January 16

Vince Gill’s “I Will Always Love You” Is A Gentle Tug To The Heart

Country singer and songwriter Vince Gill has been described as a “reluctant superstar.” It was just that he had all the makings for one, and at an exceptional level, no one in the genre could argue. Additionally, his live performances are just on a different level. One of our favorites would be his 2019 Country Music: Live at the Ryman cover performance of the Dolly Parton classic “I Will Always Love You.”

RELATED: Dolly Parton’s ‘I Will Always Love You’: A Country Classic That’s Hard to Surpass

The concert, which was a celebration of the then-upcoming Ken Burns documentary on country music, was held at the Mother Church of Country Music, Ryman Auditorium, in Nashville. Gill joined a long list of country artists that night, including Dierks Bentley, Marty Stuart, Rosanne Cash, and Dwight Yoakam, to name a few.  

“Darling, I Will Always Love You”

We’ve all heard Whitney Houston belt the line, “And I will always love you.” Her impressive, powerful vocals pushed this song to greater heights. Only a few know that this song was originally Dolly Parton’s. And her style has undeniably become the standard. 

Vince Gill’s version, on the other hand, goes for a gentle touch, a gentle tug to the heart. When he opened the song for the live performance, it was almost a caress into the ears. It was so soft, like how he played his guitar with it. Then, as he transitioned into the chorus, it was smooth like butter. There was no building up to a powerful climax nor a vocal belt; listeners were met with a rather relaxed sound wave. 

Gill pulled deep inside and evoked the emotions of the song with such calmness, and for the whole duration of the song, he was consistent with this style. At one point, you’d forget that he was singing the same Whitney Houston song. That was because he owned the song, and the song didn’t own him. 

Jennifer Robinson of KPBS described Gill’s performance as a breathtaking and sublime rendition. 

In the video below, you can catch Vince Gill’s live performance of “I Will Always Love You,” with Dolly Parton herself in attendance.


Vince Gill

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