Country California

Country music. Seriously.

Quotable Country – 05/23/10 Edition

Click the bullet after each quote to visit the original source.

There are rooms where there weren’t rooms before, and I have a birdcage in my living room that is people-sized. Then there’s a pond in the living room as well, and I want to get stingrays. I don’t want people to think I’m crazy, but wouldn’t that be cool?
- – Taylor Swift on apartment renovations.

Then it was time for the Q&A. The kids wanted to know the famous people he knew (Julianne Hough and Ashley Tisdale), his favorite singers (Lady Antebellum and India.Arie), who influenced him (the Gaithers and Tim McGraw), his favorite football team (Green Bay Packers) and how he knew he wanted to be a singer. “When I was 11, my dad told me I had a good voice. That’s when I knew. You just don’t know until somebody tells you,” he said.
- – Danny Gokey. When I was 11, my mom told me my magic tricks were amazing… but you don’t see me touring as The Great CMdini. Parents say stuff like that.

“Top down” is a fun, Summer song, the kind of song you really crank up and sing along to when driving down the highway, outside grilling some steaks, washing your car, all the summer stuff we all do while listening to some tunes while we do them! The auto tune effects just punch it up, and add the “fun” element to the song!! These guys can sing, check em out and see. Today’s country music isn’t your boring twang of yesteryear, it’s happening and “Top Down” is “today’s” country!! Love it!!!!
- – Comment from a Fast Ryde fan.

But now, when I hear a new song on country radio, one of two things happens. If it has banjo, I turn it up. If it doesn’t, I turn it off. I’m not trying to sound like some kind of purist. It’s just a matter of personal taste. So in that on-going debate (in my head and on any website that has anything to do with loving or hating country music) over what’s country and what’s pop, banjo is always the answer. It doesn’t have to be the main instrument, though, because a little banjo goes a long way.
Think about Taylor Swift’s ”Picture to Burn,” Dierks Bentley’s ”Free and Easy (Down the Road I Go),” Dixie Chicks’ ”Goodbye Earl,” Keith Urban’s ”Better Life,” Carrie Underwood’s “Songs Like This” and newcomer Josh Thompson’s ”Beer on the Table.”
- – Even when Alison Bonaguro likes the same stuff I like (banjo), she expresses her appreciation of it in such a pedestrian, unnuanced way that she still manages to offend me. Impressive.

And, I guess, being in this business, it’s really … a lot of female acts kinda tend to stay pretty shy and look really pretty (laughs) and they watch their mouth. And I’m not just one of those girls. And I don’t think Miranda Lambert is either. But I just think a lot of women in today’s music are just starting to wave their freak flag. And I’ve never had a problem with it. So I’m excited about the new rules about being a woman and not being pretty and having a mouth on you. [...] A lot of women have their tits. I have my personality.
- – Emily West. (Are all up-and-coming female singers now courting Miranda Lambert comparisons?)

I chose to end the album on a positive note because I truly believe that the stings you get from love are worth the sweetness of the honey.
- – Worth the sweetness of the honey? Ugh. Jaron and the Long Road to Love.

And then Hillary and I started talking about how honey is slow when it’s being harvested. From there, it just turned into a story of a kid getting back to old memories and losing yourself when life gets busy and rushed. Just getting back to simpler times. So that’s how we started writing it — some guitar playing, and some really good whiskey!
- – Shane Stevens on cowriting “American Honey.”

When I started working with publishing companies, I discovered you write for a different reason. You write because it’s 10:30 on Thursday and you’re supposed to be writing right now. While that hones the craft, that does not test the soul. I think a better way of writing is from that artistic approach of going back to the way you did it naturally before, writing when it hits you to write, when something inspires you. If you do that you’ll find you can’t write enough and you can’t run out of ideas.
- – Jamey Johnson on songwriting.

It gives my artists freedom because I’m an artist, too. … It allows them to fail on their own instead of them failing doing what I want them to do.
- – As long as we’re agreed that all your artists will fail one way or another, Toby Keith.

At select festivals on Atkins’ 12-week concert tour, fans can “spin to win” VIP entrance into the custom Velveeta Shells & Cheese “Side Shack” for exclusive fun family entertainment.  The “Side Shack” activities include… access to some of the best views of Rodney’s concert, and a taste of the best side of dinner – Velveeta Shells & Cheese.
- – You can’t accuse Rodney Atkins of not knowing his audience.

The project, set to be released through iTunes on Tuesday, finds him doing acoustic versions of three 1980s classics: John Anderson’s 1983 hit “Swingin’,” Vern Gosdin’s 1989 standard “Chiseled In Stone” and Keith Whitley’s “I’m Over You,” a hit in 1990 that Whitley recorded in the weeks prior to his death in May 1989.
- – Nothing funny about this quote, but you should know that Chris Young is releasing a trio of covers on iTunes this coming Tuesday. I’ll go out on a limb and guess that they’ll be pretty good.

