Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source.
I love Dierks, and I’ve known Kip for a long time as well. ●
— Ashley Monroe, unintentionally slighting Kip Moore.
I carry all of my yesterdays into my co-writes. I carry my hometown, I carry everything bad that ever happened to me. So when I’m writing, I’m giving everything I have just like an entertainer would if he was performing for an audience. I’m not trying to be nobody but me. Even later in life, I’ve battled demons with addiction and drugs. Most people, they try to hide from that. To me, it’s therapeutic to get it out there. This is who I am. I’m a long way from perfect but I’m trying. ●
— Westin Davis, “I’m to Blame” co-writer.
To me it’s really cool to have a home for all this art that’s made here. They just recognize today in a world where it’s really expensive to market a single to radio, there are some artists that just thrive with or without any of that. There’s a value in, say, a Simpson or a Jason Isbell where they made these really honest records, and people come to the shows, they buy the vinyl, they buy a T-shirt. And it will go on whether or not it’s on the radio. ●
— Producer extraordinaire Dave Cobb, now running his own label imprint for Elektra Records.
Chris Stapleton is an artist that defies category. His songwriting and his raw, bluesy voice are seamlessly intertwined and inseparable. He doesn’t fit into any mold, formula or algorithm for a hit-single-driven format.
When you are affected by someone like Chris Stapleton, you don’t sign him and market him to be like what the marketplace currently offers, you bet that he has the power to change the marketplace. ●
— Cindy Mabe, president of Universal Music Group Nashville. Traveller is just ahead.
It doesn’t make sense to bring dozens of up-and-coming artists to a state that is practically overflowing with them. Between Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and Austin, you could put on a solid slate of country artists — William Clark Green, Madison King, Daphne Willis and Chris King come to mind — that would demonstrate all of the great music in Texas and help these bands make the case that they deserve national attention. Undoubtedly, some of the tens of thousands of fans that will stream through Arlington this weekend will be from out-of-state. It’s also likely that many of these fans are disappointed in the current state of country music, and would appreciate the refreshing authenticity of Texas country. This could have been a rare opportunity for these artists to get their music out to an audience that is practically begging for something better. ●
— Only Texas would think enough of itself to suggest, in hosting the ACM’s big 50th anniversary extravaganza, that the Academy should have stacked the events with more local Texas talent: “The ACM Awards Have Missed a Golden Opportunity to Showcase Texas Artists.” Err, guys? I’m sure everyone’s enjoying the change of scenery and all, but this isn’t actually about YOU.
Q: Can you think of a time when you followed your gut and it turned out horribly wrong?
A: No, I don’t think so. I would do some things differently. I would indulge listener’s desires maybe a little further and maybe do something again that I had already felt that I had done but maybe wasn’t on the surface as entertaining to me to revisit. But my instincts serve me pretty well artistically. ●
— Dwight Yoakam, suggesting that he may have erred by not playing to fan expectations more.
It’s very weird, very unexpected, very different from what anyone would expect from Mr. Belding. ●
— Shooter Jennings on his Record Store Day release with “Saved by the Bell” actor Dennis Haskins.
I like music. To me there’s only two types of songs — good and bad, and I try to stick to the good ones. I don’t know why you have to stay away from certain types of songs because they are in a category. My heart wouldn’t just swell when I listened to it if it wasn’t the right song for me. ●
— Reba McEntire on picking songs.
I don’t know where “bro country” came from or what it really means, but a lot of those guys are my buddies and I support their music. Within country there are lots of styles: stone-cold country, like Brandy Clark, and there’s Florida Georgia Line with what they do, which is completely different and bringing a whole new audience. There’s room for everyone. ●
— Miranda Lambert, playing nice.
Are country music award shows obsessed with Miranda Lambert? Look at the numbers. ●
— The Washington Post’s Emily Yahr, breaking down the stats on Lambert’s inordinate number of award nominations/wins over the past decade.
Lambert will also receive a milestone award for “most awarded solo female artist.” ●
— If you want to skip the stats and go with plain ol’ gut feelings, you could also look at the fact that the ACMs are now awarding Lambert solely for having already won so many awards.
Being it’s the 50th [ACM anniversary], it’s cool we’re going way back and we’re honoring some of these artists that have been here like Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert — digging way back. ●
— Show host Blake Shelton, pointing gently to silliness of same.
For the first time in the network’s history, CMT announced plans Thursday (April 16) to finance and produce a music video for a music artist.
