Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source.
I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t a thought in my head. But I didn’t really have a choice. If I had been 25 and in the closet, then I would have had a choice to make, but I started beyond that, so it was kind of a given! It was “This is me; take it or leave it.” When I started working with Emilie and Terry and brought it up, they said “The music speaks for itself, and it should transcend.” I think relationships in love are all the same, so I really do hope the music transcends race and socioeconomic class and sexual orientation, and male and female. And I hope it’s strong enough to be above all of that. ●
- – Brandy Clark (to Barry Mazor) on whether moving into the country spotlight as a gay woman ever concerned her. The whole interview at Engine 145 is worth a read.
When I say I love this music all the way back, I really do. Some people say “Oh, I love Merle Haggard,” or “I love Patsy Cline” because that’s cool to wear on a t-shirt; I really love them. That music has meant so much in my life—adult music, music that, when you’re low, means you don’t have to feel low by yourself. If I could be involved with one song that did that, like “Crazy” or “Are the Good Times Really Over for Good?” I would feel like I had really done something. ●
- – Brandy Clark (to Barry Mazor, part two) on being a torchbearer for country.
Songs. I’ve always loved really good songs, and I was able to find them. When I hear a great song, I’ll always know exactly where I was when I heard it; it’s like time stops. [...] When you start getting old, the only thing that keeps you going is passion for something. And I love good songs. ●
- – Bobby Bare on the central passion of his life and career.
When great songs get to be heard, it helps all songwriters. It helps songwriters that don’t even know they’re songwriters yet. I was luckily influenced by great songs, and that’s why I wanted to write great songs… I think it’s a really exciting time, and my hat’s off to someone especially like Kacey who has the guts to put something out that is less a spinner, to just say, ‘This is me and this is the song I believe in.’ ●
- – Brandy Clark again.
Well I hope it gets attention because I think it’s definitely time for those issues to be accepted in country music — I mean it’s 2013. Regardless of your political beliefs, everybody should be able to love who they want to love and live how they want to live. We’re all driven by the same emotions; we all want to be loved and want to feel the same things. So, hopefully people will put aside their personal, political agenda and just agree with that fact. ●
- – Kacey Musgraves on “Follow Your Arrow.”
[Nashville Star] made most of my dreams come true. It was the things that I’d found out about the music business … I wasn’t as enamored with it after I got in the middle of it as I was before the show. My record debut was No. 1 on the [country] charts, 13 on the pop charts. As it is with Nashville, you’re only as good as your last project. I’ve actually had to pray to God to give me the willingness to forgive some people for making some bad decisions about my career. ●
- – Buddy Jewell, who now runs his own donut shop and tours overseas.
I can tell you that 60 percent of the mainstream country audience is females and they don’t like the song at all. Why does radio not listen to 60 percent of their audience? I’ve been surprised quite a few times in my career, but never with a song like this. I thought the song would last about 10 minutes. ●
- – John Hart, president and CEO of Bullseye Marketing Research, on the success of stalker anthem “Redneck Crazy.” The whole Tennessean feature is pretty interesting.
I have always believed what she did (in ‘Independence Day’) was an act of self-defense and a matter of life or death. And yes, when I sing it it’s a victory cry for so many women and children who have been abused and hurt. The man in ‘Redneck Crazy’ is acting out in an immature and threatening manner, and not defending himself against any physical harm whatsoever. At the very least, the man in the song is a bully who is exhibiting a stalking-type behavior. I can’t imagine any of us would want our sons acting this way. ●
- – Martina McBride compares and contrasts the violence of her own “Independence Day” with the implied violence of “Redneck Crazy.”
It’s weird, but people gave me money and wanted me to start a label. So I hired a few people and we’re putting out some records. I didn’t just make this stuff up.
