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I ran outside like a little kid, and I’ve been blessed to call them friends ever since. ●
– – President George Bush on dropping everything when he heard the Oak Ridge Boys singing “Elvira” on the White House lawn. This is a terrific scene to imagine.
With country music, in general, I often say it’s got this knack of making me feel happy and sad at the same time. And I don’t even know why that is. I listen to people like Hank Williams and Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons. They sing these beautifully sad songs that make me want to cry — but they make me feel good at the same time! (laughs) I’ve got this little battle going on in my heart every time I listen to a great country song, but for some reason, I love that. ●
– – Kasey Chambers.
Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but in a way, Lambert is empowering women with this song. She’s telling them that they too can focus on themselves once they tell that baggage-laden man to get lost. Right? ●
– – Alison Bonaguro thinks correctly interpreting the meaning of a song might be “reading too much into it.”
Put it in the truck and ride around and sit on a creek bank and drink some beer and listen to it. ●
– – Luke Bryan gives the recommended method for listening to his new album, out tomorrow.
I was never really a country singer. I’ve always been more of a pop singer who just happens to front a band in country, who just happened to sell a lot of records. ●
– – Tim Rushlow, former frontman of Little Texas.
The last thing I want to make a man do is: When someone asks him what he’s wearing is for that poor man to say, ‘I’m wearing Keith Urban.’ That just seems really awkward to me. I wanted to allow a man the dignity to respond with something that is a little more appropriate. Not too hoity-toity, not too chic and metro, something that’s got a nice, masculine simplicity to it. I felt Phoenix fit that really well. ●
– – Keith Urban explains why he didn’t name his new men’s fragrance after himself.
Q: As a father, what scares you?
A: As a father everything scares me. I tell you what, my kids are great kids. They’re amazing. I think they’re gonna be super adults when they grow up. But you always worry about everything when you’re a dad. I think that’s part of being from the country, and I think why the connection with Cracker Barrel fits so well. ●
– – Jason Michael Carroll not-so-smoothly works a sponsor into an interview response. Who knew worrying about your kids was a distinctly country characteristic?
Those guys are sissies man. Let me tell you, I hear a lot of complaining from those guys, and you know what, ‘Man up!’ is what I say. They’re half my age, get up out of your bunk and go play your guitar. ●
– – Robert Earl Keen on Kings of Leon, who seem to have a habit of cutting shows short for silly reasons (e.g. a bird pooped on me or, more recently, it’s too hot up here).
He’s taken rock clubs over, playing really late shows and building a base that’s not the same base that we go after as a format overall. He’s got 16-year-old boys that are huge fans. Nobody goes after that demographic. ●
– – Cindy Mabe, senior VP of marketing at Capitol Records Nashville, in an interesting Billboard article attempting to account for the remarkable first-week sales of Eric Church’s “Chief.”
I just always noticed people that could write by themselves. I think co-writing’s great. I want to co-write again for my third record and my fourth. I enjoy it. It’s fun. But I think you need to be able to write by yourself. I think that’s you’re best co-write, is when you put people together that can write by themselves. ●
– – Ashton Shepherd thinks good co-writing starts with good solo writing.
So I just went out on my own. I said, ‘You know what? I’ll never be bigger than country music itself, but I’m better than you are and you don’t support me. So I can do this. And the reason I know I can do this is I’ve watched you guys do it, and most of you aren’t any good at it.’ ●
– – Toby Keith on breaking away from the Nashville establishment.
It’s the unwavering enthusiasm of the fans that makes it possible to momentarily overlook Keith’s many flaws, which include, but aren’t limited to, a weak singing voice, a shockingly low stage presence and a songbook that is highlighted almost entirely by gimmick-rich singles. ●
– – Jim Harrington reviews a Toby Keith concert for the San Jose Mercury News.
Have you heard the Carolina Chocolate Drops? They’re really good. That’s a new generation Americana from my perspective. That is essentially very traditional in form with a personal approach. Claw hammer banjo and mandolin and bones and whatever else they can conjure up. It’s very folk, but it’s contemporary also. ●
– – Jimmie Fadden (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) digs the Carolina Chocolate Drops.
Half of the tour, the Willie Nelson Throwdown Tour, he drove his truck. He followed the bus in his truck. He doesn’t say a whole lot, but when he does it’s funny. Everything that comes out of his mouth is hilarious. ●
– – Brantley Gilbert on Jamey Johnson, who apparently followed the Country Throwdown buses in his own truck for much of the tour.
Now I actually get nervous standing by him when we are performing because he is so talented. I know that if I sing a little off-key, he knows! ●
– – Connie Smith on singing with Marty Stuart.
If there is a single factor why Texas Country acts have difficulty finding success nationally, it’s the theory of financial complacency. When you add shows, album sales, royalties from regional radio play and merchandising, the top acts can earn $1 million or more in-state every year. Bands with national hits are expected to play radio-sponsored shows in cities with a major country station, often for little to no money.
“The moment you really start trying to play out nationally, you’re making less money,” Mr. Eli said. “You’re making a sacrifice to grow your fan base. You just have to look at it as an investment.” ●
– – From a New York Times article on the national rise of the Eli Young Band.
I just can’t sing too good. ●
– – Colt Ford can’t sing too good.
When people describe the music (and) say, ‘Oh, it’s girls,’ especially in writeups when they write about us and the only thing they really say about us is that we’re girls, it’s like, ‘Well, you didn’t say what kind of music we play or what we sound like or anything.’ So what do people have to base off of? ‘Oh, do you like girls? Oh, I guess I like girls. I guess I’ll go to the show.’ You know what I mean? It’s not like, ‘Oh, I like rock ‘n’ roll,’ or ‘Oh, I like whatever.’ ●
– – Jessi Darlin bristles at descriptions of Those Darlins as an “all-girl” act, pointing out how little useful information that phrase actually communicates.
I was hanging with Justin Moore and Easton (Corbin) and those guys, and they’re touring in their 20s, having a great time. Here I am, the 45-year-old dude trying to get their spot. ●
– – The absurdity of competing for opening slots as a guy in his mid-40s isn’t lost on Darius Rucker.
My problem with modern country is that so much of it is segregating. It’s all this yelling about “I’m a redneck” and “I’m country” and “I’ll kick your ass if you’re not like me.” That’s not the tradition of country music. Hank Williams would be beside himself if he could hear country music the way it’s done today. In the past, it didn’t matter where you were from. These were songs that touched your heart. ●
– – Austin artist Ryan Turner thinks good country music is about exploring universal feelings, not harping on the virtues of any particular lifestyle.
We both shared the love of photographs, and I always admired a huge picture of him and Roy Acuff, displayed in the Louvin Brothers Museum. The picture featured the two legends side by side, walking down the hallway of the Grand Ole Opry House. On my first night of working with him at the Opry, we walked down a hallway and Charlie suddenly stopped and said, “Right here is where that picture of Acuff and me was made. I bet we could get that photographer to take a picture just like it of me and you.” Well, that picture means everything to me. It doesn’t just remind me of my first night at the Opry and fulfilling a lifelong dream, but of Charlie’s subtle way of trying to capture a special moment—and make a rookie kid’s night that much brighter. He was one of a kind. ●
– – Guitar prodigy Ben Hall recalls the quiet kindness of late mentor Charlie Louvin.
It wasn’t meant to be a song to line-dance to. At the time I thought I was being a heavy lyricist, writing metaphorically about the cowboy lifestyle and the weekend warrior deal. ●
– – Ronnie Dunn on “Boot Scootin’ Boogie.”