Quotable Country – 02/02/14 Edition

Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source.

I can replace my HVAC system. I can’t replace Minnie Pearl’s shoes.
– – Steve Buchanan, president of Opry Entertainment Group, on working to move historical artifacts to higher ground by boat as his own home succumbed to the great Nashville flood of 2010.

I had been thinking that it would be fun to have a band that tried to be patriotic in a way that would upset the people that normally exploit patriotism. [I wanted] to steal flag-waving back for the weird who, in my opinion, are the ones that should be waving flags and chanting ‘U.S.A.’
– – Todd Snider on his Hard Working Americans project.

If you’re gonna be a songwriter, then write songs. Don’t talk about writing them. One of the things that I had to learn very early on that has held me in extremely good stead, is to ball up a song and throw it in the trash and write another one, and keep writing.
– – Jimmy Webb on songwriting.

Do you know who I would equate him to? Stephen Foster. He just goes everywhere with his melodies. You might find a couple of songs that emulate each other, but he’s got “The Running Kind” and “Mama Tried” and “I Always Get Lucky With You.” He’s got jazzy melodies, bluesy melodies, straight ahead country melodies. He’s got “Sing Me Back Home,” which sounds like folk music to me. It’s a wonderful catalog.
– – Suzy Bogguss on Merle Haggard, whose songs she recorded for Lucky.

The country singer Eric Church might have written a bad song once or twice, but he’s never recorded one. Church arrived in 2006 with a debut album, Sinners Like Me, that was, in a word, sharp: a dozen sharp-witted and sharp-elbowed songs, delivered by Church in his piercing, slightly nasal voice, a sound that comes slicing right at you, like a table saw running through your speaker cabinet. Since then, Church has released a new album roughly every two and a half years, each stronger than the previous, proving himself not just the most consistent male country star of his generation but one of the brightest lights in any genre—right up there with Kanye West, Beyoncé, Vampire Weekend, et al.
– – Eric Church and The Outsiders (out February 11) get astonishingly good ink from New York Magazine’s Jody Rosen. Almost reads like a press release.

It’s just a matter of time till the whole country will wake up and realize that this is where we’re going and get ready for it.
– – Willie Nelson on Colorado’s legalization of recreational marijuana use.

Him and his dad, if he wants to bring him, should meet me down at my farm in Tennessee. We should go up to the teepee, all of us have a couple of four-wheelers, build a great big bonfire, watch the hawks and the deer and the turkey, refocus a little bit. Sometimes getting back to nature can do that. I’m going to offer it up to him. If he wants to come down to the farm and get away for a little bit, I think it’d be great. I’d meet him there. I’ll build the fire. I’ll gas up the four-wheelers.
– – Billy Ray Cyrus, who seems perhaps the sweetest and most naive man alive, wants to help Justin Bieber get into a healthier state of mind. Also, Billy Ray Cyrus has a teepee.

We see new male artists have their first single reach No. 1 on the charts, but it generally takes a female a lot longer to build momentum. I know that I am an exception to this, but I [also] know that if I hadn’t made my place in country music via ‘American Idol,’ I probably could have tried to make it for the rest of my life and never made any progress. […] I don’t think women can get away with the partying, beer-drinking, hung-over, truck-driving kind of music that a lot of the guys have gotten away with lately.
– – Carrie Underwood on country’s gender gap, candidly describing the “partying, beer-drinking, hung-over, truck-driving kind of music” as something to be “gotten away with.”

I’m really, really sick of trucks and bonfires. […] When that radio door opened [in the ’90s], it let so many of us through. I felt at the time that [female listeners] really wanted us to speak about things they related to, and a lot of us did. One of the things we’ve gotta hope for is that the tide will turn and female fans will continue to speak up and say, ‘We need some real material here.’
– – Suzy Bogguss again. Both this and the Underwood quote come from this fine Billboard article.

I just don’t agree with how he handled that, and I’ll tell you why. You got little kids watching these football games and you have these guys that get paid millions, millions, millions more than school teachers to play football and that’s the role they’re setting for these kids? I’m sorry, but I’m never going to endorse that.
– – Tyler Farr, whose stalker anthem “Redneck Crazy” was played endlessly in minivans, says Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman’s outburst of a few weeks ago set a bad example for the kids.

(CNN) — The Band Perry has stepped in to help with expenses to bury a mother and eight children who were killed in a house fire in Greenville, Kentucky.
– – Always nice to see a country act making headlines for doing something good.

