Vince Gill is reflecting on the passage of time and how we choose to spend the rest of what's left of it in a somber, yearning new song titled "I Don't Wanna Ride the Rails No More."

Gill frames the song with a gentle, achingly melodic acoustic guitar figure, which serves as a perfect bed for a lyric about having spent a life as a restless wanderer who thought he'd never settle down, only to realize that you've come to want something very different.

"I don't want to ride the rails no more / I wanna know a woman's love worth dying for / Hear children playing through an old screen door / No I don't wanna ride the rails no more," he sings in the wistful chorus.

Gill still possesses the inimitably beautiful voice that has won him virtually every award available to someone in his profession, but it's tempered by time. His voice is just a tad gruffer and tinged with more life experience, which gives his vocal performance more of a genuine vibe than it would carry if he sang the same lyrics with his former choirboy clarity.

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The Oklahoma native wrote the song, which opens his upcoming album, Okie.

“The whole image of riding a train has such great beauty to it,” Gill reflects. “It conjures images of The Grapes of Wrath, the Dust Bowl, and people hopping freight trains.”

Though he's long since settled into married life, Gill still sees some strong parallels to his own life on the road in the tale of a weary traveler looking for somewhere to call home.

“This song has got to come from my experience in order to be able to put it on paper and to have it feel legit and truthful and honest," he says. "In my case it could very well be about a bus instead of a train — I’ve been riding a tour bus for 40 something years now. This is a song of reflection, yearning and hopefulness.”

Gill borrowed the title Okie from a derogatory term that was previously used to disparage Oklahomans who were forced to migrate from Gill's home state to the West Coast during the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. Gill is seeking to re-define the term on the new album, which, according to a press release, "embraces his roots and explores some of the most important issues of our time."

Okie is set for release on Aug. 23. The album is currently available for pre-order, including special packages with exclusive content.

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