American Idols Live Season 9 – Portland OR Interviews

Every city produces video interviews from Idol tour press hour, but these vids from On Portland, conducted before yesterday’s Idols live show with Crystal Bowersox, Casey James, Aaron Kelly, Tim Urban and Didi Benami are worth posting.  (Looks like interviews have been going up all afternoon. If more appear, I’ll post them here.)

LA's Next Great Stage Star II ...
LA's Next Great Stage Star II Finale

Crystal’s interview, in particular has some interesting tidbits. She plans to release her album this fall or maybe this spring. (Really? Hard to imagine that Jive would wait that long.)  She insists that she’ll be writing all the music that makes the cut on her album, and she’s very excited for opportunities to co-write with some of her heroes (names mentioned in the past are Michael Franti, Linda Perry and Melissa Etheridge)

But most interesting is what she said about her style. She says she’s having a hard time deciding where to go with her sound, because, “most of the songs I write would be really great country songs…but I don’t really feel they want to put me out there as a country artist.” But then she adds, “That’s fine…I’m just going to do what I do and hope people like it.”  Crystal has said in prior interviews that she won’t begin recording until after tour.

Casey James discusses  his Idol run (he’s so gracious when asked about Kara Dioguardi and the cougar nonsense) and recording his upcoming album for Sony Nashville. Tim Urban plans to go home after the tour to work on an album with some Dallas locals, and will work with an LA agency to find some acting work. He defines his style as Goo Goo Dolls/Jason Mraz. Post-tour, Didi Benami wants to go the Jennifer Hudson route, exploring both musical and acting possibilities. Plus, she wants to finish  the album she started, recording the music written by her best friend who was killed in a car accident.  Aaron Kelly says David Archuleta is a really nice guy, (they met backstage in LA)  and that although they have some things in common, they are both very, very different. And he talks a bit about working with Taylor Swift’s producers in Nashville, after the tour.

Videos after the JUMP…

Crystal Bowersox

Casey James

Aaron Kelly

Tim Urban

Didi Benami

About mj santilli 33688 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!

47 Comments

  1. I have always maintained that Crystal would make an excellent country bluegrass type of artist, but some people just can’t get over the lack of a twang thing.

  2. Is anyone else concerned that Crystal is going to butt heads with the record label and it won’t get the promotion it deserves. She so deserves to be out there and get the recognition for her work. Not many artists today have the depth and emotion that she does on her originals at this young age. I get the impression that she has already paid her dues, we are just not as aware as we should be.

  3. Thanks MJ! , I can see why Crystal said that Casey is the most one she want to make a duet with . They both have the same blues vibe , and it would be EPIC!
    Casey is so awesome in the interviews as always! can’t wait for his album! Glad he has the time for it & not rushing! It will be a great mix of country/southern rock/blues! Let’s see what Overton has for him! :)

  4. Her comment above, “most of the songs I write would be really great country songs…but I don’t really feel they want to put me out there as a country artist,” tells me that she may be more flexible and less naive than some folks would like us to think.

    I’m not worried yet. :)

  5. gangreen29: I have always maintained that Crystal would make an excellent country bluegrass type of artist, but some people just can’t get over the lack of a twang thing.

    You’ve definitely maintained that and it’s interesting hearing Crystal say the songs she’s been writing are country. I’ve never really seen her as country because I think she’s more of a soul-folk-rock hybrid. It’s not the lack of twang either, it’s more a general sense based on how Crystal approaches singing lyrics and the kinds of melodies I thought she leaned towards. That having been said a song like Farmer’s Daughter is arguably something with the right production and some adjustments that could be made to fit country.

    My question is if that’s really how she saw herself why didn’t she push to meet with Sony Nashville? I don’t see Jive allowing her to do a country album. I think lately there’s been a trend with singer songwriters like Jewel and Michelle Branch saying country music is the only place anymore for the singer songwriter style and I wonder if that’s why Crystal’s commenting what she did. I don’t really like it though when people go country just because it’s like the last refuge for a style of music that’s not really country. But I’d have to hear Crystal’s songs before really judging because I hear the potential in Farmer’s Daughter if some adjustments were made. It semi sounds like she’s also getting the country thing out of the fact that she’s a farmgirl and now she’s writing songs about being out on the road.

    Thanks for posting those interviews MJ. It’d actually been a long time since I’d watched a Crystal interview and it’s great being reminded how well spoken she is.

  6. While others compare Crystal to Joplin or Etheridge, she’s always reminded me of Wynonna Judd because of the power of her voice and her folk and blues roots. So in this case, I don’t think going country is such a bad idea…

  7. I think “Roots” music of the kind Crystal likes seems to fit best in the “country” genre as it’s broadly defined these days because it’s not rock or pop. I think of people like Rosanne Cash, Lucinda Williams and Shelby Lynn who could cross genres but wouldn’t be called pop and are probably more on the country side by today’s classifications.

    I’d love to hear Crystal and Casey do a duet at some point. That’s what I hoped for on the show this season (although Casey and Mike were great together too).

