Quotable Country – 06/01/14 Edition

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Well, I love that he makes these great melodies. They’re just great country melodies and great choruses. He tells these great stories, and the words he chooses to use make them seem poetic and yet it’s something that everybody has experienced. That’s just great country songwriting, I think. I feel like it’s poetry — the way he tells a story.
— Kelly Willis on husband Bruce Robison’s best quality as a songwriter.

But I think songs are kind of primal, in a way. Songs that have a certain truth to them? They take on more colors and facets as you get older, and they have a richer meaning. Then some other songs might fall away, like a drinking song or something that you did for fun. And you feel like, ‘Why should I bother with that?’
— Emmylou Harris on growing with her songs.

So I go over there and he’s this good-looking Texas cowboy with his cowboy hat on, and here I am, maybe three years younger, but just an absolutely wild, young long-haired song-slinger who does not give a shit about anything or anybody but writing songs. I sit down and look at him, and I’m smoking a cigarette and blowing cigarette smoke everywhere. He looks at me and goes, “Man, do you mind putting that cigarette out? Smoke really bothers me.” And I looked at him, took a big drag on that cigarette and blew it out. I said, “Oh, you mean that smoke?”
— Dean Dillon on meeting George Strait for the first time. From an excellent, extensive feature on Dillon in Texas Monthly.

I’ve got a one-track mind. If I’m on the road, then all I can think about is being on the road. But when I’m home, I have the luxury of being bored out of my mind. There’s nothing to do out here in the woods. I find if I can force myself into a position where I’m just bored to tears, then I’m a lot more likely to actually sit down and write something that’s worth anything.
That’s why I’m constantly bitching and moaning about how I need to go home even though there’s nothing there. That’s where the songs are waiting.
— John Fullbright to Stephen Deusner for CMT Edge. His new album is Songs.

To show that I’m not just talking anti-Nashville or sour grapes or “stuck in the past” I’ll share this. An incredible song by a country singer with a great country voice. Where is this song (or any song like it) on radio?? Of course there should be fun songs and progressive songs; there’s room for all of it. There always has been before. That’s the history of country music. All I’m saying is that there should be room for ALL of it, including songs like this.
— Jason Eady, sharing Erin Enderlin’s “You Don’t Know Jack” (as sung by Luke Bryan) with his Facebook followers. The seeds of Golf & Guitars 2014 are taking root, gang.

You have a lot of fun things happening at radio, and all of a sudden, you have this song that comes on that kind of just, some radio programmers told me it literally stopped the station in its track. I get that, and I appreciate their honesty. I think some guys would have gone to the wall for me and continued to play it. And I had some guys that were real honest and just said: ‘Man, it’s a tough song for us to play. It’s heavy.’ […] We put it out there and mainly saw that it was going to be a struggle and a fight. So yeah, we pulled it.
— Dierks Bentley on why “Bourbon in Kentucky” got pulled as a single.

I think kids relate to me because they think of me like a Mother Goose or a Fairy Godmother. I’m like a cartoon character — my voice is little and I’m an excitable little person like them! I’m very childlike in that way, in my nature.
— Dolly Parton.

I see publishing companies closing down all the time. It’s definitely gotten a lot smaller, and the sad thing is when you see a lot of great writers who aren’t able to make a living at it anymore. They’re having to do other things, or moving away. To me it’s really sad, because there’s so much talent, and there’s so many songs just sitting on shelves. Back catalogs of great songs, just sitting there.
— Jamie O’Neal on the difficulty of making a living as a songwriter these days.

I went out to Nashville, and the guy there started telling me how to dress and stuff like that. They didn’t want me to do any drinking songs and honky-tonk songs, because at that time, there was a lot of happy, snappy songs. They didn’t want to talk about hard living or dying or fighting or any kind of emotion other than lovey-dovey — which is fine, because I like that stuff, too, but Johnny Cash said it best: Country music is about everything. It’s about paying taxes, not paying taxes, loving, hating, fighting. It runs the gamut, and that’s what makes it so great, is that it’s got all facets of emotions.
— Dale Watson on his short stint as a Curb Records artist around 1990.

Q: You get a lot of Waylon Jennings [comparisons], too.
A: So much so that it makes me wonder if anybody actually listens — ’cause I don’t hear it. I really don’t. And I love Waylon. And I’ll I’ll say this: Shooter Jennings told me that I sound like his father, so I’ll take it from him. But to me, I’ve listened to so many other people, and Waylon’s one that discovered later and really probably listened to the least of any of the legendary singers. His attitude, maybe, is what people are comparing. Or maybe people really just want to hear somebody sound like Waylon Jennings, so it could all just be psychosomatic. I don’t know.
— Sturgill Simpson to NPR’s Rachel Martin.

We haven’t actually written the show yet, so I’m kind of clueless as to its construction. I know we have some pretty cool surprise performances coming through, but that’s really all I know. They’re really flying by the seat of their pants, aren’t they?
— Kristen Bell, interviewed days before the CMT Music Awards. Explains a lot about their scripts.

I am still a big vinyl fan. I am a vinyl collector. It’s one of my hobbies. One of the things I love about records and the turntable format is that you put the needle down and let it go. It’s too much of a pain to skip (songs). The real good albums from that era were made that way. They were made knowing that people were going to listen in order. I think that changes things, when you make an album you think about, “OK, this is what the listener’s experience is going to be.” In the digital age, and being able to skip around and singles and downloads, you no longer think of it that way. You just think of it as individual songs that you are putting in a package. I think that does the whole album concept a disservice.
— Eric Church on making albums as bodies of work.

We want to be thought of as an omni-channel, multiplatform brand.
— Cumulus Media CEO Lew Dickey, sounding very much like a robot, on NASH Icons.

Jennifer and I actually got in a lot of trouble for rapping on our own song. It was very controversial. I’m really proud that country music has come such a long way in just four years to not only allow, but encourage [rapping] — to the point where you’re asking me if any of the people in the business are pushing me toward it.
— Kristian Bush on the reggae breakdown in 2010’s “Stuck Like Glue.”

Even though @BrantleyGilbert only gave us 8 feet of stage, we had a great time performing for everyone @BlueRidgeFest tonight. Great crowd!
I doubt very seriously if @BrantleyGilbert knows how disrespectful his stage setup is to those who open for him. However, I’m just saying.
— Travis Tritt took to Twitter to air complaints about his treatment as an opener for Brantley Gilbert last night. As you’d imagine, some Brantley Gilbert fans are up in arms. (h/t Farce the Music)

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  1. says

    Also, it’s too bad that Travis Tritt even has to open for Brantley Gilbert, since he’s just so much better, but I guess it’s the way it goes at this point in Tritt’s career. I will say that I remember hearing an interview with somebody, but I can’t recall who it was for the life of me right now, who said that they were nervous about opening for Travis Tritt, but that he ended up being extremely nice to everyone, right down to the people picking up trash at the venue.

  2. the pistolero says

    Kristian Bush is still around? And people still care about what he has to say about country music? Wow, I got nothin’.

    Never thought I’d agree with Eric Church on anything, but I think he’s exactly right on the concept of the album — even if I do like to play some of the albums in a different order on the iPod than the original track listing. :D

  3. Jack says

    They literally pulled “Bourbon In Kentucky” because it had substance?

    Wow. For god’s sake, Dierks, stand by your convictions.


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