Vince Gill is widely known for so many of his hit songs as well as his timeless talent as a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist for multiple genres like country, bluegrass, country pop, blue-eyed soul, and Southern rock. Now spanning almost 40 years of a career filled with so much great music and achievement, it’s hard not to feel super nostalgic at his earliest hits.
One of his best hits to date is Guitar Slinger. It was recorded as the 12th studio album and released on October 25, 2011, under MC Nashville. Guitar Slinger debuted at number 4 on the US Billboard Top Country Albums and at number 14 on the US Billboard 200. It was so warmly welcomed by the audience that it had already sold over 100,000 copies as of December 2015.
Originally, the song was not supposed to be included in the record. But later on, they were able to find a slot for the song after Vince decided the album should be named after the said tune.
It was called Guitar Slinger mainly because it was Vince Gill’s manager, Larry Fitzgerald’s idea. During the recording, Fitzgerald noticed that Gill had been “playing so much more guitar.” Apparently, Gill’s guitar playing struck him so much, citing that it was unlike anything he had ever listened to before. He then goes on to tell the artist, “Something’s different about you and the way that you’re playing. I think you ought to call it ‘Guitar Slinger’.”
As for the background of the song’s lyrics, Gill openly shares how it depicts the kind of relationship that he has with his wife, Amy Grant, a Christian singer. The words go, ‘Well, I was living the life of a guitar slinger/ Women and wine and whiskey for dinner/ Oh, I knew I was in trouble the first time I seen her/ I went and married that contemporary Christian singer.’
“I like songs with tempo to have a bit of wit to them. There are certain songs that are well-suited for lots of guitar playing. With those kinds of songs, I just want a great feel so I can play a lot. It’s the same thing with the feel of this song. But it’s funny because it’s all about this guy who is a nightlife kind of wild child. It’s about me and Amy, in a sense.,” explains the renowned country singer.
When asked how his wife reacted the first time she heard the song, Gill laughed and shared how she simply shook her head and told him “Gill laughed and shared how she simply shook her head and told him “You’ll say anything.”