Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source.
I think bluegrass is one of the last true American musics that’s lasted, and it’s still pretty original to the way it started. It’s more pure—it’s musicians’ music. It’s songwriters. It’s real pickers playing. It’s people that can sing and have real harmonies. The songs have melodies. The country music that’s on the radio today has really gotten away from that. ●
- – Alan Jackson.
I’d felt stagnant, and I didn’t want to feel stagnant anymore. I didn’t want to do the same thing, because the same thing wasn’t working. This was going in, getting outside of my comfort zone in terms of doing some songs that didn’t sound like what I’d sung in the past, and finding confidence in something new. [...] I’d go in with songs that might sound like something Lady Antebellum or Jake Owen or Keith Urban would do. I’d hear them doing them, but not me. This time, it was, ‘Let’s see what I sound like, singing this the way I do. How can we make this song fit me?’ ●
- – Joe Nichols, who has always been a great voice capable of great things when not concerned with what the other guys at radio are doing, is now more concerned than ever with what the other guys at radio are doing. This might not bode well for Crickets, out on Tuesday.
They tell me I’m too country to do TV. I’ve never been on an awards show and I’ve never been on national TV. ●
- – Justin Moore. Fun Fact: I would pay to see him standing next to Conan O’Brien.
I don’t know if I’m lazy, or I procrastinate, or I don’t care, or I care too much, but I’m really bad at keeping schedules. The only time I’m on time is when it’s 8:15, and it’s time for me to be on stage. I’ll be there. The rest of my life, it’s like, “Where is he?” ●
- – John Mellencamp.
How country music went crazy: A comprehensive timeline of the genre’s identity crisis ●
- – While not actually all that ‘comprehensive’ – this crisis extends well beyond the narrow time frame he has chosen to cover here – Grady Smith’s article for Entertainment Weekly IS a good overview of some events that have made 2013 seem like a breakout year for dissatisfaction with mainstream country.
See what I mean? It’s like, what ever happened to the concept that if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all? ●
- – Alison Bonaguro, perceptive as ever, on the trend of artists giving honest opinions about mainstream country.
I can’t really be critical of the country format, because I’m the newbie there. I’m the new kid at school, so I can’t really walk into the school and say, “Wow, they have the worst math problem here.” It doesn’t really work like that. But I’m curious what other people are saying. I have to admit, sometimes I can’t tell it apart. I’d just like to see more than three women get played at radio. And that’s not just because I’m a woman. I just feel like, gosh, a huge population of record buyers are women. Why aren’t there women getting played at radio? Why aren’t there more female program directors? There’s, like, two! I don’t understand it. I’m a huge fan of Ashley Monroe; she’s got songs on that record I think are stupefying. There are a lot of great girls out there. ●
- – Sheryl Crow on women in country.
I’m very concerned about IP (intellectual property), I’m very concerned about Pandora and the streaming issue, and that the amount of money that’s being paid for songwriters’ works is ridiculously low. It’s laughable, it’s insulting for a young girl to get six-thousand streams on Pandora and get a check for two cents, a young girl who’s trying to start a career. We are going to pay the price for this as a nation one of these days because one of these days, somebody’s going to look around and say, “Where’s James Taylor? Where’s Joni Mitchell? Where’s Lyle Lovett?” There won’t be any. There won’t be any because nobody is going to work for two cents. And to cut a check for two cents and send somebody a check for two cents is the highest cynicism. That tells you who you’re dealing with. You’re dealing with someone who is laughing at you and thinks nothing of what you do. Nothing. ●
- – Jimmy Webb on songwriting royalties in the digital age.
Like with the cheating element, I think that’s everywhere. I think that when you’re a kid, you have this picturesque image of what your life is going to be and then you get in the middle of it and it’s not that. Not that I’m condoning cheating, but you have commitments and reasons why you stay in a marriage or relationship, and then it’s, ‘How do I survive my life here?’ I think the songs are a lot about coping mechanisms whether it be getting high or cheating. ●
- – Brandy Clark on telling real stories.
