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It’s the craziest thing. All these years, I thought I was one of the most edgy, innovative musicians. Dammit if I didn’t turn out being traditional. ●
– – Marty Stuart.
In those crowded, smoky, drunken, raucous honky-tonks, Moon’s “Moon shots” of clear and piercing steel guitar notes shot through the heavy air like swift steel-tipped arrows. He was the perfect foil to Waylon’s own fierce Telecaster twang style of picking, and their blend of sound together rode clean and clear above the intense crowd noise. What a perfect honky-tonk sound that was. That was true metal rock ‘n’ roll, as only the best country musicians can play it and experience it. ●
– – Chet Flippo wrote a lovely remembrance of Ralph Mooney.
[Chesney] indulged, with the help of a roadie on vocals, in a cover of Violent Femmes’ alt-rock classic, “Blister in the Sun,” a perfect coastal celebration for snowbound Minnesotans. The ensuing “With or Without You,” the U2 classic, and the Kinks’ “You Really Got Me” made it feel like the show was devolving into a bar-band performance. ●
– – Kenny Chesney’s back on the road with his, err, ‘country’ show.
No, she didn’t get it. She did not understand it at all. She would say, any time I did anything that she didn’t like or wrote anything she didn’t like, she would just go, ‘Elizabeth, reaaally.’ ●
– – Elizabeth Cook on her late mother’s reception of “El Camino” (quoted from Jewly Hight’s new book, Right By Her Roots, via CMT).
Tastes in music appear analogous to tastes in fashion or food. Why strike up an unwinnable argument against what somebody wants to eat, wear, or hear? The tastes people develop are grounded in context and unique experience. Arguing against them is not only, in the absence of truly objective standards, meaningless; it’s also, given the way people assimilate and personalize brand identities (in Virginia Postrel’s phrase, “I like = I am like”), kind of rude, like calling their spouses homely. ●
– – Robbie Fulks weighs a variety of rebuttals to music criticism, finding “There’s What You Like, And There’s What I Like: Game Over” most fascinating. Prompted by responses to Fulks’ own recent criticism of Ryan Adams, this is recommended reading for anyone who enjoys writing or reading opinions about music.
They share a laugh. Then Gill springs to his feet to head for an appointment. A quick kiss and he’s out the door with a promise to return soon.
The early-afternoon sun filters through the window and lights the side of Grant’s face — chiseled, yet soft. It’s unlikely, but what if Gill didn’t come back? How would she cope if, for some reason, he fell off the planet?
“Oh, my goodness,” Grant responds, as if the idea never occurred to her. Her brown eyes widen and fill. “I would miss him every day.” ●
– – Did Alanna Nash almost make Amy Grant cry by suggesting, apparently out of the blue, that Vince Gill might never return home? Seems kinda messed up.
Really, the biggest thing is it’s been, everybody’s like, ‘Holy crap. We can see your face when you’re onstage.’ And the other thing, and it sounds funny, but I’m going up to people and I’m like, ‘You know, I’m 25, right?’ And they say, ‘Yeah.’ It’s like, ‘So, why do you think I didn’t have hair?’ No one can explain it. They just laugh. ●
– – Chris Young on going hatless, which is apparently a ‘hat act’ rite of passage. Remember Brad Paisley’s brief foray into hatlessness around the time of Mud on the Tires?
When I made ‘Townes,’ I had a specific reason for making that record [to honor his mentor, Townes Van Zandt]. When I made ‘The Mountain,’ [in 1999], I wanted to write a body of new bluegrass songs and record with the best bluegrass band in the world, which the Del McCoury Band certainly was then. ‘The Revolution Starts Now’  I wrote to f— with the Republicans. This was the only [record I’ve made where my sole intent was to] push the poetics and raise the literary bar higher than I had before. I feel like I did that. ●
– – For the first time in years, Steve Earle made an album just for the sake of making a good album. I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive comes out April 26.
I can’t understand what the hell people are saying in other genres of music. [laughs] I always thought, ‘I’m never gonna say anything like that,’ but now I do. I can’t understand any of the lyrics, and they don’t even make any sense. I don’t know what’s happening in music right now. Country music is definitely saving songwriting, big time. ●
– – Josh Kelley.
And I think what it shows us is that good music is good and good performance is good, and as long as you like it, who cares what you call it. Get out there and have fun with each other. ●
– – Jennifer Nettles strikes a familiar genre-defying note in discussing her duet with Rihanna.
I was interested in finding a way to tell someone’s story outside of chronology. If you think about it, most of us don’t organize our lives by decade, and most of us think a lot about the choices we make as crucial markers in our own existence. I suspected studying Cash this way would lead to more interesting insights than simply writing about what he said and did over time. ●
– – Writer Jonathan Silverman on his decision to structure new book Nine Choices: Johnny Cash and American Culture around particular decisions in the life of Cash rather than eras.
Me and Dallas always listen to crazy music. We were on iTunes or something one day, and we were listening to some hip-hop songs. We were like, ‘We need to [write a song] about getting some country girls to shake it a little bit.’ We kind of got to laughing about it, then we started working on it. ●
– – Luke Bryan on writing “Country Girl (Shake It for Me)” with Dallas Davidson (of “Badonkadonk” fame).
I write about stuff that really happens. People need that – I don’t have any songs, and I wouldn’t sing any songs, that are just, oh, happy-go-lucky and everything’s terrific. Because it’s not. Really, truly not. At least, not in my world it’s not. Every way you can screw up, I’ve screwed up. Am I proud of that? No. Did I learn from it? Yes. Would I do it again? Probably not. ●
– – Sunny Sweeney keeps it real.
You can’t help but love her, anyone who’s got that much nerve. She is a talent. She knows about how to get attention. She’s coming to Tulsa, Oklahoma, in May, I think. I had mentioned to my granddaughter that we ought to go up and try to get tickets. Let’s go see her. And my granddaughter was horrified! She said, “Oh Maw… I think you would be offended. She uses bad language a lot.” And I said, well, that’s a shame because the way I see her she doesn’t need to do that. So I probably won’t go see her, but I do recognize her as a talent. ●
– – Wanda Jackson on Lady Gaga.
Country music is so related to gospel. It seems I could go down that road pretty easily. ●
– – With the threat of a Cher country album neutralized—although she had been considering going country, Cher decided to record a dance album instead—Dionne Warwick gives country some thought.
Probably every week, my publisher gets asked or I get asked to write with a new female artist who’s trying to break through. And I’ll come home to my husband and say: ‘Wow, she’s really good, she looks great, she sounds great, she can sing, she can play, she can write.’ And then next week I’ll do another person and most of the time I go home and go, ‘This person is talented. Which one is it going to be?’ ●
– – Carolyn Dawn Johnson on the difficulties of breaking into the music business.
A Hudspeth county prosecutor says that singer Willie Nelson can resolve the charges if he agrees to plead guilty, pay a fine and sing “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain” for the court.
The judge specifically demanded that Nelson appear in court instead of pleading by mail, a common procedure in these cases because she wants to meet him in person. ●
– – Pretty sure the only one taking this Willie Nelson marijuana case seriously is the arresting officer.