Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source.
We’re not Ricky Gervais. ●
— Brad Paisley on his and Carrie’s approach to hosting the CMA Awards.
But as far as the Christians, if people want to pass judgment, they’re already sinning. The sin of judging is just as bad as any other sin they might say somebody else is committing. I try to love everybody. […] I’ve struggled enough in my life to be appreciated and understood. I’ve had to go against all kinds of people through the years just to be myself. I think everybody should be allowed to be who they are, and to love who they love. I don’t think we should be judgmental. Lord, I’ve got enough problems of my own to pass judgment on somebody else. ●
— Dolly Parton is a gem.
Country singer Jason Aldean was the highest-paid performer with a $540,000 guarantee plus 85% of gross box office receipts over $775,000. His show sold out the grandstand and did over $1.1 million at the box office, earning Aldean a total of $720,000. ●
— From an interesting rundown of who got paid what to play the New York State Fair. This will give you a rough idea of how much it might cost to have Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, Kellie Pickler, or Kid Rock play your nephew’s bar mitzvah.
Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line looks like country music’s take on Scott Stapp, with his flowing hair and affinity for bare skin and crosses. While on stage he and Brian Kelley and the rest of the band all sported one of their own band’s T-shirts. Yes, they’re an entire band of “that guys.” Hubbard also handled most of the band’s singing duties, including occasionally dropping into a rap-like cadence while Kelley stood around playfully strumming an acoustic guitar that’s nowhere to be heard in the mix. Congrats bro-country, you have your Limp Bizkit. ●
— Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, and their fans – but especially Florida Georgia Line – got a brutal review (or “review”) from the Dallas Observer.
I’ll never forget how my dad taught me how to mow the grass. He was like, “All right, this is a very important thing. When you’re done, you get you a chair and you get you a cold beer or a glass of tea, and you sit back and look at what a good job you’ve done.” And we did that together. That was one of the most amazing moments of clarity I’ve ever experienced. To him, the highlight of his day is mowing his grass and then sitting there in that chair and looking at it. It’s taking stock and investing in things that money can’t buy. That is what I am envious of — that’s what I long for. Because for some reason in my life, I wanted to go everywhere and travel and see everything and write and sing and, you know, wear sequins. But my dad’s the opposite. He’s invested all of his time and all of his money in things that money can’t buy. He is one of the happiest people I know. ●
— Angaleena Presley, in a fascinating Wondering Sound chat about class and country music with Jewly Hight and University of Michigan professor Nadine Hubbs (author of Rednecks, Queers, and Country Music). Recommended reading.
I saw Linda Ronstadt in Louisville, Kentucky, about 12 years ago. She came out before she sang and said, ‘I just want to tell everybody I’m sick and you’re going to hear some squeaker notes tonight.’ But her voice only cracked twice all night. It was amazing – when she spoke it sounded like someone with a terrible cold, but when she sang it was like crystal. ●
— Brandy Clark’s best concert memory, recalled for People magazine. Might I remind you that I was interviewing Clark back before that was the cool thing to do?
We’ve never been able to cuss in any of our songs before, and I love to cuss in my free time. ●
— Gloriana’s Rachel Reinert on saying “shit” in a song. Naturally, it got a radio edit.
The stereotypes about the Country Music listener are that they’re rural, they’re downscale, and they’re not very tech-savvy, but our research shows that that’s all bunk. The Country Music audience is largely suburban, a mix of white- and blue-collar, and a lot more affluent than even the country industry itself thought. They’re a much more attractive target for marketers than might have been perceived. ●
— Forbes says “Country Music Is A Powerful Opportunity For Brands.” If it means being marketed to even more aggressively, this being recognized as more than just a bunch of goobers is really a mixed blessing.
I know for a fact that any musician on the face of the earth that’s doing jobs out on the road, I know they’re all confronted with it. … You’re out there on the road, and it’s like why would you wanna do something like that to somebody? Why would I wanna drag a woman down into the lifestyle of a musician? (laughs) ●
— Doug Seegers (Going Down to the River) on the toll that road life takes on relationships.
If you ever want a lesson in performing live, just watch Garth Brooks. I mean, I think he’s so different. I can remember when John, my husband, went and did the first few shows with him. He came home raving about it. He was like, ‘He was swinging his hat around. He’s climbing up on the lighting. It’s unbelievable.’
And it was just something we’ve never seen before in country music. People were just rabid and crazy and singing every word. It was an experience. I mean, I got to see it every night, and I still think to myself, ‘I haven’t seen anything like it ever since.’ ●
— Martina McBride on Garth Brooks.
Every song on that album [Born to Boogie] is awesome. I can’t say enough good things about Hank Jr. and his influence on all of us in country music… He’s that guy that came in with all the great songs, great lyrics that were really relevant to the times. ●
— Dierks Bentley.
Ronnie Milsap, blues vocalist Mac Wiseman and the late Hank Cochran are the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame… ●
— Blues vocalist Mac Wiseman? Step up your video caption game, USA Today.
I do write a lot of things. Usually my albums are filled up with about half songs that I’ve written by myself, and that’s kind of a rare art these days in Nashville. But a lot of my big heroes of the past were people who sat down and wrote alone a lot. […] That’s one of the reasons that I got turned off of co-writing in the first place, years ago, is because sometimes I would go and get with successful writers that were having hits and radio play, and sometimes I’d feel like I’d go in there and I’d wasted an idea with one or two of these guys, just because they were purposely trying to take it into that middle-of-the-road radio kind of thing. That’s never been the kind of music that really moved me from any kind of an artistic standpoint. It just seems to be watered down and homogenized. And that’s all well and good for what it is. Obviously that stuff sells really well, but it’s not really what trips my trigger. ●
— Ray Scott on co-writing.
There’s a bunch of people that are part of a factory in what’s being pumped out there and there’s people that are the real deal musicians and lifers that create music with integrity and continue through the roots and soul of the city. There’s a super-soulful, incredibly deep music side and there’s a little bit of a cheesy, touristy side where somebody finds out what’s working or resonating and there’s a thousand songwriters trying to write songs like that. ●
— Zac Brown on Nashville.
There’s always been this cloud of commercialism: labels saying here’s what we need, shoving songs at me by people who were having a lot of success at the time. Now I’m really having a good time thinking about nothing but the music. ●
— Lee Ann Womack.
To me, country songs are simple. They’re truthful songs about life — written by country people. ●
— Sam Hunt, correctly noting that all country songs are written by country people. Makes sense.
The rest of the record is classic FGL, dropping the word “girl” 42 times. The second most-used word is “good” — a cool 25 times.
“What does “Good Good” [even] mean?” asked Hubbard, referencing one of the song’s party tracks. “It’s just all over the album, it’s fun, it’s words that nobody’s ever said before.” ●
— Tyler Hubbard, correctly noting that nobody has ever said “good” or “good good” or “girl” before.
Since the beginning of country, they were debating on Kenny Rogers being too pop and then Rascal Flatts, too, but now you listen to Rascal Flatts and they sound like traditional country. In order for us as country artists to not be replicating the past and sound like we’re just piggy backing, we have to constantly push ourselves. And so the genre, just naturally, will always evolve. ●
— Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley, correctly noting that even way back at the beginning of country music there was Kenny Rogers. As long as country music began right around 1976.