July 30th is the date set for the release of the new album from Vince Gill with ace studio steel guitarist Paul Franklin. The album is titled, "Bakersfield," and as the title implies, the songs Vince and Paul have covered for this set were chosen from the two biggest artists associated with the "Bakersfield Sound," Merle Haggard and the late Buck Owens.

Having lived (and played music) in Bakersfield between 1994-2000, this project is especially exciting for Yours Truly and anyone else who loves the "West Coast Country" sound so closely associated with Bakersfield, California.

Vince tells writer Chuck Dauphin at Billboard.com, "This is just as much a guitar record for me as it is a singing record. But, it was fun for me to sing a whole record of the greatest songs ever. What I'm real proud of is that when it's one of Buck's songs, I sing it very much in that vein. And the Haggard songs are very much in the vein he sang. With Buck's songs, you won't find much vibrato in my vocals, and with Merle's, it will come down to a low note and that quiver."

Haggard himself contributed the liner notes for the album; in them, he says: "I can only give the entire project a big ole double, thumbs up! Well done guys, the West Coast takes a bow."

You can bet this one will be in my collection on July 30th!--Skeeter Nash