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I’m just prone to this kind of (stuff). I don’t know why. I wish I wasn’t. ●
- – Jake Owen on losing part of his finger in a go-kart accident.
I had this vision and idea that I would just play music all day, every day, and there’s a lot more that goes into it. You know, I’ve got real good at fixing my hair and I almost iron my clothes now — all these other things that I never thought would be so important, which they are, as they should be. But there’s a lot more to it! ●
- – Charlie Worsham on learning the music business.
People have a real hunger for music that sounds like it’s rooted in tradition, and the banjo definitely represents that. And then you have all these people diversifying the image of what the banjo is, showing that it’s not just an instrument for toothless hillbillies playing bluegrass. ●
- – Dom Flemons of the Carolina Chocolate Drops.
Of Nashville writers, Dennis Linde is one of my favorites. He passed away not too long ago. He wrote a lot of songs. He was kind of a recluse that lived off by himself and wrote by himself. His songs always had a lot of character to them, like “Bubba Shot the Jukebox” and [sings] “Made her the queen of my double wide trailer.” He wrote “Goodbye Earl” for the Dixie Chicks. All the hit songs just were fun. And then he wrote [sings] “In John Deere green, on a hot summer night…” So he was one of my favorite writers that wrote a lot of stuff back in the nineties. ●
- – Zane Williams to Country Universe’s Ben Foster.
As to [touring] Germany, although I’m within earshot of that lovely land pretty often, “Come here and play for money” has so far not been audible. Let it be known that, in many previous cases, the author has appeared thousands of miles from home on the basis of a proffered chunk of cash and a pleasant email. Collective action by determined Germans on the historical stage has produced results even more striking. ●
- – Robbie Fulks is hilarious.
I am very happy to ride on an unmerited, age-based reputational rise, if that’s what this early press augurs, and I hope it does. If I am already at the point where, because I’m graying and my knees hurt a little when I walk, my records are to have the benefit of a helpful handicap when they hit the pavement, the benefit of everyone kindly forgetting that I used to crowd-surf and scream “f**k” repeatedly onstage and say catty things about fellow artists in particular and the music industry in general… I’ll happily accept the rose-colored dispensation. I much prefer being a 50-year-old “veteran” over a 33-year-old gatecrasher. ●
- – Oh, and Robbie Fulks is also wicked smart. If you’re not following his blog, you’re missing out. His new album Gone Away Backward comes out Tuesday.
My mind is always all over the place when it comes to writing songs. I think a lot of songwriting is spent laughing and goofing off. Some of the craziest stuff is said in songwriting rooms. I mean, you’re really opening up creatively and saying the craziest stuff because you’re reaching for stuff out of nowhere, you know? It’s just like saying the dumbest stuff and the funniest stuff—we try not to take it too serious all the time and have fun with it. I think even when you’re writing a serious song you’re still going to goof off a little bit. ●
- – Brett Eldredge on songwriting.
When I go onstage or write a song, I don’t really care what anyone imagines, or fantasizes or makes up for themselves about me. Occasionally, I see comments about it and start going down that wormhole, but then I get distracted by books and birds and the GPS, and forget about it. ●
- – Amanda Shires to Jewly Hight, on controlling only what she can.
So I just started sitting beside people and mimicking the way that they would sing and trying to see, “Where is this air coming from? How did they make that note?” I mean, I had 18 years of experience from going to church and just sitting beside different people and different races. You know, you hear children’s voices and you hear older men and young men and old women and young women and altos and tenors, bass, everything. So you learn how to use the voice as an instrument in that kind of environment. ●
- – Valerie June (to Jewly Hight) on learning to sing by example in the Church of Christ.
It’s disappointing that it’s so tough for a female artist to break. I don’t know really the demographics of why that is and what makes that so tough on women. I don’t know. I don’t know why that’s so tough. I do think it sucks, but I don’t know what I can do. I mean, it’s a weird phenomenon. What’s funny is that the majority of listeners are females, but then you’d feel like they would want to hear women too. I guess I didn’t give you at all an answer, but I just feel like I don’t know what can be done to solve it. I think historically it’s always been that way a little bit. It feels like now is the toughest time ever for women, but I would imagine it’s always been pretty damn crummy. ●
- – Luke Bryan on women in country. Fun fact: “I don’t know,” without elaboration or rambling, is a perfectly acceptable interview response in instances where such is clearly the case.
Q: What musical trend needs to die out immediately?
A: Anyone singing about trucks, in any form, in any song, anywhere. Literally just stop – nobody cares! It’s not fun to listen to. ●
- – Kacey Musgraves.
The Over the Hill Country Fangirl
She’s wearing a 1983 Bocephus concert T and tapered jeans. Her hair is heavily moussed and blown back to look like The Judds three decades ago. Her husband bares a vague resemblance to Conway Twitty. They came here looking for acts that simply aren’t on the bill and they’re disappointed by what they’ve found. That won’t keep them from slamming back a couple of tall boys and hollering out for “Jambalaya (On the Bayou).” ●
- – Boston.com’s Glenn Yoder, in a roundup of characters you can expect to encounter at the New England Country Music Festival. This couple gets around: They’re at every show in California too.
The only difference now from when I started is that for the first five years, I had people telling me what the singles were going to be. I had songs like ‘Who’s Your Daddy’ and ‘Beer for My Horses’ on those early albums, but they never got heard because the label was too chicken-s*** to take any chances. All they wanted was a soft, middle-of-the-road song that was going to climb the charts. Getting rid of that as a priority is literally the only thing that has changed. It’s raw and organic, and that’s what we do — write all year, cut the best ones, and if the album sucks, we live with it. And if the album sells 5 million and has five hits, that’s not going to change the process. ●
- – Toby Keith on taking charge of his own career.
There are people at the 7-11 who can sing better than I can, but there aren’t a lot of great songwriters. ●
- – Tim McGraw.
Guy [Clark] really changed my life by showing me this type of performing approach. … He said, ‘Man, come go on the road with me and I’ll show you that you don’t need a record label or a bus and all the headaches that go with it. There are wonderful little rooms and theaters all over the world where people will come to see you if you’ve got the songs and the stories to go with them.’
So I went on the road with him and the first month I was sold on it. I thought, ‘What have I been doing? This is what I want. I want to be able to see people and look in their eyes and reach out to them.’ ●
- – Verlon Thompson (once lead singer of Restless Heart, but now perhaps better known as Guy Clark’s longtime right-hand man) on learning a different way.
I don’t think they do enough of them these days. All they want to do is ride around in trucks. ●
- – Vince Gill in concert, introducing a cheating song.
The older I get, the more appreciative I seem to be of the book lady title. It makes me feel more like a legitimate person, not just a singer or an entertainer. But it makes me feel like I have done something good with — with my life and with my success. ●
- – Dolly Parton on her incredible Imagination Library.
Why not spend 20 minutes with Rodney Hayden? You’ll be glad you did.