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Albright & O’Malley & Brenner’s Becky Brenner later commented that many of the new breed of Country programmers who have migrated from the pop and Top 40 worlds are not historians of the format and may not, in fact, be huge Country fans at the end of the day. ●
— No kidding? From R.J. Curtis’ All Access write-up on the Country Radio Seminar.
I felt like sometimes in the early days — and you live and you learn as you get more experience — that when you rehearse a song, and rehearse it and rehearse it and rehearse it, when you get into the studio, it doesn’t have that luster it had. So, I found that for me, it sounds fresher doing it this way. So I said, “We’ll record it, then we’ll learn it.” (laughs) ●
— Doyle Lawson on keeping it loose in the studio.
I really wanted to make an album that had that feeling to it, that didn’t sound practiced, that didn’t sound demoed. Those moments are gonna happen, whether they happen at band practice or whether they happen on a demo recording. But once they do happen, you don’t get them back really. They’re moments. The harmonies get tighter, the rhythm gets more refined. But that one moment, you don’t get it again. ●
— Brandi Carlile on same, discussing the recording of Firewatcher’s Daughter with CMT Edge.
We’ve learned over the years that working in the studio is a different animal, altogether different from a live show, and should be treated as such. You could beat your head against the wall trying to capture live energy or the vibe and never get it. You have to capitalize on whatever kind of magic happens in a studio situation and go where that takes you. Sometimes it will change a song completely. But if you let it happen naturally, and don’t over think it, it will work. ●
— Blackberry Smoke’s Charlie Starr. The band’s new album is Holding All the Roses.
The magic of Musgraves’ songwriting is that it doesn’t sell escapism. As she says in Biscuits: “We’ve all got dirty laundry hanging on the line.” Lyrics like that may seem cynical upon first glance, but such down-to-earth words feel compassionate too, don’t they? They point out common flaws in humanity, and in doing so they emphasise the freedom that comes from realising that nobody’s living a perfect life. For every anxious soul that’s a liberating message, and it makes Musgraves something of a soothsayer for the digital age. ●
— Grady Smith, covering Kacey Musgraves and “Biscuits” for The Guardian.
Todd Snider is a movie star now and folk music’s beneath him! I’m a lead singer in a jam band and I like to take acid. My name is Blind Lemon Pledge and Todd Snider is dead and hasn’t been heard from—that’s my plan. I want to make a Blind Lemon Pledge solo record. He’s kind of country and makes up confusing rock songs that I have no idea what they are about. ●
— I’m a little puzzled by and concerned for Todd Snider here lately.
Think about this. We opened the last George Strait concert for 104,000 people. It was the largest indoor concert held anywhere. He’s without question the most popular male country singer in America, no doubt about it. And he’s still playing Bob Wills’ music. And we’re still playing Bob Wills’ music. And there are dozens and dozens of bands of young folks, middle-aged folk, even old folks like me playing Western swing music. ●
— Ray Benson on the enduring appeal of Bob Wills. Asleep at the Wheel’s latest star-studded Wills tribute is Still the King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys.
Emi just walked out and she stormed the place. I watched people’s faces, and there were people with their mouths wide open. You could tell what they were thinking: What is this? What are we witnessing? I love the effect she had on the room — she stole the show. ●
— Marty Stuart on the Opry debut of uke-playing wunderkind Emi Sunshine.
Kudos to @FLAGALine for showing their class in this situation ●
— The Boot on Twitter, linking to a predictably slanted telling of the Charlie Robison tiff.
She really lives on the adoration of others. I could be speaking out of turn but this is my perspective. She lives and dies on the perception of herself. I sympathize with that cause she’s been famous since she was 12-years-old so she doesn’t know anything else. In LA, there’s the paparazzi and that false sense of success, false security that you’re still relevant. If you’re in the magazines, then you matter. And that carried over to the divorce. She became even more “famous”. But she was in the middle of the road in country [music] and she should’ve been owning that format. She’s one of the most talented people I’ve ever met, has the most incredible voice, she’s flawless. But she got away from doing that and it breaks my heart. She’s gone away from what she was put on this earth to do. ●
— Dean Sheremet on ex-wife LeAnn Rimes.
