Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source.
I haven’t read a book since high school. I’m a magazine guy. When I’m standing in line at the grocery store, I’m kind of a sucker for buying whatever has a cover I’m interested in. I like reading about actual facts.
– – Jason Aldean ain’t much for book learning, preferring to find his facts(?) in magazines with eye-catching covers. From the November 5 edition of People magazine. Thanks to Carolyn for the tip.
Communication’s such a beautiful, mysterious thing. It cannot be forced at all. I would say if you were to ask me to boil it down to one thing, I try to speak about complicated things in a very plainspoken way. That’s what I like and that’s what I try to do. You practice your whole life; sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. It constantly comes in and out of focus, and you just have to keep trying. ●
– – Tift Merritt on her approach to songwriting.
Strait, a last-minute substitute for George Jones, who was originally designated to induct Brooks, sauntered out to the lectern to be led through his paces. ●
– – Buried in CMT’s Country Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony write-up, a suggestion that George Jones might not be doing great. Hard to imagine him missing the induction of Brooks and Hargus ‘Pig’ Robbins (who played on his first #1, “White Lightning”) otherwise.
The raw energy of rock ‘n’ roll is something no one else has been able to duplicate. In our show, we try. There’s a lot of Iron Maiden in what we do. ●
– – Eric Church, quoted in an interesting Wall Street Journal article on the rise of the new country-rock.
They’re almost overcompensating these days for kind of injecting even metal influences into some of the country songs. They’ll overwork the lyrics to testify that they are country: ‘I’ve got my dog on my seat in my truck, on the dirt road, in the backwoods.’ It’s almost like you catch yourself apologizing for rocking out. ●
– – In the same article, Ronnie Dunn suggests that having to testify a lot more about how country you are (e.g. rural list songs) has a lot to do with not sounding as country.
I wonder where my stuff is going to fit in these days. I still enjoy recording, and I think I’ve got a lot of fans out there that still want to hear songs of mine on the radio. [The hits are] not as easy as they used to be. That’s just the nature of this business, but when you listen to the radio today, I’m trying to figure out, Where do I fit into this thing? ●
– – George Strait ponders his place in the current radio environment. From a Billboard article on the “rock-and-pop-ification of country.” Seeing a theme here?
I think people mistake success for the opportunity to coast. Just because something does well doesn’t mean you should try to duplicate it, just repeat it and put a different cover and label on the front. I’m 22 years old, and it would be wrong to assume I know all I need to know about songwriting and craft and structure and being in the studio. ●
– – Taylor Swift just wants to continue developing as a songwriter…
I want to live (life) one year at a time. When I’m 22 I want to be 22, and when I’m 23 I want to be 23. ●
– – … while, uh, staying within the bounds of mathematical possibility. That second part, at least, shouldn’t be too difficult.
I have not stopped being a fan, and I feel the same way about music as when I was 8 or 9. The business end of it takes some fortitude, but the music still just takes over my body. When I picked up the guitar at first, it was to re-create the feeling I’d get from listening to Joan Baez or Odetta. ●
– – Good news: Bonnie Raitt still loves music as much as ever.
It’s just trying to find songs that speak to you and a lot of songs that are being written right now, rightfully so, are being written for a much younger audience. It needs to be believable. I can’t sing about getting my belly button pierced. I have to find songs that really feel like that they are believable to me. It’s a challenge, so I don’t ever say I’m looking for something specific. You just know when you hear it. ●
– – Trisha Yearwood on the struggle to find the right songs for a woman her age.
That s– right there is why there’s no soul. Nobody gives a s– about what I think about [my nephew] John Henry. That’s pathetic! That doesn’t have anything to do with Revelation Road! G–damn! “Is she gay?” Who ain’t? I don’t want to feel like any individual person or party is ever going to “get the credit” for ever being able to call me anything. That’s not fair! That pisses me off that you’ve got somebody sitting in a building somewhere that doesn’t know me from s— and Crisco and they’re gonna try to get the only thing they know that hasn’t been gotten … and they’re never gonna get. They don’t know me. They don’t realize that I’m offended. I feel like going up there and kicking their a–. That’s why I don’t do interviews! But [you and I], we’re good. After all these years of being in this business and being screwed by the press, I understand. If you want anybody to be interested in your music they’ve got to know who you’re f—ing. I’m not unaware of the reality. ●
– – Shelby Lynne to The Boot’s Stephen L. Betts, when her invitation to “ask me anything you want” was met with questions about her family and sexuality. Pretty fascinating to see how the interview develops.
When my wife passed, I stopped doing interviews and I stopped doing meet-and-greets, mostly because I sort of became this suicide ambassador. Everybody wanted to tell me their story. I realize that’s how people share with you. It’s their way of bonding and getting close, but before shows I was hearing 10 or 12 stories like that, and I was like, ‘I can’t do this every day,’ so I ended up pulling back. I enjoyed not doing them. […] I milked it a lot longer than I should have. ●
– – Gary Allan on pulling back following his wife’s death.
James Otto is a soulful singer and he is amazing. I’ve known him for a long time and although he is very tall, James has a huge smile. ●
– – Carolyn Dawn Johnson, seeming to suggest that happiness is uncommon among very tall people.
We did that as a band. This is stuff that Roy Acuff’s buddies did. I don’t know that any (other bands) in the ’80s and ’90s did this, but we sure did. We loved it. ●
– – Ketch Secor says Old Crow Medicine Show worked a tobacco field together while living in the mountains of North Carolina. Okay, we get it: They’re old-timey.
The gatekeepers at radio have a mindset that females are tough, so they put themselves into this space where they’ll only really truly consider one at a time, maybe two at a time. And that’s very, very unfortunate and very frustrating. ●
– – Mike Dungan, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group Nashville, on the difficulty of getting new female acts on the radio. From a very good Tennessean article on same.