    My question is if that’s really how she saw herself why didn’t she push to meet with Sony Nashville?

    As I recall, Crystal was surprised when someone in the media asked her about signing with Jive and she said she hadn’t signed anything – even though it had been reported by 19(?) as a done deal. Maybe she didn’t get a choice in the matter and nobody thought to consider that her most natural musical home would be with a Sony Nashville label.

  8. I wish Sony Nashville had signed Crystal. I think it would have been a better fit. There are so many before her who have made great crossover artists and I think she would have, also. Country music crosses over to pop and rock but seldom do pop and rock cross over to country. It would have been a great opportunity for her to increase her fan base. I also think that country music would have fully embraced her. I’m not so sure about Jive but I guess we shall see.

  9. I said from day one Jive would be a bad fit for her :*( Bleh. Wish we could get a more firm release date, too.

  10. I am glad they didnt go the country route with crystal because the chances of Casey getting a deal out of this would of been almost zero. They wouldnt of signed to two sony nashville.

    But looking at it crystal could probably write songs and be alot like Miranda Lambert.

  11. IMO, Crystal definitely would have fit in the country genre. I was thinking about this earlier and it just dawned on me. She is kinda country folk in the same vein as John Denver was. My husband even said she’s like a female John Denver as far as her original music goes because it’s so honest, pure, and really tells a story. We live in Toledo and there has been some talk from people wondering why she signed with Jive when they are more known for pop/r&b styles and it just doesn’t really seem to suit her.

  12. for pop/r&b styles and it just doesn’t really seem to suit her.

    I guess I´m in a small minority, but one of my favorites this season, was Midnight Train to Georgia. Another was, You Can´t Always Get What You Want during Rolling Stone week, So much soul! So, I wouldn´t mind her going that route.

    For selfish reasons, I hope she won´t go country

  13. eriko, Don’t write country off just yet. It’s pretty pop right now (at least, the “front line” of country is) but there are plenty of legit artists recording in the field and doing fantastic stuff. I don’t think you can mention “roots” music without talking about Alison Krauss, and it’s hard to name a genre she hasn’t dipped a toe into. And unlike 90% of the artists out there, she’s come away with her reputation intact. (Has anyone heard Marty Stuart’s latest? Or what about Rhonda Vincent? Raul Malo? And if you really want to go off the grid [and totally awesome] Carolina Chocolate Drops. These folks are all effin fabulous, and all making a living.)

    There is a place (even in Country) for someone like Crystal who seems to have a lot of influences, but that place isn’t at the top of Top 40, pulling down Gaga-like salaries. Fortunately, that isn’t what it takes to be a “success,” and that clearly isn’t what Crystal is looking for. She’s got wide open spaces to play in, and still be successful.

    But with Jive at the helm, this is probably all wishful thinking.

  14. Of all Crystals pre idol songs, I thought Farmer’s Daugther was the best. And it does have a country lean towards it. I hope Crystal is able to find her sound. It doesn’t look too good if the artist and label goes in opposite directions.

  15. mshepnj: Maybe she didn’t get a choice in the matter and nobody thought to consider that her most natural musical home would be with a Sony Nashville label.

    I thought of that but if it’s something Crystal wanted then there’s a precedent for fighting for it even if TPTB aren’t totally on board, and then being signed to a pop label and a country label under the same umbrella coming out of AI if what you want to do is country but the pop label refuses to totally let you go.

    What makes the most sense to me is this being more driven by the songs she’s been inspired to write since AI and Crystal finding her mindset lately is leaning country. During AI she definitely was the soulful rocker girl a la Melissa Etheridge/Janis Joplin which is why she’s at one of the pop labels.

    The closest mainstream equivalent I’ve seen to Crystal is John Mellencamp. I still see him as a AAA/HAC/AC roots rocker and I guess that’s where I always saw Crystal too.

  16. Of course Crystal is going to struggle at Jive. She’s an Americana/Folk singer with country leanings signed to an r&b/pop label. She belongs on a label like Lost Highway and should be touring as Willie Nelson or John Mellencamp’s opening act. Or even with Allison Krause. Hopefully she is one and done with Jive because unless the label makes major concessions it will be an unhappy relationship on both sides.

    Sony Nashville was never an option for her. It was always going to be RCA or Jive, or nothing. She probably figures the battle worth fighting is over the quality of the cd, not the label on it.

  17. Ugh. I’m getting the sinking feeling this is going to another Bice situation, except with folk rock instead of country. Please, please, PLEASE don’t let Crystal get Biced; she’s too good to be ruined by 19/Sony. After witnessing her truly amazing live vocals, I would be heartbroken if Crystal were to get screwed over.

  18. I’ve always thought Crystal had an alt-country vibe, kinda like Neko Case. I don’t think she’d make it in commercial country, though.

  19. People have said in the past that Jive is known also for at least giving artists a chance and not just rushing them to produce something big NOW. (Kris and Allison both come to mind…they seem to have patience with both of them from what I’ve heard, although I have really followed neither, it just seems to be the impression I’ve gotten.)