I’ve never done any quote/unquote ‘music business.’ I’ve never had these hardcore business types around me plotting a career, telling me what to sing, what to wear, or anything. So now I have a small label and I’m surrounded by this cool team of stoners and, hard as it may be to believe, we’re all having a lot of fun with it. ●
- – Todd Snider on his unlikely transition to label owner.
I feel like a lot of us from the ’90s are like, ‘(The genre) has changed so much, what do we do next but yet remain true to who we are?’ All of us were relevant in our lives, but it’s really difficult to remain relevant in music because it’s ever-changing. And, we still want to sing. ●
- – Ty Herndon on the common quandary of ’90s country stars.
Will is as comfortable in his songwriter skin as anyone I’ve ever known. He’s living a dream come true without apology. He deserves it. He writes about tears with a smile, laughter with a tear, and phrases the truth about himself so honestly that by the time it gets to my ears, it’s all about me. And he makes it look easy. That’s not an easy thing to do. ●
- – Don Schlitz on Will Hoge.
It’s really hard to write about being complacent. I work hard every day. I write 50 songs a year. I still tour. I’ve never missed an album, but I don’t have anything else to shoot for. I’ve taken it all down. ●
- – Toby Keith makes being wildly successful sound kinda miserable.
I don’t know her personally. I don’t know why she’s doing what she’s doing. So, I don’t really have an opinion on that. But you’ve got to do what works for you. Being in that critical eye is a challenge in itself. If Miley is assessing what she’s doing, and saying “this is who I am,” then I say, do that. Hopefully she’s enjoying it.
I smile at young artists being young, finding themselves. I think youth is beautiful. I think finding yourself is beautiful and very necessary. ●
- – Shania Twain on Miley Cyrus.
Deer hunters, and especially bow hunters, can get really superstitious. But last year, Mark Drury and I, whether we were hunting together or hunting apart, no matter the state we were in, we played Justin Moore. It was the ticket. Every single time we heard a Justin Moore tune, somebody killed or recovered something. It was money. ●
- – Gary LeVox. I’m not a hunter, but do often find myself wanting to kill something when I hear certain Justin Moore songs. (Also, “money” as an adjective? 1996 called, Mr. LeVox…)
We’ve pitched the stuff and all the labels have passed on it in the States, and we don’t get it because we think it’s as strong as anything out there today. I was talking to my producer in Nashville today and I posed that question to him: do you think there’s a stigma against a Canadian coming down there? I hope not, but you certainly want to make sure before you start running that market that you actually have a chance. [...] We’re gonna try it, just so I don’t kick myself down the road, and we’ll see what happens. But we’re definitely not gonna lose sight of where our bread is buttered, which is Canada. I’ve built my whole family around playing music in Canada so I’m never gonna stop doing it. It’s my top priority. It’s where we make our living. ●
- – Canadian country star Gord Bamford on making a play at the US market. (Faux Insider Tip: I think Nashville might be just proud enough to keep the door shut as long as you relegate them to a secondary position. They want to be your #1 even if you’re not theirs.)
I would call my mother on the phone and she’d say hello and I would say hello and I’d be crying and she would hang up on me. She was like, ‘You took responsibility for this and you’re going to have to find your way through it.’ That was hard but I’m glad she did that. ●
- – Kathy Mattea on her first months in Nashville.
I’ll be honest, I was a little nervous because obviously, you can look at the charts and see, “100 Proof” didn’t sell a lot, but that’s not why I do this. I feel like I’ve played the part in the past and I did what I had to do at the time, and I had to answer to a lot of different people, but I’ve creatively had the freedom to go in the studio on “100 Proof” and this record and just make a great record. I just want to sing. To me it’s not about being number one. You don’t have to sell a million records to have an impact on people. I think when you start doing it for those [commercial] reasons it’s like, where’s the heart in it? ●
- – Kellie Pickler on continuing in the traditional country vein with The Woman I Am (November 11).
Jason Aldean to Open Up About Divorce for the First Time ●
- – Finally! At long last, we are being granted greater access to the rich interior life of Jason Aldean.