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Vince Gill and Paul Franklin: A Tribute To Bakersfield

With John Harwood in for Tom Ashbrook.

Two fine country gentlemen, Vince Gill and Paul Franklin, join us from Nashville to lay down some licks off their new album, a tribute to the “Bakersfield sound.”

Long before there was a Carrie Underwood or a Brad Paisley, Merle Haggard and Buck Owens burst onto the country music scene with edgy, steely tunes known as the “Bakersfield sound.” Now two giants of contemporary Nashville, Vince Gill and Paul Franklin, have a new album paying tribute to the influence of those artists.

This hour, On Point: the music of “Bakersfield” – live.


Vince Gill, guitarist and singer. He’s sold 26 million albums. Winner of 20 Grammy awards and 18 CMA awards. (@vgcom)

Paul Franklin, the most recorded pedal steel guitar session player in Nashville over the last 25 years.

Their new album is “Bakersfield.” Vince and Paul are currently on tour.

From The Reading List

Los Angeles Times: Vince Gill, Paul Franklin celebrate ‘Bakersfield’ country – ”‘If you want to define country music to me in its greatest era,’ Gill, 56, said last week, ‘it would be Bakersfield — it would be Buck and Merle, those songs and those instruments.’”

Yahoo! Music: Q&A: Vince Gill and Paul Franklin Get Steely With ‘Bakersfield’ Salute – ”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. ”



Here, Vince Gill and Paul Franklin talk about their new album Bakersfield, and the techniques they used on the album:

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  • Shag_Wevera

    I predict 9 comments, not counting mine.

  • 1Brett1

    Vince Gill deserves credit for being a fine guitar player…Buck Owens’ guitar player (Owens being one of the pioneers of the ‘Bakersfield sound’), Don Rich, was a fine guitar player, as well. He died young (at 32 from a motorcycle accident) and would have had considerable influence on the sound of Country music had he lived.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    I’m obliged to say “Dwight Yoakam”, just out of sheer awesomeness.

    And if country music is the genre which doesn’t forget its past, it’s great to hear these guys turn their talents this way.

    PS “Less molasses” is how Buck Owens once described the Bakersfield sound.

  • VTDuck

    I’d love to hear Vince and Paul talk about the Flying Burrito Brothers, and how the fusion of the Bakersfield sound and psychedelic music influenced what’s come since (and what may be yet to come).

  • Sheikramzi

    Very excited about this new album. I think Buck’s Carnegie Hall Live Album is the best live album ever recorded. I can still get a little teary when I think about the loss of Don Rich so young and the impact that had on Buck.

    • 2Gary2

      dude you need to get a life

      • Sheikramzi

        …says the loser with 1400 discus posts.

  • truegangsteroflove

    It makes for a much better interview when the interviewer allows the guest to answer a question. I realize that a radio show has certain time constraints, but it would have been helpful if Vince Gill were allowed to finish his explanations of a couple of questions. When you interrupt in the middle of an answer it shows that you really didn’t care in the first place what the person had to say.

    Having said that, I think I can provide some clarity about “Fightin’ side of me.” Merle Haggard is not a “right-winger.” He comes from working class country roots, and in the late ’60s there were extremes of behavior that many found offensive and threatening. He likely believed the urban (or maybe rural, and even suburban) myth that veterans were being spat upon in airports. There is no evidence that this ever happened, but, as we have seen before and since, rumors and disinformation have been a handy tool to rile people up and get them to support bad policies and practices. I was in a car wreck while serving in the Army in 1970, and while traveling home on leave with an arm in a sling people in airports (Kennedy and O’Hare) avoided me.

    It would have helped if the interviewer knew something about the music. I would like to have heard Vince Gill’s take on other groups’ versions of the Bakersfield sound. The Beatles did “Act Naturally,” with Ringo singing the lead (youtube.com/watch?v=O7UVYeI-s-A). Most fun in that song is George Harrison’s picking, similar to the original, but unmistakably his. The Grateful Dead did a great version of “Mama Tried,” with Jerry Garcia doing some fearsome guitar work (youtube.com/watch?v=2TBbj5_zA-8).

    I wonder if Vince Gill and Paul Franklin did “Waitin’ in Your Welfare Line.” (youtube.com/watch?v=WxIq_gj8fjg) It’s my favorite Buck Owens song. WLS in Chicago switched to rock ‘n roll around 1960, but mixed it with country, so we listened to a lot of country music growing up.

  • Olive555

    I love this segment, love Vince Gill and the Bakersfield sound. Love hearing the cuts of music, but PLEASE turn off or at least down the music under the people talking.

  • Valerie Williams

    Takes me back, and back to the west bank of the Mississippi when I was a young adult, living in N.O. Great honky tonk bars and great music.
    Thanks…I’ll be getting the album.

  • truegangsteroflove

    How does one define a “2 bit country band?” Does that mean it is better than a 1 bit country band, but not quite as acceptable to you as a 3 bit country band? I always thought a band consists of at least three people. When there are only two it is generally known as a duet.

    If no one you know likes country music, maybe you live a pretty narrow life, along with the no ones you know. Any program that exists is not broadcast for you only.

    There are other topics to discuss than Walmart. This has been one of them. Like it or not, there is more to the world than your desires. Part of being human is broadening one’s horizons. Of course, you can always choose to be narrow, and continue living a boring life. You at least have everyone you know for company.

  • MusicGuy314

    First clip with the Time Jumpers probably at the Station Inn on a Monday

  • Michele

    I just bought this album and have it on a continuous loop. Love it! I grew up listening to Buck Owens and Merle Haggard.

  • Jim Foster

    I’m finally getting around to listening to this great hour. Two great musicians paying tribute to a couple of icons of country music, Merle Haggard and Buck Owens. Merle is the biggest reason that I became a fan of country music over 30 years ago.

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