Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source.
We’re songwriters at heart, first and foremost. ●
— Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard.
All I want to do today is wear my favorite shades and get stoned. ●
— Brian Kelley statement that prompted Florida Georgia Line’s “Sun Daze.”
I just wanted to go kind of retro. It sounds like ‘I Love This Bar’ and ‘American Ride’ had a child, and ‘Beers Ago’ is their drunk uncle. ●
— Toby Keith on new single “Drunk Americans.”
There’s a huge throwback revival going on. We’re obviously not playing what’s on the radio, it’s clear. If we wanted to play what’s on the radio, then we’d do that. But we’re inspired by other things and write a certain way, and if that becomes cool then that’s awesome. We’re not trying to copy what’s already been done, but we’re drawing influence from it and trying to make it creative in a modern way. ●
— Cale Tyson, one of Rolling Stone Country’s “10 New Artists You Need to Know: Fall 2014.”
It’s easier to trust that it’s good. You have a sounding board. If it’s somebody that you really like and you really respect, whenever they like your idea feels really good, because it’s one of your heroes. Matraca is a big reason why I moved here. She was the first songwriter that I ever knew about that [proved] you could do that for a job. I saw her on Austin City Limits or something singing “Strawberry Wine,” and I was like, “Wait a minute that’s not Deana Carter.” So when she’s your hero and she’s like, “Ooh, that’s good, girl,” it’s validation. ●
— Angaleena Presley on co-writing.
John[ny Cash], the thing that I took away from him more than anything else was to be creatively fearless. If you believe in something, if it speaks to your heart, it doesn’t matter if anybody buys it or anybody comes. It’s your job to do it as an artist, to put your flag in the ground and stand there. That’s how I was trained and that’s what I believe. I hope other people are following their hearts as well. ●
— Marty Stuart to Jewly Hight.
I don’t want radio to be my compass. I want my compass to be my heart and the fact that I grew up in a state that gave us Elvis Presley and B.B. King and Marty Stuart and everybody and their momma. When people dig into my new record, I want them to feel that. ●
— Charlie Worsham, echoing (and namechecking) Stuart.
Do you pay your plumber? Your kid’s teacher? Your mechanic? Your grocer? If art and music are not important to you, by all means, don’t buy them. If they are, then PAY for them, as you do everything else in your life that you require for physical or spiritual sustenance. […] I do not participate in the notion that music should be free, until tech companies who use our work as a loss leader also work for free, and until the CEOs of those companies stop taking home millions of dollars in ad revenues which they make by using the work of songwriters and musicians as bait. ●
— Rosanne Cash, still fighting the good fight on Facebook.
It’s bizarre because I know so many people who say they can’t stand them but listen to Nickelback and go to their shows. This is a band that sold hundreds of thousands of dollars in merchandise, and to this day, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a person with a Nickelback T-shirt on walking the streets anywhere in the world. I don’t know what it is, but for whatever reason it became cool to hate Nickelback, and once that trend took off, it exploded. What I’ve definitely talked to [FGL’s] Brian [Kelley] and Tyler [Hubbard] about is that whenever anybody becomes successful in any business, there’s people that get jealous. ●
— Kevin “Chief” Zaruk, manager to Nickelback, Hinder, and now Florida Georgia Line.
Anybody that has made any mark on history, musically or business-wise … has always been criticized for it. So we’re hoping to be criticized, because that means we’re doing something big and that means we’re making big moves and we’re making history. ●
— Tyler Hubbard, echoing his management.
I’m interested in picking Guy Oseary’s brain as to how the hell he put U2’s album on every single iPhone. And the things that Jason Aldean is doing in country? I have no clue about the country music space. I just know they sell a lot of records and have a great loyal fan base. So I’m very interested in tuning in to the country music world. ●
— Cortez Bryant, manager to Lil Wayne.
I am in total defense of the amount of young people that are going to concerts. We’ve got Luke [Bryan] and Jason [Aldean] and Zac [Brown Band] selling stadiums! Hell, Ronnie and I never did that. Now we have four or five artists legitimately that can sell stadiums damn near anywhere. That is hard to argue with. You go to those shows and you see all these young people having a ball, singing every word. You go, ‘Who would want to throw rocks at this? I mean, this is fun.’ ●
— Kix Brooks has no beef with mainstream country today.
