Quotable Country – 01/19/14 Edition

Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source.

Country music is kind of where rock music has gone, really, at this point. You know, it’s basically kind of pop-rock music. It’s where rock music continues to have a certain currency. It’s kind of fascinating to hear country music now because with the exception of the twang occasionally in the guitar and the voice, it’s very much sort of ’80s rock music. It’s an interesting genre because bad country music is some of the worst in the world, but great country music is some of the best. […] I’m still back with George Jones and Conway Twitty and Lefty Frizzell. That’s sort of my go-to, but there’s a lot of good young country guys out there.
– – Bruce Springsteen to NPR’s Ann Powers, in an extensive interview that can be heard online.

I was being passed around like a joint at Dennis Hopper’s house.
– – Toby Keith on his panoply of record labels in the 90s. (via Mr. Jeremy Dylan)

During the intermission he summoned me so that he could talk about that song, and what was thrown off the bridge, and how that song was the quintessential expression of the shame of the south. It had been an abortion, a miscarriage, and they threw it off the bridge. It was stunning that he had put so much thought into this song and what it meant to southern people. […] It took the leader of the free world to explain the song to me. Well, the ex-leader of the free world. I was thinking, “This guy’s mind is not full of other stuff? He’s had time to think about this song?”
– – Rosanne Cash on the time Bill Clinton came backstage to discuss Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode to Billie Joe” with her.

Every year, growing your tour is a by-product of your fans’ support. I will continue to grow the tour and give the fans something new every year. My main thing is, ‘More lights, more speakers, more video, more camera guys.’ More things to make it a very special interactive experience with the fans.
– – How does Luke Bryan go about improving his live show? By adding gadgets, of course!

I try really hard to write lyrics that have meaning to me. And if they mean something to me, they mean something to other people. When I write serious stuff, I don’t try to pander to people or rile up the crowd with contemporary imagery with country keywords. I just really try to tell the truth to people. And when you do that, they recognize you as someone who is not trying to patronize. If you tell people the truth, it’s going to relate to them, because we all have the same problems.
In English class, they tell you there are only three stories in life, but I think there is really only one – will you empathize with me? That’s what any novel or song or movie is really saying – will you listen to me, will you try to feel like I do?
– – Jason Isbell on songwriting.

I like to be drawn in intimately and then punched in the face.
– – Whatever gets you going, Jennifer Nettles.

It’s less important to study the way other people make it in this industry. If someone showed up at my record label and said and did the exact things I did, it probably wouldn’t work.
– – Taylor Swift on the essential irreplicability of a cultural phenomenon like Taylor Swift.

It’s crazy, man. Being murdered was just part of the sparkle of the whole experience.
– – Charlie Worsham on appearing in an episode of “Bones.”

I swear to God if I weren’t in my band I’d be in this f-cking band. I swear, I’m not kidding. I would be in this band in a f-cking heartbeat.
– – Foo Fighter Dave Grohl on the Zac Brown Band.

Number one, it’s her voice. She’s one of the greatest singers in the world. I love her style. She is very unique. When you hear her sing, you say ‘That’s Connie Smith.’ In this day and age, you might not be too sure. And, that’s not just in country music, but in bluegrass, there are sound-a-likes, and you’re not sure of who you’re hearing. But, with her, there is absolutely no doubt, and it’s the way she turns a word, and her voice, it’s all of those things combined.
– – Rhonda Vincent on Connie Smith.

The rap shit [is] sounding stupider and stupider, and country music is sounding more brilliant, rock music is sounding more brilliant and alternative music is sounding way more brilliant. Shit sound good as f*ck. Everybody [in hip-hop] wants to turn up now, even in R&B. Who stole the soul? The soul is gone.
– – Apparently there is a hip-hop legend named Scarface saying stuff to a magazine called XXL. I am so out of my element, but the country mention is interesting.

12-to-24-year-olds who say they listen frequently to country music are significantly more likely to have listened to FM radio in the last week than the 12-to-24 demo overall.
– – Finding of Edison Research’s “Understanding Country Radio’s Next Generation of Listeners.”

Adkins then reportedly fought with his shadow self, grappling Adkins-to-Adkins in a display that might have caused onlookers to muse upon the rich, metaphorical realization of man’s ingrained self-loathing and his constant internal struggles with himself, had it not taken place aboard a “country music cruise.”
– – The Onion’s A.V. Club reports on Trace Adkins confronting a Trace Adkins impersonator on a cruise ship, prior to the real Adkins disembarking to enter rehab. A+

[Music] always goes in waves. You never want to chase it. That’s what the three of us have been talking about. It’s got to be different. You don’t really know until you start writing the songs. […] It might be kind of nice to go back and have a more traditional sound. But I don’t know. It’s the toughest challenge. It keeps me up at night. Usually it’s like one song that shows you where to go. ‘Need You Now’ took us in a different direction. When you find the songs, you just kind of know when you hear them.
– – Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley says the trio could circle back around to a more traditional sound on its next album.

When I did a song that didn’t hit, it ended up being our fault even though at the time when they pitched it I told them, “I really don’t like this song.” They’d say, “Do it, and trust us because it’s gonna be a smash hit.” Then when it wasn’t a smash hit, they’d be saying “I don’t know why he did that song.”
– – John Anderson on playing the major label game.

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  1. Chris says


    – I squirmed in my seat at the sight of Springsteen, not because of him but because of that gawd-awful Eric Church song that mentions him

    – Country music is not sounding brilliant…it’s sounding worse than it ever has in its history

    – I wouldn’t bet on Lady A turning traditional because it’s not authentic…if they tried to create that sound, we’d all be able to tell that they were just full of sh**…what we need is more traditional artists that won’t sell out

  2. CountryMusicSucks says

    One of the best comments from someone talking about the Tmz article is , “LMAO country people are such savages… they should lock him up for this or make him walk the plank…”

    I think that’s extreme and a bit messed up. But I think it would be a good idea for someone to make a website called “Douchy Behavior By Country musicians.” Clearly Billy Joe Shaver, Trace Adkins, Marty Stuart (he has a DUI arrest), Jon Weisberger, and Glen Campbell would be featured prominently. Scott Borchetta might get to have a special website dedicated just to him.

    Read more: http://www.tmz.com/2014/01/15/trace-adkins-in-rehab-ship-impersonator-alcohol-fight/#ixzz2r4nleWuh

    • FiddleStar says

      Not sure what Jon Weisberger’s name is doing in this list. Both in the sense that he’s not a country star and that he’s not been douchy. Please elaborate…

  3. andythedrifter says

    My thoughts:

    -Hear hear, Bruce.
    -The contrast created by reading the Bryan and Isbell quotes back-to-back is very amusing. It’s easy to tell who’s all style and who has substance.
    -I’m in the age group mentioned by the Edison Research report and I’ve spent a grand total of about twenty minutes listening to my local terrestrial radio stations the past five years. Couldn’t care less.
    -Not really a Lady A fan, but if they put out a more rootsier album, it could be interesting.


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