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Though every now and then, unfortunately, I’m the guy who says what everybody else is thinking, but won’t say! I know for a fact that I can get away with a lot more than a lot of other people can, just because of whatever I’ve been — and the same with Jimmie Dickens. The beauty of his humor, to me, was that it was always kind of pointed at him. That gives you the freedom to cross lines a little bit, because it’s not mean-spirited. If I’m pointing it at myself, how could I offend you? ●
— Vince Gill on how his self-effacing nice guy reputation allows him to get away with more.
The song is lyrically substantive in an era of eye-roll-inducing “sweet little somethin’” trivialities. It is instrumentally rich in an age of drum machines and handclaps. And it’s unapologetically retro at a time when country’s men are chasing every EDM and hip-hop trend to the point of desperation. ●
— Grady Smith on Mickey Guyton’s “Better Than You Left Me.”
I live with myself every day. I don’t know how else to describe it, so I don’t see myself as that. I am so hard on myself and so critical of myself, and to hear people give me such great reviews is shocking. I think ‘Me?’ I can’t believe it. It just seems so weird. ●
— Mickey Guyton on the acclaim she’s been getting.
It got to where it was about the beat instead of the lyrics. All of us out of the ’90s are all sitting around going, ‘Wow, I wish a great song mattered again,’ you know.
I gotta say that here recently the industry seems like they’re trying to swing back. There are songs out there that are starting to have some life to them, have some meaning. That’s the core of great country music – it’s the songs. ●
— Aaron Tippin on modern country.
If I had gotten this chance at 25, I would have been anybody that somebody wanted, and it wouldn’t have worked. There’s no way I would have been openly gay. And I wouldn’t have written these songs. I feel lucky that it happened now. ●
— Brandy Clark on being a ‘new’ artist in her late 30s.
He’s the most attractive man I’ve ever seen. I have an 8×10 of him on the wall of my bedroom. ●
— Tyler Farr on Luke Bryan.
In spite of the fact that there was a lot of critical negativity, I think Carrie Underwood was an enormous amount of draw for ‘The Sound of Music.’ ●
— NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt on the underperformance of the network’s ‘Peter Pan Live!’
“Everyone’s Actually Been Really Nice, I Think I’m Just Extra Sensitive Today” ●
— From a New Yorker list of “Country-Music Songs That Will Never Exist.” Hardy har.
I do know that people comment on [websites] ‘This isn’t country.’ I think again, though, that when people listen to it, it doesn’t take long for people to say ‘I don’t care if it’s not country.’ [Hunt] wasn’t specific about the genre. He made a record without people standing over him and telling him what was and what wasn’t country. He just made a record that sounded right to him. At the end of the day, they can say whatever they want about the production; it’s based in real songs, and that is what country music is about. ●
— Shane McAnally on Sam Hunt.
At the same time, old school country like Lyle Lovett has also influenced my music. We all have our own twist on country music. The one thing for me is that you don’t have to wear a cowboy hat to be country. You just have to tell the truth. I think that’s what makes country. You do your best rendition of who you are and country music accepts that. ●
— “Take It on Back” singer Chase Bryant.
It was pretty clear to me that everything could stop at any moment. I think a lot of people might go in the business thinking, ‘I’m gonna be the next George Strait’ or ‘I’m gonna be the next Garth Brooks or Keith Urban.’ But I think it’s important to have the idea in your head that this is a very unpredictable career and you never know how long you have. You might have eight hits in a row and then have five that don’t work and you’re done. That was one of the biggest lessons that I learned from my dad. I watched him be on top and have No. 1’s and No. 1’s and No. 1’s and then not having any and then not even having a record deal and then finding his way in the songwriting world. There was no failure involved. He just had a different path. He said, ‘I’m not gonna let the love of music die in me. I’m just gonna go write it!’ He’s been a great mentor for me. ●
— Thomas Rhett on his insider perspective, having grown up around the music business.
For me personally, the sense of contentment and hunger being in balance, that’s how I measure it. I like those two things being in sync with one another. ●
— Keith Urban on how he defines success.
I was on the way to perform at a show in Kentucky and had a flat on the camper. We were late getting there, so the owner of the venue realized we were going to be late, so he asked these two young boys — who were Ricky Skaggs and Keith Whitley — if they would get up and sing a few songs to hold the crowd over. When I walked in, Ricky and Keith had been doing our songs, and they sounded like us. I pulled up a chair and started listening to them. I remember it like it were yesterday. ●
— Ralph Stanley on first discovering a couple of his Clinch Mountain Boys.
It’s like that moment when you change your Facebook status from ‘single’ to ‘in a relationship.’ That’s kind of the whole theory behind the title. ●
— Parmalee singer Matt Thomas on the inspired source of new single “Already Callin’ You Mine.” Clearly a song that needed to exist.
Is country music ripe for skewering? As ripe as ripe gets. But parody minus understanding and affection — that just feels nasty, y’all. ●
— The Los Angeles Times’ Mikael Wood, reviewing Blake Shelton’s SNL episode.