Quotable Country – 11/01/10 Edition

Click the bullet after each quote to visit the original source.

… the pompadour hairdo is perfect. It’s such a fascinating thing. You can’t take your eyes off it. And in a fifty mile an-hour wind it would still have been perfect.
- – Keith Richards on George Jones’ hair.

I love the purity of (bluegrass). It’s really not been prostituted or commercialized too much that it’s lost its identity. Whereas country has so much influence from pop and rock, bluegrass is still pretty much a pure seed.
- – Speaking of pompadours… Ricky Skaggs.

[Bluegrass] was new to him. He’s since told us he’d been around some bluegrass, but he’s never really played it before. Definitely, there’s a learning curve for him, more to do with, I’d say, framework with his guitar because I think he’s primarily been an electric guitar-slinger up to that point. So, I think, kind of finding a groove with the acoustic, trying to fit in in that respect… but man alive, he’s just done an amazing job… he’s already started writing songs, and he and I have written something together, and I know he’s been writing with Henderson, you know, start working up material that people don’t necessarily associate so much with Chris, so he’ll get his own due respect for his great talent as well.
- – Tammy Rogers on transitioning Gary Nichols into The Steeldrivers.

It’s loud, it’s obnoxious and will get some attention, and that’s what we try to do on this record and with the other albums.
- – Jason Aldean on “My Kinda Party.”

You’ll spend a year writing songs, hunkered down spending days writing a song, and it’s still a sub-par song at the end of the day. Then at the end of the week you’ll wake up and just breeze through a song that’s perfect in 10 minutes. You don’t get those easy ones without sitting down and writing the horrible ones.
- – Little confused by the timeline, but I think I like Joe Pug’s sentiment.

It feels like a jumping point, a new place, a new bar has been set for us with this record. I think people are excited about it. They’re curious about it. I think it’s inspired a lot of conversation about ‘what is country music today?’ That makes me feel very proud to be a part of that kind of cultural moment.
- – Jennifer Nettles on The Incredible Machine. I’m so ready to be done hearing about how revolutionary Sugarland thinks this album is. Do they read any of their own reviews?

My definition of country music is really pretty simple. It’s when someone sings about their life and what they know, from an authentic place. And, you know, a lot of country artists sing about topics in their life that are authentic. One guy will write about how he grew up on a farm and fell in love and raised kids on that same farm. Some people sing about how, when they get sad, they go to the bar and drink whiskey. I write songs about how I can’t seem to figure out relationships and how I’m fascinated by love…
- – Taylor Swift makes the case for her countryness.

Music and football are probably the two most universal things in this country.
- – Kenny Chesney on why I’m only half American.

Especially when I started having children, I didn’t want to be loaded around my kids. I realized a lot of songs that I was writing, even though they had good lines in them, they weren’t put together in a sober way. [laughs]
- – Kix Brooks on how settling down improved his songwriting.

I don’t think Ronnie and I — either one of us — feel like we were never really not solo artists. We’ll be the first ones to tell you that our harmonies aren’t that great, and we’re not the Everly Brothers and never wanted to be or never tried to be. We’ve always just kind of done our own thing and supported each other as a duo, but we both started out as solo artists. I think that’s what we are now. We’re both having a lot of fun working on music without having to check in with the other one to see if everything’s OK. It’s fun for us.
- – Kix Brooks on life as a solo act.

I thought about doing a parody of one of their songs. Then I realized I’d have to sit down and actually listen to one of their songs first [laughs]. I’m having to muster up the patience to sit through one of their songs.
- – Blake Shelton on Lady Antebellum, who recently did a parody of “All About Tonight.”

I personally don’t find it that necessary for me. I am technologically — I don’t want to say challenged, because I can do all the basics, but I’m not into it. And some people are into it and they have fun with it and that’s awesome. I’m glad people can find some happy by telling people what they had for lunch.
- – Carrie Underwood on Twitter. Apparently she’s still trying to make ‘happy’ a noun.

We were getting our picture taken, and to get me to smile bigger, he goosed me! It was a neat experience to see that this guy’s a character. He’s been around a long time, and he’s a funny guy.
- – James Otto on getting goosed by Ronnie Milsap.

I went to my first club in Vegas and danced on the pole with friends! I feel more alive.
- – Wynonna, who recently lost 55 pounds through something called brain state conditioning. Better than a pill that makes you poo yourself, I guess.

