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People don’t really get his sense of humor. He’s all about shock value. I actually have started looking at his Twitter problem as a positive, because it really keeps him occupied, like a kid. You just give him Legos, and he’s good. I’m like, “All right, just give him his iPhone, and he’ll stay out of my hair for an hour. Perfect.” ●
– – Miranda Lambert on developing smarter Blake management strategies.
She’s one of the ones that when you’re watching [country music awards shows], when it’s Miranda’s turn to come out and perform, you can almost take a deep breath of relief knowing that, ‘OK, this one’s going to make us look good. This one’s not going to sound [embarrassing] on national television and make the whole country music industry a joke.’ Miranda’s one of the ones that brings credibility to us, as a writer and a singer, and is unique. ●
– – Blake with a nice (and generally true) compliment for Miranda.
I don’t ever do it the way you are supposed to do it. I never get pitch CDs from songwriters and pick from those. I always end up finding songs because I already know them and love them. I’d rather cut those than something I just learned . . . I figure if I already love it and know it, it’s part of me and I ought to go ahead and put it on a record. ●
– – Miranda on her approach to finding outside material, which has landed songs by Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, Patty Griffin, Carlene Carter, Susanna Clark, Fred Eaglesmith, Julie Miller, and John Prine on major mainstream releases (including Revolution, out Tuesday). Okay, that’s all the Miranda this week. Moving on…
It’s funny because these Music Row guys, God bless ’em, I mean they act like they’ve heard 30 bands like us before, when we all know — and we knew — that they hadn’t. ●
– – Stephen Barker Liles, the guy from that one pop-country boy band that doesn’t sound like the others.
E-mail From a Friend
I received an e-mail this week with a message that read: “I love you, Hazel.” It was signed, “Kenny.” Lord knows, I love you, too, Kenny. And to all you fans out there who think I should not mention that I love Kenny and Brad and Keith, just go play in the interstate. ●
– – Hazel Smith is a personal friend to the stars? I had not heard this before!
I’ll tell you, Willie Nelson said this to me. He said, “What is the world’s shortest fairy tale?” I said, “What?” He said, “A man asks him his sweetheart to marry him. She says no and they live happily ever after.” ●
– – Vince Vaughn recalls one of Willie’s jokes.
I remember when I went on my radio tour, there was this one man, a program director who was super nice. I sang “Used to Be” for him on the bus, and he started crying. My promotion guy asked, “So do we have the add?” And as he’s wiping his eyes, he says, “It just doesn’t fit our format.” What in the world? That makes no sense. It’s not like they don’t like music or they weren’t nice—it’s just so much business. ●
– – Ashley Monroe, disenchanted by the non-musical part of the music business.
I don’t play that way anymore. Music is too personal to me. It means too much to me, and it’s too damn important to let somebody else come in and start tossing out orders and things like that. ●
– – Jamey Johnson echoes that sentiment.
I think for the most part, you have to be on-point in New York, period. There’s very little patience for anything that’s sub-par or boring or average even. In Nashville sometimes, we can find a way to market something average and make it above average. And sometimes in the studio, production-wise, we can find a way to make average things sound exceedingly great. ●
– – Joe Nichols on the difference between singing in Nashville and acting on Broadway.
Billboard: Do you feel any connection with today’s country music?
Cash: I don’t listen to country radio, but I often hear things that I think are fun and exciting and good. I don’t know who a lot of the young people are or what they sound like, but the other day I was flipping through the channels and I saw Taylor Swift. I’d heard so much about her, she’s sold millions and millions of records, but I’d never heard her sing. I saw her on a George Strait tribute and I thought, “Wow, this little girl is really good, she’s really got something.” That’s always exciting, when you see somebody who is so young and you can see that spark in them. ●
– – Rosanne Cash gives “little girl” Taylor Swift some props.
It was such a cool amalgam of people, more of the jam fan following which we resonate well with. Country music fans are the most loyal, devoted fans but it’s very important they get their pictures made (with us) and autographs done. At Bonnaroo, we walked off stage and right out into the crowd with 5,000 people there not wanting anything from us. They’re there to find the music that moves them. It was a refreshing break. Then again, country fans are just so diehard. ●
– – Zac Brown walks a fine line, trying to praise Bonnaroo without seeming ungrateful to his country core.
I was the only cheerleader who was taking violin. The first day I wore my cheerleading uniform and walked into orchestra class, they all looked at me like I must be lost. ●
– – Gloriana’s Cheyenne Kimball is still trying to figure out what qualifies as an interesting anecdote.
LeVox doing Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” was a flat capper to an unexpectedly creepy segment. Remember, Rascal Flatts play Disney country music (safe, sentimental, sometimes sweet, often sappy) but after LeVox invited a young girl in Ugg boots (who looked to be about 6) onstage to pose for “an album cover photo” and then ride on the bus with them, she returned to her parents; LeVox next turned to “I Melt,” the trio’s hit ballad, accompanied on a giant screen by its steamy video clip, complete with bedroom and shower scenes for the eyes of a PG-13 audience. Then he sang “Let’s Get It On.” What were these guys thinking? ●
– – Gary LeVox just keeps on rolling with his creepy self.
She’s my kind of rain
The kind that washes my car
And then goes away ●
– – Country Haiku spins a Tim McGraw hit.