Vince Gill has achieved a level of success in the music industry that allows him to pursue any project he chooses. His musical rise was rooted in a stint with Pure Prairie League and frequent collaborations in many forms with Nitty-Gritty Dirt Band. Now inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame, Vince Gill is about to catch up with more old friends, the Eagles, when he joins them on tour. He stopped by to chat with Foo Fighters guitarist Chris Shiflett for the latest segment of Shiflett's “Walking the Floor” podcast.

Soaring voice and the right riff

As acclaimed as Vince Gill is for his string wizardry, his lilting, high tones are a part of some of the most memorable moments in country music -- beyond simply great ballads. His authentically tearful and totally true performance of “Go Rest High on That Mountain” with Patti Loveless more than five years ago at the funeral of George Jones became a tender touchstone in music. The moment also brought the catalog of Vince Gill songs to the fore again, and as a songwriter, Vince Gill talked about how he never forgets the singer or the person playing in his writing.

“I try to play something I would sing. I try to sing something I would play." His songs have been covered by pop performers and bluegrass veterans like Dailey and Vincent, bringing his songs to new audiences.

The 61-year-old Oklahoma native is finding new audiences himself, touring as the “newest member” of the Eagles. He is also planning a solo album between projects.

Joining the greats

Vince Gill is dividing vocals with Deacon Frey in the current configuration of the Eagles, and he credits Joe Walsh tremendously for his gift of “playing with restraint,” praising, “that's what I like.

A lot of patience.” Fans aren’t letting the guitarist’s deference convince them that he is slowing down. Anyone who has enjoyed recent performance clips on YouTube knows that Vince is keeping pace just fine. Gill remains humble in his position, knowing that it arose because of the untimely passing of Glenn Frey in 2017. He knows that the “great thrill” of performance now is still part of a tragic story, but he aims to honor Frey and the band in fulfilling his role.

Gill has an arsenal of guitars, which he sees more as a painter's palette, each one custom configured to lend a different sonic hue. He describes that he is “not a pedal guy,” but when it comes to pedal steel on a country tune, he is convinced that “it's the one instrument that can emulate the human voice better than any other.” Through many songs, Vince Gill has made an effort to mesh his vocals with the pedal steel’s tones.

The musician shared a memory during his time with Chris Shiflett that he can now look back on with a smile. He was offered a job with Dire Straits by Mark Knopfler, at the pinnacle of the band’s surge to prominence with the push of MTV. At the time, Gill had just obtained a record contract but had no certainty of success.

He turned down the offer, honoring the contract. In 1989, “When I Call Your Name” came out, and eventually, went double platinum. The rest is musical history, and Vince Gill has been part of much of it.