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I’m going to go back and say some of the guys we should really look at are John Prine, Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell. Guys like that. I really like where their heads are at and how they go about it poetically and philosophically as well. They’re not as commercially groomed as a lot of us are. I would love to be able to go deeper. I’d love to be Dylan. I’d love to be Prine, Guy or Steve Earle. Those cats. ●
- – Ronnie Dunn on songwriting heroes.
But in the two songs you pointed out [“Chickens” and “Drunken Poet’s Dream”] I think the difference in quality had more to do with the subject matter than our mastery of craft. One was a song about chickens. How great could it really be? ●
- – Hayes Carll on songs written with Ray Wylie Hubbard.
The only thing I know anything about is me. I’ve had a most interesting life, and as long as I write about it and give some melody to it, it’ll turn out wonderful. ●
- – Merle Haggard makes penning the rural American songbook sound simple.
If I really wanna sing, I can get a van, I can get three musicians, and we can go up and down the road in Texas and Oklahoma and make $400,000 a year and have fun. Like I did in the old days. But right now, for the first time, I have a group of people banging the Chris Cagle drum. That feels good. ●
- – Either Chris Cagle is grossly overestimating his earning potential as a non-mainstream act or I need to start a little van band in Texas.
I allowed myself to get the best of me and paint a picture of me I didn’t like in the past. I want to repaint the canvas. If it kills me and I have to swallow ego after ego and eat sh– sandwich after sh– sandwich, by the time this is over, when I leave this business, they’re gonna say, “He made some good music, but man, he turned out to be one of the nicest guys.” That’s what I want. ●
- – More than a comeback, Chris Cagle wants to make amends for his former jerkface ways. One possible sign of trouble: Even now, makes being a nice guy sound like an uncomfortable stretch.
Ray Price spans the gap all the way from the beginning days of Hank Sr. and man he’s still out on the stage and he’s just phenomenal! If there’s one thing I know, it’s great singing. Ray Price still hits those notes so nicely, he’s just great. ●
- – Gene Watson on Ray Price.
Q: When you were young, who would you wait in line all day to catch a glimpse of?
A: Well, I grew up in the ’80s, so it varies. That was… [laughs] That was the hair metal days, you know. Everybody from AC/DC to Cinderella, Whitesnake — man, whoever. That was hair metal! Guns N’ Roses, Def Leppard. Even now, I would still stand out in line for Springsteen all day, I’d stand out in line for Bob Seger all day — even now. Tom Petty. ●
- – Eric Church’s list of influences, conspicuously lacking in country.
The first thing I thought when I heard it was, ‘Man, you’re really gettin’ old when they’re writing songs about you,’ but then I realized she was 14 or 15 and wrote it in math class, so I didn’t feel so bad then. In fact, it was pretty cool, and to see the success that she’s gone on and had, and how she’s handled herself, she’s a good girl. ●
- – Tim McGraw on Taylor Swift and “Tim McGraw.”
Most of my better melodies and ideas seem to come [when] I drive. In the Nashville area I have a routine, which takes me down quiet country roads where nothing is going on. I don’t have music on; my old cars don’t have radios worth listening to. [It’s] quiet and that’s when a lot of my best melodies and ideas come to me. ●
- – Alan Jackson does his best songwriting behind the wheel.
I didn’t have to do much of nothing. I just had to be myself. That’s what Robert [Duvall] told me to do. He told me, “Every chance you get, don’t act.” So, I did that. ●
- – Billy Joe Shaver on his role in “The Apostle.”