Quotable Country – 11/17/13 Edition

Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source.

If ‘Wagon Wheel’ doesn’t get nominated for a GRAMMY, country music is screwed. It’s as simple as that. I’m not saying I should win it, but it should be nominated.
– – Darius Rucker.

I hear a lot of disgruntlement going on with what’s going on in country music in today’s world. There’s a box. And there’s some cowboys out there kicking the sides down on it right now. And stretching the boundaries. And pushing the limits. And putting new twists and turns on it. And they go out there and they play every night to these thousands and thousands of people. And they sing their songs to their generation. And that’s what it’s all about.
– – Dean Dillon, who was quoted last week saying “we’ve been led down this wrong road for the last two or three years of music and it has hurt us,” stikes a more conciliatory tone while being honored at the BMI Country Awards.

I think that if after a couple of weeks, you wake up singing it and you don’t get tired of it, you might have a hit on your hands. There’s almost like an aura. And you long for that. But if we all had it on every song, we’d all be Dean Dillon.
– – Dustin Lynch on how to know if you’ve written a hit.

I like the dark songs. To me, I always feel like no one cares if I’m happy. Why would you want to write about that? I never want to hear it if you’re happy.
– – Gary Allan puts it bluntly.

I wish people would stop buying that stuff, and I wish they’d just stop printing that stuff. Happy is good. I don’t know why happy can’t be a story.
– – Faith Hill on tabloids.

I have experience with dark things in my life, but now I’m at a point where I’ve beaten a lot of my demons. I don’t think I’m a dark and brooding person. I can certainly understand through the dark moments in my life how to relate to people who are going through those things, and that’s what makes me want to go back there and revisit those moments.
For me, when I heard songs of darkness and despair it helped me feel like I wasn’t alone in my own feelings. I write these things to show people that they’re not alone.
– – Lindi Ortega.

There’s some times in a show when I’ll go sing right to somebody face to face, and they’ll waste the whole 10 seconds trying to get their phone out of their pocket, and by the time they finally look up, I’m gone. It’s like, ‘Dude, put the phone down and just enjoy what’s going on right now,’ you know?
– – Going to a show? Kip Moore wants you to put down your phone.

I wish my memory weren’t so bad. They tell me its from all the football and boxing and the concussions that I got. A couple of years ago my memory just started going. But I can remember my songs so I can perform, but other than that…
– – Kris Kristofferson.

But you know, I think every artist has to come to a point where it don’t matter what you put out. It don’t matter if you put ‘The Dance’ out, or any old George Strait song. Someone is going to think that it’s awful. You gotta be able to just sit back and kind of laugh it off and know you’re doing exactly what you wanna do and if people don’t like it than it’s not really my place to tell them they have to like it.
– – Thomas Rhett puts criticism in perspective.

I am mandating a two-year — no, make that three-year — ban on writing or recording songs about partying in fields and/or congregating in, on or around pickup trucks. Anyone who enjoys these songs has plenty of them around to hear for the next 36 months. Songwriters who attempt to defy this ban will be forced to sit in a small, enclosed space with Kris Kristofferson and Guy Clark while Kris and Guy recite their lyrics aloud and make groaning noises. Performers who break this rule will be excommunicated from “country” music and made to work in a newly created genre, “Goober Rock.” After three years, everyone can go back to the 2013 norm, but I have a feeling they won’t.
– – Good news! The estimable Peter Cooper has been named (or, uh, has named himself) Commissioner of Country Music and announced his new rules for the betterment of the format. Read the Commissioner’s first dispatch and imagine a better tomorrow.

