Quotable Country – 03/23/14 Edition

Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source.

Imagine if they never tore down Ebbets Field, or if you could still get up to the top of the Statue of Liberty and peek out the little windows of her crown; or imagine if you could still ride the Wabash Cannonball, the L&N, The Southern, or the Yellow Dog. Well you can’t. Most of that old American grandeur is gone for good. But you can still go the Grand Ole Opry. It’s still in Nashville, Tennessee, every Saturday night. You can still buy a paper cone of popcorn, sit back, tap your toes, and listen in. You might still even hear ‘em sing ‘Will The Circle Be Unbroken’ or ‘Kaw-Liga’ or ‘Green Green Grass of Home.’ Some things don’t ever change.
– – Old Crow Medicine Show’s Ketch Secor with some Opry boosterism.

Beau Bridges was yelling at Holly Hunter, saying ‘You’re a crazy woman,’ and she yells back, ‘Crazy women are made by crazy men.’ I was like, ‘That’s such a song.’
– – For those of you who somehow missed the 1993 HBO movie “The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom,” that’s evidently where Brandy Clark’s idea for “Crazy Women” came from.

In other words, criticism is a tiny part of the ecology of the music business, but an essential part. Without smart, independent critics who know their stuff, everything collapses into hype, public relations, and the almighty dollar. We have already seen where that leads us—take a look at the trendline of recording sales, if you have any doubts. It’s not too late to fix the mess, but that won’t happen until critics stop acting like gossip columnists, and start taking the music seriously again.
– – The Daily Beast’s Ted Gioia says “Music Criticism Has Degenerated Into Lifestyle Reporting.” Mandatory reading.

Of course, McGraw is some nice scenery as well, wearing only a bathing suit!
McGraw’s abs, of course, are as honed as ever. The ‘Lookin’ for That Girl’ hitmaker has certainly worked hard for his sleek physique. He avoids carbs and beef and is an avid fan of CrossFit, which he explains is great for keeping things interesting.
– – Speaking of which… Taste of Country.

Well, to George, the show is the music. The show is him singin’ the songs. The show is not acrobatics and lights and smoke and all that stuff. That’s not who that guy is. That guy is a great country singer, man. Let me just tell ya this: Try singin’ a George Strait song. … As a singer, it’s not easy to replicate what he does a lot of times.
– – Dean Dillon (to Jewly Hight) on George Strait.

If you’re sitting on one side of the round, and I’m sitting on the other side of the round, and Don Henry starts singing ‘Where’ve You Been,’ all of a sudden we both have tears running out of our face, and we’re looking at each other as that’s happening. Other places that are more theater-like, you don’t see that happening for people. Here, you can see the emotions, and I think that really has an effect on people.
– – Bluebird Cafe COO/GM Erika Wollam Nichols on what’s special about the in-the-round format.

I love his attention to details. I love the parts of the story he tells and the parts of the story he doesn’t tell. It’s like he instantly knew what part was important, not always the part that you would think would be. There might only be 16 lines in the song, and four of ‘em might tell you what the guy ate for dinner that day. But somehow he tells you more than some people can do in an entire book.
– – Drive-By Trucker Patterson Hood on the magic of Tom T. Hall.

I think he intended to give you plenty to think about as the listener. There are times, to me, he wasn’t always clear on exactly what he was trying to say because some of that seemed so personal to him, but it didn’t make me pay any less attention in thinking about it.
– – Don Williams on Townes Van Zandt.

Party Down South is our biggest show ever. We knew the series would shake things up at CMT. In addition to ratings success, the show has seen the largest level of social media engagement of any previous CMT series with an incredibly dedicated, impassioned fan base.
– – Jayson Dinsmore, executive producer for CMT.

To all u haters out their ur just jealous that us southern people can throw a party better than u yankies so guess what kiss our country redneck ass love pds cant wait for season two
– – Comment on “Party Down South” Facebook page, which is currently 353,667 fans strong.

Well, … Like We Ain’t Ever is like ‘We’re gonna party like we ain’t ever,’ ya know? I grew up having that saying and we wrote the song and it seemed fitting. A lot of these kids down here party, and they’ll look back and be like ‘Ya know, we partied like we ain’t ever that night.’ I think it’s just a fun name.
– – Luke Bryan, insightfully, on his latest Spring Break album title.

I’m a BIG country music fan. I love country music. I would say, you know, besides hip-hop, country music is one of my favorite genres. I love it. I love the storytelling in country music. I love the lyrics.
– – Jennifer Lopez lays the groundwork for her eventual, inevitable country-dance album.

[Sara] Evans has never been a singer of hardcore country music — she likes pop, and she’s not afraid to apply her big vocal power to a big, cheesy power ballad.
– – NPR’s Ken Tucker, evidently unfamiliar with Evans’ Three Chords and the Truth history.

