Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source.
I love a good old apple cider with some apple pie and vanilla ice cream on top. I know you can have that year-round, but whenever you can have it at Christmas time with the cider, it makes it a little more Christmassy. ●
— Even Scotty McCreery’s holiday food picks are personality-free.
With his headphones on, the Wichita man sang Blake Shelton’s song “Boys ‘Round Here” out loud. Passengers around him complained to the flight attendants that it was disturbing them. The man says a passenger in front of him turned around and told him to stop singing. […] As the confrontation continued, the man says he became very upset and started crying. The incident report states he went to the restroom several times and “it became a concern to the flight crew.” ●
— An unruly, emotional Blake Shelton fan caused a Christmas Day flight diversion.
When the producers of [Dean Martin’s] variety show asked Price to perform in a cowboy costume against a set of hay bales, he balked, challenging Martin himself to come out and play dress-up.
“Ray said, ‘I don’t wear hats. You go and get Dean Martin and if he will wear the hat and sit on this bale of hay with me, I’ll do it,'” Janie remembers. In the end, Martin rose to the occasion and joined the defiant Texan on the bales. “They propped their feet up on the bales of hay — Ray didn’t do it by himself,” Janie says, satisfied. ●
— Janie Price, Ray Price’s widow, to Rolling Stone.
At times I’m tempted to fall into the trap of thinking that there may be no finite or fixed balance between mass accepted, mainstream music and sincere, heartfelt stuff with essence… that said, I’m conflicted because songs like Believe, Red Dirt Road, Brand New Man, Neon Moon, She’s Not The Cheatin’ Kind and My Maria, j to name a few, seemed to do it on a mainstream level. I was front and center for that cycle.
……there’s my problem. ●
— Ronnie Dunn, taking to Facebook to respond to a Saving Country Music review.
So when “Same Kind Of Different” makes its claim that the processes that differentiate us are precisely what connect us, it’s not an attempt to deny the importance of our individual cultural, religious, socio-economic backgrounds and beliefs. Instead, it’s a celebration of the fact that we have them at all *and* an endorsement of the idea that whatever universal rhythms may govern movement in the world require contributions from different drumbeats. It’s a powerful, necessary and topical message, delivered with warmth, delicacy and a little cry to acknowledge our historical pain by one of the finest interpreters and vocalists country music has ever seen. ●
— Deb Bose (WindmillsMusic on Twitter), thinking big picture as she breaks down a Lee Ann Womack cut on her list of “5 Great Non-singles of 2014” for The Song Survives.
That song is barely three minutes long, and it took hours to get through the vocals. One or two words here and there, we’d get it. I’d sit there next to him, right next to the mic; I would sing it to him and he would sing it back to me. We’d roll the song, and then as soon as the music came on, it would pop right out of his head again and he’d forget it. ●
— Julian Raymond on the recording process for Glen Campbell’s “I’m Not Gonna Miss You.”
At their best, songs breathe life into a precious idea: that we are not alone, that other people have felt and feel the way we do, and that all of humanity is made of the same mysterious, electrical, spirit infused stardust. And songs are the people’s instrument of choice – to express the wonder of it all. ●
— From Mary Gauthier’s “Lessons from 2014” blog post.
Our goal was to write a song that wasn’t necessarily for songwriter acclaim. It was really just something we could play for our wives that would touch them. Our wives are not in the music business. If we could make our wives cry, we figured we could reach the general public. That’s really what matters when it comes right down to it. ●
— Chris DuBois, I think, on the writing of Brad Paisley’s unsongwriterly “Then.”
Well, it’s gonna end 27 years from now. Let’s start there. I’d like to just go out on my terms and just go, ‘Hey, you know? I’m tired.’ But if my wife was sitting here right next to me, she’d roll her eyes and go, ‘He’s never going to get tired.’ It’s just, I love, love, love, love it and the only thing I want that I don’t have is more of it, to tell you the truth. ●
— Garth Brooks on how (and whether) his career will end. Personally, I’m betting on some kind of double-fisted-mashed-potato-eating explosion.
I’ve been fortunate in my life to work with many great musicians. But if I ranked them all in order of substance and ability and songwriting talent, Garth would be solidly in the middle somewhere. But if I ranked them in order of drive and ambition and goals and how do I get there, Garth is No. 1, and I don’t know who is No. 2. He had more of that than anybody I have ever seen. ●
— Early Garth Brooks bandmate Tom Skinner.
We had people coming to our shows holding up signs saying, ‘Yee Yee,’ ‘Crack a cold one,’ ‘Put a good dip in.’ And people were walking away from our shows with no satisfaction towards that video at all. It was a completely different entity. We realized we’re crazy unless we come up with an Earl song.’ So I wrote ‘The Country Boy Song,’ which was easy to write. It was just going down the monologue of Earl’s day. We put out ‘The Country Boy Song’ simultaneously with a music video, because we always wanted to make Earl visual. That song went even more viral than the first video, and that’s when we knew, ‘This has to be part of our show.’ ●
— Granger Smith on incorporating more of alter ego Earl Dibbles Jr. into his regular work.
