Quotable Country – 11/14/10 Edition

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I think country music is very elastic. I think it’s interesting that people have asked certain questions about that elasticity. For example, ‘Do you think you can push too far?’ And I say, ‘Why do you ask this of country music? Is country music supposed to be less tolerant? Is it supposed to be less innovative?’ I don’t think so. I’ve used this example before, but when the Rolling Stones brought in gospel singers as their backup singers, did people suddenly look at them and ask, ‘Oh, have you gone too far? Are you about to make a gospel record?’ … I think country music is elastic, and it’s definitely showing that it’s young and fresh and hip and new and not stodgy, if you will.
– – Jennifer Nettles on making country hip by making it, err, less like country music. Because country that doesn’t recognize much of itself in rehashed ’80s pop is intolerant and stodgy.

On the first listen of this song, I would have to question his flat statement that what he’s addressing is that “this is country music” when it begins to directly affect individual rights. Everyone’s definition of country music is different. Excessive flag-waving and name-checking Johnny Cash also beg the question of excess. And rhyming “cancer” with “answer” is a bit of a reach. In my humble opinion.
– – Chet Flippo isn’t too high on Brad Paisley’s “This Is Country Music.”

The demand for Garth was so overwhelming that it caught us by surprise. We could fill a theater many times the size of this, twice a night. The contact with Garth Brooks in the Encore Theater is the equivalent of being in his living room. When the greatest live performer of our time appears in such an intimate theater, the seats should be priced at least competitively with other great Las Vegas entertainers. In terms of value, I believe that Garth Brooks is still under-priced and represents the greatest entertainment value in modern Las Vegas. (from email)
– – Steve Wynn on nearly doubling the ticket price for Garth’s Vegas shows to $250. Hmm, a couple hours with Garth or a month of groceries? Reckon I won’t be seeing Garth anytime soon.

“My life is in my songs,” she notes. “A lot of people say, ‘Hey, how do you write a song?’ How do you live? I mean, just sit down, and just start writin’ like you’re talkin’. That’s the way I always did it.”
Well, that’s mostly the way she did it.
“Maybe I had to change a few things,” she allows, “to not get so dirty.”
– – I really do love Loretta Lynn.

I love Miranda. I love what she does. I’ve known her a long time. She’s like a female version of me. I’m the male version of her. We have a lot of musical interests in common. She’s somebody that believes in making records first and letting everything else revolve around that. Whereas a lot of people worry about a song, a video or an image. It’s all about music for her; the same thing for me. It’s been fun to get that kind of crowd in the room; a commonality. It’s been fun. We’ve sold out a bunch of them. I hate it’s going to end.
– – Eric Church on tourmate – and, apparently, now that she’s a big deal, kindred spirit – Miranda Lambert.

I’d rather be rich than have a trophy.
– – Jay DeMarcus on Rascal Flatts’ lack of awards show recognition.

I think he’s a pretty good little singer, and that hair — he ought to have his own line of shampoos.
– – Be honest. You wanted to know what Loretta Lynn would say about Justin Bieber, right?

Well, I think [country is] in the ear of the beholder. A lot of listeners probably couldn’t put up with listening to the records I listen to, that I consider country music. Also, there are a couple kinds of country music that have come back up. I think that most everybody around this town thought the kind of music that Ghost Train represents was dead and gone except for some pioneer acts at the Opry. So I stood up and said, “I beg to differ!” I helped create the way country music sounds on the radio these days and I’m also encouraged to go back and help create it another way now.
– – Marty Stuart on getting back to traditional country music.

But the one I went away remembering and thinking about was the shy girl sitting on the far right end, peering out from under a mass of chestnut-brown ringlets, dark eyes glowing with some strange sort of inner light. The vibe was, well, odd. This kid, I remember thinking, was already a performer. I also remember thinking how irrational that impression was. High school junior, a little big-boned and awkward, in a remote little burg in Nowhere, Tennessee… but with that… thing, that magnetism, presence, IT – whatever you want to call it – that you get when you meet someone like Barbara Streisand, Bono, Harrison Ford, maybe. Earlier, Ginger had surprised me at lunch, saying, “Don’t worry if you get a bit of… uh, flirting from the girls. Whenever I bring a guy from the playhouse here, they do that.” I was pushing 39, at that point, so the looks I was getting were a tad disconcerting, especially from children whose fathers were probably a good bit younger than me. But the girl on the end… she wasn’t flirting. She was absorbing. Clearly, everything I said and did, everything Ginger had to offer, this child was sucking up like a little ShopVac with no ‘Off” switch.
That, folks, was my first encounter with Mandy Barnett.
– – Stage actor Steven J. Patrick recalls his first encounter with Mandy Barnett, who he calls “the most romantic voice in American music.” She was a high school drama student at the time.

I’m not exactly sure where we’re at. But we’re having fun, and we’re glad to be here.
– – Stage banter from Merle Haggard.

I didn’t want to be that guy that’s (like), ‘I’m gonna make a country record.’ I didn’t want to be that cat. But I love it. Everybody’s been above and beyond with me.
– – Uncle Kracker continued, “So, anyway, I’m gonna make a country record.”

I have hundreds and hundreds of songs and we go through those. Our friends who are great songwriters have hundreds of songs and we go through them as well. In the end, I always give my opinion but it’s Joey’s choice. My songwriting career is my choice, but this is Joey’s career.
The album we make is the album she wants to make. I want to default all of those decisions to her. She makes the final decision on all of it. I want this to be her career.
– – Rory explains that a Joey + Rory album is actually a Joey album.