My vision for the new TBS show is to pick up where Hee Haw left off. My hunch is that 32-year-old males want to hear corny jokes and lots of classic country music.
- – Conan O’Brien.

This week’s Quotable Country was brought to you by Velveeta. It’s the creamiest.

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  1. O’Brien’s love of country is geniune. I still remember one time he had Jim Lauderdale as musical guest and how obviously thrilled he was when introducing him. Not to mention him breaking out Bill Monroe covers during the writer’s strike.

    But now, when I hear a new song on country radio, one of two things happens. If it has banjo, I turn it up. If it doesn’t, I turn it off.
    Banjo is the deciding factor? So I guess that Johnny Cash feller would be in deep trouble with Miss B, considering he didn’t include banjo in most of his hits. Same with Hank Williams, come to think of it. Not to mention Alan Jackson – many now considered classic country hits with no banjo. Is there banjo on ‘The House that Built Me’?

  2. Banjo wasn’t used hardly at all before the last decade or so, except in the rare cases like “Callin’ Baton Rouge.”

  3. Using a banjo as your deciding factor allows you to only listen to those really pure country artists — like Keith Urban, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood…

  4. I love, love the banjo, but seriously, Allison?

  5. I can’t imagine Chris Young pulling off “Swingin’”, but I’m still looking forward to the covers.

    • I agree that “Swingin’” will be the wild card. The other two seem like more natural fits, even with the Whitley and Gosdin versions setting the bar as high as they did.

      • “Swingin’” actually works after all. Since it’s done acoustically, he didn’t have to try to recreate the campiness of the Anderson version, which seems like the wise way to pull it off. I like how the dobro ( or is it slide guitar…?) does the heavy lifting.

  6. I am so glad that Alison’s comments on the banjo made their way to this website. The comments are obviously absurd, even more than usual for Bonaguro. They make me wonder: was she drunk or high when she wrote that blog? Does she seriously believe the things she says? Is it a joke to her? Does she intentionally write nonsense because she thinks it will get more hits on her blog? Its a puzzle: Alison must have very little credibility in terms of country music knowledge and when she tries to argue a point she rarely comes across as insightful. And yet despite her apparent lack of insight or knowledge she seems to be the most popular blogger on the cmt site. Her blogs seem to generate the most reaction. Why do so many people (including – I am ashamed to admit – myself) enjoy reading her blogs which are so obviously deficient in many ways? I’m not trying to be snarky or clever, I’m not asking a rhetorical question. I really do wonder. I know people like watching trainwrecks, but can that really explain it? Or in some way is she doing something right?

    • That’s a very good question. I think you’ve pretty much got it figured out too … for the most part, people are reading her blogs to see the deficiencies, her lack of insight, her piss-poor taste, etc. Trainwrecks, car crashes, and explosions are the most thrilling part of a movie. I wouldn’t underestimate the number of people who would actually agree with her either. As the great George Carlin once said, ‘Think about how dumb the average person is. Then, remember, that half of the population is dumber than that!’

      Entertaining edition as always.

  7. Good God Emily West….Has she been hanging out with Jennifer Nettles?

  8. Uh oh, I’m back after a week up in the San Francisco Bay area doing as much Oobamavoter bashing as I could, and up there the supply is unlimited! It was exhausting… (PS – I stopped at a traveling carnival next to the 205 Freeway in Tracy which was all set up and ready to go with all of 3 customers present at 7 PM on a Thursday afternoon! I knew I wasn’t in LA by the lack of gang members and teenagers in general…)

    Emily West said: “A lot of women have their tits. I have my personality.” Gosh Emily, I tend to prefer women that have both! (lol) As Dolly Parton and Kellie Pickler have proven, cosmetic surgery can remedy the former situation.

    Is Taylor Swift kind of like a young female PeeWee Herman? Her residence sounds like its going to wind up looking like PeeWee’s Playhouse by the time she gets through with it! Crikey!

    I cut Alison Bonaguro a little slack due to the quantity of her CMT blog posts as she cranks them out at a prodigious pace! Is it not surprising so little thought goes into most of them? Besides, she is trying to stir up mindless controversy and a lot of responses, and writing something really hair brained serves this purpose well. What would you expect from a prime proponent of “AirHead Country”?

    I always knew Rodney Atkins was totally Cheesy, but that is ridiculous!

    I was reading on another blog that Jaron’s former girlfriend that inspired his song “Pray For You” is actress Kaley Cuoco who is “Penny” on “Big Bang Theory”. (And more notably as “Billie” on “Charmed” where she wore some very interesting outfits!) I don’t know, she kind of strikes me as an (American) Honey even with that crooked smile!

    Wow, looks like the Tobester has created a self-fulfilling prophecy for the acts he signs! Well, considering the acts he’s signed thus far, I guess its inevitable…


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