Q: “Purple Sky” has a bit of a country vibe.
A: That was started by Jason Boland, a country singer, Oklahoma/Texas guy. I always enjoyed his stuff. I found that song, it was called “Telephone Romeo,” it wasn’t quite there yet. I switched it around and made it about what I perceived to be a relationship about the girl you grow up next door to, she’s really the one you’re supposed to be with, but you’ve got to go out and see it all first yet to realize that.
Q: I bet Jason was proud to get your call.
A: Oh yeah. I see a house in his future.
- – Kid Rock recorded a (supposedly) improved version of a Jason Boland song for his next album.

There are lots of people ready to listen with great understanding to some of the oldest music. Not everybody wants to be Sugarland, you know? Or some kind of current band. They’re listening back to the Delmore Brothers, or the Louvins, or Stonewall Jackson, and you can hear people today who are drawing from the strengths of those records.
They won’t all be in the charts: You might have to go and dig ‘em out. But there’s a place for pop music and whatever accent it has, and there’s a place for the other stuff, which is going into the soul of it.
- – Elvis Costello, whose new Nashville album, National Ransom, comes out in the States tomorrow.

I love writing songs, and I love writing them in a traditional way. It seems like lately country stations are the only ones who will play traditional songs.
- – Uncle Kracker. Obviously, a Costello-Kracker collaboration is in order.

When one of my kids was five or six, we found this fedora left over at the shop. I put it on ‘cause he liked it, wore it somewhere and our stylist was like, You gotta [start] wearing those kinds of hats everywhere. It just keeps going. It’s another example of evolving in country music, how the imagery shifts.
It didn’t always used to be like this, but today now men are more the peacockery type in country music. And for women, there’s no difference between them and movie star.
- – Kristian Bush on his hats and general peacockeriness.

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Things People Are Saying

  1. Mike K says:

    You mean “happy” isn’t a noun? That makes my sad come out.

    Loud and obnoxious, yep.

    Great edition, C.M.

  2. I think it’s inspired a lot of conversation about ‘what is country music today?’

    …followed by many a reply of, “Whatever it is, it sure as hell ain’t this.”

  3. Jeremy Dylan says:

    The Elvis Costello album is wonderful. Buy it.

    It features co-writes with Jim Lauderdale, Leon Russell and T-Bone Burnett (who also produced). Russell also plays piano on one of the tracks and is on a list of featured players that includes Jerry Douglas, Buddy Miller, Vince Gill, Mike Compton, Dennis Crouch, Stuart Duncan, Marc Ribot, Pete Thomas, Steve Nieve and Davey Faragher.

  4. Richard says:

    I’m disliking Chesney more and more by the minute.

  5. Rick says:

    I might be interested in that Elvis Costello album if Declan had a voice I liked the sound off, but he doesn’t. His vocals worked well on fun pop songs like “The Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes”, but classic country not so much. I wish he’d hire a great singer for these projects and be content to do background vocals and provide harmony parts. Oh well…

    I think Keith Richards’ comments about George Jones’ hair apply equally to Conway Twitty! (even if he is long dead)

    I agree with Ricky Skaggs about bluegrass being able to keep its historical core and roots active in the marketplace even while its branched out in myriad directions. Its too bad mainstream country music hasn’t followed this pattern. As a mass market, pop culture driven “product” Top 40 country radio has more of an “out with the old, in with the new” philosophy even when the “new” is mediocre pop-rock crap.

    I’m not sure its worth all the effort to bring Gary Nichols up to speed in The Steeldrivers. The next album shall be the proof in the pudding.

  6. Apparently she’s still trying to make ‘happy’ a noun.

    And Carrie Underwood was a mass communication major in college. With an emphasis in journalism. That doesn’t speak very well for the journalism program at her alma mater — or the mass comm program, for that matter.

    • Stormy says:

      - – Carrie Underwood on Twitter. Apparently she’s still trying to make ‘happy’ a noun.

      Ceiling cat will not be pleased. She may have to go to basement cat.

      – Jennifer Nettles on The Incredible Machine. I’m so ready to be done hearing about how revolutionary Sugarland thinks this album is. Do they read any of their own reviews?

      I just want to tell her, “Oh, so you’re shooting for The Mammals circa 2004.”

  7. How did Ronnie know James wasn’t smiling?

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