Quotable Country – 03/03/13 Edition

Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source.

How do you get a boatload of country radio execs on their feet?
You bring out classic rock band REO Speedwagon.
– – Of course you do. Everything you need to know about the industry’s CRS powwow in Nashville.

Lead vocalist Kevin Cronin [of REO Speedwagon] noted that the lines between country music and their style of rock have now become more blurred than ever and that many of his band’s hits would sound like country music if they performed them acoustically.
“It’s all country music,” Cronin said. “It’s good songs. It’s all country music.”
– – Oh dear.

We all have a connection. It’s the love of the music. That’s why everybody wants to be on this boat. You’ve got the biggest names and you get to see the rising stars. It’s exciting. You have three hours where you can just sit, listen, enjoy and catch up with friends.
– – “And did I mention about REO Speedwagon?” WSIX Nashville midday air personality Amy Paige on why she loves attending Sony Music Nashville’s boat show.

Brantley Gilbert posits himself as a “real outlaw” and a “hell raiser.” He sings about dirt roads and rednecks and law-breaking. But he’s no Johnny Cash. (He’s not even Gretchen Wilson.) A real rabble-rouser shouldn’t have to repeatedly tell you he’s a bad boy.
– – From a Houston Chronicle review of a Brantley Gilbert concert.

Look, very few women even had their own bands [when I was starting out]. Dolly Parton was part of The Porter Wagoner Show. Loretta Lynn was part of The Wilburn Brothers Show. The women were always part of some guy’s show. And he had the band; he ran the band. I think I was one of the first women to have her own band. Which didn’t sit well with the sort of established mind-set. But, hey, I didn’t know any better. I’d been raised in California without those limitations ingrained in me. So I just bounced along and did my own little thing.
– – Lynn Anderson.

It’s been a lot easier lately. I don’t know if I’m just getting older and starting to figure things out. What’s made it easier for me is I’ve had guys in the band that were bad alcoholics. I got rid of all those guys. That’s one thing I did. And if I go to a bar, I don’t go in there unless I’m going in to play. Hanging out in a bar, sometimes you just want to drink. You’ve got to get out of the bar, go outside, do whatever it is you’ve got to do to beat that feeling. Walk around the block and get some coffee.
– – Wayne ‘The Train’ Hancock on staying sober on the road.

Look around. People are eating fast food in cars. My grandfather had a proper lunch with coffee every day, and he was a butcher by trade. He wanted to savor his life. That’s what this music is. It’s why we decided to do this again. It’s unorthodox and not obvious, but I think it will work. I can tell by the response from the people.
– – Raul Malo on why the time is right for The Mavericks.

I’m more of a solitary guy who ponders, and I always have been over the years. Co-writing isn’t something that comes naturally to me. It’s something I really dread. (laughs) I’ve spent many, many days, weeks, months in Nashville and done many co-writing sessions, and it’s not something that comes easily for me. I know a lot of people who it comes easily for, but it’s really rough for me.
– – Bruce Robison on preferring to write solo.

The Pistol Annies thing helped me a lot, in terms of not being afraid to speak the truth or to say certain words. We were playing big places, and we were singing about things we’d done that aren’t always pretty, that aren’t all sweetness and butterflies, and people were singing every word back. That gave me confidence and reassured me that people do want to listen, and I don’t have to be perfect or slick, I can be me.
– – Ashley Monroe, whose sophomore album Like a Rose comes out (finally!) on Tuesday.

Like Johnny Cash always told people when they asked him about songwriting, ‘Write simple, kid. That’s the hardest possible way to write.’
– – Mary Gauthier.

I went to Jon and I said, ‘I want to make a record and I want to do all your songs.’ He thought that was a little ridiculous, but I talked him into it. He’s my favorite songwriter. […] There are a lot of dark alleyways on this album, a lot of drinking and (messing) up, there are a couple murder ballads on there. I like those images more than just unicorns and rainbows. I want a three-minute story, more than a hook, and nobody spins a tale like Jon does.
– – John Corbett on recording an album’s worth of Jon Randall (Stewart) songs: Leaving Nothin’ Behind.

I watch them on YouTube and they’re some of the most inspiring people who give talks on inspiration and shame and vulnerability and all these grand concepts. Sometimes I just go and I watch those speeches because it inspires me that there are people that are that emotionally intelligent.
– – Taylor Swift on TED Talks.

We are the promotional arm for the labels, period. We are the distribution arm to get this music played.
– – Lew Dickey, Chief Executive Officer of Cumulus, on the cozy radio-label relationship.

We knew they would be left of center, because they always were. […] The Mavericks aren’t like The Band Perry, Florida Georgia Line or Brantley Gilbert. And that’s OK, because I know the people who love Adele and Mumford & Sons are going to love this record. That’s how it’s always been.
– – Scott Borchetta on signing The Mavericks.

I can’t imagine being up there singing ‘Indian Outlaw’ or ‘I Like It, I Love It’ at 65 years old.
– – Tim McGraw.

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  1. Michael A. says

    That same Tim McGraw article also yielded this gem:

    “When you make a record… There’s a physical part of your body that goes in.”

    Um, ewwww? I don’t think that’s actually a requirement.

  2. Chris says

    The first three are the latest examples of why I’ve lost all faith in this genre…

    Raul Malo’s quote is one more example why I love the guy and that band…

    Brantley Gilbert is the same douchebag he was when he got signed (whoever signed him needs to be working in fast food)

    Bruce Robison is like McBride and The Ride…always quality and very underrated

  3. KC says

    That is so messed up that Scott Borchetta thinks “left of center” of mainstream country is Adele and Mumford & Sons. Even worse if he’s right. I think the worst thing Taylor Swift ever did was make that man money. I never thought I’d root for an indie label to fail, but I sure wish his had.

    I think that Lew Dickey comment is unfortunately correct. Almost nothing sells without a radio hit. That’s why I’m surprised labels are so insistent that they should be paid when songs are played on the radio.

  4. says

    I don’t know how long The Mavericks will stay together this time, but I really like this new album. I’m glad it sounds like they were given the freedom to make music their way.

  5. Sarah says

    These quotes are making me want to listen to The Mavericks, which I didn’t realize it was possible for praise from Scott Borchetta to do.

    Those first few quotes are nothing new, I guess, but they’re really depressing. I think what I hate the most about what’s happening to country is the people who see it as a good thing, like rock came in and took this little genre that only old farts (and jackasses) cared about and suddenly made it something people want to hear, and country and rock can all get along.


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