Quotable Country – 02/24/13 Edition

Runnin-Outta-MoonlightClick the bullet after each quote to visit the source.

Hey, is there some camera angle we could use to make Randy appear 14 feet tall with impossibly skinny legs?
– – Apparent thought process behind photo at right.

It’s easy to write something you are stoked about, then you realize it is a John Prine song from 20 years ago.
– – Holly Williams on limiting exposure to other music while in the thick of her own record-making process.

JH: I’ll leave you with an anecdote about the first time I listened to Come Cry With Me. I’d put it on, turned it up and gone out of the room for a moment, so I didn’t have the song titles in front of me. And when your song “When I Was Abroad” came on, it sounded to me like you were singing “When I Was a Bro.” As in, a douchey frat guy.
DR: That would totally suck if those were the words.
JH: Congrats on not writing that song.
DR: Thanks very much.
– – Jewly Hight in conversation with Daniel Romano for Nashville Scene.

I was probably one of the unhippest kids in school. My friends were listening to whatever the hell they were listening to, and I was holding on strong to Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley and Hank Williams, all the stuff my parents and grandparents were listening to. [My friends] always used to tease me: ‘Oh, you just listen to what your parents listen to.’ ‘Yeah. It’s better shit than what you’re listening to. You’re listening to Flock of Seagulls.’
– – Raul Malo, whose new record with The Mavericks comes out Tuesday. (Jewly Hight again!)

I’ve always said that country is the only place where you can hear a guitar solo. And when I first got started 20 years ago — I can’t even believe it’s been 20 years — we had big kind of country-rock songs like “If It Makes You Happy” and “Strong Enough to Be My Man” and “Everyday Is a Winding Road” — stuff that could be played at radio now. I moved to Nashville going on eight years ago, and it just seemed like the format I guess I belong in in some ways. It’s very song oriented, very musician oriented, song structure, lyric, storytelling and so … my hope is that people don’t feel like I’m carpet-bagging or, you know, like I’m getting in on something.
– – Sheryl Crow on embracing country, and hoping it’ll respond in kind.

I really don’t know. […] I’ve never studied intervals or parts. Whatever I’ve done came from total ignorance and fearlessness. For me, it’s whatever isn’t the melody.
– – Emmylou Harris (to Peter Cooper) on singing harmony.

We have gone from ‘We don’t want anybody under 25 or maybe even 35. But if they come along for the ride, that’s nice,’ to ‘Hey, kids, win a contest to have Hunter Hayes visit your high school.’
– – Sean Ross, vice president of music and programming at Edison Research, on the shifting demographic focus of country programming.

And when you listen to country, you get a variety of flavors. I don’t think it means that country turned pop, I just think that it continues to evolve. Today’s country is so digestible to the mass populace.
– – Warner Music Nashville president John Esposito. Should “digestible to the mass populace” really be the endgame? If your highest aim is to sell lots of music, maybe so.

I look at it like this: Remember when we were little and we had somebody we looked up to? You had to join their fan club and write them a letter, and they would never write you back? Twitter and Facebook are free, first of all. It’s a direct line for fans to get in touch with you. So I think it’s awesome. I always look at music as if I were a fan and how I would want the other person to respond to me. You do this for your fans. I mean, I don’t know if everybody does, but I certainly do. So if somebody wants to tell me something, they should be able to write me directly.
– – Sunny Sweeney on making herself accessible to fans.

– – Email from Scotty McCreery’s record label on Friday afternoon. Straight from my inbox…

Scotty McCreery Gives in to the Harlem Shake Craze
– – … to the Taste of Country headlines. New tagline: News at the Speed of Immediately Reporting Whatever the Moneyed Record Label Tells Us to Report, Even If Quite Obviously Pointless.

Yeah, I’d invite anybody to go do what I did for months and see if they could survive. There were times I didn’t think I was going to make it, and I was talking to the family about buying a plane ticket home. It was tough, it was grueling, seven days a week, 24 hours in the day. If anyone wants to say it’s a shortcut, I invite them to go out there and try it themselves and see how they come out.
– – Scotty McCreery says being on “American Idol” is no easy shortcut to fame.
(See how I mentioned McCreery without making any reference to the Harlem Shake? Oh, shoot…)

Also – and this may sound a little morbid – you get to a stage where you start losing friends and a sense that you have a finite amount of time. I didn’t want Rodney or me to regret that we didn’t get around to doing it. So finally, we made an album together. And I have to say, I think it’s a good one.
– – Emmylou Harris on why the time was right for a duet record with Rodney Crowell. Old Yellow Moon comes out on Tuesday, and I’m willing to bet that it is indeed a good one.

At one point, a man affiliated with the venue comes over to the two blondes in front of us and asks if they’d like to come upstairs to use the restroom—Thomas Rhett is still up there; the meet-and-greet is over, but they can use the toilet. The girls are young and this man is not, and they seem a little creeped out. I promptly volunteer my sister and I as replacements.
The man turns and gives us a once over. I’m looking pretty bookish, and my sister looking pretty comic bookish, and he’s markedly unexcited about this, but he walks us over to the stairs anyway.
– – The Sacramento News & Review hits up the Stoney Inn, where there is (presumably) still a guy named Big Steve waiting to beat me up. Because I don’t like line-dancing.

