Paul Franklin and Vince GillIt’s not always simple to tell who’s honoring who. Bakersfield, the just-released album by Vince Gill and steel guitarist Paul Franklin, consists of half Merle Haggard covers and half Buck Owens tunes. Haggard loves it enough to have written liner notes for the project. But maybe Hag shouldn’t feel too excessively flattered, because although it’s a tribute album, it’s really an homage to the great players who backed him and Buck back in those Bakersfield days.
What ended up as a putative Buck ‘n’ Merle salute began life as a possible album of instrumentals, due to Gill’s desire to have some seriously fiery interplay with Franklin, the most revered of modern Nashville steel players. It marks the first time Gill has shared billing on an album, and certainly the first time an instrumentalist has enjoyed equal marquee space with a Country Hall of Fame member. That’s the sort of thing that musicians do, but not stars. That Gill manages to count in both categories is just one unique factor —Read More »from Q&A: Vince Gill and Paul Franklin Get Steely With ‘Bakersfield’ Salute