Quotable Country – 10/10/10 Edition

Click the bullet after each quote to visit the original source.

Country musician Eric Church knows some people love his music and some hate it
- – … but doesn’t realize that some who might enjoy it are continually scared off by the way he’s always trying to frame it as a love-it-or-leave-it proposition, because he’s just that much of an outlaw. Good grief.

You know, I almost got married. That was just before getting married, and I was realizing that I was just about to settle down and give up my dreams. I heard that Tammy Cochran song, “Life Happened,” and I saw the video. If anybody hasn’t seen it, if they could watch it or listen to the song, they would know absolutely what happened. I’ve known since I was 4 or 5 years old what I wanted to do. I wanted to play music and be on the Grand Ole Opry. I realized that I was getting very complacent about just playing clubs around there and fixing to get married. I saw that video and I went, “Holy crap, that’s totally what’s happening to me.” Three weeks later, I was here.
- – Randy Houser on getting serious about making it big in Nashville.

However, the Hollywood Reporter reports that Swift’s attorney, Paul LiCalsi, says Dymtrow’s claim of being responsible for launching her career “is ludicrous.” In terms of the former manager’s involvement with Swift, LiCalsi added, “To say that is worth millions is just the height of overreaching.”
- – Overreaching I can see, but isn’t calling something “the height of overreaching” sort of, err, overreaching?

Zac [Brown] says his next project will be an “urban collaboration” CD. “He doesn’t know it yet, but I’m gonna ask [Gnarls Barkley's Cee Lo] to produce it with me,” Zac says. Both Cee Lo and Zac are from Atlanta, a hotbed of R&B/rap talent with such artists as Outkast and Ludacris also in the 404.
“I think I can pair a different musician with a different urban artist on each tune. It would be a really unique project,” Zac continues. “It would be something that nobody would really see coming, but just to see a hook and play some guitar parts around it would be like organic rap.”
- – It’s all downhill from here for the Zac Brown Band.

FESTIVA: Who are some of your favorite artists most of us haven’t heard of yet?
ALDEAN: There’s a guy named Brantley Gilbert who’s from Georgia and he’s kind of had a little bit of an underground following now for a while, but he’s just now starting to come out on a national level. He actually wrote “My Kinda Party” and was one of the writers on “Dirt Road Anthem.” He’s cool, I like him.
- – Anyone surprised that Jason Aldean’s favorite up-and-comer is this shirtless poser staring moodily at a motorcycle in his promo shot? Didn’t think so.

The producer called the sound of MP3 files an insult to music, and said they serve no purpose other than advertising and should be given away. “A transistor radio sounds better than an iPod,” he says. Artists who join social media sites such as Facebook merely become one of millions battling for crumbs of attention on the same digital platforms. They should be avoided, he advises.
- – Digital media specialist T Bone Burnett.

I write all year and when it comes time to make an album, I get my pile of songs together, put my session guys in the room, pick up an acoustic, start playing my songs and we start from scratch right there. Once in a while a song will straggle in from another year, but most of the time it’s just songs that I wrote during the past season. That’s my homegrown home-breds, and I run and race them. Those [songs] are my horses. Some years are gonna be better than others, but it’s what I did last year and it’s what I live with. The results are sometimes great and sometimes so-so, but I’m blessed with the career I have and that’s the way I do it every year.
- – Toby Keith on his recording process.

We get asked a lot about how country music is changing, and that honestly is the first thing I say. Country music has always been filled with artists who write their own songs. But I think in the ’80s and ’90s it went through a phase where everyone was recording songs written by other songwriters; which gives those songwriters great success and a way to provide for their families, but I think the fans also love to hear what the artist has to say from the artist’s mouth. And that’s, I think, one of the reasons why Taylor Swift has done such an amazing job and has been so successful, because she’s baring her heart to her fans and it’s so relatable.
- – Hillary Scott credits Taylor Swift with restoring singer-songwriter authenticity to country music.

“There’s no magic in those things at all, they’re just things,” says Johnson at the control board in Nashville’s RCA Studio A, where Atkins oversaw the recording of many country hits. “But to me, they’re constant reminders. Everywhere I look, there’s something else I need to be careful with. I don’t ever feel like I own those things; I’m just looking after them till I can pass them on.
“Traditional country music is a lot the same way with me. I’m not really in charge of anything right now; I’m just looking after it till I can leave it to somebody else.”
- – Jamey Johnson on keeping country alive.

