Vince Gill’s job doesn’t involve solving mathematical equations, figuring out riddles or racing across a finish line.
“I think music, there’s no finish to it. There’s really not a finish line. It’s like art. You don’t ever finish it, you just abandon it. That’s all you know, is what your ears tell you. It’s, ‘OK, this is what I’ve got today,’” Gill said in a recent phone interview. “The most important thing for music to do is move somebody; it has to emotionally move somebody.”
The Country Music Hall of Famer, 57, is returning to his home state to play shows Friday at Norman’s Riverwind Casino and on Saturday at Thackerville’s WinStar World Casino. He also will circle back around in September to perform at the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center with the celebrated 11-piece Western swing outfit The Time Jumpers.
Since he already has sold more than 26 million albums and received 20 Grammy Awards, Gill, who was born in Norman and grew up in Oklahoma City, has more than enough hits to fill his rather loose and laid-back set lists. But that isn’t stopping him from making more music.
In fact, he is working on three albums: The Time Jumpers are in the midst of recording the follow-up to their Grammy-nominated self-titled 2012 studio effort, and he is again working with Ashley Monroe on her successor to 2013’s celebrated solo album “Like a Rose,” which he produced. Plus, the singer, songwriter and musician is laboring on a new solo outing of his own, the follow-up to 2011’s widely praised “Guitar Slinger.”
“The one of my own is taking a big backseat to the other two, but yeah, I’m lovin’ life and spending a lot of time being creative, which is what I’m supposed to do,” Gill said by phone from his adopted hometown of Nashville, Tenn.
He also has worked with his older daughter, Jenny Gill, on her debut album, which he said is finished but has been put on hold as she is expecting his first grandchild in August.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the release of “When Love Finds You,” Gill’s seventh studio album, which sold 4 million copies and spun off five Top 5 hits, including the title cut, “What the Cowgirls Do,” “Whenever You Come Around,” “Which Bridge to Cross (Which Bridge to Burn)” and “You Better Think Twice.”
It also featured one of the most unlikely Top 15 hits and most far-reaching songs in recent country music history: the emotional Grammy-winning ballad “Go Rest High on That Mountain.”
“That’s the most-used song at funerals, probably over ‘Amazing Grace,’ which is astounding to me. It just blows my mind, but now a lot of years have gone by and that’s something that people really want when they are really hurting,” Gill said.