|Vince GillThere was no plan to record forty-three original songs and gather them into an unprecedented offering of diverse, accomplished artistry. When Vince Gill went into the studio with some trusted musical colleagues back in September 2005, he intended to assemble another in a long line of first-rate albums, mixing a little hard-core country, maybe a bluegrass number or two, perhaps a sacred tune. But--thanks in part to the Beatles--things turned out differently.It?s not that he hadn?t thought before about undertaking a lengthy exploration of the various musical sides of his creative self. Indeed, with an adventurousness rivaling Willie Nelson?s, he had imagined releasing a bluegrass record, a country record, a contemporary record, and an instrumental record all in a row. But, for whatever reason, he had never won support for his idea, and such a series of different releases was not in the cards as this project got underway.When Gill started in on the new album, however, something unusual and wonderful began to take shape. For starters, his prolific songwriting had given him a body of some forty new songs, from which he was to choose ten or eleven to record--a daunting task. Instead of trying to pick the winners on the front end, though, he simply went to work, determined to capture a song a day in the studio.At this relatively relaxed pace, Vince and his musicians were free to work on arrangements, on sonic textures, on making changes that occurred to them in the democratic recording process that Gill--a musician himself, after all--encourages when he?s in charge. This method quickly yielded remarkable results--the songs sounded good, and the musicians enjoyed the experience.Five weeks later, when Gill and his musical cohorts came up for air, he discovered they had cut thirty-one songs, which meant that he would have to cull two-thirds of his work to turn in a single album. This is where the Beatles come in. Working at Blackbird Studios, some paraphernalia on the wall caught Gill?s eye and reminded him that the Beatles had released multiple albums in a single year. That set him to thinking. The songs he had recorded fell pretty neatly into distinct styles: traditional country songs, ballads, and some up-tempo, contemporary stuff. Why not release one album every three or four months, over the course of a year.