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I’m sort of fed up with the normal method of making records in Nashville. You go into one of these perfectly tuned studios, with perfect gear, where they also then re-tune the studio again once you’re set up, nine times out of 10, one of two or three different players on each instrument that go through the rotating door, and then it’s mixed by a couple of the same people. We’ve thrown all that out, every bit of it. ●
- – Brad Paisley seems an unlikely critic of Nashville’s approach to record-making, but this does give me some hope that he might eventually become interesting again.
For a long time, it wasn’t cool to play the kind of music we did. It wasn’t cool to talk about what we talked about. We were pariahs, and when we got fired from the Rascal Flatts tour, we were troublemakers. I think that’s where the outlaw name comes from, but I prefer to think there’s already been an outlaw movement, and I think we can leave it at that. I’m not into branding what we do, because that just sensationalizes things, when it should be about the music. ●
- – Eric Church considers himself less an outlaw, more a troublemaking pariah. But all this branding business is beneath him – he’s really just interested in the music. And the hats. And the shades. And the frequent reminders of how much edgier and more authentic he is than everyone else.
Eric Church. “Homeboy”: This song will take you to a mindset of imagining you are a little kid running around the country, and will make you want to run like a little kid. Very motivational for any runner, no matter what age they are. ●
- – Yahoo Sports published a playlist of country songs for running, including peculiar explanations of why each song is especially good for running. At least they didn’t argue that “Homeboy” would make you run as if pursued by an inner-city thug, I guess…
We don’t have hits. We’re a bluegrass band. ●
- – Steve Martin in concert.
Country music is for real people. I think it would be very hard to write about my Louboutins. Do you know what I mean? My giant house, it’s not relatable. But my husband came from a small town and hardworking parents like I did, and I don’t think we’ve lost that mind-set. We don’t have a bowling alley in our basement. We don’t have houses on the beach and one in New York and one in L.A. I drive a three-year-old Ford Escape Hybrid. We don’t care about stuff like that. ●
- – You won’t hear Carrie Underwood singing about her Louboutins any time soon.
I used to go to Walmart and stash my CDs in the country section. I really like the idea of people trying to buy my record and it not being in the database. I’m sure Walmart just threw them away but who knows? Maybe someone wanted it and stole it? I hope so. ●
- – Jonny Corndawg takes a Reginald Spears approach to self-promotion.
It comes into my head and comes out as my sound in a lot of ways. But I always know that it sounds like my voice, no matter how hard I try to sing like someone else… In fact, I’ve gone into the studio several times and said, “I’m really going to sound like so-and-so on this record and I’m really going to push myself to make my vocals better.” And at the end of the day, it comes out and I’m like, “F—, it sounds like me.” [laughs] ●
- – Tim McGraw is pretty much stuck sounding like Tim McGraw.
People sometimes just assume because of all the liberal hippie shit I do that I love everybody and everything and have no prejudices or anything but that’s just not true. I have a deep fear of gingers and I also can’t stand deaf people. You can’t tell ’em anything. That’s just known. ●
- – Todd Snider.
It’s kind of one of those things of who do you get mad at. People that decide budgets for education have to make hard choices. If you keep a music program, you are going to be cutting something else, physical education or language, whatever else. So it’s a bigger question of why are the schools under-funded in the first place. But keeping the arts in schools it not a luxury. Arts are not just fun, they are not just a diversion. They are so closely tied to childhood development and brain development and confidence and the social life of a child. And they get kids and families involved in schools in ways that, you know, the best math class in the world never could. ●
- – Ed Helms (who’s working on a bluegrass album with his band, the Lonesome Trio) on underfunded school music programs.
Just about every country artist is doing rock or pop as part of their show. When you’re a new artist, you have to have something unique in there. You have to have a lot of energy in your show. ●
- – Keifer Thompson (Thompson Square) on the prevalence of rock/pop cover songs at country concerts. Evidently, good country music can’t be unique or exciting in itself.
For me, it’s lost its traditional bent pretty severely. I would love to hear someone write a song like (the 1981 George Jones hit) ‘He Stopped Loving Her Today’ rather than ‘You’re hot. I’m hot. We’re in a truck.’ It’s just mind-numbing to me. ●
- – Vince Gill on today’s country.
Income streams are dwindling. Record sales aren’t what they used to be. The devaluation of music and what it’s now deemed to be worth is laughable to me. My single costs 99 cents. That’s what a (single) cost in 1960. On my phone, I can get an app for 99 cents that makes fart noises — the same price as the thing I create and speak to the world with. Some would say the fart app is more important. It’s an awkward time. Creative brains are being sorely mistreated. ●
- – Vince Gill on the challenges facing the modern music business.
I’ve accepted the fact that if I get to make an album, and I have a singles out, they’re probably only going to be played on country radio, because that’s just the way it is. That’s the way my songs are going to sound. I’m fine with it, because I want to make real country music, like honky-tonk songs and the good old country stuff. […] Miranda and Justin [Moore] are my idols. I would love to do a duet with both of them and write with both of them, so hopefully one day I will be able to. ●
- – In case you haven’t been following the current season of “American Idol,” this year’s country cast-off is Skylar Laine, whose idea of honky-tonk music dates all the way back to Miranda Lambert and Justin Moore. So, uh… you probably haven’t been missing a whole lot.
And when we got started — from having Randy Scruggs help me work up the songs on acoustic guitar — it was just a whole different process, that just kept building. We’ve got real country songs; we’ve got some Texas songs, a bit of gospel, some surprises. I’m fired up — and I think the fans will be, too. ●
- – Lee Ann Womack on her upcoming album, her first produced by husband Frank Liddell.
See, that’s the whole thing. We’re doing something different. We’re not Steve Earle. We’re not rolling out with some liberal politics record.
I mean, I love Steve Earle. I’m not reducing him to that, but you know what I’m saying. This is a pretty traditional country record that we recorded in New York. The statement that I think that should come out of that is that it doesn’t matter where you are. Country music is about country music. There are people that I’ve met in New York City who are bigger rednecks than I’ve ever met in my entire life. It’s like outside of New York, just off the island, and you’re in white-trash town. ●
- – Shooter Jennings on making Family Man in New York.
I really feel like there’s the song I’m supposed to write every day, and I try not to question that too much. I could write speed metal or punk rock this whole week. Thing is, nobody will ever hear it or know it ever happened. I just exercise that stuff right out of me. Next day I could write a nice song about your momma… next day Kenny [Chesney] cuts it and boom. That’s the true luxury of writing every day. ●
- – Craig Wiseman believes in keeping the words flowing. Most of those songs never sees the light of day, but the ones about my mom always seem to end up with Kenny Chesney. It’s a bit disconcerting.