That’s the great thing about them. They don’t cut bad songs.
– – Scott Borchetta on Rascal Flatts.

I still enjoy performing and putting all the songs together in an order that makes sense for me – and for whatever reason, whether they’re just more sympathetic to old people or what, the crowds are great.
– – Kris Kristofferson is reaping the benefits of being an old guy.

Here’s a little “Stand By Your Man” for your enjoyment.

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  1. Karen says

    That’s the great thing about them. They don’t cut bad songs. ●
    – – Scott Borchetta on Rascal Flatts.

    He’s absolutely right – they don’t cut bad songs – they leave them all on the cds.

    • says


      I’ve just accepted that Rascal Flatts are going to eventually take their smug place in country music history and there’s nothing we can do about it except ignore them where possible. It’s just amazing how oblivious their circle seems to the faction of country music fans and insiders who find their music deeply mediocre. It’s like all they understand are arenas and dollar signs.

  2. bll says

    Steve Wynn’s greed is going to bite him in the butt big time, especially when he sends out pre-sale codes to the rodeo crowd 24 hours before sending a different code to the people signed up for Garth alerts. Gee, wonder why the tickets haven’t sold out Mr Wynn? I know I can wait until Garth tours again, and frankly I hope he walks away from the deal leaving the theater empty.

  3. ChurchsChicken says

    Eric Church isn’t quite like John RIch with talent – Church just hasn’t quite reached the levels of douchebaggery that Rich has reached. But give Eric time, he just might make it.

    I do agree with Jay DeMarcus, though. I’d rather be rich than win CMA or ACM awards, too. Ideally, I’d like both if I was a country singer. But if forced to chose, I’d rather have lots of fans willing to pay money for my music than an industry award. No question about it.

  4. says

    Miranda Lambert is the female version of Eric Church? Odd. I have yet to hear Lambert talking about how it’s “hip to wear our shirts to class” or, in more general terms, how much of a badass she is.

    And wow. Just when I thought Jennifer Nettles couldn’t be any more self-centered vis-a-vis Sugarland, she one-ups herself.

  5. says

    …………Oh wait, Scott Borchetta was serious?

    This post contains the greatest Quotable Country quotation ever, and I should’ve known it would come from Loretta Lynn.

  6. Rick says

    Thanks for the Mandy Barnett clip. She has one of the best female voices in Nashville and when she sings covers of classic songs straight she’s tough to beat. Unfortunately she often tries to personalize such songs these days and falls so far behind the beat in her lyric delivery that her backing bands get confused. Mandy was still a teenager when she starred in the Nashville production of “Always Patsy Cline” in the early-mid 1990’s and pictures taken at the time show her to be pudgy and with complexion issues. (Mandy needed Pro-Activ!). She looks a whole lot better these days than back then! The original cast live soundtrack from those shows (on the Decca label) is well worth purchasing although some of the best songs are chopped into two separate halves by story telling from the “Louise” character. Mandy’s self titled debut album circa 1996 remains one of my favorite country alums of that decade bar none.

    Wow C.M., $ 250 is a month of groceries? You must not shop at “Whole Foods” like I do… The typical concerts I attend usually have ticket prices of $ 15 – $ 25 dollars. I’d much rather see ten such shows than a single Garth in Vegas gig, and especially since I don’t give a sh*t about most of his music.

    Marty Stuart takes himself way too seriously! Its going to take a lot more than Marty to revitalize market interest in traditional country music. Now if he and Connie were to found “The Traditional Country Music Association”, he might actually be able to make a lasting impression and get the ball rolling.

    After his diagnosis of lung cancer, The Hag is just glad to be anywhere these days that’s not six feet under.

  7. says

    As a stones fan it is insulting to have Jennifer Neetles
    compare themselves to them. They are NOWHERE close in musical quality or popularity.
    And hopefully longevity lol.

    She thinks she is something else

  8. K says

    “I’ve just accepted that Rascal Flatts are going to eventually take their smug place in country music history and there’s nothing we can do about it except ignore them where possible. It’s just amazing how oblivious their circle seems to the faction of country music fans and insiders who find their music deeply mediocre. It’s like all they understand are arenas and dollar signs”

    Deeply medicore to some, but great to lots of others. They’ve been in the business for 10 years; obviously their music means a lot to millions of people.

    I know all artists have a little bit of an ego, and I won’t agree that these guys do. But they are extermely generous and humble and do a lot more for charity than most artists do in an entire career. Don’t like the music? Fine. But to call them self-centered and arrogant without bothering to watch them in action to make up your own mind? That’s just lazy.

    These guys put their hearts and souls into what they do, and their TRUE fans are able to see that.

    • says

      I’m more than happy to acknowledge that they’ve done wonderful things for charitable causes, like the Vandy Children’s Hospital. Believe me: I really, really applaud that. I think it’s a waste of fame to NOT try to make a difference.

      But it doesn’t mean they don’t come across as smug and presumptuous when the topic of discussion is their own industry recognition. Smug, presumptuous people can be compassionate, too; I don’t believe people are 100% noble or 100% not.

  9. says

    I saw Garth in the late 90’s in Dallas for $25. I’d have paid $100 — he put on an amazing show.

    But as Rick says, there’s a limit. Wouldn’t it be better to see 10 club shows for the same money?


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