Quotable Country – 11/24/13 Edition

Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source.

Montgomery Gentry stomped on stage to rattle the rafters with “The Race Is On.” “It’s a party, baby,” Montgomery yelled, predictably twirling his mic stand to make the point.
– – Finally, something to make me feel a little better about having missed the George Jones farewell concert at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Friday night.

I begged him to come off that road, and he would not. He lowered all the keys and tried, really, really hard. I would say, ‘Just stop it,’ and he said, ‘In my mind, I think of all those old mamas that saved their money for me, and I was a no-show.’ In the last year, the fans never complained. They knew he was weak, and they knew he was leaving. He just wanted to prove he loved them. He’d say, ‘Even if I can’t sing that good anymore, I’ve got to make up for what I did.’
– – Nancy Jones on what kept George on the road right up to the end.

You ever go to one of those ‘mainstream’ shows? They bring joy to a lot of people with song. If there’s a wrong way to do that, then god help us all.
– – Nice guy he is, Todd Snider refuses to deny anyone pleasure.

At the same time, there’s a mistake that I see artists make when they’re on their fourth or fifth record, and they think innovation is more important than solid songwriting. The most terrible letdown as a listener for me is when I’m listening to a song and I see what they were trying to do. Like, where there’s a dance break that doesn’t make any sense, there’s a rap that shouldn’t be there, there’s like a beat change that’s, like, the coolest, hippest thing this six months—but it has nothing to do with the feeling, it has nothing to do with the emotion, it has nothing to do with the lyric. I never want to put things in songs just because that might make them popular, like, on the more rhythmic stations or in dance clubs. I really don’t want a compilation of sounds. I just need them to be songs.
– – Taylor Swift in a fine New York Magazine feature by Jody Rosen.

5. “He didn’t play any songs!” While an obvious exaggeration, yes, there were nights it seemed he took the stage only to rant and complain about never having received his just rewards from critics, etc. I probably found this more annoying than anyone else because as it happened I was standing on stage, in front of everyone, doing nothing, like an asshole, with a heavy Gibson SG hanging from my neck.
– – From Tyler Mahan Coe’s list of 10 most-heard complaints from years spent backing father David Allan, before they had some kind of falling out.

If country radio is center, this record is definitely far left of center, in a lot of ways. But it’s surprising to me how it is being embraced. It doesn’t necessarily fit, but I think a lot of people want it to fit.
– – Brandy Clark summarizes the response to her record.

I mean, we’ve all written them. Sometimes you just want to write a party song. [Other people’s] just seem to get cut more. I think they, at times, can even get frustrated with it. They have stacks of songs that could compare to the greatest. Those don’t always get the attention. We’re trying to make a living and some days it’s just fun to write those songs. Why do those always get cut? Who knows? That’s not been my story. I mean, I’ve had a few party songs get cut, but maybe it just doesn’t read as authentic on me.
– – Shane McAnally, echoing Clark’s claim of a few weeks ago that “the guys who are getting slammed for writing [‘That’s My Kind of Night’], they probably have a ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ somewhere in their catalog that no one will cut.” These two are so nice that they won’t even rag on Dallas Davidson.

The mainstream country chart, I don’t even know what that is. Some of it sounds country with steel guitars and banjo, but they mostly sound like they’re taking a sample of it rather than having a real banjo. So much of it has to do with who is running the record companies in Nashville. They really aren’t country music fans at all, they are just fans of money.
– – Alabama’s Randy Owen.

I think a whole lot of mainstream music became very generic and homogenized over the last few years. I think with the advent of satellite radio and the Internet, and all the resources that allow us to hear what we want whenever we want to hear it, folks have sought quality over quantity on their own. They want to hear something that connects to them, with a little bit of edge to it. Johnny Cash is more popular today than he was twenty years before he passed away.
– – Joe Mullins on the influx of new bluegrass and roots music fans.

BRENNEN: “Everything.”
NOEL: “Tailgating.”
– – Brennen Leigh and Noel McKay being awesome, Exhibit Q. Before the World Was Made. Do it.

I’m also a pretty quiet person, so that gets misinterpreted a lot as either arrogance or not being interested. By nature, I’m definitely an introvert. I like to take things in more than put out. […] I used to think it was a real negative. It was something that worked against me, and I was always working to fix it by becoming more outgoing, more extroverted. And I’ve since learned that it’s not that way at all. It’s pretty natural for writers to be like that, and there’s nothing you can really do about it, you know? If you try to fake it, it just comes across that way and then it becomes even more uncomfortable. So I just decided to go with it, but it does get misinterpreted.
– – Jason Eady.

My rule is that you typically end up where you start. So if you start with a great idea, you’ll end up with a great song. And that’s what new writers don’t do enough. They’ll just have an average idea, and they’ll write an average song. But a great song on an average idea doesn’t help anything.
– – Hit songwriter Brett James.

Authorities aren’t sure how Michael Callan flew undetected over an international border, why he turned his transponder off and what caused him to circle the Nashville airport for as long as 2½ hours before attempting to land — also apparently without coming to the attention of airport authorities. […] But none of the mysteries surrounding the incident compares to this one: Callan, the 45-year-old Canadian who died in the late-night crash, listed singer Taylor Swift as his next of kin.
– – A curious news story out of Nashville.

