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Vince Gill Duets Album to Honor Buck Owens, Merle Haggard

Vince Gill
Frederick Breedon IV, Getty Images for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Vince Gill announced earlier this year he was working on several new projects, including a bluegrass album. While he has numerous other musical endeavors on the horizon, the country legend, who has frequently paired with other artists to perform duets, is releasing an entire CD featuring himself performing with one of his all-time favorite musicians, steel guitar player Paul Franklin.

“The whole album is a duet record,” Vince tells The Boot. “Out of the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people I’ve sung with, I chose to make my duet record with a musician. We’ve been friends for about 35 years, and we wanted to make a record together. We started talking about what kind of record to make. I said, ‘An instrumental record sounds boring to me. I’m not that big of a fan of instrumental records.’ I still like to hear songs and melodies, and hear stories.”

The Country Music Hall of Fame member also honors two of his own musical heroes with the new project.

“I came up with the idea of doing our favorite Buck Owens songs and our favorite Merle Haggard songs,” he explains. “I played a lot of guitar on it, too. That’s the first thing that I have ready to come out. It’s neat for me, because I get to pay homage to my two favorites of all time. You can’t get any better than Buck Owens and Merle Haggard in country music, if you ask me. We picked five of each of theirs that are pretty early in their careers. We just picked what we liked.”

Vince, whose contract with his longtime record label, MCA, ended last year, is unsure who will put the album out and when it will be released.

“We have to see if anybody wants it,” he notes. “We haven’t really played it for anybody. We played it for a couple people, and they went absolutely nuts. Even more than we could have ever dreamed. A lot of people out there are really, really hungry for some great, traditional country music, in a big way. That’s not a knock on the current state, it’s just what we love. So we’re playing what we love.”

In addition to focusing on new albums, Vince has several concert dates on his calendar, including his weekly gig with Western swing band, the Time Jumpers. See a list of his concert dates here.

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