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I take a little offense. I feel the initial term ‘bro-country’ was created to be kind of a little degrading to what’s popular, to what country artists are doing right now. […] It’s frustrating because whichever artists may or may not get labeled as that, they’re well beyond that. For people to call me the father of it, well, whatever. It just seems like a term that was invented to cheapen me as an artist. ●
— Luke Bryan thinks the terminology, not the music, is cheapening his artistic legacy.
If we don’t forget that the mission of Big Machine is to sign the coolest artists who make the coolest music, I don’t care how it’s distributed as long as everybody is properly paid for it so we can continue to invest. We’re not a tech company, that’s not the mission. The mission is to find great artists who are bound and determined to make great art. ●
— Scott Borchetta, marking ten years of Big Machine.
I thought it was really good. Clever, obviously, and brave. I immediately wanted to know more about them. ●
— Dierks Bentley on Maddie & Tae’s “Girl in a Country Song.”
Yeah, give us our fiddles and mandolins, banjos and steel guitars. Turn ’em up! He proves you can do that. Then he gets up onstage and just holds those people with the music. It’s so much energy, but it’s all going to the same place—to the songs. Watching him every night has been a real lesson. ●
— Maddie & Tae’s Maddie Marlow on Dierks Bentley.
I’ve had a lot of commercial radio success, and that’s a big part of who I am. But, man, you’ve gotta balance that with trying to make music that matters and albums that matter. […] All you can do is hope [“Riser”] gets heard. And if not, I will immediately start working on Drunk on a Boat. ●
— Dierks Bentley to Grady Smith.
… and even Uncle Ezra Ray’s BYHB, a song that finds Mark McGrath and Uncle Kracker hollering, “B-Y-H-B! Bring your hot body!” like two lecherous dads at a high school pool party. ●
— Tip of hat to The Guardian’s Grady Smith.
You get addicted to that feeling out there. […] So then you start to crave that. And you find yourself at home like, ‘Nobody’s clapping for me when I come into the kitchen. There are no fans, no smoke, no fringe.’ ●
— Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild on returning to home life.
Of course, there’s a reason the country-music establishment gives greater freedom to the women than to the men. The men make a lot more money right now, so there’s more pressure to not mess with the formula. The women may not cash the biggest checks, but in 20 years, it’s their songs that will be remembered. ●
— Geoffrey Himes, writing for Paste.
I want to thank you for the award, and I’ll be back next year for another one. ●
— Loretta Lynn, accepting her ACM Crystal Milestone Award.
Well, you know, I was surprised that they let me do it, to be honest. The real reason that got to come to fruition, I think, is that the record company kind of put their profit margin aside and charged a reasonable amount for the record, so people experimented [and took a chance on buying it]. It was really unique in that it was a box set of all new music. [Laughs] Most people do a box set of all their old stuff, you know? ●
— Vince Gill on These Days.
I love my dad with all my heart. But that’s one of the main questions I’ve been asked since I became an artist. To this day, every phoner I do for a radio station, one of the first things is, “I played your daddy’s songs back in 1995.” ●
— Don’t you feel just terrible for Thomas Rhett?
I love ’90s country. I’ve still got my Wade Hayes and Daryle Singletary tapes. ●
— Luke Laird.
It makes a lot of people happy. It wouldn’t be so popular if a lot of people didn’t buy it, so who are we really out to get here? Music Row gets dragged through the dirt, but they’re just trying to survive. If anyone’s the devil here, it’s the silent partners of radio, because they get to sit back and reap all the rewards and not take any heat for it. ●
— Sturgill Simpson on mainstream country music.
The rest of them sound like a bunch of (crap) to me. […] I can’t tell what they’re doing. They’re talking about screwing on a pickup tailgate and things of that nature. I don’t find no substance. I don’t find anything you can whistle and nobody even attempts to write a melody. It’s more of that kids stuff. It’s hot right now, but I’ll tell you what, it’s cooling off. ●
— Merle Haggard on modern country music… everyone but Sturgill, in fact.
The song I believe has more than one message, more than I realized when I wrote it. I think the main message is ‘I’m proud.’ And people are proud to be anything. ●
— Merle Haggard on what “Okie from Muskogee” means now.
I’ve been doing this for a while now and I think one of the reasons is because no matter what phases or trends are out there, I still believe that people want to be spoken to with really great songs that make people think or laugh or cry or give them the courage to get the hell out, whatever it is. I think that’s what lasts forever over trends. I still believe people want to have fun and music is medicine to them, and they still want to hear songs that speak to them. ●
— Kenny Chesney.
Eric is so authentically great. I can sit and talk and do a whole article on Eric Church about how much I care about him as a person and what I think he means to music. ●
— Kenny Chesney on Eric Church.
I feel like a lot of [country music] now is about good times, and it feels like good times. But the music doesn’t say as much as I think it could, and I think that’s on all of us: artists, songwriters, everybody. The one thing I miss, specifically in country, but really in all music, are those songs that rip you completely apart. ●
— Eric Church.
He’s a genius, but he abuses it a lot. He’s an asshole genius. ●
— Ian Tyson on Bob Dylan.