Quotable Country – 09/22/13 Edition


Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source.

Just the fact that she went and cut her hair off. That was huge. She could have stayed Hannah Montana forever and made a great living doing that, but she’s more of an artist than that… She loves what she’s doing. That’s the main thing for me as a Dad, to see my little girl doing what she loves.
– – Billy Ray on Miley Cyrus. I had no idea that cutting one’s hair is such a strong sign of personal and artistic development. Giving myself a flattop now.

I hear some other artist are bashing my boy @lukebryan new song, sayin its the worst song they have ever heard…….. To those people runnin their mouths, trust me when i tell u that nobody gives a shit what u think. Its a big ol hit so apparently the fans love it which is what matters. Keep doin ur thing LB!!!
– – Jason Aldean, Ph.D, on Instagram.

You know what, everybody has their opinions and I don’t have a problem with people having their opinions, but where I do have a problem with it is when you call out somebody in your fraternity.
– – Justin Moore on Zac Brown’s comments, seeming to indicate the existence of an official Coalition of Country Dudebros©.

We write songs for a living. We write about what we know about. What I know about is sitting on a tailgate drinking a beer. Hell, I live on the river. When Luke called me to tell me about what happened, I was literally smoking Boston butts on my homemade cooker at my 800 square foot river house with about four of my buddies with their trucks backed up, sitting on a tailgate. And they want to know why we talk about tailgates in songs… well, that’s because we’re sitting on them. We did that 25 years ago, and we’re still doing it. I can’t write about things I don’t know about. Fortunately, there’s a lot of people in this country who do what I do. To say that that kind of song doesn’t fit in our genre is mind boggling because it absolutely does.
– – “That’s My Kind of Night” songwriter Dallas Davidson responds to Zac Brown’s criticism.

The night before I left home to move to LA to sing in a folk-rock band, my father—seeing that neither he nor my mother could change my mind—walked into the other room and returned with the Martin acoustic guitar that his father had brought brand new in 1898. As he handed me the guitar and thirty dollars, he told me what his father had told him: “Now that you own a guitar, you will never have to starve.” I still have that guitar.
– – Linda Ronstadt to Henry Carrigan.

A record is what it is. You can’t make it sound like something else, or fabricate it, or think it’s gonna wind up being exactly like the thing you originally thought it would be. It just happens, and this record came out naturally, the way it had to be.
– – Southeastern producer Dave Cobb.

That’s something a songwriter needs to do: read. The best ones always do. Always. […] It just teaches you how to tell a story, as long as you’re reading good shit. I don’t know if it’s gonna help if you read Twilight and 50 Shades Of Grey, but if you’ve got a lot of good stuff coming in – movies, books, even TV shows like Mad Men, which can weave a story as well as any Scorsese film from the ’70s – then good stuff is gonna come back out. That’s just how it works. You get to the point where you just understand how a good story is told, and how the best storytellers do it.
– – Jason Isbell on exposure to great works of art and literature as a kind of nutrition for songwriters.

I think I’d end up language starved, given what I do. I depend on input. I’d run out of stuff coming in. I need stuff to steal.
– – Steve Earle on the thought of moving to Barcelona or Paris, where he doesn’t know the primary language.

I made this album just because I wanted to make this album. I wasn’t looking at airplay at country. I can’t get my country stuff played now, much less a bluegrass album. I’m not bitter or disgruntled about that: It’s just the way it is. I hate to see country music kind of going away, but I don’t know if I can do anything about that. It’s refreshing just to make music, and not to worry about how something will do.
– – Alan Jackson on his bluegrass album.

We play the fiddle and the banjo in this band. And so to be embraced by the Grand Ole Opry, there’s no chart that’s that big. There’s no radio play that’s that big. There’s no tour that grosses so many dollars that’s any bigger than to be made members of the Grand Ole Opry.
– – Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show, the Opry’s newest members.

When the stage lights came up, Moore was posed on a raised platform, wearing jeans, a black western-style shirt and his signature white cowboy hat, and opened with “Guns,” a song that could be the anthem for gun rights advocates. Two of his tour sponsors are the NRA and Cabela’s. He personalized the last line of the song with “Oh, Mr. President, you won’t take my guns.”
– – Justin Moore is a walking political ad.

The music made by some of today’s most popular acts, including MY OWN, bears little resemblance to the country music I grew up on. We all know we have to evolve to succeed. Country Radio is doing that, bringing more listeners to country music than ever before. As artists, we work hard to record the best songs and when we get it right, you guys make them hits.
My heart will always be in Country Music.
– – In a letter to country radio, Gary Allan explains (i.e. backpedals from) his widely-quoted comments of last week.

I had a thing over at Sirius yesterday with Bobby Bare and Marshall Chapman and these very different artists who are heroes of mine, I was a little humbled to be there. And as the show was going on, we’re in this glass room and you could look down and see those [Taylor Swift] semis circling the block like a fort and… I was torn, you know? I had sheer, utter, profound admiration for the business savvy of that, especially in this current environment but at the same time, being up there in that studio with a guy like Bobby Bare and seeing all those people humping and hustling just to put food on the table, that separation, that divide… I just zoned out for a second. It’s interesting times we find ourselves in.
– – Sturgill Simpson on the oddity of the annual Americana Music Festival & Conference coinciding with three consecutive nights of Taylor Swift shows in Nashville.

