Vince Gill, the winner of 11 Grammies and 17 Country Music Association Awards, filled Isleta Casino with his pure tenor voice and amazing talent last week.
Even though Gill was ill, he gave his utmost, an outstanding performance. The crowd was mesmerized by Gill’s country-bluegrass sounds. Gill joked with the fans, lowering his voice to say, “You will now be listening to Lou Rawls singing Vince Gill.”
Gill performed many of his hits: “One More Last Chance,” “You’ll Never Know,” “Look At Us,” “When I Call Your Name,” “Feels Like Love” and many more.
Gill was dressed in his standard casual golf shirt and jeans. He looked very comfortable and relaxed on stage until a fan in the crowd kept screaming for “I Believe In You.” Gill then proceeded to inform the loyal fan, “It was one of my biggest hits.”
The fan continued with her attention-getting hollering until Gill stopped his conversation and story-telling with the crowd, he turned to the band and said, “OK, guys. For the lady, I believe in you.” Then he turned to the crowd and laughed, asking, “You think this will shut her up?” The crowd responded with whistles, screams and lots of applause.
Gill performed several amazing guitar solos, which delighted the crowd of loyal fans. The passion Gill has for his music is much more present live in concert. He spoke of stories behind many of his songs and you definitely get a more personal feel when you, as a fan, realize where the songs began.
He has written many songs surrounding stories of his life. He wrote “High on that Mountain” when his brother passed away several years ago and “Key To Life” for his father, who died five years ago. The story he told of his father fit the song perfectly, Gill referring to his father as a “mountain of a man.”
Gill’s last album, “Let’s Make Sure We Kiss Goodbye,” was released in 2000 and is known as the “Amy Album.” Vince and Amy Grant, the popular Christian music singer, were married in 2000, and he says, “She brings out the best in me.”
Love and happiness were definitely evident in his last album, in which his creativity was overwhelming. Gill is now working on a new album that will be released this fall and is predicted to be one of his best.
Gill is known as “the ambassador of country music.” His prodigious talent, compassion and quick wit have made him the face that country music likes to show to the world.
Gill is known to be humble, wholesome, funny and kind — and that is what inspires so much love and devotion from his many fans. Vince Gill is a down-to-earth guy with a big heart — his numerous volunteer activities raise millions of dollars for charities each year.
From childhood, Vince has had a love of Kentucky bluegrass music; these roots sprouted when his banjo-playing father, the judge. His father taught him three chords, then Gill went on to master the violin, guitar, banjo and many other instruments. Gill said during his concert, “My father was my best critic.”
Gill is at home with any type of music, whether it’s picking with his heroes from the Grand Ole Opry, or jammin’ with the house band from the “Late Show with David Letterman.”
Gill has hosted the CMA Awards since 1992 and has walked away with numerous awards during his career. Gill is tied with the late Chet Atkins for the most Grammys won by a country music artist.
In 1991, Gill was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry and remains one of the revered radio show’s most active members. In 2001, the TNN & CMT Country weekly awards honored Gill for his artistry and many good works with its Career Achievement Award.
As most his fans know, Gill is an avid golfer, and, yes, fans, he was planning a golf game in New Mexico the next day. He mixes golf with one of his favorite causes every year, “The Vinny” pro celebrity golf tournament, which he established in 1993 to raise money for the Junior Golf program.
The soft-spoken country boy from Oklahoma was definitely a treat for his fans in New Mexico. No doubt many hope he comes back again.