Vince Gill, ‘Bread and Water’ — Story Behind the Lyrics
Vince Gill‘s latest album, ‘Guitar Slinger,’ is an emotional rollercoaster ride, mixing fun uptempos with tearjerking ballads, along with a few songs that tap into his darker side. All of the project’s tracks, however, have one main thing in common: they’re inspired by various people who have touched the country superstar’s life in one way or another.
‘Bread and Water’ is a poignant track about a seemingly homeless man who wanders into a mission looking for food but finding a whole lot more. The Country Music Hall of Famer sat down with The Boot to tell us how his brother Bob, who passed away in 1993, inspired the song.
“‘Bread and Water’ was a song I wrote with Leslie Satcher,” Vince explains. “I threw out this line: ‘One night, he wandered into that old mission.’ The first lines of songs are the most important part of the songs. If you really want to tell a story, that first line has to capture you. I said that line and then got a big lump in my throat and almost teared up. It reminded me of my brother.
“My brother had a rough stretch of life,” continues the country legend. “He had a car wreck at age 21 and was almost killed. He was in a coma for many months and wasn’t expected to live, and he never really fully recovered. He did pretty great considering the depth of the injuries and as a result of it, he would spend some time kinda hobo-ing around and not checking in with us. We didn’t know where he was for periods of time and found out he’s been down in the mission, or working at the Salvation Army or out picking fruit somewhere. So the song is loosely based on my brother.”