Vince Gill Pays Tribute
The country star indulges in his singer-songwriter roots.
Reclaiming a derogatory Dust Bowl-era term, Okie is loosely a concept album about human struggle in the Sooner State. But dealing with issues of divisiveness, faith and heartache, it's also pure Americana. Taking a break from the bluegrass that has largely defined his later career, Gill turns to his gentle country singer-songwriter roots: Opener "I Don't Wanna Ride the Rails No More" has echoes of his days in Pure Prairie League. As a lyricist, he pulls no punches, looking at how pro-choice is still not an easy choice on the sweet-toned "What Choice Will You Make" and embracing his Christianity on the gently shuffling "The Red Words" and "When My Amy Prays," which finds Gill hitting the spine-shivering high notes. "Forever Changed" is a frank warning to abusers, while the hymn-like "The Price of Regret" is a plea for kindness. Gill also pays tribute to his heroes on "Nothin' Like a Guy Clark Song" and "A World Without Haggard," offering up what he learned from each. The music is mellow, but the messages are deep. © Qobuz