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This is the best day ever – I’ve got my girl here, my friends, my family – it’s the best day ever! ●
— Jason Aldean at his Mexican wedding to ‘girl’ Brittany Kerr.
If you look at her career, she’s in a space that, historically, I don’t know that anybody’s ever been in. Everybody always compares her to Madonna, but I don’t know, man. Madonna at 25, was she at this spot? No, I don’t think so, especially if you look at what she’s done in country prior to kind of moving into pop. She has such a unique career and she’s so young and it’s gonna be really cool to see where that goes. I’m looking forward to it. ●
— Eric Church on Taylor Swift.
Women have a lot to say but it takes a lot of courage to say it. Women are the greater risk-takers. When they step out of what’s expected in this genre, they are really stepping in the line of fire. […] It’s not about being tough or writing lyrics about being strong or sassy. It is deeper than that. I think it’s about true self-awareness and having a real vision of where you belong in society. It’s not about conveying a superficial, ultra-beautiful, boss-warrior. We can go deeper than that. ●
— Shania Twain on women in country.
We must nurture these women to write honest songs, to write from their heart and not to pander. Give these girls some room to do what they do. Stop editing them, changing their hair color and worrying about the photo shoot before we worry about the music. Let’s not put the cart before the horse. […] It might take a little bit longer to get a female all the way up the charts, and it might not research, but maybe we could just go with our gut a little longer sometimes. ●
— Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild on women in country.
Play It Again has already signed four writers: Maggie Rose, Houston Phillips, Brian Kolb and Kyle Fishman. ●
— Surprise! The first (and, so far, only) female writer signed to Dallas Davidson’s new publishing company is Maggie Rose of “Girl in Your Truck Song” infamy.
Well, you can either change and roll with it, or you can struggle through the other way and not accept [change] and be miserable. I prefer at this time in my life to go with it because the only thing I know that’s coming is change. That’s the hardest lesson for human beings to learn. We’re sold the notion that things are supposed to last forever. We spend our lives fighting mortality which is pointless. I try to wrap my head around the concept all the time, daily; that nothing is going to last forever. I’m going to look up in a year and things are going to be different from the way they are now. But, hopefully, I’ll get better at being more graceful in my acceptance process. That’s what I’m trying to get to. ●
— Allison Moorer has been making media rounds in support of Down to Believing.
You’ve got to have a good dose of reality. They quit playing Elvis, they quit playing everybody at some point. That’s the way it goes, and that’s the way it should go.
I am really encouraging of young people who want to go and do the same thing that I did. I don’t dwell a whole lot on the bitter side. The human condition is, “I made this for you? What do you mean you don’t like it?” Everybody who gives people Christmas gifts wants them to like their present the best. You kind of have to let go. That is what age will teach you, is that the results of a record I make are not dictated by how many it sold. It’s in those songs, it’s in those grooves. Someone likes it and buys it, someone doesn’t buy it, nothing changes about the actual work. ●
— Vince Gill on proceeding gracefully to elder statesman status.
I’m having a blast, I own my own tour bus, I have an amazing fan base, and I get to take the gigs that I want, I never have to visit another radio station and beg them to play my single again, which is the way you did it in those days. You have to go, and you have to bow down to these country radio guys and kiss their asses, and listen to them tell you why you don’t matter, and why your song isn’t right at the time, and live this life of being turned down all the time. Steve Earle and Robert Earl Keen don’t have to visit radio stations. When we go in to make a record, I own my record, so I make money off of it from the first sale of it. It’s really ironic because it’s actually the people in Nashville that don’t exist to me rather than the other way around. ●
— Charlie Robison, to Saving Country Music, on success his way.
I don’t think I was deliberately doing it. I think I can’t help but do it. I just write, as I said, they’re all about me in some way. Some not so blatantly … But they’re definitely autobiographical. I think that’s what a writer does. Even if you completely change the characters, even if you completely change the scenario, it’s just gonna end up being about you. We’re self-centered people. [Laughs]. Can’t help it. ●
— Allison Moorer (to Taste of Country) on autobiographical songwriting.
I really like Miranda Lambert because she’s understanding that she’s putting together a catalog for the ages. ●
— Garth Brooks admires Miranda Lambert’s song sense.
People are hungry for honest music. I think the mainstream artists can sense that, too. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of these pop country acts tried to turn it around quickly and redeem themselves. ●
— Margo Price of traditional country throwback Margo Price & The Price Tags.
