Quotable Country – 10/19/09 Edition

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

Rascal Flatts have an amazing career because they are a f*cking amazing band.
– – Truer words have never been typed.

The tunes feel like they were created in a lab, not at a songwriter’s table, and somehow sound even more heavily processed in concert than they do on radio. The music isn’t country, and it’s not good enough to be labeled pop, but it sure fits on the “Hannah Montana: The Movie” soundtrack. […] The up-tempo tunes, notably “Me and My Gang” and “Mayberry,” were limp, while the cover-song selections — such as the Beatles’ once-political “Revolution” and Marvin Gaye’s formerly sexy “Let’s Get It On” — were ill-advised.
– – This concert reviewer for the San Jose Mercury News obviously doesn’t get it.

You’ve got to know where you came from to know where you’re going. There’s a lot you can learn from the history of it. To be part of the genre can kind of give you chills, too, part of a genre that has created all these amazing heroes — Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and all these people. I think musicians learn from the past.
– – Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley is reverently cliché.

This is the first Halloween I don’t have to work. I might have to take advantage. I’ve been witches, monsters, Barbies – I was obsessed with Barbie when I was younger — Dolly [Parton]. Gosh, I need to find those pictures.
– – Kellie Pickler. Re: Dolly, I’m pretty sure it stops being a Halloween costume when you start wearing it all year long. At least that’s what people told me when I spent a year dressed as O.J. Simpson. Hey, it was the ’90s.

It wasn’t until the last part of Friday night’s (Oct. 9) performance at Bowery Ballroom that Jamey Johnson responded to the audience’s shouted requests by stating laconically but unequivocally, “We’re gonna stand up here and play whatever the f*** we want to.”
– – Jamey Johnson isn’t what you’d call a great showman.

I get ticked off a lot because I don’t think she gets the respect she deserves. I tell her all the time, “If you were 300 pounds and dog ugly, people would think you were the greatest singer in the world.” They have the tendency to look at her and never really listen to her. The reason it works is she’s a fantastic artist. It’s almost embarrassing for me to sing with her sometimes.
– – Tim McGraw on Faith Hill, who has the misfortune of being both talented and beautiful. Oh, and probably also extremely wealthy. Don’t you feel just terrible for her? I know I do.

I think they’re the default setting for a lot of songwriters, and most of them seem fake to me.
– – Corb Lund on love songs.

I just don’t believe I can get on the radio or sell records or have success as an artist with bad songs. I don’t think I can put a song out that people are going to listen to and forget about, because those aren’t really hits. […] There are songs that go up the charts and come back down and two weeks later, people forget about them and can’t even sing them to you. I want to put out songs that make people pump their fists. That’s the goal.
– – Rodney Atkins’ obsession with fist pumping continues to concern me. The thing about using fist pumps as a meter of success is that you’re only acknowledging the douchey sports jock segment of the audience.

It’s a fact—womerns likes mens that shoots guns and sings Country Western music. I mean look at your Roy Rogers, look at your Gene Autry. They shoot guns, they sing Country Western. I shoot a gun, I sing Country Western. That’s what the womerns wants. And where the womerns go, that’s where the mans will be, and the mans will spend the money on the womerns, which is good for the nightclub or the theater, which is good for Unknown Hinson. That’s what I call the Unknown Hinson eco-system. If you got something womerns wants, you got money.
– – Unknown Hinson figures it’s really all about the womerns.

I hope I’ve been able to break open some doors for more open-mindedness in country. People have told me I have. But it’s been a lot of work, and it’s been a lot of putting my feet in the dirt and saying, here’s the line I won’t cross. I may have lost a lot of things for it or I may have gained a lot of things. But I know that I sleep great at night. I hope to do this forever.
– – Miranda Lambert on doing things her way.

People say to me all the time ‘Why don’t they make country records and write country songs? We miss traditional country music.’ When you hear Joe Nichols sing “Old Things New,” you’ll be saying ‘that’s country music.’ It’s reminiscent of some of the old Merle Haggard things in the ’60s, when he was doing the “Today I Started Loving You Again”-type stuff. I’m so proud of it. He also did a song I wrote with Jamey Johnson and Buddy Cannon called “Cheaper Than A Shrink,” so I’m a Joe Nichols fan, and happy for his success.
– – Bill Anderson thinks Joe Nichols is doing it right… and not just because he’s cutting Anderson’s songs.