We definitely want to write like that. You want it to be as relatable as possible and to as many people as possible. I’ve had tons of people over the years — from ‘Jesus, Take the Wheel’ to ‘Temporary Home’ to ‘See You Again’ and now with this one — be like, ‘You know, I’m not really like into the whole organized-religion thing.’ But they like the songs. ●
— Carrie Underwood on bringing religious themes to mainstream country radio.
I personally would rather hear about God and church and spirituality from a broken person than I would from somebody who acts like they have it all together, you know? So I’d rather get my gospel music from Willie Nelson than I would from the Gaithers. … I get way more out of hearing a sinner talk about God than I do somebody who comes at you like they’re not a sinner — which everybody is. ●
— Lee Ann Womack to Jewly Hight.
And speaking of cooks, one who does not look like death/Is the one they call ELIZABETH
To avoid sharing royalties with a girl/Don’t marry seven of them, like STEVE EARLE
Though no homosexual, I’d fancy a fling/With Bloodshot’s LUKE WINSLOW-KING
And if Luke casts me out like an unclean beggar/Then I’d gladly settle for LINDI ORTEGGER ●
— In a second report on his latest European tour, Robbie Fulks takes a few minutes to help us keep our Americana acts straight with some mnemonic poetry. His blog is always a must-read.
Listen to the record: A hesitant, rolling and roiling rhythm; a gloomy, even dangerous David Campbell-string arrangement heavy on the bruised, brooding cellos; a haunting, questioning counter-melody voiced by Sons of the Desert (“Time is a wheel in constant motion…”) that keeps rising unexpectedly like storm clouds on the horizon. Listen to Womack’s voice: She hopes her children will never sell out or be broken-hearted or go hungry, hopes they’ll never forget that they’re part of something larger than themselves. Yet, with each fervent wish for her loved ones, Womack’s on-guard phrasing and weary affect underscore all the heartaches, disappointments, and failures the singer knows are bound to come. Not because she’s a fatalist, but because her loved ones are only human and the world is a hard place.
“And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance … ,” Womack practically whispers to her children, or maybe just to herself. She pauses, cautious, and the music pauses, too, like everyone is looking both ways before committing themselves to crossing a minefield. Then, just as the music again rises, or crashes down around her, Womack cries: “Dance!” It feels like jumping for joy. But it feels scary, too, like a leap of faith. ●
— David Cantwell helps us hear the Lee Ann Womack recording of “I Hope You Dance” anew. Go read his extensive Womack feature at No Depression and then pick up The Running Kind to see his keen ear and intellect applied to the Merle Haggard oeuvre. Good stuff all around.
He could outshine any current president (of the United States) that I was ever around. He had more of what it is that made him Johnny Cash — the mystique. There could be 30 people in this room we’re here in, then Cash would walk in, and everybody would lose their place. ●
— Merle Haggard on Johnny Cash.
No, because one show and you guys see us play … the music does the talking for us. Our performance does the talking for us. And personally, we’re fans of boy bands. We don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. If you really wanted to label somebody, you could technically put the Eagles under that category, or the Beatles under that category. Not that we’re comparing ourselves to them at all, by any means, but they switched singers, too, just like we do. Just like a boy band does. ●
— Jimmy James Hunter on whether Chasin’ Crazy is bothered by being pegged as a “boy band.”
I think part of the reason he’s able to do what he wants is that he’s such a great songwriter. If you look at any long artist’s career, that’s at the heart of it, great songs. I just think he’s always stayed true to himself and making music that moves him as opposed to chasing things. And I think when you do that, there’s an audience for that. People love the real. ●
— Brandy Clark on Eric Church.
Folk music by nature tends to be kind of left-leaning because it’s about the downtrodden and trying to better the condition of unfortunate people or people who are being taken advantage of, which tends to be a liberal point of view. I’ve long wanted to, maybe in disguise, make what might be a conservative political folk album but you’d have a hard time writing a song about ‘Where Do I Put My Diamond Necklace?’ ●
— John Fogerty.
Q: You recently had a beard. What happened to it?
A: I saw it on TV and immediately ran and cut it off. ●
— Vince Gill to Country Weekly in 1994.
‘Bro Country’ Is Still Thriving, Even If Everyone Hates It ●
— TIME.com headline.
“I think they’re the ones who’ve gone” away from country music, she said of many of her country music colleagues. “I’m just doing what country music singers do.” ●
— High five, Lee Ann Womack.