Listen, if I could figure out the formula, I’d be doing it. If somebody does give you the formula, please call me back and let me know. Because we all want to do it.
– – Jennifer Nettles on George Strait’s career longevity.

I mean, honestly I’ll hear a track and I’m like, ‘This needs to go together.’ Like Pontoon by Little Big Town. I mixed it with Juvenile’s Back That Ass Up. This original song [Pontoon] was like, ‘Back this hitch into the water.’ All I heard was, ‘Back this bitch onto the water.’ You know what I mean? It just works, for whatever reason. It’s not forced. The songs were made to go together.
– – Dee Jay Silver on the keen interpretive insight underlying his country remixes.

I love singing. I came back from one really gruelling tour and was totally burned out. I thought, ‘I’m not singing or playing for a month. I’m done with it.’ And I walked in the door, picked up my guitar and wrote a song about it.
– – Lindi Ortega on being eaten up with music.

Here are Luke Bryan’s moves: He waves his right hand in the air as if he’s riding a bull while his left hand caresses his rear end; he flattens his arms against himself and pumps his shoulders up and down; he stands firm, feet spread shoulderwide, and lets his waist go liquid, thrusting himself into the cheap seats.
– – Jon Caramanica reviews a Luke Bryan show for The New York Times. Title: “Gyrating His Way Through Country Beats: Luke Bryan Brings Hip-Hop Excess to Madison Square Garden.” A+.

Cowboy Butts Drive Us Nuts: See Country Stars in Their Jeans
– – Taste of Country demonstrates what it takes to attract 2 million Facebook followers.

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  1. Sabra says

    I would think the key to George Strait’s career longevity is obvious to anyone willing to pay attention, and it can be summed up in one word: consistency. He may not be the most exciting artist out there, but he is arguably the most consistent. Good songs (to which the man takes a back stage), excellent backup band, a steady image. You see similar things from Alan Jackson, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, etc. Hell, that’s essentially the secret to Stephen King’s success. Do one thing, and do it well.

  2. the pistolero says

    The secret to George Strait’s success? He was the anti-Sugarland.

    And an excited black man on TV is so much worse of a bad influence on society than a dude singing about stalking his ex-girlfriend and defending it on specious grounds, amirite?

  3. Michael A. says

    I’ve never been a fan of Underwood. I have to admit, I’ve always thought she found success the easy way (via American Idol). Also, many of her most ardent fans can be obnoxious in the comments sections of web stories and, most importantly, I find her music to be so incredibly boring. However, I have to give her props for acknowledging why it was so easy to get her foot in the door at country radio and for speaking out against the prevalence of inane lyrics about drinking beer and driving trucks, especially to such a mainstream publication.

  4. Rick says

    I really didn’t think I could have any less respect for Todd Snider as a human being, but yet again he’s proven me wrong! Way to go Todd, you brain addled joker…

    George Strait’s longevity was due to a variety of factors most of which no longer apply to either Top 40 AirHead Country radio or Nashville’s major labels. Sorry Jennifer, George’s formula is no longer applicable even if you could decipher it..

    I think “Taste of Country’s” popularity proves the vast majority of listeners to AirHead Country Radio these days are shallow, pop culture obsessed women and gay men. Now if instead that article had featured female country artist’s butts, that would be another matter entirely! (lol)

    I think Willie’s expectation on marijuana laws will soon become reality in all the states with Democrat voter majorities, and if Federal Amnesty happens that will be pretty much all of them! Alexis de Tocqueville said “America is great because she is good (in a moral sense)” and it’s obvious now that America’s greatness has become just another historical reference..

  5. A.B. says

    I’m glad Steve Buchanan moved the items to higher ground. Reading the whole article though left something to be desired. He’s good at promoting himself. How much does he actually love the Opry? Instead of telling us his favorite concerts at the Ryman, I’d rather have him telling us his favorite Opry performances. Nothing about the article really screamed Protector of the Opry except the moving of valuables to higher ground.

  6. R.Atcher says

    I have been a fan of Suzy Bogguss since she broke onto the scene. She continues to impress me as being too intelligent to have survived in the country music business this long.

    There was a time when the female buyer drove country music sales. It appears that the change in the marketplace to digital has also shifted the market to the male performer. Regrettably in my mind since the female singers have always been a critical part of the best of country music.


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