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I’m never going to be one of those guys that gives you politically correct answers. I can’t do it. It’s not in me. ●
— Kip Moore to Taste of Country.
This is one subject I do have to hold my tongue on. ●
— Kip Moore to the Washington Post’s Emily Yahr, in what I like to imagine was his very next interview. What’d he have to hold his tongue about? Changes in the music business, of course.
Well, I mean, obviously we’ll have T-shirts, and then I got—yeah, I can’t divulge all my little secrets with “Huntin’.” If we can make a candle out of “Kill the Lights,” we’re gonna, it’s gonna get crazy with “Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day,” so be looking for it. ●
— Luke Bryan, for whom every new song is a new merchandising opportunity.
Mainstream country, it’s smart music. Even if it’s a big dumb song about kicking the dust up or whatever, it’s very intelligently done. ●
— Jody Rosen to Grady Smith.
I hated it when [bro country] was getting lambasted the way it was because… it brought in a tremendous amount of cume, and our numbers were never better. I have a hard time being upset about something that’s bringing new people into the station. ●
— KPLX Dallas assistant PD Smokey Rivers.
I think that the key is respecting the roots and traditions of country music and always putting value in that, but country radio has really opened its arms to other influences. It’s been really cool to me to watch someone like Sam Hunt, whose lyrics and roots are in country but you can hear that he listens to Drake and Justin Timberlake — and that’s OK. It allows songwriters to be more honest, because it’s like, “This is who I’m listening to.” And country radio is accepting that, which allows more honesty, which is what country music is all about! ●
— Kelsea Ballerini says embracing more sounds keeps country honest.
Six years ago, that wasn’t the smartest move. Today, it doesn’t take courage to work with me. Back then, he was one of a few — and definitely the only man. ●
— Shane McAnally on Sam Hunt’s decision to work with him. From a Billboard cover story on Hunt.
We’ve kind of opened the flood gates for an influx of different genres to kind of step into country music, ya know? Is country music country music anymore? It’s getting less and less that. […] I think we will be genreless in ten years. That is a little sad, because country music has always — it hasn’t been pop music — it’s always been that. So when everyone else was doing their thing, country music always had a smaller stake in the claim, but it was always country music and you always knew it when you heard it. You can’t really make that distinction anymore sometimes.
I don’t think it needs to go back to George Jones and Johnny Cash, but I do think the songs need to have some more meat on ’em. And get back to some story songs, that mean somethin.’ ●
— Thompson Square’s Keifer Thompson.
Man, for someone like me who had George Jones’ music imprinted in my DNA before birth, the last few years have been rough as a fan of country music. Country music is not a formula. It’s a music with its own soul and I’m all about saving that soul! ●
— Sammy Kershaw.
“[’90s country] was diverse music, too. It wasn’t even that females rose to the top and we all had the same song. It would have been weird if every female artist had started singing songs like, ‘My husband cheated on me!’” said Evans, lamenting the current bro-country trend where mentions of pickup trucks, cold beers and warm summer nights dominate the airwaves. “Those songs are fun, and there’s definitely room for that in country music. But it’s not just about that. There are a lot of country fans who… don’t relate to the ‘get in my truck’ party atmosphere. A lot of people want to hear a great story.” ●
— Sara Evans to Columbus Alive.
I don’t relate to it at all. If I go to an awards show, I see all these guys that, to me, I don’t find any distinction between them. I just don’t know what to make of it. ●
— Sara Evans on bro country. Different interview.
I think any time an indy band, like we were after college, finally hits the mainstream, you’re gonna have some people that go, ‘That was ours. Why do we have to share it with the world?’ I’m sure there are people out there that felt that way. I didn’t really care. It was my career, I knew I was providing for my wife and my kids and my life. That’s a selfish kind of notion on some levels but really look, I gotta do my life the way I think I gotta do it. ●
— Pat Green on ‘selling out.’
T Bone Burnett was supposed to be making a record with him, they’d been kind of flirting with that idea. Then Donnie called me one day and said, I just got through talking to T Bone about you. T Bone thinks you need to produce my record. [LAUGHTER] And I do, too. I said, Well, you’re both idiots, because I have never produced a record in my life. Donnie said, I don’t care. You’re the guy. ●
— John Paul White, explaining how he got roped into producing a new Donnie Fritts record.
In my most delusional moment, I would think I was doing something like John Lomax or Alan Lomax would have done, preserving these stories that might have been lost to history. It’s an oral history of a sort. ●
— Otis Gibbs on his (recommended, always) Thanks for Giving a Damn podcast.
It’s like, I’m still gonna be flirty and fun and youthful, but I’m confident enough to call dibs on you. ●
— Kelsea Ballerini, making her new single “Dibs” sound fascinating.
It’s more important that people know that I’m a Christian before they know that I’m a country singer. I mean there’s nothing more important than my faith and definitely as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that God’s given me a great opportunity every night when I get on that stage to let my light shine, to have a positive influence on the crowd and to let them know what Jesus has done for me and my family. ●
— Aaron Watson.
Little Jimmy [Dickens] inspired me to play the music which allowed me to purchase a home I can no longer afford. ●
— Vince Gill stage banter.
Yeah, [autobiographical writing] might be exciting to do, but I don’t know if it’s exciting to listen to on a record. If you want to write songs for your whole life, you need to find a balance, or you’re just gonna write the same song over and over. And I felt like that’s what I was starting to do. ●
— Kasey Chambers, whose new album is Bittersweet.
My daughter Holly was over at the office one day, and she had to leave to go to a “writing appointment,” and I had never heard of that. I was shocked that people make appointments to write a song. When I was writing the hits, those melodies and lyrics would just come to you, and you wrote them on whatever paper you had around. Now, writers sit in a room and write songs. ●
— Hank Jr.
Now, with her 50th birthday just five days away, her voice is thinner, lower and has less range and color than it did during her often engaging 2003 concert here at SDSU’s Cox (now Viejas) Arena. Of course, few Twain fans go to hear her expecting a night of emotionally charged feats of vocal daring. But notes that once were within her wheelhouse now seem distant. Moreover, several of the numbers she performed at Valley View Casino Center appeared to feature pre-recorded backing vocal tracks that were mixed at least as high as Twain’s singing. ●
— From a San Diego Union-Tribune review of last night’s Shania concert.
We wait till we’re pissed off to say something, and that’s when we speak the loudest. And maybe it shouldn’t be that way. But let’s talk about the things we love, too, and uplift people. That makes society a lot better, more than the complaining and bitching about everything. ●
— Little Big Town’s Jimi Westbrook.