May 14, 2009 — Vince Gill reached the commercial peak of his career during the 1990s when the economy was booming and people had plenty of money to throw around on entertainment.
Now he's hitting the road with a long list of hits at a time when a large part of the country audience is hurting from layoffs, bigger health costs or credit card debt. And Vince is realistic about what it means for attendance at his concerts.
"I feel like we're at such a strange place with our country economically that it's kind of weird trying to get people to turn out — 'Hey, come spend your money and hear me sing,'" Vince told The Peoria Journal Star. "I just want to tell people, if they can make it, that they'll have a good time. But if they can't, it's all good. It's funny how your viewpoint changes as you mature and get older. I used to walk out and be disappointed if the place wasn't full. Now I walk out and go, 'Hey, I'm just glad somebody's here.'"
A whole lot of somebodies turned out on VinceE2s most recent album, These Days. Sheryl Crow, Emmylou Harris, Lee Ann Womack, Phil Everly, Bonnie Raitt and Guy Clark were among the artists who made guest appearances on the four-CD set, which picked up a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year. The album spans from sheer country to New Orleans-tinged rock, and it represented Vince's versatility well.
"I've been a lover of music my whole life, all kinds of music," Vince said. "I had Merle Haggard records as a kid, I had Led Zeppelin records as a kid. I like them all. I found something that I loved about most any kind of music."
Vince and his wife, Amy Grant, will take part in a June 8 benefit concert for wounded veterans in Washington, D.C., with Darius Rucker, Alison Krauss, Mac McAnally and Michael McDonald. Two days later, Vince and Darius are set to take part in the annual City Of Hope Celebrity Softball Challenge at Nashville's Greer Stadium. Others on deck include Carrie Underwood, Chuck Wicks, Jake Owen, Josh Turner, Julianne Hough, Luke Bryan, Randy Houser and members of the Tennessee Titans.