Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source.
This town’s a little high school — which I love. ●
– – Hit songwriter Ashley Gorley does his best to dissuade me from visiting Nashville.
Everybody thinks they’re a singer. And then someone like Chris Stapleton opens his mouth and you hear the raw emotion, the rich honey, but then comes the bark with the bite.
When Stapleton sings…”sometimes I CRY”…it’s like one of those moments on “Britain’s Got Talent,” where an unknown becomes an instant star. Imagine if Susan Boyle was a hit songwriter!
That’s how powerful this presentation is. ●
– – Chris Stapleton’s “Sometimes I Cry” caught the ear of music biz gadfly Bob Lefsetz. In a separate post, he waxed poetic about the Stapleton-penned Luke Bryan single “Drink a Beer.”
The guy walks into a room, and you’re like, ‘That’s what a superstar looks like.’ ●
– – Jason Aldean on Tim McGraw. Alternately, you’re like, “What happened to Tim McGraw?”
I don’t agree with the way they treat their animals. It wasn’t that hard a deal for me. ●
– – Willie Nelson, explaining why he backed out of a SeaWorld appearance. Semi-puzzling that he allowed himself to be booked there in the first place. (No points awarded for ‘Free Willie’ jokes.)
He could tell we were discouraged. So one day, he called us up to his hotel room in Las Vegas at the Hilton, and he gave us a little bit of a pep talk. He said, ‘You guys have something very special. I can tell it, and you guys know it. If you guys give up, no one else is ever going to know about it. What you guys have to do is find a way to stick together and keep going. I promise you if you do that, good things are about to happen to you guys.’
We walked into that room with our heads were hanging, and walked out of that room with our heads held high. ●
– – Oak Ridge Boy Richard Sterban recalls a Johnny Cash pep talk.
For a show that was completely live, and for a lead who is not a theater actress— or even an actress at all — I witnessed not one obvious mistake on Carrie’s part. As a bona fide “Sound of Music” junkie, trust that I would have picked up on even so much as a line slip-up. There was no room for error or retakes, but there also wasn’t a need for it. Carrie Underwood nailed it. And that’s something I could never do. Could you?
I will agree that acting isn’t Carrie’s forte. At times (okay, most of the time), her lines felt pretty scripted and her expressions unnatural, but as soon as she opened her mouth to sing, I forgot about the sub-par acting. Her performance was compelling, and despite the other talented stars in the show, my eyes were drawn to her… ●
– – The Frisky’s Katie Oldenburg offers a “Defense Of Carrie Underwood In ‘The Sound Of Music Live!'” For those of you who caught Underwood’s performance, what’d you think?
Q: Is country music something you’ve ever been into? Have people approached you about doing a country album?
A: Yes, I’ve had people approach me about it. But I don’t sing country music very good. I sing soul music. I think it comes from a very similar place, and that’s what I like about real country music — not the stuff about strawberry wine and out by the railroad tracks and the best years of my life or anything like that.
The thing about great soul music or great country music, to me, was the commitment. When the singer sings the song, he’s not kidding. When the guy says, “I’m going to Kansas City, they’ve got some crazy little women there, and I’m gonna get me one,” we believe he’s going to Kansas City, he knows about the crazy little women, and he wants to get him one. Country music does that. When Merle Haggard says it’s 4 a.m. in New York City, 3 a.m. in Dallas and windy all night long in Frisco, he’s IN Frisco, you know? (laughs)
Q: You say you don’t have a traditional country voice, but you could say the same thing about Lionel Richie or Darius Rucker or any of these other pop or rock artists who’ve moved on to do country.
A: Yeah, I don’t like that stuff, though. That’s not country to me. I love Darius Rucker, he’s a great guy, I know him a little bit, we play golf. But that’s … eh. I need Merle, the real old-school stuff. I’m a purist that way. (laughs) Modern country leaves me cold. It all sounds like bad arena rock to me. ●
– – Huey Lewis to the Tampa Bay Times’ Jay Cridlin.
We’re really doubling down on country: in the [Nashville] office, the people, the logo and the art that’s going into the new site. You’re going to realize that this thing is for real. This isn’t something we envision putting up and pulling down if ad dollars dry up. ●
– – RollingStone.com’s Gus Wenner, announcing a million-dollar Rolling Stone Country site set to launch next year. Fingers crossed for it being more CMT Edge than Taste of Country.
From a mainstream recording perspective, traditional country music is dead. If you’re going to be part of the industry, then you have to adapt to the new world, or be born into it. I’ve realized the music I’m going to make in the future is not going to be the music I’ve made in the past, and that’s the way you survive. ●
– – Clay Walker.
So I ended up making a round of phone calls to a few great songwriter friends of mine and ask them “What do you do when you get Stuck?”
The Songwriter Hall of Fame member and recording artist J.D. Souther recently reminded me of what the great poet and teacher William Stafford would tell his students, “When you get stuck, lower your standards.” The ego of perfectionism will cut you off from the very cup you long to drink from. ●
– – Darrell Brown (“Raining on Sunday”), writing for the New York Times blog.
We’re big believers in opportunities and giving people opportunities. We’ve been working with Grainger in a program called Tools for Tomorrow. ●
– – Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley says the duo is heavily involved in creating Tools for Tomorrow, and for once I have no reason to doubt him.