Quotable Country – 04/13/14 Edition


Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source.

I love country music. It [wasn’t] really a young person’s music, when I grew up listening to it. There are some people you’re just not meant to understand when you’re 17 years old. You’re not supposed to understand George Jones records. You’re not really supposed to get a Haggard album at that age. You have to have your heart broken to understand George Jones.
- – Dierks Bentley to Jewly Hight for The Bluegrass Situation.

He said, ‘All these years, you’ve asked me if I really loved you, and I have been remiss in telling you how I feel.’ He said, ‘I’ve done this for you. I want you to have it to listen to when I’m not here, to hear me telling you how much I love you.’
- – Janie Price (to Peter Cooper) on Beauty Is… as a love letter from her late husband. Ray Price’s final album will be in stores Tuesday, April 15.

I have always loved country music with my entire being. I think the gift of a genre that’s built on real life is that there is always room for great songs, and the truth. When we started this record, Frank and I promised each other we would only cut songs that we absolutely loved for no reason other than we loved them very much. No other factors, and I think that freedom really inspired us.
- – Lee Ann Womack on her first album for Sugar Hill Records/Welk Music, scheduled for a September release.

Money never came up. It was never about who you’re writing for, it was, ‘What are you doing? Can you read me the lyrics without singing, without chord changes? Read them to me.’ That’s the thing I fell in love with.
- – Rodney Crowell (to Peter Cooper) on coming up in the orbit of songwriters like Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, and Mickey Newbury.

I’m not a quick writer, and I edit my lyrics a whole lot. I want every word to serve a purpose, and I just want to feel like every word is in the right place.
- – John Moreland on taking a methodical approach to songwriting. It shows on In the Throes.

And this is the funny thing — the Norwegians love the Desert Rose Band. We’re like the Beatles over there. I don’t know why that is or what that’s all about, but they go absolutely insane, and it’s mostly guys that are going crazy. I don’t know what that’s all about either … They’re so into that kind of country music that they’ll even get rhinestone jackets made and wear them to the show. It’s like a Grateful Dead thing over there.
- – Chris Hillman to The Bluegrass Situation’s Lee Zimmerman.

They’re the most talented people in the whole world, in one band. It’s ridiculous.
- – Miranda Lambert on The Time Jumpers, who guest on a track on her upcoming Platinum.

Five years ago, the key listener for country radio was a 40-year-old white woman from the suburbs. We’re finding out that the audience was significantly younger than that.
- – Brian O’Connell, the president of Live Nation’s country division, quoted in a New York Times article entitled “Young, Rich and Ruling Radio, Country Walks a Broader Line.”

There’s room for everything in country music, but there’s been a landslide of one thing, and so I think people are ready and hungry for something new. And that’s always the moment when things start to turn.
- – Shane McAnally to Alison Bonaguro on the ACM Red Carpet.

We have devolved so much. I don’t blame the artists and the songwriters. They’re just trying to make a living. I know for a fact that many songwriters hate having to come up with a new way to say, ‘it’s fun to ride around in your truck with a girl.’
- – Collin Raye.

See, I’ve always believed — and this could be a message to the kids singing today — that the music business can be as easy or as hard as you wanna make it. I mean, how about this — let’s all get along, let’s go get onstage, let’s give it everything we’ve got, let’s hug each other’s necks and get back on the bus, get the check, shake hands and go to the next town. It can be that easy, you know.
Or you can put your big, fat ego in front of you like a big road case, and fall over it every time you go somewhere, and kinda piss off everybody in your circumference of being, and after you’ve left that gig, everybody that booked you there or worked with you there hates your guts. How long does that last?
- – Oak Ridge Boy Joe Bonsall on the group’s career longevity.

It’s a shame. It’s to the detriment of the fans, not to me. A lot of people can relate to those songs [like “Heroin Addict Sister”]. But they don’t fit in between commercials. They don’t want to play anything that’s going to get anybody to change the station before the next commercial.
I’m cool with that. That’s their business. It’s not like I’m trying to operate outside mainstream country. I’d love to have the opportunity someday. We’ve had to peel off, a number of us. We’ve found our own niche.
- – Elizabeth Cook on not getting played by mainstream country stations.

I wouldn’t pretend to know. Part of living with these songs is that some of that is a mystery. You find a treasure and you look up twenty years later and you’re still enjoying it and it’s still connecting with people. I think partly that it’s about the love that we all really want: a long, enduring marriage that gets its sweet reward at the end. At the end of the day, I think we all would like to have a connection like that with another person. It’s very simple, but the depths of that connection touch all of us on a real primal level.
- – Kathy Mattea on the enduring appeal of “Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses.”

For lack of a better word, you’re kind of institutionalized being on a major label for 20 years, where you get a lot of, ‘This is the way we do things.’ I’ve always said that I’ve had great label partners and I never felt I was told what I could or couldn’t record. … There’s always been support of my artistry. But now you can put together your own team and have the freedom to do new things. It seems like there’s a new business model, and a lot of people are exploring it.
- – Martina McBride (to the Los Angeles Times) on her new soul/R&B covers album, Everlasting.

I didn’t want to get into this business of trying to be the top shit or something like that. I’d rather just hang in there all the time with good music, slow and steady, and share it, rather than set the world on fire all at once.
- – Singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester, who passed away this week at age 69, to Rolling Stone way back in 1970. Mission accomplished.


  1. CraigR. says

    First Jesse Winchester was a true gift to songwriting. Some people are just poets- plain and simple.

    Secondly, in the same article where Shane McAnally is interviewed, they ask Justin Moore a question about would he rather listen to all female singers or all male singers on country radio and he picks guys- because ” with no disrespect to the women” he relates more to guys. And it hit me that part of the problem with a great many male country singers, then and now, is their lack of connection to the themes and stories of female singers. To me country music would hold less sway, especially now, if the only singers were male. And it shows that Justin Moore is a man-child. He wants so much to be cool, and an outlaw, that he fails to understand that human emotions and stories, no matter where they come from, can move you and get inside you, just like ” Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses” which I could listen to any day. And he fails to see how limited he is. In the same way that he took a prize for which he knew he shouldn’t get due to the rules, and then said ” it’s about f**king time” in another interview about the award. He lacks any realness that would connect him to a better audience because he can’t see the forest for the trees. But he is not the only brother in that fraternity. Just one of the few who lacks tact and grace.


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