With this belated 256th edition, Quotable Country rumbles past the five year mark. Really, 256. No joke. I’m not sure what’s wrong with me, but I’m glad it’s wrong with some of you as well.
Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source.
Not every record company is thrilled that an artist wants to write their own songs. My old record company was never completely thrilled about it. It was very important for me to be somewhere where they wanted me to be who I am, not because they can find the perfect song for me. ●
- – Clint Black on why he’s currently without a label.
Songwriting is the hardest thing I’ve ever done and the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. I don’t have a particular routine. It’s something you can’t question all that much. It comes when it comes and most of the time it doesn’t come. I’m so grateful that this stuff occasionally comes to me. You can’t fight it, you can’t question it, and it doesn’t come on demand. I just get lucky here and there. I wish it came more often, but I’ve learned to take it when it comes, and it usually comes at the most inconvenient time. ●
- – Mike Stinson to Juli Thanki.
Oh, I don’t think so. I don’t think [great songwriters] will ever be a dying breed. There are people that do better work than others. There are some people that are very good at copying a style. I hear a lot of songs that on the surface, it’s really clever and put together fairly well. But there’s really no substance to it. There’s an awful lot of that going on. There’s very few fresh things that I hear, including my own songs. ●
- – Guy Clark.
I want there to be a recorded legacy of what I’ve done that will have an awful lot of respect tied to it. I’m on fire, and I don’t give a rip about resting on my laurels. This isn’t like baseball or boxing: Your knees don’t give out. You should get better. ●
- – Vince Gill is getting serious about what he leaves behind.
Eighty percent of the day he was a person I didn’t know. But I loved and adored the other twenty percent. [...] Now I get the person that I was in love with eighty percent of the time. The other twenty percent he needs coffee or food. ●
- – Amanda Shires on Jason Isbell before and after rehab.
I think that for me, when you experience something that’s worth writing a song about, chances are it’s the same kind of intense feeling that someone else has felt, and it has led them to be sitting on a bedroom floor crying, or walking through a crowded room feeling alone or feeling misunderstood by the person who’s supposed to know them better than anybody else. Those are things that make you feel really alone, and if someone’s singing a song about that feeling, then you feel bonded to that person, and I guess that’s the only way I can find an explanation why 55,000 people would want to come see me sing. ●
- – Taylor Swift explains her own appeal.
And, lastly, No. 5: Stop talking. At the risk of sounding ancient: You’re making me nuts, what with the oblivious yakking, the screaming into each other’s faces (because, you know, it’s so hard to conduct a conversation over live music) and the assembling into clusters to hold summit meetings while people around you strain to hear plaintive ballads. ●
- – The Chicago Tribune’s Christopher Borrelli says “Stop talking at concerts. For the love of all that’s holy.”
But here’s what I have a problem with: I think if the topic is relevant, that talking [during concerts] is kind of OK. Like if I wanted to tell the person next to me at a concert that Miranda Lambert wrote this song with her husband, or that Toby Keith almost gave up on Nashville before he released this song, or that Dierks Bentley just opened a cool new bar in Arizona, or that Carrie Underwood is a vegetarian, or that this Kenny Chesney song makes me cry every single time, shouldn’t that be all right? ●
- – Alison Bonaguro, responding to above article. Remind me not to stand near her at a concert.
Q: At the Beacon, you described some modern country music as “bad rock with fiddle.”
A: Well, yeah I mean, I hate to generalize on a whole genre of music, but it does seem to be missing that magic element that it used to have. I’m sure there are people playing country that are doing it well, but they’re just not getting the attention that the shittier stuff gets. But that’s the way it always is, isn’t it? But I hope that kind of swings around back to where it should be. But I don’t really see a George Jones or a Buck Owens or any anything that fresh coming up. I’m sure there must be somebody doing it, but most of that music reminds me of rock in the middle Eighties where it became incredibly generic and relied on videos. I don’t want to rail on about country because I don’t really know much about it, but that’s what it seems like to me. ●
- – Tom Petty, claimed by so many modern country acts as an influence, to Rolling Stone.
It’s very honest. Come to one of our award shows and you won’t see people lip-syncing. It’s about singing and the music and I respect that very much. It’s about being honest with your feelings. We’re not trying to be cool. It’s just about life. ●
- – Carrie Underwood explaining American country music to the British press.
The dance mix concept is expanding from country nightclubs to bigger concerts. These days, the Rascal Flatts tour features a group called the “Dance Y’All” country crew consisting of dancers who get down to amped-up songs between acts; Miranda Lambert enlists a trio, Jukebox Mafia, to entertain the crowd with beatboxed remixes of country hits before she goes on stage. ●
- – The Washington Post on “Country goes dance: Why music’s most traditional genre is adding some thump.” Miranda Lambert blows some of the goodwill established via Pistol Annies.
I believed in the world of country music that there was an audience that was being left behind, an audience that wasn’t as interested in the direction contemporary country has taken and still loved the traditional roots. Merle Haggard called them ‘forgotten people.’ ●
- – Marty Stuart on the success of his RFD-TV show, which will return for a sixth season.
so far , Jason isbells record that just came out
is my favorite record of the year
by a long way
I am of the opinion that here recently in our brand of songs and music
that the generation coming up behind mine
has shown itself to be clearly exceptional in a way I could call
“better than my generation” or dare I say seventies-esque
sometimes i’d like to break all there arms
most times really
but its much easier to just enjoy.
starting with elizbeth cooks “welder”, then hayes carls “kmag yo yo”, and then with
Justin townes earles “nothing is going to change the way you feel about me now”
and …then Jason isbells “southeastern”
…. and now Amanda shires
“DOWN FELL THE DOVES”
its a classic.