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LeAnn Rimes' New Album Is Bringing Back The Classics

Posted by Julia Stamper on 10/31/2011
LeAnn Rimes Lady and Gentlemen
It has been five years since his last studio release, but now Vince Gill has two country projects making their way up the charts. He released an album of his own, Guitar Slinger, last week, and he is also a co-producer of LeAnn Rimes’ new tribute album to her country favorites, Lady and Gentlemen
In addition to producing, Vince helped LeAnn with the concept and song selection for her album. "She sent me a list of songs, and because of her age it didn't go very deep in its history, so I sent her a list of other things," Vince says of their initial planning. "I wound up finding her about half of the songs. When she called and asked if I would be interested, I said, 'I am ... only if you won't do note-for-note versions of those classics. First of all, you can't really beat a classic. You can do different interpretations, but you're never gonna better it. So let's find different ways to do them so that they're not you trying to do the original version.”
LeAnn hopes to introduce a whole new group of fans to classic country music, including the works of Tennessee Ernie Ford, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, George Jones, and Vince Gill himself. "If this kind of country music was still played, this is all I would do," LeAnn says. "There's something about these songs and these men, they were fearless when it came to writing about what they were living. That can almost be a negative thing these days, when you're writing about your life, which is so crazy to me. What I love so much is the honesty and the simplicity of the songs. That's not around anymore ... Maybe we're bringing it back! There's a huge misconception about me, because of the crossover hits that I've had, but this is where my heart lies and always has."
LeAnn has nothing but high praise for Vince, who also helped re-record her first country hit “Blue” for the album. "We re-cut 'Blue' with a Western swing band, the Time Jumpers, who I play with full-time now," Vince explains. "It's such a more authentic kind of record even than the one she made in the early '90s." Of Vince, LeAnn says, “He always wanted to make sure that my vision came through on this record, unlike a lot of producers do. A lot of them think you're the artist, but it's their record to do. But Vince made sure I have everything that I wanted in this album."