Click the bullet after each quote to visit the original source.
Even Mr. [Jeffrey] Steele’s name had a story – after his father, a metalworker, died, he dropped LeVasseur and adopted Steele in his honor. ●
– – Just imagine if Jeffrey LeVasseur’s dad had been a sanitation worker instead.
Same way with “Highway 40 Blues.” [Songwriter] Larry Cordle had at the end of the second verse: “My eyes are filled with bitter tears/Lord, I could use an ice cold beer.” That was the original lyric, and I had to change that to: “I ain’t been home in years.” Here again, I wouldn’t record a song that I wouldn’t sit down and sing in front of my mom and dad. ●
– – God forbid Ricky Skaggs mention beer in a country song. That would be disastrous.
I wanted to play it live and record it from the moment I heard it. I’ve sat on that wooden pew in my Baptist preacher daddy’s church, and I grew up on a tobacco farm and watched those deals go down out in the field. I knew what that song was about. ●
– – Jason Michael Carroll on “Where I’m From.” I don’t get the whole ‘I’m from the country, so I like songs about the country regardless of quality’ sentiment. But I would like to know all the lurid details of these deals going down out in the fields. Sounds pretty seedy. Is it seedy? Educate a California boy.
And I remember Jay [DeMarcus] and Dann Huff, our producer, talking about ‘We should cut this big band. It should be full and big, you know, string sections, make this really powerful, pull all the emotion out of it.’ And it does. It builds throughout the song, until the end, you just gotta catch a breath. ●
– – Joe Don Rooney on “Here Comes Goodbye.” Power equals strings, strings equal power… got it?
In all honesty, it’s been a while since the music industry has really cared about a Hootie + The Blowfish record. I think the next time we make a record, people are going to care to see what it sounds like because of the success I’m having with my country thing. ●
– – Darius Rucker is hoping Hootie will benefit from his country success. I’m sure the Blowfish echo that sentiment.
My dad was the minister. We did it right on the spot where all the country greats stood. It was perfect. Where does a country singer get married? The stage of Ryman Auditorium. I’m pumped. We’re working on some little country singers right now. ●
– – John Rich on his wedding. His reign over the country world could last for generations. Scary thought.
Willie’s the kind of guy who’ll record an album of duets with Louis Farrakhan in the morning, the Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan in the afternoon, and Yitzhak Perlman in the evening. Willie don’t give a mad-ass f*ck. Even T-Pain is all, “That man needs to be more selective in terms of who he records with.” ●
– – It figures that one of the most entertaining writers on country music right now is working for The Onion A.V. Club.
We don’t have the enthusiasm in music right now. We don’t even have songs you could date a time period by. You’ve got girls singing about beating up their boyfriends. ‘Independence Day.’ I hate that f- song. ●
– – Merle Haggard isn’t a fan of that new Martina song… you know, the one that came out 15 years ago.
In comparison to the other records, they’re flies on the wall in his career. You can’t compare ‘Ring of Fire’ to that stuff, ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ to ‘Hurt.’ ●
– – Nor is he very impressed by Cash’s work with Rick Rubin.
Hank Williams was a hack.
– – Nor is he very taken by Hank Williams. Okay, so I made this one up. My apologies. We were being sacrilegious and I got carried away. Hank Williams is the best.
When I go to see music, all I want is to see someone play and sing great. I don’t go to see them running up and down the aisle or blowing stuff up. ●
– – Vince Gill. What’s the point of going to a concert if there won’t even be any explosions?
Emotionally, it was overwhelming for me. The other thing is I’ve never considered myself any kind of a singer at all. It was so nice to hear other people sing notes that I may have implied, but I never really wrote. ●
– – Robert Earl Keen on being the subject of a tribute concert (Undone: A MusicFest Tribute).
I think everyone was tired of Garth Brooks. Not necessarily him but where the record industry was. When Garth made it big, everyone tried to recreate, recreate and recreate so everything sounded alike with these fantastical songs with not a lot of truth in them, no reality and not a lot of storytelling. ●
– – Thank goodness Pat Green came along to shake things up by boldly refusing to play by all the rules of the Nashville music industry, setting a new paradigm for future acts to follow! Oh wait.
Overall, I didn’t like the way that the network treated country fans. I think they didn’t understand that you don’t have to sing pop music. You can just sing straight-ahead country music. We’ve got a guy named Kenny Chesney who’s 40 years old, who is an East Tennessee hillbilly, who sells 80,000 tickets a show, every single year, stadium after stadium after stadium. We don’t need the other people’s music to make us cool enough to listen to. ●
– – John Rich rants on NBC’s mishandling of Nashville Star, seemingly unaware that the Caribbean cowboy is not the best example of the commercial viability of straight-ahead country music.
But in relying so heavily on a phalanx of Nashville songwriting pros — these 11 songs are the product of 32 credited writers — there’s a music-by-committee quality that inevitably creeps in. ●
– – L.A. Times reviews Martina McBride’s new album, which is singlehandedly employing half of Nashville’s songwriting community. It features only one song not written by at least three people. Impressive.
I think I am a 6-foot teddy bear. ●
– – It’s hard to argue with Richie McDonald.
This isn’t country, so I’ll just refer you to it. John Mellencamp’s article on the state of the music business is exciting a great deal of discussion over at The Huffington Post. 600 comments so far. Check it out.