Reba McEntire ‘Thrilled’ That Kelly Clarkson’s Pregnant
– – Oh, Taste of Country. Things that we’d naturally assume to be true without you telling us so are not news. Now, if Reba were ENGRAGED that Kelly Clarkson is pregnant, that would be more interesting. But still not any of our business.

No. I think, you know what, god bless her heart. I think she’s great. But, I don’t know, to me, she didn’t fit. I don’t know if I should say that. I think what you find is that for a lot of us, we’ve been working for 14, 15 years; what it takes to make it here comes from experience and confidence and knowing how to be confident with yourself. I think it comes with age. It’s definitely the benchmark of all jobs.
– – Victoria’s Secret model Jessica Hart, inexplicably taking very seriously a reporter’s question of whether Taylor Swift (who performed at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in Manhattan) could make it as one of the company’s models.

What Taylor does on stage is nothing compared to what we do. I could never get up there and do what she does! She is a true rock star and she absolutely killed it the other night. […] I can’t imagine why I would have said anything bad about her.
– – After feeling the wrath of Taylor Swift fans, Hart attempts to backpedal… by, uh, accidentally insulting Swift AGAIN through her poor command of language. See, this sort of dimwittedness is why I don’t even bother dating Victoria’s Secret models anymore.

I admired the fact [Shania] went against convention and was determined to be herself. It was something I wanted to emulate.
With every boyfriend I’ve had, there came a point where there were three people in the relationship. I suppose men want to feel as if they’re at the centre of my attention, but I’ve never been able to give them that because I’m too creative and driven.
I don’t want to compromise being myself.
– – From a Daily Mail article on an English woman so inspired by Shania’s determination to be herself that she, too, decided to be Shania’s self… and has now “sacrificed relationships, thousands of pounds, hundreds of hours and even her first name in a bid to emulate her ‘inspirational’ idol.” It’s possible she might have misinterpreted Shania’s message of empowerment.

But it’s nice when you can stretch out and go ‘I’m going to try this today, and maybe it’ll suck. And if it sucks, we won’t put it out. But you know what? Maybe it’ll be great. And if it’s great, maybe somebody else will enjoy it. Or maybe they won’t. But I enjoyed doing it. Done!’ That’s a nice way to go about things. When you can.
– – Norah Jones, who releases an Everly Brothers tribute album with Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong this week. I could have randomly grouped unrelated things forever and never come up with that particular combination, but it sounds pretty good.

I still haven’t sang with Dolly yet. I probably should get on that.
– – Exactly right, Ashley Monroe.

Some people put a negative connotation with the word ‘party’, you know what I mean? It doesn’t necessarily have to be that. So for us it’s a celebration of life, and it’s a good time, and everybody in the room has a smile from ear to ear and is having a blast. That’s what it’s all about to us, which makes our job amazing and super fun.
– – Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard isn’t sure why people don’t like his duo’s music, but thinks maybe explaining what a party is will help. Pretty sure that’s not the problem, buddy.

The music means so much. It’s not like shit that you can’t understand. If you listen to lyrics, it’s not twangy and stuff about losing your girl or whatever like it used to be. It’s all different.
– – 55-year-old Florida Georgia Line fan in New York. Would not be surprised to learn that she used to be a Victoria’s Secret model.

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  1. says

    I was so hoping that quote about songs being songs would end up coming from Miranda Lambert. I never would’ve guessed Taylor Swift, although she does adhere to what she’s saying. If only Scott Borchetta would listen and allow her to just be herself. Taylor has a good head on her shoulders.

    Oh and Randy Owen? Truer words never spoken. Nashville the TV show is closer to reality then most of us want to believe.

  2. the pistolero says

    I cried when I read Peter Cooper’s George Jones feature. I’ll own it. As I said elsewhere:

    “There are people who would probably say that George Jones was just a singer, and that what he did was just music, but it wasn’t. It was more than that, so very much more. And, well…you know, I could try to explain why it was more, and why that left the impression on me that it did, but I just can’t. You either get it or you don’t.”

    Try as I may to believe it, I don’t think Dallas Davidson has a “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (or “Mama Tried” or “A Good Year For the Roses”) in him. If he did, you wouldn’t see him defending his vapid frat-boy bullshit so vehemently. The man is the very definition of “one-dimensional,” and he wears it like a badge of honor.

    The same could and should be said also for Florida-Georgia Line. “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes,” indeed.

  3. AndyTheDrifter says

    The Montgomery Gentry snark almost made me choke on my dinner. Thanks a lot, CM!

    I was very moved when I read Peter Cooper’s piece on George Jones the other day. Seems like he was genuinely remorseful of parts of his past and was really trying to do right by his fans until the day he died. May he rest in peace.

    Randy Owen’s and Joel Mullins’ comments are quite astute.

    The whole Taylor Swift/Victoria’s Secret thing is just bizarre and highly amusing.

    The FGL’s fan characterization of traditional country weakens my faith in humanity. Sounds like something a 15 year old would say, not a 55 year old…

  4. Chris says


    – Truly convinced that twirling the mic stand is the only inkling of talent those two MG bozos have between them

    – To George Jones trying to atone for his no-shows and shortcomings, I say…I love you sir…thank you so much

    – Taylor…please explain the drum loops and sampled banjos in your songs, then…

    – I like to agree with Brett James although I have no idea what he’s written…should I?

    – Randy Owen put the current status quo mildly

    – I might’ve said this already but it bears repeating…could Florida-Georgia Line PLEASE just disappear? Please?


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