Gill unveils his truth by continuing to put his heart on his sleeve for all to see. With penned hits like “When I Call Your Name,” “Whenever You Come Around” and “Go Rest High on That Mountain,” the Country Music Hall of Fame member is no stranger in making hearts bleed. Three decades since Gill’s country music debut, he’s back stronger than ever with another remedial release.
Available everywhere you buy or stream music, Gill’s new album Okie cites a number of sensitive discussions; those that require care being one of Gill’s most personal and honest albums in years. A lot of the “Go Rest High on That Mountain” singer’s core truths are told, through life lessons, love, and spiritual values and even lessons learned from his musical idols. Musically, it’s as authentically minimized as possible and it really hones in on the depth of Gill’s songwriting abilities instead of the nature of production. Gill states in a press release: “I thought this was going to be a songwriter record, not a concept album. It wound up being more information than I’d envisioned. A friend sent me an email saying, ‘You could have only written this record after living a 60-year-plus life.’ He continues, ‘There’s no struggle in these songs, just truth, and your experience.”
In “Forever Changed,” the country singer-songwriter defies the consequential affair of sexual abuse. We were there when the Country Hall of Famer debuted this track over a year ago at a music industry’s Country Radio Seminar in Nashville where he received a standing ovation. Gill employes his own maturity looking back at his own experience as a seventh-grader being touched by his basketball coach and publicly scolds sexual abuse singing: “You put your hands where they don’t belong / And now her innocence is dead and gone / She feels dirty, she feels ashamed / Because of you, she’s forever changed”
The country music singer-songwriter refuses to remain hushed about controversial matters that are needed to be spoken about. “What Choice Will You Make” is written through the perspective of a woman who is deserted because of an unplanned pregnancy and the singer urges listeners to empathize with women’s reproductive rights. “The Price of Regret” battles the topic of race.
There are lighthearted songs as well included on Okie and a lot of tributes dedicated to the ones that make Gill who he is today. Gill writes about his mother in “A Letter To My Mama” originally titled “Love I Owe” and about his wife, Amy Grant in “When My Amy Prays,” where he confesses his relationship with God through his marriage to Amy. There are also tributes to his musical icons such as Merle Haggard in “A World Without Haggard’ and “Black and White.”
Still making music that matters, Gill proves on Okie that time, life experiences and growing older doesn’t always have to be a hindrance, rather a way to impart wisdom and reflect on a life well lived.
To keep up with Vince Gill follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Okie is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more recently released music on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.
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