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I love Brandy’s songwriting. There’s a song on her album [12 Stories] “In Some Corner” that I thought about covering on the new album. I really studied it. It’s written from a girl’s perspective, and I couldn’t figure out a clean way to make it come from a guy. She’s really a talented singer. She sounds new and old at the same time. ●
— Alan Jackson on Brandy Clark, who will be a supporting act on his 2015 tour. Perfect.
I don’t believe that it was an easy pass for anyone. Most of the majors that we spoke with said that they loved it, that it was one of their favorite records they’ve heard in a long, long time. But they just didn’t know what to do with it. ●
— Smack Management’s Emilie Glover on shopping Brandy Clark’s 12 Stories around Nashville for two years before it finally landed at Texas indie Slate Creek Records.
We built a record around my tracks. It had 10 or 11 songs, and it was a badass little record. We shopped it around and shopped it around and shopped it around, and the general consensus was, “This blows my mind. But the marketing department just really doesn’t know what to do with it.” Then it kinda fell to the wayside until I shared it with Miranda and Ashley. And that’s how Pistol Annies got started. ●
— Angaleena Presley, who also ended up on Slate Creek. Hey, maybe some of you big Nashville label folks should start actually putting out the music you claim to love. Just a thought.
These fingers speak for themselves—they have a brain. They always hit the right notes, too. It just happens. That’s the way it is. Sometimes I still throw my boot up on the keyboard and play with my heel. It’s very important to hit the right notes. I did it first when I was young. I figured it would be good for business. Playing rock ’n’ roll the way I do takes a lot out of a person. But it don’t bother me. I’m used to it. Sometimes I sit up on top of the piano and play with both my feet, looking at the keys the other way. I hit the right notes then, too. ●
— Jerry Lee Lewis.
*A few minutes after Josh (politely) hung up, he called back to admonish me for not telling him I was a “pretty blonde girl.” He then invited me on tour. Talk about rockstar. ●
— Conclusion to a Maxim interview with Josh Abbott, whose marriage dissolved amid problems with alcohol abuse and infidelity earlier this year.
I’ve had some people go, ‘Really, Josh? A hookup song? A random-sex song?’ I said, ‘Hey, I never said they have to have sex. Maybe he just wants a cuddle buddy.’ I think that’s up to interpretation of the fan. That is whatever degree you wanna take it to. ●
— Josh Abbott (on new single “Hangin’ Around”) to Billboard.
The reason for the longevity is it’s slice-of-life. People don’t change. We just get a new crop. ●
— Mac Wiseman on the enduring appeal of the old songs.
I got to know Johnny Cash at the end of his life, and when he made the ‘Hurt’ video, he said, ‘I want people to see the ugly truth.’ I think what Glen is doing is the same — he’s being incredibly honest and vulnerable in putting himself out there this way. ●
— James Keach, filmmaker of the Glen Campbell (slash Alzheimer’s) documentary “I’ll Be Me.”
My strength with Taylor isn’t writing lyrics. It’s whittling things down and pulling out the important pieces. She’ll talk a lot and mumble and say lines, and I’ll write them down really fast and keep them stored away. Then I’ll take her back to those lines and say, ‘What about this?’ I don’t mess with her style, lyrically. I let her say what she wants to say. People used to tell me, ‘You’re more like an editor with Taylor,’ and it used to frustrate me, because I can write lyrics, too. But those people were right. Taylor is good because she has lyrics that work for her age. I just help her grab the ones that are great. ●
— Liz Rose on the nature of her working relationship with Taylor Swift.
You have to have a sense of humor about it. If you don’t laugh at it, after a while you’ll start to feel stifled and oppressed and wronged. I don’t think I can be living this life doing what I love at this level and feel wronged in any way. ●
— Taylor Swift (to Peter Cooper) on tabloid scrutiny.
