PM: Do you continue to make a lot of appearances on the Opry?
EC: Yeah, yeah. It slowed down some this summer mostly because we were gone a lot more than usual. But yeah, we'll be on this weekend. And we're going to do a televised spot with Rodney in a couple of weeks. So yeah, we do, we do.
PM: It makes me wonder what the people at the Opry seem to know about your music that country radio doesn't.
EC: I don't know. Pete Fisher takes a lot of grief. It's not an easy job he's got out there. But for some reason he is able to draw a line with me between some points that he sees need connecting, or something.
PM: He's a good man. I like Pete Fisher.
EC: Yeah, I'm just very very lucky that I happened to fall into that. Mandy Barnett, same way. I think as the younger artists that are putting out the commercial music under the genre of mainstream country music become more and more alienated from what the membership at the Opry represents, the matriarchs, Connie Smith, and even Porter, Little Jimmy, it's sort of helped bridge the gap, I think, a little bit, to throw me in there and to throw Mandy in there.
PM: Yeah. One of the things, the differences between country radio, of course, and the Grand Ole Opry is called Clear Channel.
EC: Yeah, it seems so, yeah.
PM: What a very spooky name that conglomerate turned out to have, "Clear" Channel.
PM: That sounds like the Minority Report, or something.
EC: I've got bad news for them--Satellite.
EC: That's going to be a spooky word for them. I mean, Tim and I had a rental car over the weekend when we traveled up to Ohio and did a show. It had satellite radio in it, and people are about to have a lot more choices.
PM: Yeah. I got it in my car, for sure, and I like it a lot. The originators from Clear Channel came from the used car business, right? Just like Werner Erhard of EST, he came from the car business, too. So I'm thinking there's some connection with car washing and brainwashing, that's what I'm thinking.
EC: Well, they have no problem selling crap.
PM: But going back to your great song, "Times Are Tough in Rock 'n' Roll," you go on to say that "the reason is to feel this way, Rolling Stone has seen its day, all my feelings, all my fears were confirmed with Britney Spears." That's a really funny bunch of lines there.
EC: Oh, thanks.
PM: I mean, I really think that pop culture has hit a new all-time low in recent years, certainly greatest hits collections of the first decade of this millennium will--it's got to have the emptiest, lamest songs from hip-hop and pop imaginable. I can't imagine what the greatest hits of the first ten years of this millennium will be.
EC: It's very revealing, I think, to the scramble, the board room scrambling that's going on for the major labels. I mean, hey, eventually those Pink Floyd sales are going to taper off and they're going to have some serious problems.
EC: I mean, they've been resting on that, and I'm afraid that the catalog that they've built now, that even though they may have a few million out of the box, they do good to cover their costs with those sales. And in ten years, I don't know who is going to be digging through the bins for some of the stuff that they're churning out. I can't imagine. I don't see people down at Great Escape, whatever--[One of Nashville's used record resources, along with Phonoluxe.]
PM: Digging for hip-hop, right.
EC: Right. I don't know. Could be wrong.
PM: There's so much good music of all kinds on the fringe, it's just a matter of getting one's ears around it. But it's about finding it in the first place. That's the hard thing.
PM: That's one of the main reasons we do Puremusic, because there's a need for busy people to have resources they can rely on to find new music, because you can't get it off the radio.
PM: Although, as you say, you can get it better with satellite radio.
EC: It's a great service. And it's changing how people get and consume music. It's inspiring, and it's hopeful; all I've wanted for a while now is just to be a middle-class musician. continue