Quotable Country – 10/30/11 Edition

Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source.

I write my own songs, and I only see their flaws. But ‘It’s Now or Never?’ There’s nothing ever wrong with that.
– – Chris Isaak on his new Sun tribute record, “Beyond the Sun.” It’s pretty great, by the way.

Now seeking the most talented singers in the nation between who are at least 16 years old and appear younger than 25 to join a new country music supergroup that will go on a nation-wide tour, work with the best songwriters and producers in the industry, and release an album on a major label. If you have the voice, the moves, the look, and the personality that make you stand out, then we’re looking for you! Seeking all types of performers whose style fits within the country-pop spectrum. (from email)
– – Most of what’s wrong with country music today, handily summarized in one email. But if you happen to look younger than 25 and have all the right moves — ‘moves,’ really? for country music? — don’t let me dissuade you from trying out.

I think we’ve all kind of mellowed. We got where we were preaching to the choir of the folks that would listen to us. I think that all of us have learned to say our opinions when they count now. At some point you get repetitious, and you come across as bitter, and that’s not what any of us want to do. We’re trying to make a point, and now I think we’re doing it more with our music than our mouths.
– – Dale Watson (“Country My Ass,” “Nashville Rash”) on the insurgent ‘real country’ movement led by guys like Wayne Hancock and himself in the ’90s and early 2000s.

I have a farm and every animal on my farm is named after a song or an artist in country music. Some examples are one of my dogs is ‘Delta Dawn’ and I’ve got a mini horse named Annie after ‘Polk Salad Annie.’ I’ve got another mini horse named Sugar. She was already named, but there’s a million songs that you could put with that one. I have chickens and they are all named, collectively Ain’t Nobody Here but Us Chickens. (from email)
– – The “Ain’t Nobody Here but Us Chickens” poultry collective seals the deal: I really need to be friends with Miranda Lambert. Someone please set this up.

There is a great quote that I believe is Plato, who said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.” As I was thinking about the music we make, that sense of battle seemed applicable. That sense of yin and yang, of male and female, of our differing backgrounds, all that seemed to allude to the battles that we all face with faith or addictions or jobs or relationships. Every single person walking down the street is fighting a great battle, whether or not you can see it.
– – Joy Williams on the meaning of The Civil Wars as a band name.

We love being around people. That’s what it’s all about. All our friends out there, man, they work 70 or 80 hours a week, and when they get a paycheck, half of it is gone. So, if they want to see us, we want to be able to take them away from that for a little bit, and all of us have fun for a day or so.
– – All of Montgomery Gentry’s fans work 70 or 80 hours a week. I’ll bet you didn’t know that.

The bravest, most fearless songwriter of them all is still alive and his name is John Prine. A lot of us like to say we don’t care, but John Prine really don’t care. He does what he wants to do and if you like it, fine, and if you don’t like it that’s even more fine.
– – Toby Keith is a John Prine fan, which can only mean that most of his own work since about 2000 has been intentional self-parody.

When you don’t have anything to lose, you’ve got nothing to lose.
– – There’s no arguing with Sonia Leigh. (See also: “My name is money, money is my name.”)

I am a country boy and proud of it. To do this project just felt natural.
– – Lionel Richie on his upcoming country duets album.

It’s going to take someone like me to teach a new artist who Roy Acuff was, who Bill Monroe was and who Minnie Pearl was — all the great stars of the early days of the Opry — and that’s my job. I’m supposed to do that, and they’re not supposed to know it all. I never look down at them for not knowing the history, because I didn’t either.
– – They don’t call Vince Gill ‘Sweet Pea’ for nothing.

Q: What does it feel like to be one of the first true groups since Alabama to become successful in country music?
A: I don’t know, man. That’s a hard question to answer from my perspective. I think if I was in another band that was, say, assembled by a record label or something and was looking at us as far as our success, then I might be able to describe that a little more. All I can really say is that it feels exactly how you think it feels, and it feels as good, if not better, than it should.
– – Coy Bowles of the Zac Brown Band. I have no idea what he means.

All my experience has helped me understand what I’m supposed to do. I had three singles out on country radio and the label put me out on tour. Why didn’t I catapult to superstardom? Because I wasn’t supposed to. I made this record from a different perspective. I needed to get to the pain and the disappointment. If you’re sheltered from the pain, how do you have anything to say? So I wouldn’t do anything differently.
– – Shelly Fairchild to Blake Boldt. Her current indie album is called “Ruby’s Money.”

If I could only eliminate the country stigma from my name. I am a country person. I was raised in Alabama, I have a country accent. I love and appreciate country music, but I make music that moves me and I don’t give a sh*t what anybody calls it.
– – Shelby Lynne seems receptive. Quick, someone tell her about Ameripolitan.

There’s a magic about that song. It just grasps [you] and infects you with stupidity.
– – Toby Keith describes his new single, “Red Solo Cup.”

I think that to be a good songwriter you need to be a student of music. I have very little time for people who don’t want to invest in music listening. I understand that as writers the most important thing is to write, but I personally think that writing involves both output and input. I have met some people who claim, or more likely pretend, that they don’t know much music other than their own, or who proudly boast that they “don’t know a Beatles song” or a Bob Dylan song or whatever. This is a pretty myopic view and frankly, their music is usually fairly one-dimensional.
– – Jim Reilly to American Songwriter.

This is why I have trust issues. I grew up in Kansas in a very, very, very, very small town. I was just really naïve. I was 17 years old, and I joined this band, and they said they were gonna name the band the Penetrators. And I was like, ‘Yeah, like, we’ll penetrate you with our music.’ I had no idea.
– – Martina McBride to Chelsea Handler.

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  1. says

    Yeah, a couple hundred people got a sneak peek of that Shelly Fairchild interview that wasn’t supposed to publish until January. My bad. Also, Miranda will be my friend first.

  2. says

    Ha, I got that same email, and man did it crack me up. Looks? Moves? Voice? Personality? I might have one of those, but the others are definite ‘no’s, plus I have a feeling I might be an ill fit for the commercial “pop-country spectrum.” No country music supergroup career for me… though I am reasonably good at appearing to be under 25.

  3. Rick says

    Darn, the one thing I really wanted to read, ie the Shelly Fairchild interview, has been deleted! Shame on you Blake! By the way, did you ask her if she plans on adding at least one Aretha Franklin song to her set list? I want to see if my pleading at her LA concert at The Mint sunk in at all. Hmm…

    I do need to check out that new Chris Isaak album. Sounds like there might be a few keepers hidden within.

    I’m definitely part of that choir that Dale Watson is preaching to about keeping traditional forms of country music alive and vibrant. Preach it brother Dale!


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