When I was a little kid, my friends were watching Disney Channel, but I was watching Behind the Music. And I was drawing these conclusions, like the reason these people went off the rails is because they lost their level of self-awareness. They turned a blind eye to things they didn’t want to see, and all of a sudden all they were seeing were their delusions of grandeur. And I never wanted to make that mistake in my life, regardless of what my career ended up being. I take away these kind of life lessons from that show. ●
— Taylor Swift, in an excellent Esquire interview.
The value attached to Swift will have a significant impact on that of Big Machine Label Group, as Borchetta, whose attorney is Joel Katz, prepares to put the company on the block for a reported $200m. (Interestingly, Swift’s father has a stake in Big Machine as one of the early investors brought in by Borchetta to fund the label.) But Swift’s valuation will be far more meaningful for Borchetta if he can re-sign her, because she’s clearly the jewel in Borchetta’s crown. ●
— Via Windmills Music, HITS Daily Double says Scott Borchetta is looking to sell Big Machine.
There’s a lot of passion in country music. I love the storytelling. I love the place that people are coming from and the honesty that’s in it. It’s so unlike other genres in that it does seem more real — the stories that people tell, the situations that people talk about — it just seems more realistic than other genres. That’s not to take away from anything from Christian music. Of course, I love Christian music. I still make it and it’s such a strong part of my life. But in Christian music you almost always talk about the good side. You don’t talk about the bad side and the realities of life sometimes. That comes through so much in country music. ●
— Mac Powell, of Christian rock group Third Day, on the occasion of his second country album release. Southpaw includes co-writes with Travis Tritt, Darius Rucker, and Kristian Bush.
Quote of the day: “Don’t play his music any more… I’m getting stupider.” -Miranda Lambert ●
— Blake Shelton tweet. Shelton has so far declined to reveal whose music he was playing at the time, but if you listen to country radio for an hour you’ll hear about ten likely candidates.
I just consider it to be a different job. And I think the fact that they exist, and the fact that they bring in the kind of money and the kind of talent that they do, is actually pretty helpful to folks like us. … We wind up working with a lot of musicians, (and) some of them are still working on those big Music Row kind of gigs, and they moonlight for people like us who make more independent music. ●
— Jason Isbell on the upside of mainstream music in Nashville.
A poll of the crowd’s favorite college football team fell flat, as did mentioning on a Friday how his fans will even party on Monday nights. ●
— From a review of Jason Aldean (and his stage banter) at San Antonio’s AT&T Center.
Ten years from now will I be on stage dancing? No I won’t be. ●
— Luke Bryan, mercifully.
Ashton, 23 (Pensacola, Florida) — A preacher’s daughter who enjoys fishing and hunting. She has a tendency to get wild when she goes out, hence her nickname “Smashton.” ●
— The cast list of CMT’s Party Down South 2 is worth reading if you don’t value your time at all.
We know how great Thomas Rhett is in the country music world, but we had no idea that his dad was just as talented! ●
— Oh sweet Jesus. This blogger for a Chicago country station (whose bio boasts an appearance in Luke Bryan’s “Suntan City” music video) thinks the existence of Rhett Akins is surprising news.
At this point in my life I’m really interested in making thematic records and having a narrative go through all of the songs. I know it’s so old-fashioned to think about concept albums, but that’s what most interests me right now. To just throw down 10 songs, I’m just not interested. ●
— Rosanne Cash.
I have a strong sense of melancholy, and I think it’s one of the reasons I wound up doing what I’m doing. I played piano at an early age out of a need to feel something. I’m definitely ‘glass half empty’ instinctively. Maybe it’s something I inherited. ●
— Sheryl Crow.
I was waiting around until I had enough money to comfortably do it. But after I had that wreck, I said **** it, I’m just doing it now. It’s time. I’m not getting any younger. I want to play music. ●
— Wayne Hancock on movin’ on up to a FOUR-piece backing band. After 20 years of touring. Even though he can’t afford it. In other words, a meteoric rise. If you have no idea who this person is, you must procure a copy of The Best of Wayne Hancock posthaste.
I think I’m good at writing a three-and-a-half-minute song about a split-second decision. ●
— Brandy Clark. She is.