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I figured, ‘Why not?’ I do a lot of ‘Well, why not?’ If you have to really question it too much, then it starts being like, ‘Oh, might offend somebody. Oh no. Somebody’s gonna get offended.’ Well you know what? Somebody’s gonna get offended if your song’s cheesy, too. At least those are like real situations. ●
– – Sunny Sweeney on singing from the vantage point of the ‘other woman’ in “From a Table Away” and “Amy.”
The King of Honky-Tonk doesn’t give a shit about fancy cheese. He doesn’t need a dressing room. He will change clothes at the bar. (If he even needs to change clothes!) THE KING OF HONKY-TONK doesn’t care if he has any monitors. He doesn’t care if the bar is air conditioned or full of pretty girls. He is there to lay down the business, and the rest of it doesn’t matter one bit. I think the man who best personifies this spirit is Mike Stinson. He could probably do many things. He chooses to honky-tonk and that is a wonderful thing. ●
– – Who’s the King of Honky-Tonk? Grant Langston gives the nod to Mike Stinson.
Johnny Cash, but since that can’t happen, I’d say Adam Levine. ●
– – Jana Kramer on her dream duet partner.
I was 17 years old when I got into country music. When I heard Hank Williams Jr. singing about naked women and beer with a bit of rock ‘n’ roll, I thought it was the greatest thing ever. Now you have 17-year-old kids looking for the same thing. They listen to a lot of music. Not just country — they listen to a lot of rock and rap as well. Just going out there, standing at the mic and holding your guitar doesn’t cut it anymore. There has to be more energy; the songs have to be more aggressive. People say, ‘Ah, country’s going too rock,’ but people are always saying that. They said it about Hank Jr. and they said it about his dad too. ●
– – Dierks Bentley says country assimilating outside musical influences is nothing new.
I’m glad her voice sounds exactly like it does. I love it so much. She inspires me. … The way she writes and taps the vein just goes so deep. It can move me to tears when I hear things she’s written. Sometimes I wish I could be delicate like she is. That’s a special gift, too. ●
– – Chelle Rose on Julie Miller.
We always push the envelope, like with the video for ‘Do I,’ but we never want to throw a massive curve ball at the fans. They’ve bought into what I want them to know about me, and I don’t want to change that. ●
– – For a guy who plays a likable frat-boy goober onstage, Luke Bryan has a surprisingly savvy take on the fan relationship: “They’ve bought into what I want them to know about me.”
We just want them to be excited at the end when it’s over with. ●
– – Toby Keith on his hopes as co-host of the CMT Music Awards. Mission accomplished, I’d say!
We’re going to go back and finish it up with Rick Rubin. ●
– – Brother Reid on The Band Perry’s sophomore album. Rubin’s an interesting choice…
I didn’t know anything about [mainstream country music]. I was more a fan of the outlaw country. I loved Willie Nelson my whole life. Lucinda Williams, Emmylou Harris, Gram Parsons, George Strait, Waylon Jennings — those are people that were a part of my childhood. But I never associated that kind of country music with what Kenny [Chesney] does. The truth is, it all comes from the same place, and I’m seeing that now firsthand. ●
– – Grace Potter proves a keen observer of country music.
I grew up with nothing, so whenever I got to where I could have something I felt like I needed to have everything I couldn’t have when I was young. The older you are, I think you realize what you enjoy and what you don’t need, what wears you out and what’s important. That’s what is happening to us and now Denise’s experience has magnified it a little more. So that’s what we’re doing. We’re simplifying and trying to set up our lifestyle where we can be comfortable and happy and not have so much going on. ●
– – Alan Jackson doesn’t want to be owned by stuff anymore.
I don’t like making records, I’ll be honest with you. It’s so hard for me, and it’s hard on me because of what I go through as a songwriter and what I go through in the recording process. Every time it almost kills me. I never look forward to making a record. ●
– – Eric Church.
We don’t have the most interesting story with how this song was written. ●
– – Songwriter Josh Osborne on the new Kenny Chesney single, “Come Over.”
I sang a new song in front of the grandstand audience called `He Didn’t Have To Be,’ that, having never heard it, the entire audience stood up and gave me a standing ovation in the middle of a 100-degree day. I started crying and the head of my record label started crying.That was the moment I thought, `I think I’m going to be OK. I think this struggle that we’re having on my first single will be a distant memory when that one comes out — and it was. ●
– – Brad Paisley shares an early CMA Fest (Fan Fair) memory.
Nelson said there had been some discussion of doing more things as The Highwaymen and if they did, they would get Jamey Johnson to go out with them. He said that if Jamey were a part of his old group of friends, he would definitely fit into the gatherings at Tootsie’s and the guitar pulls at various songwriters homes. ●
– – Willie Nelson leaves open the possibility of a new Highwaymen-style group with Kris Kristofferson and Jamey Johnson. If they need someone to fill the Johnny role, John Rich is clearly the guy.
How can you tell? ●
– – Willie Nelson to Kris Kristofferson, when the latter came offstage complaining of a sore throat.
There have been other formats that have worked with an independent label, or in some cases, no label at all. But, I think that art is a medium where the delivery depends on a collaboration. What I feel for me, is that I needed to go back to an earlier model. ●
– – Dwight Yoakam on bucking the indie trend by returning to a major label. His old one, as it happens.
I tell you what we won’t be doing on tour – love ballad duets. That time of night, in a football stadium, they want it loud and fast. That’s what we’ll give them. ●
– – Kenny Chesney suggests that he would be fine with doing “love ballad duets” with Tim McGraw in a low-key, non-stadium setting. Hmm.
I agree with him 100 percent. I’ve watched this business cycle toward traditional music, then toward pop, back to traditional and then back toward pop again. I think country radio needs more true-life songs instead of a ditty which says absolutely nothing, in a lot of cases. We need more traditional artists. ●
– – Randy Travis on Vince Gill’s recent criticisms of modern country.
I’ve been wanting to do an album of folk songs for about fifteen or twenty years. I’m not the craziest about folk music, but I have always loved folk songs. They’re all about great melodies, and they’re easy to sing. I just love them. That’s why they’ve been around for hundreds of years. ●
– – Bobby Bare is working on a new album of folk songs, even though he doesn’t like ‘folk music’ per se.
Finally: John Anderson performs “I Wish I Could Have Been There” on the Opry.