They got a deal going where they didn’t want any old guys playing. But that’s going to change. I’m fixing to change it. This next album I got is going to change it. It’s Hard to Be an Outlaw if You Ain’t Wanted No More. It’s got some great songs — they’re all different, and you ain’t heard anything like them. I hope [producer] Ray Kennedy does it with me. Now it’s time to get real serious. My voice is where I want it. There’s some political things — it’s going to stir things up and [have] a lot of really great songs. I’m proud of it. I think it’s going to be good as Old Five and Dimers. ●
- – Billy Joe Shaver is over the moon about his next album, which he’s hoping to do with Ray Kennedy. Last I heard, he was working on one with Todd Snider. I hope we get a new Shaver album soon one way or another.
I feel like if you, as an artist, get on the industry treadmill of automatically putting out an album every year or two, you’ll end up with a lot of throwaway stuff that’s really just filler on albums, and that’s fine for some people. I’ve found that my favorite artists, like John Prine, are the ones who took time between records to make them right. ●
- – Charlie Robison objects to the Toby Keith school of record-making. High Life, his first album since 2009’s Beautiful Day, is out now.
Everything changes. I don’t think country music is going in particularly one direction. I don’t think it’s going pop. I don’t think it’s going rock. I don’t think it’s going hip-hop. I think it’s just going more mainstream. I think it gets more people listening to country music. And by listening to somebody’s country [music channel on] Pandora or Spotify, like Florida Georgia Line, they might hear George Jones, where they never heard George Jones before. So I just think we’re broadening our horizon in country music. And I dig it. ●
- – Scotty McCreery on modern country music… and, very imaginatively, Florida Georgia Line as a gateway to George Jones. I know nothing gets me in the mood for “The Grand Tour” like “It’z Just What We Do.” (Not familiar with the latter? Sample lyrics here.)
The way it works… is if you reach a point in your career where things are going very well, public perception needs a ‘Yeah, but.’ Like, ‘Yeah, but she’s been on a lot of dates, apparently.’ ‘Yeah, but I hear she’s crazy.’ I think you’ll find it has a lot to do with being a woman. And I resent that, that there has to be some downside to your personality or lifestyle if you’re a woman and successful. ●
- – Taylor Swift.
I do one day a week of cardio. I do heavy weightlifting. I did legs yesterday, shoulders this morning… I am like a beast. ●
- – Congratulations to Dakota Bradley, who gets our Douche of the Week Award for referring to himself as “a beast.”
4. Force them to watch the video for “Chattahoochee.” Alan Jackson in ripped jeans, a neon life jacket, cowboy hat, and aviators is an inadvertent hipster God. Your friends will have no choice but to bow down. ●
- – The Frisky offers tips on “How To Convince Your Hipster Friends To Listen To Country Music.” You know, I find it much easier to just not have any hipster friends.
We had nice things. We lived in a nice home. But at the same time, mom had very strict rules at home. We had very old fashioned and strict rules to an extent that we all had chores to do to earn our allowance. If we didn’t make good grades and make our beds, or do this or that, we didn’t get our $5 a week or whatever it was to have spending money for extra things that we had to earn. I’ve had a job since I was fourteen. As an adult, you know I think a lot of people expect that just because who my parents are, we would still be catered to and have all this money. We’ve always been very independent. I’ve worked as a nurse. I’ve struggled to take care of two kids on my own when I was a single mom. I don’t think it’s nearly quite as glamorous lifestyle that people think that is. It’s just normal like everyone else. ●
- – Georgette Jones on being the daughter of George Jones and Tammy Wynette.
From personal observations, it brings out a lot better in people than whiskey does. To each their own. I’m not trying to force anything on anybody. I think it’ll put a couple in a very loving mood. ●
- – Ashley Monroe on weed.