On the first two albums I worked so hard trying to make everybody else happy that I haven’t made myself happy. You shouldn’t have to try to be yourself, you should just naturally be yourself. In my shows we play some of my favorite classics. I don’t worry if younger fans don’t care for it. You know what? Shame on [their] parents for not exposing them to real music.
– – Kellie Pickler speaks candidly of her desire to go with a more traditional sound on her next album.

I’ll be fast as you
Someday when I buy a car
And can afford gas
– – Country Haiku updates a Dwight Yoakam favorite.

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  1. says

    I love those country haikus! They’re f*cking amazing!:)

    I’m hopeful about Pickler’s recent talk about going more traditional for the next album. She’s got a decent voice. I just want less pop and better over all song selection.

    I don’t know about that Jamey Johnson sometimes. When does untouchable and cool cross the line into just rude/emo.

  2. idlewildsouth says

    As a songwriter, I know it can be frustrating when you want to do your songs, as well as play the cover songs that made you want to write songs, and people have certain expectations for what they want you do. Maybe it is a little rude to say out loud, but I can understand where he’s coming from. In person and off of the stage, my experiences with Jamey Johnson have been nothing kind hearted hilarity.

  3. highwayman3 says

    I found Rodney Adkins quote funny because that’s exactly how I would describe his songs. I know he had 4 number 1’s in a row, but I can’t remember the words, nor do I care to. It’s funny when artists live in a bubble and have people around them telling them how good they are and amazing, and I’m sure those 4 conseutive number 1’s have made him think he’s an amazing accomplished artist.

    And for Kellie, after reading some of her tweets where she quotes Loretta songs, or that she’s pumpin a Haggard tune, I remember thinking, if she loves that music why doesnt she sing it. Im sure he record label told her what to sing for her first 2 records, so hopefully she gains the creative control there. It’s refreshing that a country artist is influenced and listens to country artists. Usually people like Taylor Swift are boasting rock bands, and when they reveal their Ipod, it’s all Coldplay and what not. If you sing country, it should be a given you’re a fan of it for the most part.

  4. says

    That Rascal Flatts quote is timeless.

    What a weird world this would be if Kellie Pickler suddenly became one of the commercial saviors of traditional country. Although if she did, I might be finally willing to forgive her for representing country music so awfully on Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader.

  5. Rick says

    Thanks for the Unknown Hinson quote and link. That guy has one of the strangest schticks going that I’ve ever encountered. Its a shame that the self-proclaimed “King of the Country Western Troubadours” live concerts are dominated by his screaming hard rock guitar solos! He must think that’s what the womerns want to hear…

    I think Jamey Johnson’s “Bad Ass Outlaw” stage persona is refreshing these days just because it is sooo opposite the pleasant, soccer mom oriented demeanor of most of the current artists who get airplay on Airhead Country Radio. I’m not a fan of foul language from the stage, but since he was in the Obamavoter strong hold of New York City, they deserved it! (lol)

    A couple years back when Kellie Pickler was fresh off A.I., her classic country covers at her Opry performances were quite good. As time has progressed they now sound more and more like sonic caricatures in comparison. Kellie has an okay voice but gals like Rebecca Lynn Howard or Sarah Johns can sing rings around her when it comes to covering country classics.

    • says

      I guess I don’t mind Johnson’s persona when it comes to being “antiestablishment” or whatever, but concert audiences are typically fans and I suppose I’m old fashioned in preferring a more friendly attitude when dealing with fans. I didn’t get that these people were calling out for him to do covers, but I’d understand his frustration if that were the case though.

  6. Sam G. says

    Having been to shows where someone shouts out a request, which opens the floodgates for every album cut, demo song and B-side the artist has ever done, I can kind of understand someone trying to nip it in the bud so they can get on with their set list.


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