Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source.
It took everything I had not to go kick that guy’s teeth in. ●
— Jason Aldean, after having security eject a guy who threw a cup of beer at his face during a concert.
As a genre, we’ve forgotten who loves our music, and for the most part that’s middle America, just regular people. I think in an effort to be cool, the fashionable thing, the hip thing, we’ve kind of forgotten that that’s our bread and butter. We’re country music; we represent the common man and woman. […] I think country was built on that kind of thing — storytelling and what your average day is like, weekend is like — and for me I think the lyric has to be meaningful to be a country song. I think it needs to sound like a country song from a country singer, believable as a country song. If it can fit in other genres 100 percent of the time, then you should probably look at what that really is. ●
— Joe Nichols, scoring a few country traditionalist brownie points.
I’ve been a traditional guy my whole career. I still am a traditional country guy. However, with this album, I think there was a need and a desire on my part and on the label’s part to bring that into 2013, make it current, make it where it doesn’t sound so weird standing next to a Taylor Swift song or one of the edgier acts in country music. So it doesn’t sound like it’s out of nowhere when it comes on the radio. So program directors feel comfortable playing it. And at the same time, it kinda gives everybody a real traditional kind of feel. So it’s a very fine line to balance on but I think the way it came out, it’s pretty close. The combination worked. ●
— Joe Nichols, singer of “Yeah.”
It was inspired by frustration. I had a few folks in the industry say, ‘Man, if you could just do something that was a little more mainstream, you’d really be doing well.’ But just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. And just because you should do something doesn’t mean you can. ‘Yo Bro’ sounds like bro country and it looks like bro country, but it’s not – I’d say it’s the anti-bro. ●
— Brent Cobb on his bro-country (takedown?) “Yo Bro.”
Mainstream country radio is a party format, plain and simple. Almost every popular song is about getting drunk or laid – usually both. Sam Hunt’s phone is blowin’ up with late-night booty calls. The guys of Florida Georgia Line are sippin’ Fireball whiskey and getting ready for some action. And Chase Rice is dripping candle wax on his woman’s naked body all night long. The point of this column is not to chide such music. These guys are clearly engaged by the words they are singing, and they have every right to produce these songs, many of which are genuinely catchy (but increasingly dime-a-dozen) pop-country anthems. But it seems strange to me that music with such a metropolitan mindset, and so many hook-up narratives, is still broadly imagined as the music of Bible-thumping Christian folk. ●
— Grady Smith, in another fine column for The Guardian. Essential weekly reading.
It’s crazy. I can’t believe we’re sitting on our sixth single, and to have three number ones off your debut record, it’s a humbling thing. ●
— Thomas Rhett. Can we stop the disingenuous music biz usage of ‘humbling’ yet?
Q: How is your new [record] deal structured?
A: I don’t really know. Let the lawyers work that crap out. It don’t matter to me. These guys put their faith in me to do a record, and I’m going to do my best to deliver the best record I can deliver. If they want to do something beyond that, cool. This is a single-driven industry anyway nowadays, so what difference does it make how many albums you’re signed for? ●
— Trace Adkins, savvy businessman.
A lot of times when things are successful, people want you to stay in one spot. They’re used to you doing one kind of thing. … ‘You’ve got to keep doing this thing over and over.’ It’s, like, ‘Nah.’ ●
— Kip Moore, Nashville rebel. And yet… “I’m to Blame” sounds like Up All Night to me.
… I’ve been a maniac in my pursuit of my music. I work tirelessly, obsessively. When I’m not playing shows, I’m writing. I’m constantly doing something for my music. That obsessiveness and my aloofness are not good for relationships. It’s a hard thing to handle. So generally I just stay away from it altogether. I’m taking my time. ●
— Kip Moore, vying for Kenny Chesney’s country bachelor king throne.
Cole Swindell Launches Funny Campaign to Get New Artist of the Year Votes ●
— Finally, the comedic stylings of Cole Swindell! From the first time I saw him, I thought “There, THERE is a man with keen wit and rare insight into the foibles of modern man!”
Well, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams Jr, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, all these f**king guys had record deals. It’s part of it. With us, we just have to stand our ground. I’d quit before we did something we didn’t want to do, because we’ve been through that already and, honestly, I make a pretty f**king good living writing songs. We’re out here to do this for fun. If we were in it for the money, we would have quit a long time ago! ●
— The Cadillac Three’s Jaren Johnston on being an ‘outlaw’ band signed to Big Machine.
I feel like the female Adam Sandler. ●
— Reba. Context purposely omitted because, really, you don’t need it.
“Should look amazing” is clearly the key here, as the casting call later specifies they’re looking for “Extremely Attractive HOT GUYS and Even HOTTER GIRLS.” Because even if the men look good, it’s important the women look better. Although to be fair, it’s nice they’re looking for girls who can speak “if needed.” ●
— Billboard’s Joe Lynch has a pretty funny breakdown of a casting call for a Toby Keith video.
He’s got that thing, whatever that thing is. ●
— Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard, dispensing wisdom as a mentor on American Idol.
I’ve never done a writing session. It’s not something I understand. I’m on the road, and I come up with ideas here and there, and then when I do find time, I’ll be sitting in the hotel and try to work up a verse to the chorus I came up with driving down the road. That’s how I write stuff. I’m sure that guys in Nashville do it that way, but I can’t. There’s a quote from David Allan Coe that talks about how many songs he writes for an album. ‘I might write 40 songs, and they pick 10.’ If I’m going to do an album with 10 songs on it, I’m writing 10 f—ing songs. I’m not going to mess around with stuff that’s not going to be used. I start a lot of songs, but I never finish unless I know. I’m not going to waste time unless I know. ●
— Whitey Morgan on songwriting.
There was a time when the Judds were out running strong, and I’m a country music fan. I didn’t know Naomi from Wynonna; I just knew it was the Judds. It is an eye-opener when you kind of realize, I’m ‘Brooks & Dunn’; I’m not Ronnie Dunn. It’s an interesting phenomenon. ●
— Ronnie Dunn on the difficulty of establishing a solo career.
The people who support what the NRA supports are the same people, generally speaking, who support country music. And from what I’ve learned, demographics dictate just about everything. ●
— Craig Morgan.
In many ways, the 26-year-old possesses the same qualities that made Dolly Parton a superstar; though cutesy with her mannerisms – Musgraves wore light-up boots during the encore of “These Boots Are Made For Walkin'” – the up-and-comer is more than just charm and cowgirl getups. Beyond the glittery tights lies a storyteller with an established worldview and an emotional complexity that sneaks up on you, neatly tucking her razor-sharp country commentaries into your consciousness. ●
— Chris Azzopardi, reviewing a Kacey Musgraves show for an international LGBT wire service.
If my goal was to come into the country world and compete with Miranda Lambert or Eric Church, I’d be out of luck. Those people are my friends and I love them, but they have things at their disposal that I don’t: funds, major labels, people who’re willing to spend $300,000 just to promote a single. I could make 10 records for that amount of money. If I compare my success to theirs, I’m gonna lose every time. It’s just sheer mathematical differences. But if I stay relative to my own situation and say, ‘OK, we made this last record and sold this amount, so let’s try to sell this amount with the new one,’ then I can sleep at night. I can see it getting bigger and better. ●
— Will Hoge on keeping his expectations in check.
You might want to grab People Country’s latest batch of free downloads, which includes tracks from Lee Ann Womack, Maddie & Tae, Aaron Watson, and Will Hoge.