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I call it the ‘Luke Bryan.’ I’m trying to emulate what he’s doing out there because it’s workin’. ●
— Justin Moore on incorporating more dance into his live performances.
Quincy Jones posted on Facebook that “Spotify is not the enemy; piracy is the enemy”. You know why? Two numbers: Zero and Two Billion. Piracy doesn’t pay artists a penny – nothing, zilch, zero. Spotify has paid more than two billion dollars to labels, publishers and collecting societies for distribution to songwriters and recording artists. A billion dollars from the time we started Spotify in 2008 to last year and another billion dollars since then. And that’s two billion dollars’ worth of listening that would have happened with zero or little compensation to artists and songwriters through piracy or practically equivalent services if there was no Spotify – we’re working day and night to recover money for artists and the music business that piracy was stealing away. ●
— Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, in a response to recent criticism of (and defection from) the service.
Over the last several years, it seems like anytime anybody sings about a woman, she’s in cutoff jeans, drinking and on a tailgate — they objectify the hell out of them. Twenty years ago, I might have written a song like that — I probably did. But I’m at a point where I want to say something different about women. ●
— Kenny Chesney to Billboard.
The car-sharing driver (Bluetooth equipped car, with a smart phone, of course) who picked me up the other day was listening to a local radio station. It was almost as if he was smoking a pipe or driving a buggy. With so many podcasts, free downloads and Spotify stations to listen to, why? With traffic, weather and talking maps in your pocket, why wait for the announcer to get around to telling you what you need to know? ●
— Seth Godin on “An end of radio.”
We’ve almost finished. We have a few more days, a couple of vocals we didn’t get, some harmonies. I think we’ll cut another song and do a few instrumental overdubs. There’s no stopping us now. ●
— Emmylou Harris on her and Rodney Crowell’s follow-up to last year’s Old Yellow Moon.
By now, Brooks’s big-tent idealism—cheesy and vague, to be sure, but sincerely and exuberantly expressed—feels like a relic of the early nineties, of a time when Michael Jackson sang “Black or White,” and it felt as though real progress might be just a catchy pop song away. Yet here is Brooks, in late 2014, on “People Loving People,” the first single from the new album, turning back the clock to what seems like a pre-modern age before irony, singing, “People loving people, that’s the enemy of everything that’s evil.” Country music’s liberal conscience has returned to the stage. ●
— From a New Yorker feature on Garth Brooks as “Country Music’s Square, Liberal Dad.”
Everything is starting to sound the same, because we’re in an era of individual acts. The music doesn’t have any soul. I want to hear more bands in country music. ●
— Alabama’s Randy Owen.
Dolly’s definitely an influence for me in keeping a sense of humor about very real things — that it’s OK to be a solid artist and go for that but keep a light heart about it, too. She’s always done that.
She’s the most creative, funny girl in the world. I love her confidence, I love her beauty. I love her making a lot out of how she came from nothing. She should have some honorary presidential monument to her because she’s just done it authentically, and I love that. ●
— Deana Carter on Dolly Parton.
I see a lot of celebrities build up these emotional walls around themselves, where they let no one in, and that’s what makes them feel very lonely at the top. I just keep writing songs. And I kind of stay open to feeling humiliated and rejected, because before being a quote-unquote celebrity, I’m a songwriter. Being a celebrity means you lock your doors and close your windows and don’t let people in. Being a songwriter means you’re very attuned to your own intuition and your own feelings even if they hurt.
So I approach it much more from a songwriter’s perspective. But I do know how to pull myself out now, from that constant, never-ending, bottomless rabbithole of self-doubt and fear. I’ve been able to write songs and feel better. They clarify and simplify the emotions that you’re feeling. Nothing you do is going to make the pain stop. It just helps to have it clarified and simplified. ●
— Taylor Swift to TIME. She’s the cover story of their current issue.
We need to get this music out. Garth [Brooks] did it finally. He did what I tried to do, but I just had the wrong group of people around me. He did it the right way. But that’s all a bridge over untroubled water. It depends on what part of the river you’re on, what bridge you’re on. I’ve burned a few and I’ve built a few. Someone told me one time that I’m part of the old that can hang with the new [artists]. You just might be the bridge between the two: Tanya “The Bridge” Tucker [Laughs]. ●
— Tanya Tucker seems a little kooky, you guys.
One experiment I was talked into had me recording one song the record company found for me. It was a nice song, but didn’t achieve any commercial success. Aside from that and the covers, I’ve written everything I’ve released and I’ve paid a price for that. The record companies are not interested in someone like me, for the very reason that I won’t let them choose the songs I record. ●
— Clint Black, apparently referring to 2007 single “The Strong One.” Back in 2007, he framed the outside cut in these terms: “Living in Nashville the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to become more immersed in the local songwriting community, which has been great for me personally and creatively.”
Pat Green and them got us pretty good. We were covering a version of “Free Fallin'” for a little bit, and Pat and them created a fake attorney’s office from L.A. When they were in L.A. they printed this letter and postmarked it from Hollywood. It was basically this fake letter from a law firm representing Tom Petty saying that they found out we were playing “Free Fallin'” and Tom had watched a YouTube version of our song and didn’t approve of the way we were playing it, and he would like us to cease and desist. ●
— Josh Abbott on road pranks. Incidentally, anyone who doesn’t dig deeper than “Free Fallin'” for a cover song should probably be sued for real.
Well, I listen to a lot of country music because my wife loves it. It’s permeating the house and there’s some really good songwriting in country. They really work hard at songwriting. […] It’s so quick to record down in Nashville. It reminds me of Muscle Shoals back in the Seventies. They plug in and sound like a record. I was able to fly down there in 90 minutes, cut two songs and then fly home the same day. ●
— Bob Seger on Nashville songwriting and musicianship.
The best songs can be sung with just a piano but can completely rock somebody. If a song has great depth, great melody and a great hook, you don’t need all that production. If you can blow people’s minds with an acoustic song, that’s when you know you have something special. ●
— Rascal Flatts’ Joe Don Rooney.
Some people even consider me country. I don’t know why but they do. Country music has changed so much that it’s like soft rock now. I think it’s more not so much of a genre as it is a group of people. I don’t know how to explain it. I would love to be part of that club if they’ll have me. ●
— Melissa Etheridge.
We like doing those things [like drinking beer on tailgates], but rapping about that isn’t country. ●
— The Wild Feathers’ Joel King to USA Today.
I think that people are beginning to crave depth again. At the end of the day, people love to party, but they also like to feel a little bit of movement down deep in their souls sometimes, too. ●
— Thomas Rhett.