Vince Gill left RCA after The Way Back Home in 1987. Tony Brown signed him to MCA shortly thereafter, and When I Call Your Name served as Gill's MCA debut and the beginning of his long association with the label and with Brown as a producer. Gill, already a seasoned pop musician and Nashville session player, brought with him the ability to write terrific songs and play the hell out of a guitar, along with a sweet-looking face and a killer voice. Brown set out to make him a star and pretty much succeeded the first time out, and in the early 21st century Gill is still racking them up on the charts. He served as contemporary country music's first real star and, along with the more traditional George Strait (another longtime survivor and hitmaker), was a true and respectful link to the music's long heritage. The first track to score on this set was "Oklahoma Swing," a smoking Western swing duet with Reba McEntire written by Tim DuBois, who also wrote an even bigger hit with the title track that paired Gill with Patty Loveless. Gill also did serviceable covers of Guy Clark's (then an RCA staff songwriter) classic "Rita Ballou" and "Sight for Sore Eyes," and Rosanne Cash's "Never Alone," which opened the disc. He also covered the criminally underappreciated Greg Trooper's midtempo ballad "We Won't Dance." Gill's own tunes, for perhaps the only time in his career, were used as filler on the album -- he wrote three of ten -- but he still managed a beauty with the gorgeous romantic stroller "Oh Girl (You Know Where to Find Me)." When I Call Your Name serves as the testament to Gill's arrival as a star and an enduring part of the country music legacy.
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek