NASHVILLE, TENN. (AP) - Vince Gill can do whatever he wants.
For the first time in nearly 30 years, the Country Music Hall of Fame member doesn't have a record deal. He got signed by a label in 1983 and had been on the MCA Records roster since 1989.
"My contract ran out. I'd been there for 23 years, and I very well may run right back there and take my next record to them," he said in an interview at rehearsals for Keith Urban's "We're All For The Hall" event last month. "There was no disappointment. ...It got put out there that I'd `left the label,' and it just was not true."
His tenth and final album for the label was last year's "Guitar Slinger," recorded in his state-of-the-art home studio. It contained the Grammy-nominated song "Threaten Me With Heaven," but the single didn't even break the top 40 on the country chart. Despite the lack of radio airplay, the 55-year-old Gill is optimistic about the future.
"I'm inspired by the freedom to do as much as I want," he said. "I've watched Willie Nelson probably record more music in the last 10 or 20 years than he did in the first 30. That's my goal, is to make 10 times the music that I've made to this point. I'm beyond still inspired to be creative, and I see time running out in a sense. At some point it will be hard to draw breath and sing a high note like I can now. I want to continue to do what I've done, but in much larger doses."
Gill is hitting the road in June for a dozen bluegrass shows. It kicks off June 13 in Richmond, Va. Gill has sold more than 26 million albums and is a 20-time Grammy winner. He is known for dozens of country hits including, "One More Last Chance," "Whenever You Come Around" and "Go Rest High On That Mountain."
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