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Vince Gill’s “Okie” Delivers Powerful Truths, Raw Emotion and Gratitude

Vince Gill

Vince Gill is easily one of country music’s greatest treasures. With 21 Grammy wins and countless other awards and accolades he certainly has proven he is a truly gifted musician, singer and songwriter (and just an all around good human). However, what people may not have been expecting from someone who has seemingly done it all, is with Vince the best is ALWAYS yet to come. “Okie,” Vince’s latest studio album, without a doubt showcases some of his most creative and personal work to date (which is saying a lot, because all the others are incredible too). 

The 12 tracks are written or co-written by Vince himself and they all have a powerful story to tell. The album starts with “I Don’t Wanna Ride the Rails No More.” The song speaks to the idea that sometimes home and someone to love is all you want or need. With lines like, “I hear children playing through an old screen door,” he paints a picture of being content and valuing life’s simple pleasures. 

“The Price of Regret” is a song that really makes you think about things. I love the line, “Everyone’s broken, Oh everyone’s scarred.  All the things we needed wind up in the yard.” It is a song that makes you remember everyone has regret, everyone has things they are going through, but that at the end of the day we are all equal and kindness can go a long way. 

“Forever Changed” might just be the standout on an album of standouts. I cry every time I hear it. I remember when he started playing the song live at shows before it was released and you could always hear a pin drop. The audience would be captivated by the raw emotion of the song, which discusses abuse. The album cut is no different. “Forever Changed” is important, it speaks the truth and Vince’s kind heart and compassion help him to deliver the message. This song SHOULD BE HEARD! Country radio…are you listening? 

“Black and White” was co-written with the super talented Charlie Worsham. He is a huge Vince fan and I love seeing these guys collaborate on things together. “What Choice Will You Make” reminds us in life you don’t always know what someone might be going through. It was co-written by the incredible Leslie Satcher who also co-wrote Vince’s poignant song “Bread and Water” off his “Guitar Slinger” album. The lines of the ballad “Honest Man” will tug at your heart stings and then the darker “That Old Man of Mine” will leave you with chills. 

Vince also gets really personal on this album and pays tribute to some very special people in life. There is “A Letter to my Mama,” co written by Dean Dillion. Vince has previously written songs to pay homage to his dad and brother….but this time his sweet Mama got a turn. It is a thank you letter that will probably leave you a bit teary. With those famous soaring vocals Vince shares how he has struggled with his faith in the past, but when his wife, Amy Grant, prays THAT is when he feels most connected to God. “When My Amy Prays” is honest and straight from the heart. There is also “The Red Words” which at its core should remind us to be kind to one another.  

 If there is one thing I have heard Vince reiterate over the years is the importance of revering the past and honoring those who came before you. He does just that with the two tracks about his heroes, “Nothin’ Like A Guy Clark Song.” and the album’s closer  “A World Without Haggard.” Vince has often spoken about his admiration for Merle and what an influence he was, not only on Vince’s love of country music, but his life. With lyrics like, “I’m lost in a world without Haggard…..who will tell the truth to you and me,” and “He was my greatest inspiration, the reason why I sing the blues,” it is a genuine ode to a hero. 

After listening to this song and the rest of “Okie” it is crystal clear that Merle would be so proud of Vince. Vince is going to do for us what he admired so much about Merle….tell the truth. This latest album is a collection of honest songs that show the beauty and the flaws of humanity. They are about life… the hard times, human emotion, inner thoughts, redemption, faith, love and so much more. If you are looking for an album with pure heart this is the one for you. I honestly can’t say enough good things about this album and the songwriter that Vince is….just listen and hopefully you will agree. 

Make sure to catch Vince singing “Forever Changed” on the “TODAY” show August 27th!  Also, Vince plays at 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville with “The Time Jumpers” on Monday nights AND he has a gig with The Eagles as well! Check out www.vincegill.com for tour dates and more! You can get “Okie” HERE.

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