During a private event in Nashville, CMT executives said the music video will be created for independent artist Chris Janson’s “Buy Me a Boat” with plans to add the video to heavy rotation on the network. ●
— CMT: “We’re promoting women through our Next Women of Country initiative, etc. Also, it’s so important that we get this new bro-country song on the air that we will, for the first time ever, finance and produce the music video for it!!! Laying off those CMT Edge guys really freed up some capital!”
We’re calling out the [bro-country] trend, rather than the artists, because a trend is what’s happening and it’s a pattern and it shifts. It’s completely unrealistic and kinda irresponsible. So that’s, that’s why we wrote the song. ●
— Maddie & Tae’s Tae Dye, explaining “Girl in a Country Song” once more.
And then Alan Jackson got sick, and something else happened, and then suddenly they were like, ‘Hey, would you mind playing a whole song?’ We were like, ‘Okay, but where’s our band?’
So we did. We put the band together and we showed up on rehearsal day, and they were like, ‘Hey, could you close the show?’ And we were like, ‘You’re crazy! No one’s ever heard of us.’ And there was a moment right before we went on where Jennifer [Nettles] was like, wearing Sara Evans‘ shoes or something — something didn’t work out, they didn’t fit, so she just kicked them off and went barefoot. So when you see that performance back, if you ever look at it online, that was us, completely panicked, not knowing what in the world we were gonna do, and Jennifer’s like, ‘Forget it, let’s go barefoot — just go!’ And that was us. ●
— Kristian Bush on Sugarland’s slapdash 2005 ACM Awards debut. Here it is.
I got real close to doing a song with Pitbull one time. There’s just something about me being like a middle America country artist saying the word ‘motherf—ker’ over and over again. It was like, ‘Man, I just don’t know if that’s going to go over with my soccer moms.’ So I opted not to, but I was honored. ●
— Blake Shelton.
We decided that we wanted to write a song about how we just don’t care about tomorrow because tomorrow can wait until tomorrow … It’s all about tonight!
We just went from there and touched on things like, I know I’m going to have a headache in the morning, and I’ll probably be broke. There’s no telling what we’re going to do, and I don’t even care because it’s all about tonight. That’s all I’m worried about! It’s a good, fun party song about where the night is going to go. ●
— Rhett Akins, explaining the fascinating backstory of Shelton hit “All About Tonight.”
With people critiquing what I’m doing, they can say whatever they want to. I’m watching what fans do. They tell me everything I need to know. They are my barometer. When I write a song, I play it for my wife and my boys and my management and my bus driver, and they’re my barometer. Whatever people want to write about and critique about this and that, that’s just one person’s opinion and it’s their job to do it. It gets a little frustrating. … Judge the whole deal, I would hope, and not a single song.
All of my heroes in country music, I look back and they had songs that I was like, “Ugh, what are they doing on this song?” But then they came back and the next single might be great. I didn’t ever renounce them as my hero, I just chose not to really dig that song. ●
— Luke Bryan on being judged by his singles.
A lot of country now is leaning more toward rock and a Southern rock feel. But of every artist I can think of in recent memory that has been called ‘Southern rock,’ the most authentic one I heard is Blackberry Smoke. I remember hearing them the first time and thinking, ‘This is the real deal.’ It felt as real to me as the Allmans or Skynyrd. ●
— Tom Keifer, of Eightes hard-rock band Cinderella.
Is Reba Mad That Taylor Swift Left Country? ●
— In short: No, she’s not. And she never said anything to indicate she was. And this whole strange angle was introduced by her interviewer, not her. And Reba shot down the idea as soon as it was mentioned. But way to run with the grabby headline.
Anyone who says it’s so easy to write a country hit and that it’s just a formula — well, try it sometime. If it was that easy, everybody would be doing it. ●
— Chris Stapleton.
I haven’t been able to make the kind of marriage that my parents had. But I am close to all my ex-husbands. I am a better friend than I am a wife. ●
— Emmylou Harris, in a revealing (if somewhat terse) Q&A with The Guardian.
I love when music feels as though you can sit right there in your room and play it, or when the listener can put the music on and feel like they’re right in the room with the musicians, like it’s all happening live, not layered, or “come back next week, we’ll fly out to L.A. and put this on it.” I just wanted it to feel like you could be in my living room. ●
— Lee Ann Womack.
I try not to overthink anything or get real heady with making decisions. ●
— Luke Bryan. Must be a real struggle.
Windmills Music has details and a track listing for Kacey Musgraves’ next album. Still no title.
Here’s Brandy Clark covering “Please Don’t Tell Me How the Story Ends” on Skyville Live, while Kris Kristofferson watches from dead center in the front row. Pretty wonderful.