Vince Gill explores truth and fiction in new album

Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:33pm EDT
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By Vernell Hackett

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Reuters) - Vince Gill mixed a little truth with just enough fiction in writing the songs for his new album, "Guitar Slinger," that hit record stores and websites on Monday marking his first CD in five years.

Gill chose topics as diverse as a murder-suicide, an out-of-the way motel and "True Love" -- a song he co-wrote with his wife of 11 years, Christian singer Amy Grant.

"I think songs like 'Bread and Water,' which I could say is the truth about my (late) brother, or 'Billy Paul,' about a caddy at my golf club who killed his girlfriend and himself, have what I call a step aside from truth," Gill said.

"The first line of 'Bread and Water' makes me think of my brother but it's not how his life turned out. If truth is the center of inspiration then it never leaves it. My job as a songwriter is to take that truth and make it interesting," the Oklahoma native told Reuters.

Take the album's story song, "The Old Lucky Diamond Motel," about the cast of characters who frequent a rural motel. It is based on a true story -- his brother had a wreck on an Oklahoma highway near El Reno. But Gill swears the prostitute who appears is no one he knows and is purely fictional.

"A song like that allows you to hold back a few of your cards," he said. "It's fun to watch people wonder just what is truth and what is fiction."


"Guitar Slinger" is a follow-up to the Grammy-winning 43-song, four-CD set, "These Days," that Gill said took all of his creative energy. He said he wondered when he would write again. Then "The Old Lucky Diamond Motel" slowly took shape, and happily it was nothing like his last project.   Continued...