Quotable Country – 12/21/14 Edition

Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source.

I swear to God, Tyler and I started this thing in my Chevy Tahoe with a dream and a prayer of playing country music.
— Brian Kelley, in a Florida Georgia Line acceptance speech at the American Country Countdown Awards. I hope someday they realize their dream of playing country music.

The duo — who even introduced Hank Williams Jr. as “Brocephus” — catch boatloads of flak for its aggressively outsized bro-country antics and for taking the genre’s most maligned tropes to the top of the charts. But some of their critics kind of miss the point: Florida Georgia Line’s artlessness is their art. And, for better or worse, that’s what made Hubbard and Kelley pitch-perfect hosts for this rather experimental, entirely goofy and totally 2014 awards show.
— Rolling Stone Country on Florida Georgia Line’s stint as American Country Countdown Awards co-hosts. Harumph!

Country music is literally my life. My life is not this show. This show will come and it will go, and my life is country music. That’s what I do. That’s all I really care about.
— Blake Shelton on The Voice.

When you’ve been doing this as long as I have, it’s much more difficult to pop out of bed in the morning and manufacture false passion. Promo people sometimes have to do that, but all I want at this stage is to believe the music is excellent. John Grady has never made a bad record – look at Sony and the culture he created over there with Miranda Lambert, Gretchen Wilson, Montgomery Gentry, Jon Randall and Jessi Alexander. He’s got the music part of it down…
— Tom Moran, signing on as VP/Promotion at Grady’s I.R.S./Nashville.

Find the closest buffet there is and eat until you can’t walk. Then put in a dip and play video games.
— Hangover cures from the Party Down South bunch! Happy birthday, Jesus.

Getting to sing with Loretta Lynn at the CMA Awards the same night that “Follow Your Arrow,” which I literally was told to my face would never be a single, got song of the year was absolutely mind-blowing. At this point I don’t have a bucket list anymore. I’m just along for the ride.
— Kacey Musgraves.

Kacey Musgraves Adds 2015 Dates to Same Tour, Different Trailer Tour
— That’s a lot of shows! (Ba-dum-bum.)

Who can even write a song like [“Three Wooden Crosses”]? I can’t even fathom how hard it was to write a song that good and have it end the way it does. You listen to it, and you feel like you just watched a movie. Not everybody can do that. […] I wanna get to cut more of those songs that touch people. Right now, maybe it’s more about tempo or whatever, but those songs that make you feel something? That’s the kind of country I fell in love with.
— Cole Swindell hints at maybe eventually doing something interesting.

I got a message that Frank Liddell wanted me to call him. He was doing a record on Miranda Lambert, and he wanted me to sing on the record. I thought it was a joke. […] So I thought, ‘If this is a joke, I’ll fall for it.’ The next thing you know, we’re talking and he says, ‘I’ll send you the tune. To be honest, it kind of pays homage to Shenandoah.’ I hear the track, which Miranda had already put her vocal on, and for the first time, I thought they were serious.
— Marty Raybon on “Another Sunday in the South” from Lambert’s Platinum.

Elvis would go around the house singing the chorus of ‘Devil in the Bottle,’ because it had gospel overtones in it with the background singers. It freaked me out when I would be at Graceland, and I heard him singing it. Then, one day, I walked into Graceland, and there sat Elvis. As soon as I came in, he said, ‘Bill?’ I said, ‘Yes, sir?’ He said I could have told him that I was T.G. Sheppard. I told him, ‘I couldn’t tell you because I was afraid I would lose my job with RCA.’ His comeback was ‘Well, you fool. Don’t you know I am RCA.’
— Bill Browder (to Billboard) on his double life recording as T.G. Sheppard for Melodyland Records while still working as a record promoter for RCA under his given name.

Too bad we didn’t think to have the North Koreans negotiate our Sony contract. Hindsight is always 20/20. Crap!
— Natalie Maines on Twitter.

I would say, as a girl, I kind of need to fight for it a little harder sometimes. To gain that credibility and to really get looked at on the same level so people won’t say, ‘Oh, she plays great guitar for a girl.’ They’ll say ‘She’s a great guitar player.’ Because there’s a difference — huge difference.
— Country artist (also, reportedly, great guitar player) Lindsay Ell.

I don’t want the responsibility of raising a human being.
— Kellie Pickler is in no hurry to procreate.

