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What I think country music is may not be what everyone else thinks it is. ●
- – You can say that again, Jason Aldean.
Today I was at the airport and I’ve got my iPad out and I’m doing one thing and I’ve got my iPhone in the other hand and I’m doing all this other stuff. People walk by and I’m not acknowledging them, and if I have to wait for something for 20 seconds I’m pulling out my phone and checking stuff. I’m like, “I’m becoming an [expletive]. I’m turning into that guy.” All the time with my [eight year old], he’s looking at the TV while he talks to you and I’m constantly telling him, be respectful when you talk to somebody. Pay attention and make eye contact. But I catch myself doing the same thing. And it makes me want to throw everything away. ●
- – Hayes Carll on living in a constant state of technological distraction.
It’s about getting back to the basics of life. We live in a space world now with machines doing everything. It doesn’t make people feel whole, or feel human. This music, folk music, or music of the people, makes you feel human. I think a lot of music of today distracts you from being human. That’s not all bad, but I prefer down-home soul, country music. You need an anchor to know where you actually come from. ●
- – Pokey LaFarge on his love of old-time music.
It’s pretty common to meet people who say, “Oh, country music. I hate country music.” And then you say, “Well, do you like Johnny Cash?” And they say, “I love Johnny Cash.” And you say, “Do you like Hank Williams Sr.?” And they say, “I love Hank Williams.” And they don’t associate those names with country music. But there’s so many other artists who are deserving of that recognition, whose music these people would enjoy if they only heard it. ●
- – Nick 13 thinks country music is quite a bit cooler than most people realize.
“I remember going to a Tim McGraw concert. And you know, there’s a big difference in your local guy playing in a bar onstage and then going to see Kenny Chesney or Keith Urban or Tim McGraw, and they’ve got these cool-looking clothes on,” Owen said in a recent radio interview. “And I remember Googling back in the day, ‘Where does Tim McGraw get his jeans?’ ‘Cause I wanted some cool-lookin’ jeans!” ●
- – Jake Owen thinks the difference between some guy singing in a bar and a country superstar is cool clothes, which probably explains why Owen’s music doesn’t tend to do much for me.
I’m not sure whether the jeans Owen wears now are the ones he found Googling McGraw a few years ago or if they are the ones he is singing about in his “Barefoot Blue Jean Night,” but I do know that those are some damn lucky jeans. ●
- – Alison Bonaguro’s insightful commentary on the Jake Owen quote.
It was about this guy who told me he was gonna commit suicide and listened to Prodigal Son, put the gun down, got in his truck and went to his mama’s house. And like total 360 [he’s] doing great now. ●
- – Brantley Gilbert is better at saving lives than he is at figuring angles.
Most of the stuff that gets cut today is the product of co-writing, which is another factor in dumbing stuff down to the Rascal Flatts level. There hasn’t been a single country hit this year that was written by just one writer. And that’s all driven by the big publishing houses and major labels. ●
- – Peter Cooper to the Houston Press.
The Singapore Airlines-backed carrier this morning confirmed it had repaid Dale Watson the $2000 wholesale cost of the 120 CDs and the $500 excess baggage charge for the lost cargo. ●
- – Hmm. Do Dale Watson CDs really wholesale for $16.67 each? I’m guessing not.
I get sick of it. That is actually an industry question and not a fan question. The industry asks it because by compartmentalizing something, it’s how they make money. I am knowledgeable enough and love the legacy of country music enough to know we play in the margin. At the same time, when you think about Loretta Lynn’s ‘The Pill’ or ‘Fist City’ … When you think about Johnny Cash from a musical perspective, people were sold to what he was doing at the time. At the end of the day, slow and steady wins the race. He stuck to it and we stuck to it. ●
- – Jennifer Nettles on accusations that Sugarland isn’t country… or isn’t the living embodiment of Johnny Cash. Yeah, not quite sure where she was going with that one.
Why doesn’t anyone in the country world cover that song for me and help me get paid? What is up? Everybody I talk to says that. I met this guy at Music Fest, Casey James, he said the same thing. If y’all love this song song much, it would kill if you played it at Music Fest! Kenny Chesney does that song or someone like that. I would love that. ●
- – Amos Lee on The Band Perry and others telling him they love his song “Southern Girl.”
… because my [now] publisher, Ben Vaughn [who knew me from my dad], walked up to me after the show and said, “Hey man, I really think you’ve got something.” I said, “What are you talking about?” He was like, “I seriously think you have potential to be a country music singer.” He asked me if I had ever written a song before, and I was like, “I’ve written dumb songs in high school, but nothing that was ever any good.” He said, “Do you think you could write a song? Would you want to sign a publishing deal?” I didn’t even know what a publishing deal was. I was like, “Well does it pay?” […] A little bit down the road, Ben started taking me to labels, just to get my name out there by playing an acoustic set for the A&R people at the labels. I played at Sony, Warner Bros., Universal, Big Machine, Capitol … after I played every one of those places, everyone offered me a record deal. I was just like, “Who am I? Why do I even deserve this?” There are people busting their butts on Broadway doing this hardcore, playing three hours a night for tips, and I didn’t even ask for it. It was completely a God-given thing that I’m doing this. ●
- – Thomas Rhett Akins, son of a Peach Picker, credits God for what would actually seem to be a fairly open and shut case of nepotism.
Did you know that to select songs that will be played on the radio, consultants conduct interviews by phone and ask people to rate 7-second clips of various songs from 1 to 5 (worst to best)? Not a bad approach in principle, I’m sure you’ll agree. But did you know that when it’s all done they throw out all the 1’s and the 5’s and only recommend the 2s, 3s and 4s?
But why, you ask, do they throw out the 5’s? Because it’s been proven statistically that songs that people think are great are songs that tend to be polarizing. It seems just as many people will hate those same songs. Can’t have any hate on when we’re selling deodorant, now, can we? ●
- – Music publisher Bill Renfrew on why radio is so terribly boring. By design.
A woman named Tammy Saviano, who has been my publicist for the last two or three albums, it was her idea, and she completed it herself. I purposely stayed out of it. I didn’t try to control it or make suggestions or show up at the studio. I just let her do it and that’s how it came out. I’ve heard that some of it is really good. I mean it’s really flattering. It’s good work. ●
- – Guy Clark knows as much about the upcoming Guy Clark tribute album as you do.
It would have been done anyway, but it was done in a deluxe way. It was done by the Nashville branch of PolyGram. (Mercury Nashville president) Luke Lewis was the executive producer. He okayed the budgets, and the budgets were slightly more flush than they might have been because of Shania (and her success). ●
- – Colin Escott believes Shania was responsible, in a roundabout way, for the deluxe treatment of the Complete Hank Williams boxed set. I didn’t see that one coming.
Even before I was able to consciously choose, it was sort of the backdrop of my childhood. My first musical memories are hearing ‘Blue Eyes Cryin’ in the Rain’ on the radio or seeing Johnny Cash at a show. My first tape was Kenny Rogers. I would just sit there and listen to those story songs, and it would get me pumped up. There was an aesthetic and a vibe and a poetry to those songs that you don’t really find in country music anymore. ●
- – Hayes Carll on classic country.
It’s always delightful to jump into Rodney-world. ●
- – Emmylou Harris on collaborating with Rodney Crowell.