I think it’s a youth version of country music – young people who are still running around and partying and still chasing women. It’s a less mature view of country life. That’s not bad; it just is what it is. Roll that window down; turn that music up; we’re more country than you are.
– – Texas legend Gary P. Nunn on the Red Dirt scene.

That’s one thing you don’t hear these days, people who actually know how to play their instruments. Pop music is fabricating these stars and maybe they’re talented, but altogether the people that play in these bands – well, there’s no solo. It’s not like ‘Listen to that steel player.’ Pop music doesn’t put that out there anymore. It’s about the product. You don’t hear great piano solos, great drum solos anymore. It’s all about the product.
– – Pokey LaFarge on pop music today.

I used to wait for an album to come out. I didn’t know what the cover looked like and what the songs sounded like. There was a mystery there. I’d listen to it over and over. Now it seems hard to get people’s attention, even for three minutes.
– – Martina McBride on how the internet has changed our way of relating to music.

“Every time I walked into school, ‘oh, there’s the hiccup girl, oh, let’s be friends with Jennifer.’ That was still overwhelming. People I never thought I would talk to came up to me and acted like they wanted to be my friend,” Mee said.
Asked about the instant fame she said, “I basically let it all go to my head and just started doing what I wanted to do.”
– – From the curious case of Jennifer Mee, whose fifteen minutes of fame as a teenager who couldn’t stop hiccuping led to a hug from Keith Urban on the Today Show, then (six years later) to a sentence of life without parole for first-degree murder.

Here’s what I know now, though, that I didn’t know on April 8th. You can sing to a woman and say, you know, “If you cheat on me, I’ll forgive you” — and the entire male population won’t turn on you and say, “How dare you say that on our behalf.” But when LL says to me in the song, you know, “If you don’t judge me for this, I won’t judge you for that,” people will say: “How dare you say this on our behalf.” I realize now that you can’t personalize the conversation about [race] in the way I tried to in the song. I was naïve about that.
– – Brad Paisley to Jody Rosen, in an extended conversation about “Accidental Racist” and its aftermath.

It’s like a personality flaw. It’s like a social, weird thing that I need to work on.
– – Taylor Swift on composing songs in her head while ostensibly conversing.


  1. Stormy says

    This says so much about why Dallas Davidson is always writing songs about trying to get laid. Notice how Conway Twitty only had the one song about a “Redneckin’ Love Making Night?” That’s because it worked.

  2. Sabra says

    Any writer who has to adhere to that “write what you know” bull is a terrible writer. Tolkien didn’t have personal experience with dragons when he wrote The Hobbit. Steve Earle didn’t have personal experience with flying planes in WWII when he wrote “Johnny Come Lately.” There is no evidence Johnny Cash ever shot a man in Reno. Dallas Davidson is a halfwit.

  3. says

    I’ll repeat here what I said at my own blog:

    To take Justin Moore’s analogy and run with it, what’s wrong with calling out your frat brothers if they’re making asses out of themselves in the fraternity’s name? It ought to be obvious that all this shallow, dumbed-down party music reflects badly on the genre in general. I mean, surely I can’t be the only one who tells people things to the effect that “I love country music, just not the bullshit Nashville passes off as country anymore.”

    If Dallas Davidson, Luke Bryan, and their ilk don’t want to get called out for making crap music, there’s a really easy way to make that happen. But we all know that is completely beyond their ken. These people are gonna have to start getting called out if things are gonna get better, and it’s not going to be the fans or the critics taking the lead on this. They don’t have the voice or the clout. It’s going to have to be the artists who ultimately save the genre. And as we see, they’re doing just that. The battle lines are being drawn, and not a moment too soon.

    • Chris says


      Pistolero — couldn’t have said it better myself

      Jason Aldean should at least get a decent grasp of the English language if he’s going to defend his position and not look like a yokel jackass while doing it

      Justin Moore’s comments only reinforce his caliber of douchebag

      Alan Jackson’s statement sadly sums up the status quo

      Taylor Swift needs to work on a new career path, among other things

    • Stormy says

      My only problem with what Zac Brown said Is that Kacey Musgraves said basically the same thing with a little song called Merry Go Round. Less talky, more writey Zac.

  4. says

    I must be incredibly naive, but why in the world would someone with, by his own admission, no imagination or vision beyond “sitting on a tailgate drinking beer” even want to write songs in the first place?

    And seriously, no-one would mind the *odd* song on the subject; what’s so annoying is the fact that (a) there seems to be room for virtually nothing else, and (b) they’re almost all terrible.

  5. SunsetPark says

    Country radio has the “I sit on my tailgate and that’s all I know” song type very well covered. I, for one, don’t have the spare time to sit on my non-existent tailgate beside the river house I don’t own. How about if someone covers people who have to work 40 hours or more a week for a living (or spent that amount of time looking for a job), people with relationship beyond a guy wanting to find a girl for the night, and people who have pain in their lives? Those people don’t seem to fit country radio in its current format. What a complete loss.

  6. Blake Boldt says

    The back-and-forth bickering and generally bad redneck knockoffs on country radio make someone like Sturgill Simpson so refreshing, even though he’s plenty good in his own right.


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