I feel like we’re trying to bring back a lot of the traditions of old country music.
- – Also carrying that torch for traditional country? The Band Perry! Well, that does make me feel better.

In terms of what the music is, it’s a type of country music in our estimation.
- – Billboard’s Wade Jessen thinks Ryan Bingham is country. Bingham begs to differ.

Finally, congrats to Dan Milliken on hitting the big time. How do you like him now?!

Better than this Brantley Gilbert video, I hope. My awe and respect to anyone who can sit through the whole thing.

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About C.M. Wilcox

A freelance writer and humorist with an abiding love of country music, C.M. Wilcox's cutting, clear-eyed take on the genre has drawn the attention of Country Weekly, The Washington Post, and The Tennessean in the years since this site began. He lives near Sacramento and can be reached by email at CMW (at) countrycalifornia.com.

Things People Are Saying

  1. I wouldn’t consider The Band Perry squarely traditional, but it does have a lot more country instrumentation than most of the music on the radio, with some bluegrass feel as well. I really like their style. Might even buy that album.

  2. Houser isn’t ready to settle down with “the little wife” just yet, huh?

  3. Eric Church doesn’t so much scare me as make me roll my eyes. Was I wrong to write him off after “Hell On the Heart”?

  4. Darn. I just wrote a lengthy rant about the Eric Church show that I was forced to see because he opened for Miranda Lambert last weekend. Suffice it to say that I really hated the show and I don’t use “hate” liberally. A lot of people loved it though and the people behind me even dared to go as far to say that Lambert should have been the one to open for him. After sitting through an hour of his amped up, juvenile crap show, I pretty much wanted to turn around and tell them what I thought of their taste, but thought better of it when I realized that they’d had a zillion beers to my zero. Speaking of “Hell on the Heart”, Church literally kept thumping his chest throughout the song.

  5. Yea…couldn’t make it through the entire video. That dude’s a freakin’ joke.

  6. isn’t calling something “the height of overreaching” sort of, err, overreaching?

    At least he didn’t say, “… literally the height of overreaching.”

  7. ChurchsChicken says:

    I actually have grown somewhat fond of “Smoke A Little Smoke;” mostly I do not like Eric Church’s music. I mean “Love Your Love The Most” is the least romantic love song I’ve ever heard, and “Hell on the Heart” is cheesy and bad wordplay. But he has a decent voice and can make some good songs. It really is his persona that is so off putting. Its annoying: the guy is as mainstream as they come but he keeps acting like he is some kind of rebel or something.

    If Church didn’t talk some a ridiculous game, I might be able to enjoy his mediocre music for what it is. But his attitude is awful. Eric Church is actually even more insufferable than Jon Weisberger, the bully who posts at the 9513.

    As for Dan Milliken, I hope that he will have the chance to communicate with Alison Bonaguro and learn from her. Ms Bonaguro is a best there is in the world of writing about country music. Nobody has entertained me as much as Alison Bonaguro.

    • Paul W Dennis says:

      I hope you’re kidding about Alison Bone-headguro. If you pick up your Funk & Wagnals (or Merriam-Webster) and turn to the word “clueless” , you will find her picture there

  8. AtlantaFan says:

    “Kick It In The Sticks” = awful

    • You Are A Freakin Joke If You Thank That Song Is Awful. You Need To Listen To The Dangg Lyrics Before You Go Judging People.

  9. Great edition. Jason Aldean is such a douche. A clone of himself is his favorite artist that most people don’t know about??

    I made it through the end of the first chorus of that video. Do I win anything?

  10. Country Must be Country Wide says:

    Brantley Gilbert has been around for awhile. He first wrote “My Kinda Party” and He and Colt Ford wrote “dirt road anthem” after BG thought about the idea. To call Brantley a clone of JAson Aldean is disrespectful. I know this article is old but i felt the need to voice my opinion. I am a huge Brantley Gilbert fan. You can actually relate a lot to his music and even though i like Jason Aldean I don’t think he can do those two songs like Brantley can. I have seen Brantley Gilbert live and Jason Aldean..Brantley is right now on tour with Willie Nelson, Joamey Johnson, Lee Brice, Randy Houser, Drake White, Craig Campbell and others. He even goes out on stage and preforms with Jamey Johnson who is said to be becomming a country music legend. And Brantley puts on more of a show as well. I am not dissing Jason at all. But before you wanna sit here and talk smack about BG, learn some music history and actually listen to some of his music.


  1. [...] an interview with The Boston Globe, via Country California: Country music has always been filled with artists who write their own songs. But I think in the [...]

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