Around midway through its headlining set at the Best Buy Theater on Thursday night, Florida Georgia Line brought a couple of colleagues on stage — the country rapper Colt Ford and the songwriter Russell Dickerson — for a medley of influential songs.
They started out with one that perhaps only dedicated listeners would appreciate, Lil Troy’s Houston-rap hit “Wanna Be a Baller.” Then it was Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s “Thrift Shop,” a cheap ploy to snare the casual listener. After that, TLC’s “No Scrubs,” 50 Cent’s “In da Club,” Juvenile’s song about derrières with an unprintable name, and Kanye West’s “Gold Digger.” After that, Mr. Ford rewrote Dr. Dre’s “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang” as a country song, and everyone rapped along.
– – Country music in 2013, via the New York Times’ Jon Caramanica.

To see Johnson and his band in 2013 is to take a time machine back to the 1970s heyday of the outlaw country movement, before country tried to pass itself off as arena rock. His sound and style, or lack thereof, harken back to the days when Nelson haunted the Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin. All eight men onstage sported long hair and/or thick beards; they looked and sounded like George Strait’s Ace in the Hole Band crossed with a motorcycle gang, the kind of characters that populate Charlie Daniels’ “Uneasy Rider.”
– – Jamey Johnson has been quiet on the new music front, but he’s still kicking butt and taking names on the road. This is from a review of a recent show at New Orleans’ Civic Theatre.

Early on in her career, Dolly used to get the whole dumb blonde thing attached to her. Then, she would say, ‘Well, I know I’m not dumb, and I know I’m not blonde.’ She always turned things around in her favor, and that was one of her biggest assets. If I make an ass out of myself, I will. I know who I am. I know I’m not dumb. Sometimes, it’s not a bad thing to be underestimated, either. It can give you a head start when they’re not paying you any mind.
– – Kellie Pickler.

It’s an awful cuss word. It’s so bad. And I’m not proud of it at all, because I don’t want people to say, ‘That’s my favorite cuss word, too!’ It’s my go-to word, and it’s awful, because it’s so unladylike. My husband looks at me and goes, ‘Baby? Really? Sailor mouth!’ I’m not proud of that.
– – Things you didn’t know: Kellie Pickler says “f**k” a lot.

I believe in honesty, not necessarily simplicity, things don’t have to be simple, but we are in the arts. I think sometimes people don’t treat the art with respect. They’re more catering to the money side of it, worrying about what’s going to sell, and they’re not thinking about it as art. That’s my only problem, that it is art. So why wouldn’t you treat it like art?
– – Brent Cobb on songwriting. We did five questions with him earlier this year.

I love Taylor. Does she make me think of Loretta Lynn and Kitty Wells? Never. But that’s okay. She has something that’s so compelling, people are drawn to it and you can’t deny that. That’s what makes it great. I don’t think she’d stand there with a straight face and tell you, “I can sing like Mariah Carey.” She doesn’t have to. History is full of people that weren’t knock-your-socks-out-I’m-the-greatest-singer-that-ever-lived. But she connects. And that’s what I like. I love things that connect to people. There are people who can play me under the table, sing me under the table. But there’s nothing about them that’s going to move somebody. That’s the point of anything musical. To have a conversation.
– – Vince Gill on Taylor Swift.

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  1. Sabra says

    I know this is like the nit-pickiest little thing, but what’s the Internet for if not indulging the pedantic side of your nature:

    All eight men onstage sported long hair and/or thick beards; they looked and sounded like George Strait’s Ace in the Hole Band crossed with a motorcycle gang, the kind of characters that populate Charlie Daniels’ “Uneasy Rider.”

    You know how I know that reviewer never listened to “Uneasy Rider” (at least not while sober)? There weren’t a bunch of long-haired biker types in that song; the damn narrator was a long haired hippie type who felt the need to tuck his hair up under his hat before going into the redneck joint. Charlie Daniels was making fun of the sort of uptight short-haired Southerners he eventually turned into. I’d bet the dude who wrote that thinks “Redneck Mother” is a song lauding beating up hippies.

    Secretly, I just typed all of that up so I can pretend Darius Rucker doesn’t exist.

    • the pistolero says

      I would rant about this stuff day and night if it enabled me to pretend Darius Rucker didn’t exist. What a total waste of potential.

