Quotable Country – 06/05/11 Edition

  

Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source.

It’s good to hang out with real people that enjoy good music. If that’s ‘Outlaw’ to you, let’s all be outlaws.
- – Jamey Johnson shrugs off the ‘outlaw’ label.

There’s that facet of the country world that feels like I’m a washed-up rock star who has no career left anymore and now I’m just pandering to country music listeners. But I would have to say that most of the country artists these days are probably the ones pandering to country music listeners because they don’t even write their own songs. I wrote Country Boy, and it’s 100% truth in every way, shape or form to my life. It applies to me, whereas a lot of these songs that are out there, they’re not true. They don’t apply to the artist that’s singing them. [...] I can assure you, I’m more country than most of the country artists out there — by life and by the way I live and what I choose to do in my free time.
- – Stop picking on Aaron Lewis, everybody. He’s really bothered by your skepticism.

There’s nothing dumber than grown men fighting. You couldn’t get me to fight now, but I’ve been punched. Some guy had it in his head that I was looking at his girl from the stage. I was standing in front of the bus after the show — I thought he wanted me to sign something — and he punches me. I didn’t punch back. The band was in the bus, laughing at me.
- – Todd Snider’s fighting days are behind him, but he’ll still get punched on occasion.

I love the song and Todd [Snider] is one of my favorite entertainers. I started picking around on that song and it really fit me. It just felt good. It does what my songs do for me. I can see every image exactly the same every time I see it.
- – Robert Earl Keen on “Play a Train Song,” which he covers on his upcoming album.

I’d go in the record library and notice every year there’d be a new Patsy Cline CD, or several nice box-set-type things of Loretta Lynn or Tammy Wynette. Patsy, everything she ever breathed on a microphone is out at this point. Kitty Wells made 50-plus albums, and there are maybe two or three comps. Usually they’ll have a few of the core songs from the ’50s and then some other weird, random stuff that’s, like, “Why would anyone put that on a comp?” They just don’t seem well thought through and representative of the eras of her music.
- – Laura Cantrell hopes for some better Kitty Wells compilations and sets. I’m with her.

I look at that a little different than a lot of legends do. I believe things need to change, and every decade it does. Every new generation needs to bring their own music with them. There are entertainers who I hear talking, who say new artists and songwriters don’t write the same today as when we were recording. My answer to that is, I would hate to miss Martina McBride’s ‘Independence Day,’ with the wonderful message it brought, or Tim McGraw’s ‘Live Like You Were Dying’ and Brad Paisley’s ‘He Didn’t Have to Be.’ Those are great songs, and they make a difference in your thinking.
- – Opry legend Jeannie Seely appreciates new country (at least up to about 2004 or so).

He’s so responsible for current country music in so many ways that I have a hard time believing he’s never been more accepted as a country artist in that sense.
- – Brad Paisley on Don Henley.

It was poetry, and intended to be so. I think about that and I wonder what makes that, what makes someone take that approach to performing in a club. I mean, there were great dancehalls down here, too. I think the reason that (our approach to music) continues to persist is that people play to play. They’re not playing to an industry crowd; they’re not playing a showcase. There’s not an ambition to it beyond the gig. There’s not a business ambition to it. It allows people to do something for the sake of doing it.
- – Lyle Lovett on the South Texas songwriting tradition that includes guys like himself, Guy Clark, and the late Townes Van Zandt.

Facing a sold-out audience nestled in a world-class room, Campbell came across as unprepared at best and disoriented at worst.
He mangled lyrics (despite unabashed use of video prompts on three onstage monitors), clanged countless off-key guitar notes and generated zero rapport with the crowd.
Campbell struggled to even communicate with long-running band leader T.J. Keunster.
“What key? . . . Who wrote it? . . . I like this song,” served as an evening-long mantra for Country Music Hall of Famer Campbell.
- – Glen Campbell reportedly had a rough show in Indiana. Age? Drugs? Cranky reviewer? Who knows.

Q. So far in your songs you’ve name-checked Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, and George Jones. Are you working your way through the country music icon canon? Who’s next, Merle Haggard?
A. Maybe [laughs]. We’ll see who pops up on the next record. But whatever it is, it seems to be working for us, so we’ll keep dropping names.
- – Interviewer aids and abets Jason Aldean’s habit of name-checking acts with whom he shares virtually no musical common ground.

The one thing that I probably got more fluent with was country music. I hadn’t realized how much I liked country music until I started playing with all these different artists on the show. It was like, you know, “I really really like LeAnn Rimes and Vince Gill. I really dig their music.” So that was really nice. That was something that I did get to appreciate more being on the show was working with a lot of country artists.
- – Kevin Eubanks on his long run as Tonight Show bandleader.

Now that I’ve given it a couple swings and I’ve got my feet dirty and kind of figured out, you know, what it is I want to do — which is real country music — I’m able to take those people that influenced me to be in the first place, like Tammy Wynette and Loretta Lynn, people like that that I grew up listening to … I want to put some of that flavor in it as well. You know, it’s not going to be like they would do it. It’s going to be like I would do it, but with little touches of some people that inspired me kind of in the mix.
- – Kellie Pickler on her new music.

Curb would call me and say, ‘What do you think the next single should be?’ I’d say ‘Cleaning This Gun’ or ‘These Are My People,’ and they would really ask for my input. [...] When we were ready to go with the next single after ‘Cleaning This Gun,’ I had picked two other singles off that album that I wanted to go with, but they wanted to release ‘Invisibly Shaken.’ I don’t think ‘Invisibly Shaken’ is a bad song, but it was sort of a departure. I don’t know if it was the right thing to come with for the tone I want my shows to have.
- – Rodney Atkins thinks Curb dropped the ball with “Invisibly Shaken.”

Traditional country music seems to be the very thing that nobody has much of a chance to hear in Nashville, if they come looking for that anymore. It’s the traditional country fan that tends to get left behind anymore.
- – Marty Stuart.

Comments

  1. says

    I have no problem with acknowledging that the Eagles influenced country or even calling some of their work country in a broad sense. But I don’t like this tendency some people have to give them all the credit for the modern pop/rockification of the genre. How could you even trace that? There have been a ton of successful pop/rock acts that might have played a hand. Does anything on the radio now sound like “Take It Easy” or “Desperado”? Much less “Tequila Sunrise” or “Lyin’ Eyes”?

    • says

      I have no problem with acknowledging that the Eagles influenced country or even calling some of their work country in a broad sense.

      Honestly, I don’t have that much of a problem with it, but for the fact that:

      A. they only did that country-rock thing for a couple of albums and then worked on getting away from it (witness: “One Of These Nights” & “Hotel California”) and

      B. Don Henley himself has gone on record apologizing for that influence.

      And I’ve said before, and I’ll say it here: It’s a sad commentary on modern country that just about everything on the Common Thread cd sounds more country than a lot of what’s been played on country radio for about the last 15 years.

  2. says

    I’ll add that I’m sure some other acts have professed their Eagles influence, so maybe that’s where the idea comes from. I just haven’t heard of too many doing so aside from the lip service paid for Common Thread (plus freakin’ Love And Theft). If anyone knows more about that, I’d be interested to here.

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