I'll never quit playing country music, or at least acknowledging it, always, as the cornerstone of what I am.
As an artist, you have to maintain focus and eliminate the distraction of second-guessing yourself based on the opinions of others.
I live out of cans a lot. But I try to indulge only in healthy canned food.
However you arrive at the ability to ignore self-doubt - if you can acquire it or possess it or find it or discover it - move beyond self-doubt.
Musicians exist independent of any of the marketing terms or the categorization.
My parents were not affluent people and were not - didn't come from the extremities of education. My mother had a high school diploma. I often think I so wish she'd come out of the hills in Appalachia and been able to go on to college. I think she would have made a wonderful teacher.
I played music and sang from my earliest memories. The first pictures of me show me wandering around with a guitar that was larger than I was, and it became almost second nature to me.
It varies from song to song, although Buck Owens and I recently collaborated on writing a duet together and am looking forward with a great deal of anticipation to recording that track for the new studio album.
My music is very personal. I've created it in solitude. I face a white wall and beller. I like that sound - the expression of loneliness. That's what it's all about.
I can't escape being born in Pike County, Kentucky, grandson of a miner, Luther Tibbs, and his wife, Earlene, and traveling as a child up and down Route 23 between Kentucky and Columbus, Ohio, where I was raised, experiencing life via working-class people. Nor do I want to escape.
I like order. It allows me to have chaos in my head.
I embrace country music because of love, a love of what I came from.
As a writer, I always tend to take the liberty and the great artistic luxury of a composite form of writing.
Ironically, the success I've experienced at country radio has left me ostracized from pop and other formats of radio.
It's meant to reaffirm the validity of that music - clean, minimalist, honest, classic music.
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