  2. Lindsey says

    “I never want to hear it if you’re happy.”

    THANK YOU, GARY. The real test is if he would tell me to smile, like almost everyone else feels the need to.

  3. the pistolero says

    Frankly, that entire Florida-Georgia Line bit was a cheap ploy to gain listeners, if you ask me. I would bring up the old joke about what you get when you mix country and rap, but it’s not as if FGL was even country to begin with.

  4. the pistolero says

    Oh, and I really don’t understand why Dean Dillon couldn’t just leave his previous comments alone to stand for themselves as opposed to striking that, erm, more conciliatory tone, because dammit, his track record pretty much gives him license to say what he pleases about where country music is going. I am aware there is an unhealthy amount of Nashville politics at play here, but if TPTB at organizations like BMI don’t like what he was saying, then frankly that makes them part of the problem. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — if people don’t want to get called out for writing crappy music, then maybe they should stop writing crappy music.

  5. AndyTheDrifter says

    Shame to hear about Kristofferson’s memory problems. Soon there’s going to be no more legends walking among us.

    The FGL setlist is some kind of joke, right? Surely you can’t be serious.

    Disappointing to see Dean Dillon pull a Gary Allan and backtrack somewhat after criticizing country radio. I guess you can’t bite the hand that feeds you.

    I kind of have to agree with Vince Gill on Taylor Swift. I’m not a fan of Swift’s music by any means, but her music does have some depth and intelligence to it, which is more than you can say for some artists.

    Totally agree with Gary Allan’s take on dark songs. Someday I want an album full of “No Judgment Day” and “A Showman’s Life”-type songs. In other words, a sequel to Tough All Over.

    Peter Cooper can crown himself Commissioner of Country Music any day in my book.

  6. Chris says


    – Darius, shut the hell up and get out of our genre…

    – I, too, am disappointed that Dean Dillon backpedaled on his very accurate, fair, and correct statement

    – I’m fine with Gary Allan doing all the dark, sad stuff he wants…but at least make it sound country…

    – I kinda like this Peter Cooper guy…

    – If I could dropkick each member of Florida-Georgia Line in the junk, I would…repeatedly…STOP POLLUTING OUR GENRE!!!!

    – I know Vince Gill…I love the man…he’s the sweetest, gentlest person you’ll ever meet…which I think is precisely why he said what he did about Taylor Swift, because frankly, aside from the fact that she’s a fellow human being, there’s not much else about her to love…

  7. CountryMusicSucks says

    I agree with Rucker, actually. I think we need more Rucker type stuff on the radio and a lot less Redneck Pride songs on the radio (and that goes for Miranda Lambert’s female version of the schtick as well as the male versions of it).

    Its gotten to the point where you can’t admit to listening to country music in public anymore. Rucker’s song was one of the few halfway decent things on the FM country radio this year.

    • the pistolero says

      I agree with Rucker, actually. I think we need more Rucker type stuff on the radio and a lot less Redneck Pride songs on the radio

      Really? To go back to one of my oft-used observations, that’s really just two different kinds of bad — unless you’re talking about what Darius Rucker said he wanted to do before the Nashville music machine got its tentacles in him.

      • Sabra says

        Unless Darius Rucker hired MC Hammer to be his financial planner, he ought to have enough money from the Hootie days to do whatever the heck he wants to now. But I’ve listened to a couple of his albums on Spotify and even the filler is generic pap. He’s not even up to Dierks Bentley’s level.

        • the pistolero says

          And that’s really bad, because from what I can tell, ole Dierks lost the plot when his third album hit back in 2006. Shame, too, because his first two were quite good.

          • AndyTheDrifter says

            His fifth album, 2010’s bluegrass-flavored “Up on the Ridge,” was excellent and one of the most acclaimed albums of its year. Of course, radio didn’t touch it, which means he was back to recording rather bland commercial material with his next album.


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