Today’s country stars soak their verses in booze, tossing off drinking references like boring status updates from keg parties in Anytown, USA, in an attempt to come off as guys and gals listeners would like to have a beer with — otherwise known as the George W. Bush Syndrome.
But Dubya, a recovered alcoholic, doesn’t drink. Neither does “Bottoms Up” singer Brantley Gilbert. Brad Paisley, who fantasizes about taking tequila shots while drinking beer in “River Bank,” doesn’t imbibe either. Chesney once told the Tampa Bay Times, “I don’t drink that much unless I’m on my boat,” but he’s still down to be the Jack in his girl’s Cherry Coke in “American Kids.” Tim McGraw is a teetotaler these days too, but meanwhile back at mama’s there’s beer in the fridge. Either singers like Gilbert and McGraw are trying to test their own resolve by singing songs littered with relapse triggers, or they’re playing the game to get airplay and have hits. ●
— Rolling Stone Country’s Adam Gold on “Why Country Music Was Drunk All Year in 2014.”
Honestly, this country music that’s out now sort of emulates what a bunch of us were doing in the early ’90s. There were a bunch of us playing this music with this country twinge, and we were playing about rural things or just out-of-the-city things. We were mocking techno a little bit, and we were doing this white-trash thing. I don’t think any of us dreamed that country music would pick it up and run with that ball like we were serious. ●
— Fred Eaglesmith, curiously.
I remember when I first started playing sessions, I wanted to burn a lick into every song I played on — sort of a signature kind of thing. But at some point, it stopped being about me and started being about the song. I finally realized that I wake up every day in the service of music. If I do my best, and I play what I deep down believe the song needs — no more, no less — I sleep really good knowing I did my duty. ●
— Mac McAnally, seven-time CMA Musician of the Year.
He was dancing, whistling, carrying on. After the show, Buffett’s wife comes into the dressing room. She said, ‘Sir Paul wants Mac to sit with him while the other acts play their sets.’ I thought she was kidding.
So we walk out there, and I approach him kind of slowly. I extend my hand. And he just leaps to his feet and bear hugs me like my mama would if she hadn’t seen me for three years. He won’t let go and says, ‘Let me rub some of you on me, man. That was great!’ That’s a night a person doesn’t forget. ●
— Mac McAnally on impressing Paul McCartney.
Q: What do think of the whole “bro country” thing, which “Cruise” has sort of been lumped into? What do you think of that term? Do you feel like there’s a movement and you’re a part of it?
A: Hell yeah! There’s a huge movement in country music, and I’m proud of it. I’m glad to be a part of it. I think everybody always wants an escape. [Look at] Kenny Chesney, Garth Brooks. There were people hating on Garth Brooks in the ’90s. There’s people hating on Kenny Chesney in the 2000s. But I remember going to Kenny Chesney and Garth Brooks [concerts] as a kid. And that was why I went, because I was on a vacation for three hours. Those songs took me there. That’s the same thing with our songs right now. People just want to party. That’s what my live show is, it’s a party. At the same time, I think country music does deserve ballads. That’s what a big part of country music’s history has been. It’s definitely something I’m proud to be a part of. As far as “bro country,” whatever, I don’t care what you call it. It’s country music, and it’s working. ●
— Hmm. Do we award Chase Rice any points for not deflecting the question? None of the other bros questioned on this point have been quite so brazen in their responses.
If you ask anyone in the industry about somebody else, you’re always going to find someone who got into it with somebody about something for some reason. But with Dierks Bentley, I think he is pretty much across the board universally liked by everyone. We were all out there, and he would come up to us and say, ‘Are you guys OK? Do you have what you need?’ I looked at him and said, ‘This is your tour, right?’ But that is a true indication of the type of artist and person that he is. ●
— Chris Young on Dierks Bentley.
Country music has changed a lot, but it still has a lot of machine elements to it. There’s still a lot of country music and all kinds of popular music that seem to be run through a factory. What we’re doing is trying to visit each song individually and let it live and breathe on its own without too much of a mash into a certain mold. ●
— Zac Brown Band member John Driskell Hopkins.
I wrote the first line of a country song. I think it could be a guaranteed hit. Wanna hear it?
I would love to.
“I’d rather be homeless than be home with you.”
I like that, it’s really good.
You have to think about it. [Starts singing] “I’d rather be homeless than home with you, you’ve been such a terrific bore. I’d rather be homeless than be home with you, this way I could hear myself snore.” See what I mean? I like country music because it’s about telling a story. ●
— Quick, someone get Larry King (interviewed, here, about hip-hop music for Vice’s Noisey blog) a copy of Shel Silverstein’s “She’d Rather Be Homeless.”
Passing of Little Jimmy Dickens aside, I hope your 2015 is off to a fine start.