Country superstar Vince Gill returns to Louisiana for food, fellowship and an intimate performance at the Heymann Center. By Andrea Gallo
“Authenticity, to me, is the key to any music that you’re playing,” says country music hall of famer Vince Gill, adding that regardless of the venue in which it’s played, from the Grand Ole Opry to the Heymann Center, music is an experience that transcends time and brings people together.
The recipient of 19 Grammy Awards and 18 CMA Awards, Gill will bring that transcendent take on music to the Heymann Performing Arts Center on June 26 for a small, intimate, PASA-sponsored performance.
“If you get a great audience, it doesn’t matter if there’s 100 people or 50,000,” Gill says. “A great crowd’s a great crowd and a great band’s a great band and that doesn’t change no matter what the venue is.”
Gill says venues like the Heymann Center give him the opportunity to feel a closeness and connection with his audience. He’s no stranger to small venues, he says — that’s how he got his musical start before becoming famous.
“The reason you’re all there is to share a musical experience,” he says. “I’m there to play and help you enjoy it and I hope you’re there to enjoy it and I appreciate that we can play it.”
Music, Gill says, has the power to spur inspiration for both artists and audiences.
“The creative process of playing music is, to me, the purest form of democracy that I’ve ever seen when you gather people together for one common goal — and that’s to create something, and how we all work together to make that happen is pretty great. I wish our country could find a way to do that,” he laughs.
Transcending memory is another one of music’s powers, Gill says, as he recalls hearing “How Great Thou Art” as his first musical memory. Carrie Underwood and Gill recently performed the gospel standard together on the Academy of Country Music television special “Girls Night Out,” with Gill adding a sweet, soulful lead on his Fender Stratocaster.
“I know that for me, that the sound of music has compelled me and moved me since I was a baby,” he adds.
While Gill says he’s traveled the country touring, Louisiana draws him in with great food, people and good times, and he’s always up for a visit with his friend Sonny Landreth. Cajun music, Gill says, is “infectious.”
“It is some of the best feeling music you could ever want to hear,” he continues. “Just the way that they make the music dance and the groove that they play with is unlike anything I’ve ever heard.”
Known for bluegrass and country music alike, Gill says authenticity is what entices people to listen to any genre of music. He points to the Stanley Brothers and Bill Monroe as bluegrass “steeped in tradition,” and Merle Haggard and George Jones as country music classics.
“For me, when it’s honkytonk, it’s beer-drinking sounding, it’s all those things — that’s what I enjoy, those things that are real.”
Gill’s new album should debut this fall and he has a single set to release late during the summer.
“I love trying to create something that’ll move somebody and that never stops,” he says. “I don’t think you ever feel like you’re done. I think great songs last a lifetime.”
Newsy tidbits for the fam
Irish style is smiling
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday, March 12, 2014:
Abshire has rejoined the Lafayette Bar Association, where she previously served as marketing coordinator under longtime Executive Director Susan Holliday
Home-grown Baton Rouge market/deli heads to Lafayette.
Deadline for submitting noms for annual competition is March 15
Whitney Bank officials have confirmed that the downtown branch will cease to exist when it relocates its regional headquarters to River Ranch at the end of May.
So far the Democratic agenda includes proposals to expand Medicaid; increase the minimum wage; offer equal pay to women; heighten regulations on predatory lending practices, like payday loans; and add more transparency in the governor’s office.
Hot-button education issues ranging from Common Core to charter schools have some lawmakers pushing to scrap the appointing process and go back to electing the state's super.
Downtown Lafayette restaurant launches new concept near Le Triomphe
Police say the handcuffed man fatally shot himself in the back, but his family isn't buying the story.
Yeah, it's smoked venison sausage stuffed in a suckling pig stuffed in a lamb and roasted over an open fire.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Gov. Bobby Jindal offered a budget proposal that suggests new education and health care spending, pay raises for state workers and an incentive fund to encourage colleges to enhance their science, engineering and technology training.
Reamco founders Brent Milam and Ashley Lane now shareholders in acquiring company and part of its management team.
Low heels, high style
The board hopes to recover all fees paid, plus one-half, along with what could amount to hundreds of thousands in additional penalties.
Oh, the irony... or something like that.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Hopefully he’ll be better prepared today than he was in that Feb. 20 deposition.
They came by the hundreds, arriving from all regions of the state to gather on the steps of our Capitol in protest of the Legislature’s long tradition of giving industry the go-ahead to abuse our air, our water and our coastline, all in the name of good economics.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent rhetoric against President Barack Obama has failed to boost his standing among the conservative base.
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
St. Patty's Day crafts
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern