Vince Gill Shares His Thoughts on Today’s Country Music..and He’s Right On!

Posted 15 May 2012 in Music + TV News, Uncategorized


For quite some time now I’ve been harsh on today’s country music, or more specifically, the state of today’s country radio. Now I’ve been joined by Vince Gill in its critique. It’s sad when Taylor Swift can dominate country radio and Merle Haggard can’t get a sniff. And I’m not talking about Merle’s old great albums I’m referring to his last couple of albums. They’ve been great yet completely ignored. Justin Townes Earle’s “Harlem River Blues” also did not receive any country airplay.

— Larry Carta

Vince’s career began with country-rockers Pure Praire League. He recently spoke with Great American Country’s Sarah Wyland. This appeared on their website.


Vince Gill released his latest album, Guitar Slinger, in October of last year, five years after his last release of original music. Now, Vince is in a time of transition. His recording contract with MCA ended last year and while he still wants to make new music, he tells the Pittsburgh Post Gazette that he realizes the country landscape has changed.

“I still want to have hit records,” he said. “You never get that out of your system. But in some sense, I have been shown the door.”
Vince, known for his traditional country sound as well as his love of bluegrass music, has issues with today’s mainstream country music. He feels fashion and gimmicks often take place of the truthful lyrics he reveres. “For me, it’s lost its traditional bent pretty severely,” he said. “I would love to hear someone write a song like ‘He Stopped Loving Her Today’ rather than ‘You’re hot. I’m hot. We’re in a truck.’ It’s just mind-numbing to me.”

It’s not just the sound of the songs on the radio that have changed. The business side of Music City has seen plenty of change itself. Vince compared the digital revolution of music to a certain app in the app store that costs the same as a digital single.

“Income streams are dwindling,” he said. “Record sales aren’t what they used to be. The devaluation of music and what it’s now deemed to be worth is laughable to me. My single costs 99 cents. That’s what a (single) cost in 1960. On my phone, I can get an app for 99 cents that makes fart noises – the same price as the thing I create and speak to the world with. Some would say the fart app is more important. It’s an awkward time. Creative brains are being sorely mistreated.”

Posted by Larry Carta


  1. Robert (16 May 2012, 6:40)

    I have to say though, there’s a damn lot of factory made music out there with a shrink-wrapped sound to it that’s worth less than a fart app to me.

    I hope more musicians and fans continue to support the good local stations like WWHP in Farmer City, Illinois, KPIG out in Santa Cruz, that station down in Tennessee where all those youtube videos were recorded and… I don’t know any other great stations like those offhand actually.

    There’s Boot Liquor on Soma FM too.

    What I’m trying to say is there needs to be more of those stations. There’s something really great about some people who really love the music more than the money presenting the music that makes me really want to spend my money on a CD and/or get off my butt and go see a great live show.

    But as far as $0.99 a single goes, there’s also a trade up in terms of how much music any one person can afford now. People might buy something from they know well and then take a chance on something different where in the past they had to choose one or the other.

    But if they don’t connect on a deeper level than a slick produced sound and a few catchy lines, they”re more likely to just end up stealing it from somewhere. When I get optimistic about people, I start to think that if you spread the idea of people actually having a relationship with the artist rather than a business deal with the music corporation then maybe -just maybe sometime down the line the better stuff will end up making more money.

  2. Barb (17 May 2012, 9:30)

    I agree with Vince. I think country music has become too “fluffy”. What happened to all the truly meaningful songs that we used to hear?

    I don’t mean to be disrespectful of just one person but I really do not think Taylor Swift should have received all the awards she has. She does not have a strong voice and yet has won the female vocalist of the year?? She writes songs for the teenagers – yet she receives Entertainer of the Year??

    What has happened to country music? We need more quality from the past – Vince Gill, Trisha Yearwood, Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, George Strait and the list goes on and on and on. Sure we still hear from Alan and George but they do not get the credit they should – it goes to the fluff.

    As far as the $0.99 downloads – I don’t do those either. If I want to have music I buy the real thing.

Leave a Reply

Before you post, please prove you are sentient.

what is 9 + 6?