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Are you gonna sing some Diamond Rio? Because I’m gonna crap my pants. Nobody writes songs like that anymore. Nobody. This is some history-making shit, right here. Y’all need to be paying attention. Sorry. I love Diamond Rio. I can’t get past the ’90s. I’m trying to. ●
- – Miranda Lambert to Bob DiPiero, performing in the round.
That’s the beautiful thing about words, man. There’s so many ways to use them, and I love words. I just love words. Words are music. There’s so many variables, you know? I’ve always been someone that does not necessarily use proper English. But proper English used properly is poetry. When I write songs I’ve always written the word the way I’m gonna pronounce it because, well, it’s just the way I talk and the way I hear it. It’s the accent, I guess, and I sing like I think. ●
- – Delbert McClinton on songwriting.
Chet spent a series of years as a journalism professor at the University of Tennessee. I loved the idea of young Chet Flippo-trained journalists entering the work force, writers who would want to understand not just their bias, but every plausible context for what they were capturing. Chet believed in the whole, which meant understanding the aspects of a story and the aspects’ aspects. He wanted to get it right. Once he figured that out, he used the ultimate sextant: his heart. Because Chet viewed the entire world through his heart. His heart was stout and gentle, took umbrage to the overblown and self-important. He skewered hypocrisy and punctured pomposity with a few very brief, very even observations. ●
- – Holly Gleason on the late Chet Flippo for Oxford American.
These guys were writing as first efforts, right out of the box. You don’t hear that calibre of writing anymore. It makes you sound like an old curmudgeon to say it, but the quality and character of songwriting has gone.
People don’t read and think in the same way. There are a lot of positives from the internet age, such as finding out information instantly, but this comes at a price. Language is deteriorating in the computer age. Where is a Mark Twain, with his command of the language? ●
- – Tom Russell wishes there were more songwriters like Ian Tyson and Gordon Lightfoot.
I’d love nothing more than to cut an album that sounded like Mark Chesnutt in 1994. I’m not very smart but I’m smart enough to know that I don’t know if I can get that played on the radio. It’s exciting for me to go out and try some different things. ●
- – Justin Moore would love nothing more than to do what he isn’t doing. The solution to this problem seems obvious to me.
I’ve made records where I’m trying to make everybody else happy and say what other people want me to say. That was miserable. If you go in and you’re honest, people will either like you or not. You can’t please them all, so you might as well be happy with it yourself. It’s your face on the cover. You can’t change who you are to please other people. ●
- – Oh, look. Kellie Pickler agrees.
I think, first, everyone’s allowed to have a concert experience however they want to have it. If you want to do this all night long [holds up phone], that’s cool. I’m cool with that. I find it baffling sometimes when I go to a concert, though. We went to see somebody a while back, but the fans were down in the front, and the artist was right there — like inches away from them — and they had their phone right here [holds in front of face.] I’m thinking, “They’re right there! What are you doing?” ●
- – Keith Urban.
I’m getting to that point where I’m irritating to be around because I’ll be with you for half the conversation and then the second half of the conversation I’m clearly editing the second verse of whatever I’m writing in my head. ●
- – Taylor Swift on songwriting.
We talk about fishin’ and girls, and drink more beer than we should. Next thing you know, we have a song going. You’ve just got to feel it. You know when it’s right, and you know when it’s wrong. ●
- – Brian Kelley (Florida Georgia Line) says songs come easily. Shocker.
Q: Fans are responding, but there are people that criticize some of the imagery common on country radio today, like the trucks, the back roads. Do you care about that at all?
A: Man, that’s been around for years-dirt roads, beer, trucks and girls. That is country music, and I don’t think that’s ever gonna change. ●
- – Brian Kelley again, to Billboard’s Ray Waddell.
Taylor Swift is dope. ●
- – Will.i.am on Taylor Swift.
The TV Guide Network is going to get a little more country this fall. This week, the network announced that its signed John Rich for a reality show.
‘The Untitled John Rich Project’ will be filmed in the country singer’s element. Cameras will follow Rich around in his home, at his shows and when he’s hanging out with fans to give viewers a glimpse into the life of a country music star. ●
- – Know how John Rich + reality TV was never actually a very good idea? He’s now on his fifth show. Still, I am curious to discover the identity of the ‘country music star’ who will be featured, since that description would seem (at this point) to rule out John Rich.
I didn’t know how to do a gig, and I couldn’t get along with club owners. They wanted me to advertise their beer sales. [...] I’m here to play songs. I’m not here to talk about Ladies’ Night. ●
- – Chris Knight on beginning his music career at age 30.
But I’ve got to do it every day. I don’t have a bunch of songs already written just waiting for me to take a day off tomorrow. You have to reinvent yourself every day. ●
- – Guy Clark on the songwriter’s life.
I’ve been remiss in not bringing this Kree Harrison/Keith Urban performance of “Help Me Make It Through the Night” to your attention in a more timely manner. Sorry about that.