Church saved some of his best tricks for Creepin’ — the tune featured extensive use of green lasers. At times, the lasers were used to draw a continuous circle around Church, who traded in his acoustic guitar for a banjo.
– – Oh my gosh, I would love to hear Eric Church’s hot banjo licks. If that Noam Pikelny goober has to take a night or two off, maybe The Punch Brothers could have Eric Church sub.


When tragedy strikes, the important thing for a news outlet is to capitalize on it as quickly as possible with an interminable stream of timely but inconsequential reportage. More articles = more hits = more ad revenue. How often does your average country music site get a chance to monetize human suffering, anyway?

(Other than by selling ad space to Florida Georgia Line, I mean.)

While smaller sites like Engine 145 and Country Universe dropped the ball, limiting themselves to one or two posts that tastefully conveyed the basic facts of Mindy McCready’s passing, industry leaders The Boot and Taste of Country really shone this past week, efficiently milking every last dime from the pain of McCready and her loved ones – exactly the sort of breathless opportunism that hurries some celebrities, especially those who might not have been disposed to the greatest mental health in the first place, along their sad downward trajectories.

Here, The Boot and Taste of Country go head to head to see who can get the most mileage out of McCready’s demise:

The Boot
1. Mindy McCready Dead: Singer Dies From Apparent Suicide
2. Mindy McCready Suicide: Ex-Boyfriend Billy McKnight Reacts
3. Mindy McCready Suicide: Stars React to Tragic Death
4. Mindy McCready Suicide Prevention Video Created Days Before Death
5. Mindy McCready: Looking Back at Fallen Country Singer’s Storied Life and Career
6. Mindy McCready Book Plans: Singer Was Writing ‘Comeback Story’ Before Her Death
7. Mindy McCready’s Sons May Go Home to Grandparents
8. Mindy McCready Autopsy: Preliminary Results Revealed
9. Mindy McCready Suicide: Roger Clemens, Dean Cain React
10. Mindy McCready Funeral Planned; Lauren Alaina’s Special Trip + More: Country Music News Roundup

Taste of Country
1. Mindy McCready Dead
2. Top Mindy McCready Songs
3. Mindy McCready Dead at 37: Country Artists React
4. Mindy McCready Recorded Possible ‘Video Suicide Note’
5. Mindy McCready’s Ex Billy McKnight on Singer’s Suicide: ‘I Can’t Say It Shocked Me’
6. The Life and Death of Mindy McCready – A Timeline of Tragedy
7. Mindy McCready Describes Finding Her Dying Boyfriend in Phone Call Taped One Day Before Her Death
8. Dr. Drew on Mindy McCready: ‘It Didn’t Have to Go Down Like This’
9. Mindy McCready Also Killed Her Dog – But Not in Malice, Friend Says
10. Custody Hearing Scheduled for Mindy McCready’s Sons
11. Preliminary Autopsy Confirms Mindy McCready’s Death a Suicide
12. Actor Dean Cain ‘Not Surprised’ by Mindy McCready’s Suicide
13. Mindy McCready Funeral and Memorial Plans Revealed

Looks like Taste of Country won this round. Congratulations… I guess?

New posts, by email, whenever we’ve got ’em.


  1. says

    Exactly why we left pageviews on the table. It was tasteless. We did, “break” the story though (and that bad juju killed the site for 36 hours).

  2. says

    Thank you for the special report. Yes, it needed to be said. Page views of any amount aren’t worth the sensationalism that people were capitalizing on. An acknowledgement of McCreedy’s death was important, but nothing more.

  3. Chris says

    Loved Raul Malo’s thoughts on “good” music; I sold him a driver at a golf shop in Nashville several years ago and he was one of the coolest guys you’d wanna meet;

    I’m glad Sheryl Crow realizes there are a lot of people who do in fact feel precisely the way she described (the whole carpet-bagger thing)

    The only thing perhaps more intoxicating than harmony is Emmylou Harris harmony

    I wish we could go back to the days of not wanting any one under 25 or even 35…speaking of, Warner Music’s president is dead wrong…today’s country is so incredibly vomit-inducing that most people don’t consider it country and therefore gravitate toward it

    The latest display of unabashed, shameless, fly-infested douchebaggery has surfaced from Eric Church…who else would you expect it from?

  4. says

    Who wants to bet that Brad and Carrie will do the Harlem Shake at this year’s CMAs?

    Ditto to the above thoughts on the special report. It shows a very appalling lack of empathy when the loss of a human life is viewed as an opportunity to get large numbers of page views.

    • says

      Just to keep myself in the ethical clear, I try to make sure that everything I publish gets few if any page views. It removes a lot of the guesswork.

      I pride myself on not knowing what the Harlem Shake is.


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