Quotable Country – 03/25/12 Edition

Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source.

Does Underwood get some kind of artists discount? Or did she pay the full $1.99? Is it the first video of her own that she bought? How often has she watched it? Will she write a customer review and add to the current 100 reviews of the video? How many stars will she give it? And do all the other country stars buy their own videos and, for that matter, download their own songs?
– – Carrie Underwood tweeted about buying her own music video on iTunes. As usual, Alison Bonaguro zeros in on all the really important questions.

So when you hear harmony that tight and they sing it all together–not one voice at a time, but all together– that’s the tightest harmony I’ve ever heard in my life. On top of that, it took them 5 ½ minutes to do their part.
It just upsets me because normally I have to layer the parts or I’ll do the background vocals and it takes me awhile to get all the layering. They just walk out and sing ‘Deep River Woman.’ ‘What else do you want us to do, Lionel?’ ‘Excuse me?’
– – Working with them in the studio for Tuskegee, Lionel Richie found Little Big Town annoyingly good.

On a banjo-tastic ”Dancing on the Ceiling,” Richie even out-twangs good ol’ boys Rascal Flatts.
– – And that’s saying a lot, obviously. From an Entertainment Weekly review of Tuskegee.

As previously reported, a hearing was held early Friday afternoon (March 23) to decide whether or not Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush would have to give depositions. […] Additionally, [Judge Theodore] Sosin decided only Nettles would need to testify in front of the court.
– – Sugarland is being deposed in the Indiana State Fair stage collapse case… but the judge has decided that nobody needs to hear from Kristian. High five, Judge Sosin.

Well, at first it raised the hair on my arms, when I heard the demo. It was a really good version, too. It was one of those songs that, when I heard it, it’s the kind of song that made me want to be in country music. I’m such a big fan of that kind of song. Sad songs, or break-up songs, and heartache songs are always the best ones to bring that emotion out and are actually the easiest to write as a writer.
– – Alan Jackson on “So You Don’t Have to Love Me Anymore.”

I’m not a perfectionist. I’m professional, but not a perfectionist. Not everything has to be perfect. What is perfect, anyway? Depends on someone’s attitude about what perfect is. A fan might have thought it was perfect [that] I was having so much fun messing up!
– – Dolly Parton doesn’t sweat the occasional mishap.

[My dad] knew what good songs were. So when we sang, it was a lot of Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Hank Williams. That meant I was hearing the best songs there were. I grew up on all the good stuff. I literally grew up with all the Hank Williams catalogue, not just a song from it. All the Merle Haggard, all the Waylon Jennings.
– – Darrell Scott on his earliest musical influences.

Cultivate a little distrust of easy payoffs in the form of dramatic register lifts and comfortable chord patterns. If you get to a point in the song where you instinctively think “Next this always happens” (verse 3, Christ descends!), do that instead. Songs created in a spirit of cold calculation almost always fall well short of the mark, both commercially and artistically. A few risky moves, a touch of regional color or other endearing stigmatism, some awkwardness indicating amateur sincerity: these are always welcome, even if applied deliberately by someone who’s written a lot of songs and should know better.
– – Songwriting advice from Robbie Fulks.

I was setting myself up to get really nailed. I’m nowhere close to a cowboy. I just wanna be.
– – Ronnie Dunn on the now infamous “COWBOY” tattoo.

The storytelling song, it’s an old folk and country form. And I love it. I think maybe the other thing that drew me to that is that I get to live lives and say things through these characters that are real for me. Certainly the emotions and what they’re going through, I mean, I couldn’t write about them if I didn’t completely identify and empathize with them. But sometimes you can put it in better, starker contrast with a fictitious character than you can framing it first-person. Sometimes, somehow a character gives you a kind of freedom to really frame a situation in a way that has such great emotional impact. Because it takes me out of the picture.
– – Gretchen Peters on telling stories in song.

People all over seem to forget that farmers are the backbone of the country. When you show up to the grocery store and grab some produce for dinner, it doesn’t magically appear there. There’s a guy out on a combine planting those crops.
– – Jason Aldean on “Fly Over States.”

… the cultural ramifications of the Dust Bowl that still remained in the chip-on-the-shoulder swagger that was the Bakersfield Sound. It remains there to this day, and I think, found its way into my own music. We always sang our version of country music from a place slightly removed from the mecca of the high church of country music. We were the voices heard from the frontier.
– – Dwight Yoakam on California’s country legacy.

Well, you just never know. I’m pretty sure all of them were not born spoon-in-their-mouth. And you have to remember, by the time they get enough notoriety to be on the radio or TV or touring, the record label has polished and shined them up. I know several young artists that have had a pretty rough time of it.
– – George Jones thinks many modern country singers are more rough-and-tumble than their prettified images suggest.

After opening sets by Thompson Square and Darius Rucker, the main attraction was supposed to make its grand entrance on a platform raised up through a hole in the main stage. Unfortunately, the platform got stuck halfway up, leaving the three players momentarily caught.
“The hell with this,” yelled Kelley, who then made an awkward climb out of the pit.
– – At a show in San Jose, Lady Antebellum had some trouble with its fancy elevator contraption. Almost makes me wish I had been there, as I do love to see needless concert gadgetry malfunction.

Well, country music is not hard. It’s simple. Melodically, it needs to hook somebody within the first 20 seconds. And it’s important, in country music anyway, to talk about what people want to hear more than what you want to sing about. That’s why we sing about love and children and drinking and partying — life, you know. That’s about it.
– – Canadian traditionalist Gord Bamford makes country stardom sound a bit constricting.

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  1. Ben Milam says

    we’re all in deep shit if there is anyone out in the fly over states planting anything with a combine.

  2. ChurchsChicken says

    Ms. Bonaguro does address the important questions!

    The Carrie fans say that Carrie pays full price cuz she is a wonderful person, but that Taylor Swift pays nothing because her dad bought her entire career for her. However, Swift fans reply that Carrie should pay full price and Swift pay nothing because Swift writes her songs and should get a songwriters discount but Carrie should pay full price to be sure her songwriters get the appropriate royalties.

  3. Rick says

    I’ve heard rumors that the judge in the Sugarland trial also requested that Jennifer appear for the deposition in that same bikini she wore in the “All I Want To Do” music video! Here’s my high five to that wise judge! (lol)

    I’m not sure Dwight’s comment about the southern San Joaquin Valley being the “frontier” is legitimate (although it sounds cool). These were Oakies working in the cotton fields and orchards and on oil drilling rigs. It was more like music from the wrong side of the tracks…

    It sounds to me like Gretchen Peters should be indulging in short story authorship as well as songwriting. Hmm…

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