Of all of country music's living legends, perhaps none have had a greater hand in fostering the next generation of country artists as Vince Gill. Whether he's on the road or in the studio, the Country Music Hall of Famer is a frequent mentor to the next wave of country talent. One such artist who Gill has befriended is singer-songwriter Jack Schneider, who collaborated in the studio with the Grammy-winning country icon on his debut album Best Be On My Way.
Schneider, who would go on to work as Gill's guitar tech and rhythm guitar player, first befriended Gill while working summers at Gruhn Guitars. Shcneider says he still recalls the first time he heard Gill perform "This Old Guitar and Me" at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville and how deeply Gill's passion for acoustic guitars and storytelling resonated with him.
"When I was 18 years old, I lived in Nashville working a summer job and had the opportunity to go see the great Vince Gill do a bluegrass show at the Ryman with his bluegrass band," Schneider tells Wide Open Country. "About halfway through, he gave the band a break and he played a few songs — just him on his acoustic guitar. One of the songs was a song he'd written about his love for the instrument — his love for acoustic guitars, especially his beloved 1942 Martin D28 that he bought when he was 17 years old. He spent all his college money on it. That song just completely lit me up and sent chills up and down my spine. The instrument for me has been such a guiding part of my journey. What I love about singing songs is the conversation that I get to have with the instrument that I'm playing. That song has stuck with me ever since and is a big part of why I love singing songs for people too."
Below, watch Schneider perform the song on one of Gill's very own guitars.
Best Be On My Way, which also features David Rawlings, Stuart Duncan,and Dennis Crouch was recorded at Nashville's Sound Emporium.
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