"To be doing this for so long with your friends? That's a blessing and a gift," Milsap tells PEOPLE ahead of his new album out Friday

By Tomás Mier
April 29, 2021 11:00 AM
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Oh, "Big Bertha!"

Ronnie Milsap is gearing up with new music as he drops "Big Bertha," the perfect track for getting back on the dancefloor (and to the golf course!), alongside none other than Vince Gill.

The track — an ode to a golf club named "Big Bertha," which PEOPLE can exclusively premiere — comes just a day before Milsap, 78, is set to drop his album A Better Word for Love on Friday.

"My friend Holly Gleason said, 'You know, it's a song about a great big driver! You need Vince Gill on here because he's the best golfer I know...'" Milsap tells PEOPLE. "She's my secret weapon, so I listen."

"And he's such a good singer and guitar player, he really is just everything," he adds about working with Gill, 64. "It's not just because he's a great golfer."

ronnie milsap ft. vince gill
Credit: getty images (2)

Milsap says the wife of late songwriter Carl Perkins sent him the track, which ended up the last song he wrote before his death in 1998.

"He'd said he'd had me in mind when he was writing," Milsap says. "I don't know if that's true but Carl was such a funky cat. I'd love it if it is. Guys like him are so rare, it's a compliment knowing he was thinking of me."

Milsap says he feels "25 years old again" working on the album and making records with Rob Galbraith, who is a close collaborator.

"Took me back to all the fun we have had over the years, back when we were making records and were doing things they said couldn't be done," he says. "To be doing this for so long with your friends? That's a blessing and a gift. People are telling me this sounds like the best of Milsap, and I think that's why."

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"Friends, great songs, playing together. You can't make that up with a computer," he adds. "You need people to do it!"

Milsap is set to hit the stage at the Grand Ole Opry to debut his album, something he's ecstatic about.

"To be able to kick my record off at the Opry? There's nothing better, and no one I want to play some of these songs for more than the people in the Opryhouse and listening on WSM-AM like I do so many Saturday nights!" Milsap says.

Ronnie Milsap
Ronnie Milsap
| Credit: Allyson Reeves-Land

Milsap's new album — which drops Friday — features tracks such as "Wild Honey," "A Better Word for Love," "Fool," "Civil War" and "Now."