Country California

Country music. Seriously.

Quotable Country – 01/17/10 Edition

Click the bullet after each quote to visit the original source.

I hear a lot of folks from Nashville saying they were influenced by Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings. But you don’t hear that influence. You don’t hear the Buck Owens or Bob Wills they say they listen to; it sounds more like they listen to KISS. I have no problem with that, but be real about who your influences are.
- – Dale Watson wants a little truth in advertising.

Toledo is one of those cities, like Detroit or Chicago, where the people spend hard-earned money to see you and they are going to let loose and have a good time. It’s fun to play a place like Toledo because people know how to live life and have a good time.
- – Darius Rucker. “On the other hand, I just played in this other city, where none of the money is hard-earned and nobody likes to have a good time…”

A suggestion that Rucker’s first public flirtation with country music was the campy 2005 commercial he recorded for Burger King’s “Tendercrisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch” sandwich (in a purple cowboy suit) was met with silence.
- – From the same interview. Well, I guess it’s still a sore subject

I love country music and I’ve been a fan forever, but I couldn’t figure out in my mind exactly how I fit. I have all these acoustic leanings and stripped-down leanings, and I’ve always known that I don’t have a great voice. The center of mainstream country is these great voices. The people that I really admired were Lefty Frizzell and Marty Robbins, and Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson, and I never had that great of a voice.
- – Robert Earl Keen.

I’m not sure Cash has been over-memorialized as much as improperly memorialized. Yes, he was working on this final “American” series up until his death and there is a definite interest in his final work. But the series seemed to become predictable, with Cash as some guy who covers other people’s songs in a depressing manner. Give the deluxe reissue treatment to his Sun Records work or “At San Quentin.” That might inspire people to dig deeper into classic country more than these final karaoke albums.
- – David Malitz isn’t too high on Cash’s later American Recordings.

It helps, too, that they [the Randy Rogers Band] have a supportive boss in Luke Lewis, chairman and CEO of Mercury Nashville Records. After wrapping production of the band’s soon-to-be-released album, Rogers sent an e-mail to Lewis asking him about his thoughts on the direction the band is going.
“He sent me back a two-sentence response that basically said, ‘Resist with all of your might temptations that may compromise your integrity as a musician. Be yourself.’
- – Cool that a label head would say this, but I wonder if he meant it in a good way or as a necessary piece of advice for the band. What will their new music sound like?

Universal South’s big contribution to the merger [with Show Dog Nashville], Keith and Wright agreed, was to bring in an A&R department.
- – Hold the phone. Is someone implying that Toby Keith and Trailer Choir might not have made the strongest song choices prior to this merger?!

Some of the other stuff that I’ve done, I’ve gone pretty deep and pretty dark with some of it. That’s not on this record, and I think it’s a reflection of where I’m at right now. I feel good, I feel upbeat, I feel healthy and happy, and I think it’s reflected in the stuff that I’m cuttin’.
- – Phew, I’m glad Trace Adkins is staying away from all the deep stuff on his next album. It really cuts into the time available for happy, upbeat gems like “Swing” and “Ala-Freakin’-Bama.”

That’s how I make my money. I open myself up to the media, and if I need to ring somebody’s bell and get a little press for something, I can say a couple of choice, cued, preconceived words and dance them like puppets and they’ll go right to work for me, for free. So, as ridiculous as that sounds, you have to embrace that and take that approach because you can’t fight them all. You can’t fight the system like that, so you have to learn to push it in a positive way for you. I know when to call my shots and when to get them riled up. And I’ve done it very good. I’m very good at it.
- – I’m like putty in Toby Keith’s hands.

Many artists try ‘the major label way’ thinking they will get the chance to ‘be real’ down the line. That’s what many Nashville personal managers tell new clients to ease their guilt for recording songs they hate. Problem is, it doesn’t work like that. What you stick on your music ledger stays there. You are responsible for its existence.
Few if any artists have ever righted themselves who knowingly made that compromising choice in the beginning. You can’t get a little bit pregnant, but even more difficult is trying to get un-pregnant late in your second or third creative trimester. The wagon is already in motion and everybody wants that next release to turn that Top 10 corner no matter what the damn thing sounds like. Announcing that an artist is stepping out on a limb usually means they’ve been playing it pretty safe around the trunk of the tree for quite some time.
- – Great letter from an anonymous Nashville insider, occasioned by the recent Nashville Scene Critics Poll (which featured the voting, but not commenting, contributions of one C.M. Wilcox).

Paisley’s dad Doug saw a man on the floor in an arena hallway in some kind of distress (which turned out to be a heart attack), and he got down to business right away and started performing CPR along with another man… Sounds to me like the elder Paisley was at least half the man he didn’t have to be.
- – Alison Bonaguro kills a nice little story with a groan-inducing song reference.

“In the controlled world of Nashville/country music, Carrie Underwood is a star. I like her records. But they have nothing to do with her, all she does is sing them.”
really? Just sing them? and you know, the whole promoting them, performing them live, interpreting them. what a jacka**. Kellie pickler, celine dion, martina, elvis ” just sang”? i dont seem them doing poorly.
- – Commenter at The 9513 mysteriously puts Kellie Pickler up there with Celine Dion and Elvis on the list of world-famous singers who don’t write their own songs.

Laurie, sounds as though you know Jimmy personally. Please tell him there is this old bat on a peacock ranch who streams his videos and cannot stop singing “Do You Believe Me Now.” Also please tell him that he is respected by that same old bat more than he will ever know. Thanks!
- – Commenter on CMT Blog. Pretty sure Laurie doesn’t know Jimmy personally, but I’d still pay to hear anyone send him the regards of an “old bat on a peacock ranch.” Who goes by the name Peacock Queen.

Country music and Dr Pepper share a strong fan base of Americans looking for an authentic experience.
- – … who instead find a sweet mess with almost no substance or nutritional value. Dave Fleming, director of marketing for Dr Pepper, on a new ACM promotion involving Sugarland.

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  1. In honor of the new partnership, Sugarland is changing its name to High Fructose Corn Syrupland.

  2. “Hold the phone. Is someone implying that Toby Keith and Trailer Choir might not have made the strongest song choices prior to this merger?!”

    Hey, I think I might have implied that publicly about six months ago.

  3. For the record: Kellie Pickler does write songs.

    She had five co-writing credits on her first album, and I think the same number on the second.

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