It alienated me in a lot of ways. I felt weird about going to family reunions and things, a big Southern family, and they’re all about that. It was a … it ended up kind of scarring that relationship, and I hate that. […] You walk a plank, you separate yourself from the crowd — people going, ‘You’re trying to do what?! Trying to make it at music business? Nobody does that! What are the chances of that? Go back to school, you’re crazy!’ ●
— Ronnie Dunn on pursuing a life in the music business.
It felt like somebody had just tore down a fence around my yard and I was a pooch running free. I’ve never been married, but it’s like someone who has been divorced and didn’t really know how to get back in the game but is excited and has all the freedom in the world. With that excitement, he can either shoot himself in the foot or go out there and make it happen. With Trick Pony, we always had to agree on songs, and I’m a big fan of the uptempo rockers, and I always felt there was a leash on us. Now I didn’t have a label, I didn’t have Keith or Heidi, and I was just making music that I loved, and experimenting all the way. ●
— Former Trick Pony bassist Ira Dean on taking the reins for his first solo record.
Don’t worry. That’s about the only happy and uptempo song on the record! […] When I’m happy, I’m not inspired to write about it as much. I’ll go to the park, for a walk, or simply go be happy. But it’s in my dark moments that I feel the heavy heart that I want to write about. It’s an important song for me to say that I’m not always in that dark place. ●
— Ashley Monroe on current single “On to Something Good.”
Along the way I noticed something: Lesbian folk singer-songwriters are often country hybrid artists. They just don’t describe it as such, in part because country music and its fans have seemed hostile toward queer people. All that Jesus, patriotism, and family came packaged with an unwelcome underlying message. It’s hard to listen to Melissa Etheridge’s debut album and not recognize country music. You can hear country in Ani DiFranco, and the Indigo Girls at times. There was even an all-gay band called Lavender Country in the 1970s, and of course k.d. lang started out in the real torch and twang world. We have always been a little bit country, even if rock ’n’ roll seemed friendlier. ●
— Advocate.com says “An LGBT Earthquake Is Happening in Country Music,” citing Ty Herndon, Chely Wright, Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally, et al.
I’m Batman. Have you ever seen me and Batman in same room together? I’m really hoping some crime doesn’t happen during this interview. ●
— One fun fact you might not know about Michael Ray is that he is, evidently, a crazy person.
Chesney once paid Taylor Swift not to tour with him. After booking her as a support, he realized he’d scheduled a minor to open shows sponsored by Corona Light beer. “I had to call her and tell her she couldn’t be on the tour,” he says. He also gave her a hefty check by way of apology. Not long afterward, Swift ended Chesney’s four-year run as the Country Music Association’s entertainer of the year, keeping him from breaking a record he still shares with Garth Brooks. “I went up to her backstage, gave her a hug and told her I wanted my money back.” ●
— From a USA Today feature on Kenny Chesney’s 2015 tour.
I make money from [songwriting] now, but back then I was a failure essentially as a staff songwriter. But there was no intention, none of us, me and Guy Clark, Guy was way more successful than I was but even he his intention was not to be a staff songwriter. We were all post-Kristoffersons so we all considered ourselves to be singer-songwriters. The business didn’t. The business thought they were smarter than we were and thought, “Well, we’ll put out these records and we won’t print very many copies and we’ll help you make it through the night every once in a while.” We thought we were fooling them into subsidizing us making records the way that we wanted to. Everybody thought everybody was fooling everybody. And both of us were probably right to a certain extent, everybody was fooling each of us. ●
— Steve Earle.
Look, if you ask Lucinda Williams why she doesn’t write political songs, I heard somebody ask her that once and she said “Steve Earle is really good at that.” She’s just not comfortable doing it. She has an audience that she reaches and she knows the job. The job is empathy. Whether you’re writing a love song or whether you’re writing a political song. Nobody gives a f**k about what you think. They give a f**k about what you have in common, that’s where you find your audience. There’s some things that I’ve written that’s just me beating people off the head and shoulders about what I believe but there’s very few of them. ●
— Steve Earle again. Same interview. Good read.
My label is called Big Label. It’s like a Who’s on First kind of pun, because people will ask if I signed to a big label yet, and I’ll say, ‘Actually I am on a big label.’ It’s the smallest P.O Box you can rent from the post office. ●
— Aaron Watson.