Disc 1 (of 4)
Disc 2 (of 4)
Disc 3 (of 4)
Disc 4 (of 4)
With his latest release, These Days, Gill has written and recorded 43 new compositions and spread them out over four CDs. The first thought, of course, is that a set like this is going to be weighted down with filler. A valid concern: but one that is unfounded. Although some songs stand out more than others, none can be considered filler. Discs one and four offer the most diverse and effective material, but the middle two discs contain numerous gems as well.
Workin' On A Big Chill (The Rockin' Record), disc one, features Gill's trademark lead guitar licks and ace songwriting. Rollicking numbers like the bawdy "Cowboy Up" and the tongue-in-cheek "Nothin' For A Broken Heart" stand among the best compositions Gill has written in his lengthy career. Redneck Woman Gretchen Wilson joins Gill on the former, while onetime employer Rodney Crowell helps out on the latter. Both Wilson and Crowell shine, but it's Gill who steals the show.
The Reason Why (The Groovy Record), disc two, is the more laid-back of the four discs. Hearing Gill and jazz darling Diana Krall croon their way through the sweeping "Faint Of Heart" makes one long for a roaring fireplace and a glass of finely squeezed grapes. Krall nearly upstages Gill with her sultry purr. Gill's beautiful wife Amy Grant co-wrote and sings on the pretty piano spiritual, "Tell Me One More Time About Jesus." Grant and Gill are harmonious in life and in song. "What You Give Away" cuts to the bone with it's moral message.
Some Things Never Get Old (The Country & Western Record), disc three, finds Gill in a honky tonk state of consciousness. The shuffling "This New Heartache," with its steel guitar and twin fiddles, and the raucous "Take This Country Back," a duet with John Anderson, will have hardcore country fans salivating: on the latter, Gill and Anderson burn on pop posers masking as country artists. The mournful "The Sight Of Me Without You" is cut from the same traditional cloth as Lefty Frizzell's "I Never Go Around Mirrors." Gill's voice is bathed in sadness.
Disc four, Little Brother (The Acoustic Record), contains everything from folk to bluegrass. The Del McCoury band join Gill on the old-school grass number "Cold Gray Light Of Gone." Jangly acoustic guitars, fiddle, and flourishing mandolin licks swirl around Gill's high lonesome wail. McCoury and the boys are back for the rolling "Give Me The Highway." Robbie McCoury plucks out a cool groove on his banjo as Gill and papa McCoury tangle voices. Legendary songwriter Guy Clark guests on "Almost Home." The dusty tale stands out as box set highlight.
Gill has put together possibly one of the best collections to come out of Nashville in the last decade. This is the kind of music that wins Grammy Awards. Kudos go out to Universal Nashville head Luke Lewis for having the stones to let Gill release a project like this.
|Number of Discs:||4|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||0.74|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||1.41 x 4.25 x 5.25|
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