He was a man of a lot of laughter. Why not let the light endure? Yes, this cool image whatever brings people in, and it’s part of who he was. I still haven’t figured everything out about my dad, and I probably never will. And that darkness, that’s truth. But that’s not the full picture.
– – John Carter Cash on restoring the lighter side of his dad’s legacy.

I think family connections get you the meeting, but people look at you twice as hard as they would if you were just a clean slate. ‘Hey, your dad was a genius, in the Hall of Fame, won 11 Grammys, seven Tony awards — okay, show us what you do.’ [Laughs.] Okay.
– – Dean Miller on being son of Roger.

The only way I’ve ever known how to explain it is that every day I would wake up … I feel like everybody starts at a zero and different things can take you up and down. I started out in the negative. It was a chore just to get to zero and so many days … I could never. … If I got to 10 it was just for a second.
– – David Nail, speaking out on his longtime battle with depression.

There’s rampant sexism in the show, without a doubt – it’s satirizing sexism. When you take a song and lift it out of the show, of course it’s misogynistic as hell – but the idea is that my character, Doyle Mayfield, is a relic of the past. (Not that we don’t have sexism or misogynism today.) Back then, these guys would be on TV and Dolly Parton was constantly having to bite her lip with Porter Wagoner making sexist jokes right on camera. A lot of what my character does is take all of that sexism, that old-school attitude, on his shoulders.
– – The Doyle & Debbie Show creator Bruce Arntson, who’s working on turning the popular musical revue into a film. For now, the live show is back in Nashville with a residency at Zanies. I’d go.

When people think about country music, and they use the term ‘Traditional Country,’ they’re talking about something that has happened in the past. But, when those songs were out currently, they were the freshest thing on the radio. Nobody was saying ‘Let’s go record traditional country.’ They just wanted to record music that meant something to them. Willie and Waylon were getting flack for being progressive at the time because they were mixing it with rock and the outlaw thing. Those guys were just doing what they wanted to do creatively. It’s such a bizarre argument because all those things were fresh back then.
– – Jerrod Niemann, beating an old drum.

It’s a different business world for sure than it used to be. We’re now involved in merchandising and touring. We’re involved in the fan club. We’re involved in a lot of things that we, historically, used to not be involved in, but we have to be in order to make this work.
– – Scott Hendricks, Executive Vice President of A&R at Warner Music Nashville.

In the days of great music, it was a matter of, work on your craft, and then one day someone gives you a chance, and you’re off and running. Now it seems to start with a guy in an office somewhere going, “We need a duo.” [Laughs.] Then they go create one, and they get people who are willing to sign their life away to be that duo.
– – Dean Miller again. His new album is ‘Til You Stop Getting Up.

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  1. the pistolero says

    I haven’t a clue as to where Jerrod Niemann gets off saying that those of us who want traditional country are talking about the past. We’re talking about the likes of Jason Boland and George Strait just as much as we are Merle Haggard and Buck Owens. That just strikes me as incredibly disingenuous of him, and it’s quite the commentary on how weak his argument is.

  2. andythedrifter says

    -I actually read the Daily Beast article the day it was posted and couldn’t stop nodding my head in agreement. It seems that on most “music” sites, the actual music is of secondary importance. Yet another reason to be thankful for sites like this one. Love the contrast with Taste of Country, too.

    -I’ve actually been exploring Tom T. Hall’s music for the first time this year (yeah, I know), and the man is a master wordsmith. I swear, just one of his songs contains more storytelling depth and human insight than many artist’s entire discographies. He’s rapidly become one of my favorite artists. Couldn’t agree more with the Patterson Hood quote.

    -Don Williams nails it with regard to Townes.

    -Ugh, Jerrod Niemann. Yes, Waylon, Willie, Buck, Emmylou, etc. were all considered progressive back in their day. But even though their music pushed boundaries, broke new ground, and incorporated elements of other genres, it was still at its core rooted in country and had some things in common with what came before. Today’s mainstream country… isn’t and doesn’t.

    -Dean Miller, another new artist whose album I’m going to have to buy.

  3. Arlene says

    When recording “If I Needed You” with Emmylou Harris, Don Williams insisted on changing the line, “Loop and Lil agree,” to “Who could ill agree.” (Loop and Lil were Townes Van Zandt’s birds at the time.) FWIW, I usually prefer that a singer used the words as written by the composer, especially a composer who writes or wrote as vividly as TVZ. We con’t change the words to poems– why should it be done for songs?

  4. says

    Good for David Nail for having the courage to discuss his struggle with depression. I don’t think most people who struggle with it like to admit it to people, but I think it’s even more difficult for men to do it.

    • Michael A. says

      Well said, Leeann. BTW, everything ok over at countryuniverse? I haven’t been able to pull it up on my computer or phone for a few days.


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