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Well, more than me saying to the rest of the country music industry there is not enough traditional country music - that is not necessarily the statement in truth. I think more so that I, me, missed it more than anything else.
Well I think in all the thirty years I've been doing this now and being gone from home and all that stuff it's really, it's not about what I've achieved and if I've become a better player, or played better ten years ago than I do today.
This record for the first time - feels like a record that really represents my whole entire life and instead of just a period of my life. And it is really kind of eye opening and it makes me feel really good to hear this record and hear all the years.
This is just strictly me wanting to make a record that is the real deal. It is all the stuff that I have learned and know that I remember. It's what I perceive as country music is about.
The real beauty of it - key to my life was playing key chords on a banjo. For somebody else it may be a golf club that mom and dad put in their hands or a baseball or ballet lessons. Real gift to give to me and put it in writing.
The real amazing thing about all of this is I think I've maintained the mentality of a musician throughout it all, which I'm proudest of. And I'm still playing on people's records and singing on people's records.
The funny thing is, people's perceptions of what a song is about is usually wrong a majority of the time. But they're still going to read what they want to into it.
So I didn't have anything to do with picking the songs, but I got to musically take them in places I thought might be interesting, so it was a real neat collaboration among the three of us.
My last two records that I made were both quite pointed in one direction and I think I do my best stuff when it's all over the map, when there's a couple traditional things, a couple pretty rocking things.
It really does take a lot of time to make records, to be in the studio and do all that stuff.
It is not that I don't like contemporary country music because I do. I love it. I have recorded a lot and have had great success recording records that have not been very traditional country records.
It is not fun singing about losing somebody like that, but at the same time it was easy to write because the memories were so real and vivid and so much a part of who I am.
It is easy to react if everything is going great.
Better Off Without You
Independence Day Messages
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