Excuse the tardiness after a long holiday weekend, and… wait for it…
Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source.
Some people want to talk about being patriotic but they don’t really know what the hell they’re talking about. They just say it like it’s a buzzword. Like a lot of these country guys do, but when it comes down to it they can’t really discuss deeply what it means to them. ●
— Whitey Morgan with a truth bomb. Go listen to Sonic Ranch if you haven’t yet.
Bryan’s good looks appeal to female fans, and his everyman demeanor and rocking tunes about beer, girls, and trucks draw guys to his shows. ●
— Display copy from Luke Bryan’s Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum exhibit.
If you’re a rock n’ roll fan, you can find that in country. If you’re a jazz fan, you can find that in country. You just have to open up your mind and let your heart decide and just give it a chance. ●
— Jon Ali, manager of a Texas Roadhouse restaurant in Holmdel, New Jersey.
I don’t know how to do a lot, but I know how to make country music. I spent a lot of years knowing I’m never going to be doing ‘new’ country. In some circles it isn’t cool to be doing traditional country. You tend to get written off. But I love this kind of music. I’ve spent too much time apologizing for it. I’m not going to do that anymore. ●
— Brennen Leigh, interviewed about her in-the-works Lefty Frizzell tribute album.
I actually wasn’t listening to country, which I regret. My wife fills me in on Nineties country and I feel like I missed that whole thing, but the target has shifted over to guys like me and what we grew up listening to. It feels like the shift has happened in the last three or four years to where now it’s like, ‘Oh, I can actually just do what I love doing.’ ●
— “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16” and “Beat of the Music” co-writer Ross Copperman, whose own tastes run more toward Oasis and Third Eye Blind.
I have a meaner cross over than Stephen Curry in basketball. I have a better jump shot than Larry Bird ever thought about. ●
— Kip Moore, lacking no self-confidence.
As a genre, there’s too much focus on who’s doing bro country. It’s like one person started throwing it out there and everybody wants to act like everybody is doing that. There’s too much focus on that. There’s too many artists that are playing great music and it’s just a shame that that’s the only thing people want to talk about and focus on when there’s so many people doing really cool stuff. I get sick and tired of people asking me what I think about bro country. ●
— Kip Moore again.
We took our seats just in time to see [Kip] Moore, who came onstage in a sleeveless/semi V-neck Ramones T-shirt, tight jeans, and backward red baseball cap. His red guitar was coordinated with his cap, and his bulging biceps embodied bro country. ●
— Oops. From a Dierks Bentley concert review.
When I ask why [Ashley] Monroe bothered touring radio stations when Like a Rose hadn’t fared well there, she offers the boilerplate explanation that radio helps music reach millions of people. But the trip seems to have inspired a certain reticence. During the course of our short conversation, she mentions a flurry of artists with whom she feels she truly belongs, including Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, and Musgraves — artists who posit themselves as honoring country by bucking its conventions. In this world, to be commercially misunderstood is a badge of honor — it tells you you’re skirting the fences of a pasture that has grown too small to roam. ●
— From Mike Powell’s excellent Grantland feature, “Girls in Trucks.”
I’m definitely trying to stand alone and show that I’m my own artist. But at the same time, I love that I can collaborate with anyone from Blake Shelton to the Raconteurs to Train. I’m proud that I have made music with people who also love music. Emmylou [Harris] also did that, and I think things worked out just fine for her. ●
— Ashley Monroe, in a different interview. The Blade comes out July 24.
I have vivid memories of her visits to my class from first grade all the way through sixth. It was June with her banjo performing in my classroom for all my schoolmates. It was great the first few years, but by the time I was in the fifth and sixth grade it was kind of embarrassing for a girl who was trying to fit in and be “normal.” One thing I am grateful for especially is that she taught us that this, our life, was normal! And so it really was at least for us, as we didn’t know any different. ●
— Carlene Carter, in a nice remembrance of her mother.
The first record I did, everything started with me and a guitar and a click track. This time, Jay got the band that was going to play on the record and we rehearsed for five days. A lot of the rehearsal is what ended up being on the record. ●
— Brandy Clark, discussing her work with Jay Joyce on a sophomore album.
Just like Dolly Parton sings about her Smoky Mountains, Tennessee, I want to sing about the hills of Kiambu. ●
— Kenyan country singer Esther Konkara, in a New York Times piece on the popularity of country music in that country.
The fans are smarter than we think they are, and they start yearning for some kind of organic feeling that comes to music — not just, “I heard this before, it sounds familiar, I like the beat, so I’m gonna like it.” Sometimes they search for more. They search for more depth in the song, they search for depth in the artist and I think that’s where we’re headed. I don’t know what kind of music is going to be popular next year, but I know what kind of music and what kind of lyric isn’t — and that’s the very shallow one. ●
— Joe Nichols sees a turning of the tide.
That is so Chris Tompkins. That’s an interior chorus line you’d give your left nut for. ●
— Craig Wiseman on the “Victoria’s Secret ain’t a secret no more” line in the new Florida Georgia Line single. If you ask me, Wiseman seems all too willing to part with his left nut.
My biggest concern is that the young people today may not have been taught the same things my mother taught me. […] I fear that a lot of kids may not know the importance of having Christ in their lives and reading the Bible. ●
— Oak Ridge Boy Joe Bonsall on the horrors of everyone else not sharing your own upbringing.
Still, five years after the release of his last album of original material and the breakdown of his major-label deal, there was some staleness, a void where experimentation and new music felt tamped down in favor of crowd favorites and country classics. In a time when country music is pushing its boundaries, here’s hoping we haven’t seen the creative climax of one of its very best. ●
— Karlie Justus Marlowe, reviewing a Jamey Johnson show for Indy Week.
My ‘direction’ has always kind of been self-evident to me in the past. Now, I’ve hit a point where I want to take some time to figure it out — creatively, artistically, what I want my career and my days, to look like. I’ve been on the road for about 17 years. If I don’t address it, that just will be my life forever. ●
— Hayes Carll on life at almost-40.
Chris can crank out songs. He can sing a demo, and just sing the song and be done with it. And then you have songs like on Traveller that he’s written, and it’s almost like he can’t not connect with them. ●
— Morgane Stapleton on her beardy husband. In interviews, he has credited her with combing through his considerable songbook to help piece the album together.
I think it keeps you young! Something that makes you sing along, clap your hands and jump up and down? Nothing else does that, and when you’re doing that, you’re feeling alive. ●
— Willie Nelson on music.