Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source.
See Jason Aldean and Brittany Kerr’s Most Adorable Moments [Pictures] ●
— Way to go, Taste of Country. I expected nothing less. Or more.
The Country Rebel-Meter: From Mild (Blake Shelton!) to Wild (Yes, You, Jason Aldean) ●
— Billboard came up with a Rebel-Meter worthy of Taste of Country.
Indeed, there was little fresh in Thursday’s nearly sold-out show. Many in the 20,000-something crowd got drunk and sloppy, the electric guitars and pyrotechnics were bombastic, the song references to Jack and Coke were flowing. Welcome to “modern country.” ●
— From a Jason Aldean show review in The San Diego Union-Tribune. Florida Georgia Line and Tyler Farr, who also performed, get the worst of the criticism.
If the building didn’t matter, we’d all be recording at the house. We wouldn’t leave the house, we’d bring all our equipment and set it up somewhere in our living room and just make a record. You can get the sound anywhere. You don’t get the chills except when you walk into this building and you’re sittin’ here thinking about, “Man, Ray Charles recorded ‘Georgia’ in this building.” Dolly Parton has recorded in here. Chet Atkins. Waylon Jennings. There are so many people over the years that have built and defined their careers based on the music they recorded right here in this room. And if that didn’t matter, we wouldn’t be here today. So it does matter. And since it matters, we’re in it till the end. ●
— Jamey Johnson (to Nashville Scene) on saving RCA Studio A. Good conversation.
“If I was producing a 30 year old, I would never ask him to do that,” Cooper says, still astonished by the accomplishment. “He’s from an era when time was money in the studio, and he always came prepared. He doesn’t treat the studio as a place to mess around of experiment. He knows before he even enters the door exactly what he’s going to do and how he’s going to do it.” ●
— Peter Cooper on Mac Wiseman knocking out his Songs From My Mother’s Hand vocals in six hours… including a one-hour lunch break.
I admire her. Such a successful lady, and she’s very benevolent, giving away millions of dollars to causes and stuff. She’s going pop. I think that’s very wise. A lot bigger audience and a lot more staying power, and she won’t lose the country people. She can maintain everybody she had and expand on it, too. ●
— Mac Wiseman on Taylor Swift. Because it’s obligatory that everyone has something to say about Taylor Swift.
If you sign with a label essentially you’re going into debt, and at the same time signing away all your rights and your music – and most of your publishing – in exchange for a small loan. If I’m gonna go into debt, I might as well go into debt myself, and it might be a longer harder road but it will also be a more rewarding one if it works. And I’ll know that it was honest. ●
— Sturgill Simpson, who releases albums on his own High Top Mountain Records.
To me, Jon Pardi is a frat boy, a punked-up Buck Owens. ●
— Universal Music Group Nashville chairman and CEO Mike Dungan.
But mostly what I listen to is whoever died last week, which—in this era in time, that’ll keep ya on your toes. There’s so many people that have been mainstays of the North American sound that are gone or goin’. ●
— Old Crow Medicine Show’s Ketch Secor.
When I was little, I listened almost exclusively to men—George Jones, Buck Owens, Merle Haggard—singers who sing in their true voice, so when they talk to you or sing to you, it’s the same. It’s not like ‘Now I’m going to perform!’ Merle picks up his guitar and it’s like he’s talking to you, only really pretty. I’d like to think I’m one of those singers, singing in my true voice. ●
— Lee Ann Womack, quoted in an excellent Texas Monthly feature by Andy Langer.
I was raised to honor responsibilities. I signed a contract to make commercial music that Decca could sell. I wanted to do the best job of it I could do for them. At every turn, I tried to give them as much as I could without giving away too much of myself. But my husband [producer Frank Liddell, whom she married in 1999] says it’s like being a bar of soap: they’re just going to keep going and going till there’s nothing left. ●
— Lee Ann Womack. Same Texas Monthly feature. Read it.
It might start with your production, but a lot of production is similar. So from there it goes to the sound of your voice, from your voice to what do you look like? Are you wearing a ballcap? Are you wearing a cowboy hat? What do you dress like? ●
— Chris Young on what sets an artist apart. Not the songs, of course…
The first thing that we set out to do every night is that we want people to leave talking about the music. If someone gets out to the car and is saying “I can’t believe he jumped up on that speaker” or “I didn’t like his shirt”—we didn’t do our job. I want people to be talking about the music, the songs, the energy in the room. ●
— David Nail continues to be one of the only up-and-coming male artists who doesn’t routinely sound like an idiot or a drone in interviews.
I see everyone from kids to their parents to grandparents. You know, my grandma’s not called me too often with songs like ‘Beachin” and stuff because she related to it. […] She sent me a handwritten letter the other day telling me how much she and her church-going friends appreciate ‘What We Ain’t Got.’ So … I’m getting the grandmas, so that’s cool. ●
— Jake Owen finally won the approval of his grandma with “What We Ain’t Got.”
I got to be close with her a few different times and hang out with her at her house, and I was an emotional wreck. I think I was just overwhelmed being in her presence because the more you’re around her, the more you start to think about all that she’s accomplished. And then I thought, ‘I’m standing here, and the reason I’m standing here is because of this woman. I got to be a country music singer, and it’s a lot because of this woman and everything that she did.’ ●
— Miranda Lambert on Loretta Lynn.
The only backlash I would get is every once in while you would see an article and it would say “slick country.” Kenny [Rogers] would get locked into that as well. But we’re more country now than anything being played [on country radio]. I went middle-of-the-road because Loretta said, “Don’t sing my songs and don’t sing anything I would sing, because you’ll be compared.” She was right. I wouldn’t have made it if I had just done that. But I love those songs. ●
— Crystal Gayle to Rolling Stone Country.
I can’t wait for my most favorite singer James Otto to be back on the radio, I love him SO much!!! (big smile)
God bless him always!!!
Holly in East Tennessee ●
— God bless YOU, Holly in East Tennessee. Still holding out hope for that big James Otto comeback six years after his only Top 10.
The thing that was always the most fun about photographing Waylon is that he had a propensity to be very flirtatious. […] I had an assignment to photograph him during rehearsal. But since I was taking pictures, he started to preen for the camera, self-producing these unbelievable poses and faces and flirtatious faces. I remember even standing there taking them and thinking, ‘These are going to be known for years to come.’ ●
— Raeanne Rubenstein, whose portraits of country legends are on display at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles.
What’s the worst that happens? If it’s terrible, you order pizza. ●
— Trisha Yearwood on experimental cooking.
I used to spend Monday through Friday, 9 to 5, on Music Row, always a block or two from studios and record companies. And to be able to walk into somebody’s office and hand them a cassette tape, you bypass 90 percent of everybody else trying to do the same thing today. ●
— Songwriter Thom Schuyler, whose “16th Avenue” is something of a modern classic.
Americana means nothing anymore, just like country means nothing. I thought for a long time it (Americana) meant you made less than $10,000 a year. Now they made a Grammy category for it, and they’re nominating Willie Nelson and Robert Plant. ●
— Justin Townes Earle on the rise/obliteration(?) of Americana.