We were a little worried though, about that one line: “It’s a quarter after one, and I’m a little drunk” … We were wondering if it was OK to say that!
— Charles Kelley on the edginess of “Need You Now.”

“It was at least 80 percent guys, and almost all of them had that flannel lumbersexual look,” she explained. “I swear the guy I was standing near, who I overheard say he was from Beaumont, hadn’t had a bath in a week. I almost gagged several times and finally I just left before it was over.
“If that’s his audience, I don’t think most women are going to dig that,” she added.
— Via Houston Press, a female fan’s report on a Sturgill Simpson show.

It’s an electronically fortified, pitch-corrected pastiche of everything suburban whites have listened to since roughly 1987, from Bon Jovi to Matchbox 20 to pop-rap.
The lyrics about beer, tailgates and, well, tail, could almost literally be cobbled together in a game of Mad Libs.
— Quality definition of ‘bro country’ from Washington Post review of a Chase Rice show.

Rice, it must be said in his defense, has a direct hand in the composition of his material. The guy obviously can craft a tune, a talent that, in truth, is not evenly distributed among musclebound frat brothers. “I Like Drinking, Cause It’s Fun,” probably the most satisfyingly country-ish song of the evening, is at least as good as anything Tim McGraw never wrote.
— From same Washington Post review. Even without having heard it, I am fairly certain Tim McGraw has recorded much better songs than “I Like Drinking Cause It’s Fun.”

“I told [husband Brandon Blackstock] one of my favorite Christmas songs of all time was ‘Hard Candy Christmas’ and he said, ‘Well, why don’t you call Dolly and see if she’ll come sing it with you?’ I was like ‘Oh sure, I’ll just randomly call the Queen of Country Music and see if she’ll come sing with me!'” [Kelly] Clarkson recalled with a grin at a Thursday press conference in Nashville.
In fact, she did email her manager and heard back from Parton herself. “Dolly doesn’t email. She faxes! I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a fax before,” Clarkson laughed. “She couldn’t do it on such short notice, but I have a fax from Dolly Parton! I’m having it framed and it’s going on the wall…”
— Quality anecdote from Kelly Clarkson, via PEOPLE.

Need to Make a Song Great, Just Add Vince Gill
Merry Christmas, Leeann Ward.

What I love about it now is touring without the guilt. Now it’s like nothing is being held back. You get to eat mashed potatoes with both hands instead of one, you know what I mean? It’s fantastic.
— Garth Brooks to NPR on touring without kids at home.

I have no idea what that means but I enjoy that that is Garth Brooks idea of paradise.
— Online reader comment on Garth’s double-fisted mashed potato party.

This is the last Quotable Country of 2014 (I’m taking next Sunday off), so here is Angaleena Presley covering Robert Earl Keen’s “Merry Christmas from the Family.” See you in 2015.

New posts, by email, whenever we’ve got ’em.


  1. the pistolero says

    “Rice, it must be said in his defense, has a direct hand in the composition of his material.”

    NO, that’s NOT a defense. I remember people making the same point about Shania Twain back in the ’90s and thought, “Yeah, so? They’re still crap.”

    I mean, I love a good singer-songwriter as much as anyone, but, to use one of my favorite examples, it would have been a shame if Jason Boland hadn’t recorded “Hank,” “Back To You,” and “Thunderbird Wine” for Somewhere in the Middle.

  2. says

    Wow! Thanks for the shout out! It’s a good thing that I’m a faithful, weekly reader of this column!
    While I appreciate the sentiment of the Vince Gill article, I’ll have to admit that it was a rather clunky piece of writing, including the reference to Amy Grant as a country music artist.

    Now, I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve known no joy like the freedom to eat mashed potatoes with two hands! Aw, that weird Garth Brooks!:)

  3. CountryMusic says

    The fact that Rice has a hand in “the composition of his material” is not a defense of him but a further indictment. If he had no say in the material he recorded, he could at least blame his record company for his horrible songs. But he actually has a hand in writing that stuff? oooh that’s bad.

  4. CountryMusic says

    Also a general comment. A few years ago, people were complaining about how bad the song “Brown Chicken Brown Cow” by trace adkins was.

    However, compared to most of the recent bro-country offerings, Brown Chicken Brown Cow is a clever, witty and imaginative song.

    I mean, just think about how bad Bro-Country is to actually make Brown Chicken Brown cow sound good!

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