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Why women aren’t getting on the radio? [...] I have no idea. If I knew I’d make us get on radio. But I’m not bitter about it. I think this year’s been a good representation of women just sticking to what they do, and not depending solely on radio, and still being successful, with Kacey, myself and Brandy. It’s not a dig at country radio at all, I understand it’s a business just like anything else, but it’s also important to keep going and not just give up cause they won’t, or don’t, play your songs for whatever reason. And not get your feelings hurt, just keep on going and find other ways to get heard. ●
- – Ashley Monroe to For the Country Record.
The thing about writing is that it can really consume you. And I think if I lived in Nashville, I would write maybe too much, because there are so many great writers there. Not that there aren’t here either, but there’s just so many of them there. I’ve got to know so many of them. I would want to write every day and I know myself as a writer. I’m not an everyday writer. I have to think on things. I can’t write a good hit song unless I’m really inspired. You know as a writer, that sometimes, you just have to talk yourself into it or it’s not going to happen. I don’t do it very well that way. For safety reasons (laughter), I know myself well enough to know that it wouldn’t work. It would probably be like a gambler living in Vegas or something. That wouldn’t be good for me. It would be like an alcoholic living above the neighborhood bar. ●
- – Lori McKenna (to the multifaceted Ken Morton Jr.) on staying in Massachusetts.
To be honest, I think there’s enough beer on the beach, partying on the tailgate, driving around in a pickup truck, moonshine songs. I think that everything has been pretty well beaten to death. [...] I don’t know what it is that country radio is playing these days. I’m really not quite sure. There’s a song out right now that’s a big single for a big act, and at the very end of the song you can hear a banjo come up in the mix for four measures. And you’re like, “Oh, there’s the country aspect of it. Now I get it.” But that is not country music, I’m sorry. ●
- – Aaron Lewis, who likens his own brand of country to Jamey Johnson, David Allan Coe, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, George Jones and Johnny Cash. Heady company.
Somewhere along the way I lost that internal censor. I’ve never felt the need to hold back anything I want to say. I always thought the point of art and songwriting is to make you think and push boundaries. That’s why it was such a treat to find this group of songwriters who were unrestrained by any conservative constraints. Anytime I wanted to say something in a song and I’d wonder, ‘Can I say that?’ they’d say, ‘Yeah, why can’t we say it?’ ●
- – Kacey Musgraves on finding her tribe in Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally.
You can sing about a booty call a hundred different ways. The way Musgraves sings it — sighing and straightforward, knowing full well that we’re not the sum of our actions but of our compromises — makes it so damn compelling. Her voice echoes with an ethereal nostalgia much like Emmylou’s, while her songs explore the seedy after-dark world of Tom Waits. ●
- – Blake Boldt, in the voter comments on Nashville Scene’s 14th Annual Country Music Critics’ Poll. Also quoted: Karlie Justus Marlowe, Sam Gazdziak, Ken Morton Jr. Bloggers win.
I grew up listening to Don Williams, and I love that about his music. Whether the song is happy or sad, whether it feels good or bad, those things don’t have anything to do with the tempo. A mellow record can feel really good. So I just let the songs be what they were. I just love the feel of those records he made. ●
- – Jason Eady on the feel of Daylight & Dark.
I can’t think of anybody other than Hank Williams who’s in my mind in the class of Willie and Merle. I’ve always really respected both of them. All the serious songwriters in Nashville from the time I got out of the army idolized both of them, because they were the real thing. They were the closest thing to Hank Williams [then] and they still are. ●
- – Kris Kristofferson.
The red carpet for the Grammy Awards opens for business Sunday (Jan. 26) at 3 p.m. ET, and you can watch all five hours of the pre-show coverage on CMT.com, MTV.com, VH1.com and LogoTV.com. ●
- – FIVE hours of pre-show Grammy coverage? Would rather give myself a lobotomy, thanks.
I have lot of goals, and one of them is to know when to stop. I love the sound of applause but I don’t want to become addicted to it in order to feel whole. It’s the creative part of music-making that I could never live without. ●
- – Taylor Swift.
He would tell me, ‘You can’t afford anything less than great — and this song isn’t great.’ And so I’d re-examine it, and take that hard-edged constructive criticism. He has this thing, ‘When you cut your lyrics, they’re supposed to bleed. They’re supposed to be living lyrics that tell a story for ages to come.’ He also told me, ‘Be careful about the songs you write. Think about 30 years down the road. Are you still going to want to be singing this song? If not, don’t put it out.’ ●
- – Sam Riggs on being mentored by Ray Wylie Hubbard. Check out his unjustly overlooked 2013 debut, Outrun the Sun.
I’m tired of people saying, ‘I’m good’ or ‘so-and-so is bad.’ You don’t get anywhere by comparing yourself to everybody. That should all be done in private. That’s something you do in the bathroom alone. ●
- – In the bathroom alone, huh? Junior Brown is an American original.
I’m not ashamed [of my faith] but I know that everyone doesn’t agree with me. I think especially in the country music world, if there’s anyone that’s going to accept it, it’ll be them. ●
- – Scotty McCreery thinks we’re a godly bunch.
A state lawmaker wants to designate Rascal Flatts as Ohio’s “official country music group.”
Sen. Jim Hughes (R-Columbus) introduced Senate Bill 233 at the suggestion of a constituent to honor Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney. The trio has released more than two dozen singles, including a dozen No. 1 hits, and two of the members have central Ohio roots. [...] A couple of members of the Senate committee, however, questioned the selection and offered other musicians who could be honored, including Grandpa Jones, Dwight Yoakam, Johnny Paycheck and Roy Rogers. ●
- – The battle of pop-country versus traditional country, as played out in the Ohio state senate.
But, no, I’m ready to go! Man, I get so excited, I’m jumping up and down. I remember when we were playing with Eric Church. We were playing for like 15,000 people, and my booking agent said, ‘Have you ever played a stadium?’ And I was like, ‘No! It’s going to be awesome. Let’s go!’ And we went up there and — boom — we killed it! ●
- – Newcomer Jon Pardi’s enthusiasm is exhausting.
I just don’t have time to be worried about it. Got songs to write, guitars to build – life is short, you better get started. ●
- – Guy Clark on cancer.
Via Saving Country Music, hope that the entire world has not gone to hell in a hunting satchel. Melody Williamson (age 15) sings original composition “There’s No Country Here.”