Saturday, April 9, 2011

Country star Kellie Pickler: more of my interview with today's Ribfest headliner

Kellie Pickler publicity photo
Here are a couple tweets by country star Kellie Pickler -- and what she had to say about them -- that didn't make final edit of my Weekend cover story "Pickler dishes on her recent tweets."

Pickler headlines the Gulf Coast Rhythm & Ribfest 8:30 p.m. today at the Manatee County Fairgrounds.

Tweet: “See The Big Man Cry”- Charlie Louvin

Pickler: I love him. My grandparents had a huge part in raising me and I grew up listening to all the old country greats. I don’t know if I’m the only 24 year-old who listens to that but it’s what I grew up on. Hank Williams, Tammy Wynette, Waylon Jennings, Al Dexter and “Pistol Packin’ Mama” (laugh), Hank Thompson, Dolly Parton.

I’m just a sucker for the classics. That’s where my soul is. That’s what I listen to on the radio that makes me feel like I’m with my grandma and grandpa sitting around the record player. Fans will tweet “what are you listing to?” And I’ll give some random song from the 1930s. I love that I have young people following me on Twitter and being able to show them what real country music is.

Tweet: In the studio with the best musicians ever. I’m surrounded by brilliance, talent, & grace. New music is on the way, thanks 4 your patience.

Pickler: Frank Liddell is producing this record and it has been an amazing, long process — we’ve been working for close to two years. Frank saw something that not a lot of people have seen in me as an artist. The process of making this record is so hard.

What I want to sing is Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette and Conway Twitty stuff; but times have changed and we’re trying to find songs that are country but still commercial enough for today’s format. Everybody’s definition of country is different and it’s not that I dislike (mainstream) country radio. I love radio and always wanted to be part of country. I can’t help that I grew up on older stuff. I wanted to move to Nashville because Dolly Parton lived here and I wanted to sing like Dolly and Loretta Lynn.

I love country from the 1940s, ’50s, ’90s and I love, love Miranda Lambert. There’s a lot I dig right now but my heart is on “Willie’s Place” on (Sirius XMRadio) and I love “Outlaw Country” (Sirius XMRadio). It’s funny, because you would not hear my music there but I love that music, that’s my favorite. (Long pause). I’m not meaning any of that in a negative way and I hope it’s not being taken that way. I love it all.

Pickler would reiterate this point — that she’s not knocking contemporary, mainstream country music — again at the end of the interview when asked if she had anything to add.

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