Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source.
Q: Is it ever tough for you to write so honestly?
A: Now it’s actually harder not to. Once you get everything out of your head about what everybody else is going to think, will radio play it — and I hope they do, I really do — once you shed all of that and just be who you are, that’s who I am. That’s taken a lot of growing up. I’ve come into myself musically and as a woman and I hope to keep growing. If you don’t grow, you die. ●
- – Ashley Monroe. Like a Rose is out now.
I made it all back in record sales – so it turned out to be a smart business move. That was something else I learned from Gram, ‘If you pay the best, you’ll play with the best.’ ●
- – Emmylou Harris on going $250,000 into debt to hire James Burton and Glen D. Hardin for her Hot Band.
We want to do it where it’s not so much of an obvious thing. It’d be obvious to have him in a video. I would love to make it a little cooler than that. We’ve been bouncing some ideas around. ●
- – Jason Aldean on not having plans to include Joe Diffie in the “1994” music video. Joe Diffie? Devastated.
That’s just crazy. What I do [as a performer now], I can get my point across to five people in a room with no mics and just an acoustic guitar. So how do I take that, without making it cheesy, and also reach the person in the nosebleed section? That’s going to be a challenge, but I’m looking forward to it. I think it’s going to make me a better performer. Am I going to strut the stage in a diamond-encrusted head mic? No. But it’s going to be an interesting challenge. ●
- – Kacey Musgraves on preparing for her upcoming tour with Kenny Chesney.
Sometimes there are so many opportunities out there that you’re like, “Let’s do it this way. Let’s do it more ethereal. We won’t put any banjo, no country instruments, on it.”
I think I just was overthinking it at some points. “Just go in and don’t over-think it. Go in and make a country record.” And that’s where my heart settled as soon as [my manager John] Grady said that: “Why don’tcha just make a country record?” It was like all the thoughts in my head just went silent. “OK, yeah, you’re right. Calm down, Ashley. Just because you can do everything doesn’t mean you have to.” ●
- – Ashley Monroe again.
At age 51, country music superstar Clint Black says his music is better than ever.
That’s saying something, given he has been on top of the music charts for most of his career. ●
- – Oh, has he?
Last night on the show we discussed the new rumor about Tim McGraw’s “secret son” that everyone is talking about. Does anyone care if this hits too close to home for Tim – as he was a “secret son” himself? I don’t know about you, but I feel a responsibility to pass up on those magazines and even websites that choose to exploit and just step on the hearts of public people just for the sake of a page view click or an easy buck. ●
- – Taste of Country Nights radio host Jeremy Robinson, in a post published at Taste of Country… which also ran a post about the McGraw tabloid story… and came up with 13 Mindy McCready headlines in the week following her suicide. Hypocritical much?
Rogers says he’s working on a new album — his 70th overall and his first of new material since 2006’s “Water and Bridges”… He points out one song in particular, called “You Had to Be There.”
“It’s about a man who goes to prison to visit his son, and he’s talking to him for the first time through the glass, and he starts kind of preaching to him and the kid says, ‘Hey, hold it — you had to be there when I was 9,’ you know? And it’s a great piece of music. And it’s a great concept, a great story.” ●
- – Things you didn’t know: Kenny Rogers is cutting “You Had to Be There,” which previously appeared on Tim McGraw’s Southern Voice album. Always nice to see a great song get another shot.
We have a product coming out. We’re starting a massive herb operation. My wife’s late mother and some of her friends put together a company called Knott Enough Thyme. [...] The idea is to follow in the footsteps of a Jimmy Dean, who went from country music to a grocery store brand. ●
- – “Billy the Kid” and “Somewhere in My Broken Heart” singer Billy Dean is starting a massive herb operation. Which isn’t nearly as interesting as it initially sounds.
But when he briefly talked about some “real” country music legends like Vern Gosdin and Johnny Cash, it made me wonder what Turner’s voice could bring if unleashed on some deeper, more complex lyrics. And while I don’t wish heartache on anyone, I almost hope for Turner to run across some of life’s stumbling blocks over the next few years. An older and wiser, not necessarily cynical but at least more world-weary, Josh Turner could be a real revelation. ●
- – From a Josh Turner concert review. Nail on head, Greenville Online’s Neil Shurley.
The young people know my music now because their parents made them listen to it. It probably could be considered child abuse. ●
- – Kenny Rogers, self-effacingly.
I don’t know about the dumbest, but the most repetitive question I get, which is kind of dumb, I guess, is boxers or briefs? If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me that, I would be a millionaire. ●
- – That makes one of us, Billy Currington. (Boxer-briefs, folks. Thanks for caring.)
And don’t make it poetic. It’s the John Prine school of songwriting. Literally just [really] say how it is. And it wins every time. Too many people focus on writing what they think they should write, what should be in a song, what radio would want. [Forget] that, that’s so boring. ●
- – Kacey Musgraves on her approach to songwriting.
It was during the era of The Judds and Ricky Skaggs and George Strait and Randy Travis. It was very traditional at the time. Even though we all grew up in these more traditional influences instrumentally and vocally — except for our drummer, who grew up in New York and loved the Big Band thing, oddly enough — when you put the whole sound together, it became contemporary.
Of course, as years have gone by, you listen to our music now, some of our No. 1 hits, and it’s almost traditional compared to some of the (new) stuff. ●
- – Restless Heart frontman Larry Stewart.
Well, she writes songs like Guy Clark and sings like Dolly Parton, two pretty great reasons right there. One would be enough, but to have both, I thought, ‘Yeah this might be a great way to spend time.’ You love being around the most gifted people if you get the opportunity, and I honestly believe she’s of that brand, of that ilk, whatever is a good word, you know? Everything about her is undeniable. ●
- – Vince Gill on why he wanted to work with Ashley Monroe.
I think the most important thing for the likes of me and my peers is to make sure that traditional country music makes it into the hands of young people. And to make sure they know there’s a future for it, it’s not dead. There is still a handful of old-timers left – the old kings and queens. We have to make sure that they make it home safely and warm. The next part of the job is to make sure the young ones get it in their hands and their hearts. ●
- – Marty Stuart on seeing to it that traditional country gets perpetuated.
I just believe that Ashley is going to do what Emmylou did in the mid 70s, in a sense of turning young people on to country music. I think a lot of people will assume that because it’s a real traditional sounding record, in spots, that people from the past will embrace this record. I think that’s a given, but I think the young people that hear this will go ‘That’s real. That’s authentic. That’s undeniable’ – all those things that drew me to Emmylou. ●
- – Vince Gill thinks Ashley Monroe might be a big part of the way forward.
(Did I mention that Like a Rose is available now?)