In Perfect Harmony: Vince Gill & Amy Grant
Ladies' Home Journal: This seems like the house everyone comes to.
Amy: I grew up on a dead-end street like this and I love it. The ice cream truck comes by in the afternoon and there's always kids around. People riding their bikes, Corrina's friends showing up at the door...it's important to have a place that the whole family can get together. I grew up in Nashville; my parents are still here and I have three sisters with 17 kids among us. The whole family comes here for Thanksgiving.
Vince: Amy has a huge family. We've had as many as 75 people for Thanksgiving. One of our favorite memories is of one Thanksgiving when Amy and I sat and peeled potatoes till 4 in the morning. It was just the two of us -- everybody else had gone to bed -- I was telling her all these old war stories of my life. I'm not so proud of all of those stories and I'm not ever going to enjoy peeling potatoes, but it was a fun night for us and I'll cherish that memory forever.
LHJ: What's the meal's best part?
Vince: All of it! I love turkey, dressing, gravy, corn -- all the things that are staples of our country. I have just always loved that meal.
LHJ: Food can evoke such emotion.
Vince: Well, take barbecue. You could probably get wars started over barbecue. In the South, everything's pork, and where I come from in Oklahoma, everything's beef and sausages. Everybody argues whose is best. I say, if you're going to fry up some meat, it's generally all going to be pretty good.
LHJ: You look great -- have you been focusing on diet and exercise?
Vince: I just went to the closet one day and nothing fit and I said: I'm not buying the next size up. I've always battled my weight and done all these unhealthy diets. This time I hired a trainer and I've lost just over 25 pounds since January. I've been eating smart and because I've been lifting weights, I'm losing fat and building muscle mass. My goal is to lose 50 pounds by the time I turn 50 next April. I want my weight to start with the number 1 again!
LHJ: Amy, you released Time Again...Amy Grant Live, a concert performance of hits, on September 26, and Vince, your four-disc set These Days came out October 17. Tell us about them.
Amy: His is all-new material built from the ground up. Mine is recapping things I've done for a long time.
Vince: It just evolved. I started by writing as many songs as I could and staying in the studio. I looked up, saw there were already 31 songs and thought, uh-oh. And then I got to looking at them and saw that we could really make a few different kinds of records and it just developed into a country record, a moody one, a bluegrass, and one with more of a rock sound.
LHJ: When did you first start playing?
Vince: I guess as soon as I could walk, and maybe before. I was dragging a little-bitty guitar around by a cord. Everybody played music in my house. My first conscious memory of music would have to be my grandmother playing "How Great Thou Art."
LHJ: So you played before you sang?
Vince: Yes, singing's still harder. That's why I close my eyes while I'm doing it. As comfortable as it appears, there's still an insecurity. It's just not normal to say, hey, I'm going to stand up and sing for you. It's just weird.
Amy: And it seems effortless for him. I really have to concentrate to sing. I started when my sisters and I began going to this hippie church downtown [in Nashville], when I was in my teens. It was the '70s, when people would come barefoot in blue jeans and sit on shag carpets and sing Jesus music. I was so affected by it, it felt so real and alive, that I started singing. I never craved being the center of attention, I just wanted to sing.
LHJ: Is there always music here?
Amy: Oh yeah. And Vince has always got a guitar. There was one time when I said, "Will you please fulfill a fantasy for me? I have to weed the garden so would you come play while I do it?" Do you remember that day, Vince? [Vince grins.] It was unbelievable. You just sat there playing and singing while I was pulling weeds and getting dirt under my nails.