[It] doesn’t matter to me that anyone is working it. Our job is to find the best songs that create reasons to listen to our product. This [song] as well as others fit that bill. I don’t really care if anyone else plays it, but they should. This is a song that belongs on country radio and a song that will resonate with our adult listeners. Our response is huge. Plus, our audience does not know no one else is playing it. They saw it on TV, they hear it on their favorite station — that is No. 1 on their chart. ●
— Maverick station manager Nate Deaton, whose KRTY San Jose leads in plays for Brandy Clark’s “Hold My Hand.”
I’ve heard many people argue that much of country music is manufactured by record labels, that stars don’t live the reality they sing about. But ask Luke Bryan, who grew up on a peanut farm in Leesburg, Ga. So tell me again how Luke Bryan doesn’t know about barns. ●
— AL.com ran with a confused story titled “The case for bro-country” that includes a Spotify playlist featuring such alleged bro-country tunes as Tim McGraw’s “Something Like That,” Keith Urban’s “Somebody Like You,” and Josh Turner’s “Your Man.” Ermm…
Q. You’ve been on the road since the end of November. How are you holding up?
A. How old are you?
Q. I’m 36. ●
— Curious beginning to an interview with Wynonna.
It’s all how you word it. Her stuff is a little more built toward my 17-year-old daughter. So her phrases are a little more slang, if I may say, or oriented to that age group. Where in ours, we would’ve been very careful to make sure that the words were chosen right, but what I like about her, she shoots from the hip. And that’s cool. I dig that. That’s what my daughter digs in her stuff, is how much she just sings as if not to care what you think of her. She’s just going to tell you what she thinks. And those are the beginning steps of great artists, of iconic artists. ●
— Garth Brooks, sounding like an old guy, on Kacey Musgraves and how “Follow Your Arrow” compares to “We Shall Be Free.”
The thing is, who is your companion? And for me, it’s country radio. So I feel my job as an artist is to drive people to country radio. That’s my job as a country artist. So these streaming places, especially these on-demand streaming places, where you can just push a button and hear it as many times as you want, like YouTube, any of that stuff, that’s taking all the ears away from country radio.
And so I’m not sure how we exist, as an artist, without country radio… ●
— Garth Brooks. Interesting bits here include Garth thinking of his job AS AN ARTIST as “driv[ing] people to country radio” and the irony that actual radio airplay for new songs has been the biggest missing piece in his own comeback. Also interesting how the last sentence excerpted here (the full interview goes on) echoes Gary Overton’s controversial remark of a couple weeks ago.
At 53, Brooks looks virtually unchanged from that time [in 1998], quite possibly because he never looked particularly youthful in the first place. ●
— The Buffalo News with a nice preview of Garth’s shows in the city.
I’m not going to let radio destroy my music. […] I’ll tell you, all of those artists that are desperately depending on country radio playing their songs don’t sell any more tickets than I do – until you get into like the top ones that sell out arenas and things of that size. ●
— Aaron Lewis, astutely pointing out that he sells just as many tickets as the artists who don’t sell more tickets than him. Seriously though, point taken. He does as well as mid-level country acts without the airplay. So existence without mainstream radio support is possible. Speaking of which…
You know, I don’t have anything against Nashville or mainstream country music. I love Nashville. I love mainstream country music. I love Texas. I love this Texas music scene that I’ve been involved with for a decade and a half. I can love all of these things. This is America. People think that I have to choose sides. I don’t have to choose sides. The mainstream Nashville machine has never been too receptive to me. That’s not their fault. I haven’t been their cup of tea. […] We’re going after mainstream radio. I believe there should be more cowboy in country music. I’m not going to fold just because they didn’t play me the first fifteen years. I’m looking forward to the next fifteen years. ●
— Aaron Watson.
10 Times Luke Bryan Was Really Sexy [Pictures] ●
— More crack reporting from Taste of Country.