    One of the biggest knocks that people have had on past Idols’ albums is that they’re rushed. Sure, it’s not exactly capitalizing on the moment for Crystal and her label to wait until the spring…but if the tradeoff is a very well thought out and excellent album, it might be worth the added time. It’s already been said a lot that she’s not the traditional AI type anyways, so I’m not too worried about them pushing back the release date if they do. Her potential core fans will likely stay interested – they don’t seem to be the types that jump on the new bandwagon as soon as it comes along.

    Heck, if they’re really savvy (or if the right person reads this idea, lol), and they decide to push back releasing her album until the spring, why not in the meantime release a couple singles – maybe even ones that won’t actually be on her first album? Do a studio remake of “Holy Toledo” and maybe another one of “Farmer’s Daughter” or “Grey Haired Rockstars.” Any or all of the three could probably be marketed to a HAC station in little more than their original forms, and it would keep her name out there while awaiting the release of her album down the line. $0.99 downloads on iTunes or Amazon for each one, potential radio play, further name recognition – I wouldn’t see a downside.

    While I agree there’s probably better labels for Crystal to be on, the choices were going to be limited coming off of AI – and I don’t think the best bet for her would have been to sign to a country label. Do I think she could make country? Sure…but I think she’s better off being able to incorporate a number of influences to her music. Not that country doesn’t have many sub-genres, but I just don’t think country was a perfect fit for her. (I also don’t think it’s a perfect fit for Casey, but I do think his southern rock style will work ok for him there.)

  20. Crystal looks so beautiful in that interview!

    I have always maintained that Crystal would make an excellent country bluegrass type of artist, but some people just can’t get over the lack of a twang thing.

    I totally agree, although I don’t think she’d want to be limited to just one, very specific, genre like bluegrass.

    Although I was slightly underwhelmed when she performed it on the show, by far, my favorite studio recording from Crystal was her Nickel Creek-style interpretation of Shania Twain’s “No One Needs to Know.” I just LOVE what she did with that very forgettable song.

    The thing about both Crystal and Casey, and it’s why the two of them were my favorites this past season, is that they are true musicians, with an extensive knowledge of music across multiple genres, and they really are too advanced musically to be limited to just one, very restrictive, genre.

    Crystal excelled at that bluesy/soulful rock thing on Idol, so I can see how Jive made sense to a certain degree. If one had to try to classify her within today’s somewhat bizarre iTunes categorizations, she really is a “singer/songwriter.” (She even describes herself as such.) So, I suppose, in that sense, Jive is the closest match.

    I’m a huge fan of singer/songwriters of both sexes, and I think Crystal fits in nicely with some of my favorites like Brandi Carlile, Patty Griffin and KT Tunstall. Brandi is marketed as “rock” or “country” depending on which album you buy; Patty is “folk” or “singer-songwriter” and KT is “pop.” It’s all rather arbitrary, although Brandi, Patty and Crystal fit into the alt-country niche, which is pretty wide open.

    I’m not overly concerned with specific labels. I just hope Jive lets Crystal be Crystal, just like I’ve got my fingers crossed Sony Nashville lets Casey be Casey.

  21. Although I was slightly underwhelmed when she performed it on the show, by far, my favorite studio recording from Crystal was her Nickel Creek-style interpretation of Shania Twain’s “No One Needs to Know.” I just LOVE what she did with that very forgettable song.

    While I don’t know that it was my favorite studio recording of hers, I know what you mean – very few people seemed to “get” that recording/performance at all but I was amazed at the total flip in style she showed she was capabile of. The following week with “Summer Wind” I was 100% sold on her true musical ability – again, a lot of people just didn’t get it, they wanted higher, faster, louder.

    I’m not overly concerned with specific labels. I just hope Jive lets Crystal be Crystal, just like I’ve got my fingers crossed Sony Nashville lets Casey be Casey.

    This. I think what it boils down to is, the reason Crystal and Casey are my favorites of this season (and really a couple of my favorites from ever watching the show) is the fact that they both know what they want to do, and are good at what they want to do…they just need a chance to show it. I think a record company would be better off giving them a chance to do what they want to do than pushing them into something they don’t want to do. It does show in someone’s work if they’re doing something that their heart isn’t in.

  22. Crystal is into authenticity more than anything else, so I think that’s why she finds traditional country to be a natural fit. Folk, country, blues, soul, gospel are all her strongest musical influences, and they all have one primary factor in common: No fluff, so bullshit gimmicks, no shallow glitz and glitter, just pure honesty and truth.

    She’s just trying to find the perfect blend of all the above, and is unlikely to ever be boxed into any single category or genre. If she does foray into country-ish music, you sure as hell can bet it ain’t gonna sound or look like Carrie Underwood’s pop/rock diva style.

    Honestly, I see a lot of Linda Ronstadt in Crystal (there I go showing my age again), though with a singer/songwriter artistry. Like Crystal, Linda delivered an unbelievable voice spanning many different styles over the years, including country, rock, latin, jazz, motown, etc…I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Crystal followed a similar path of putting out great music in many different genres over time.

  23. And if you really want to go off the grid [and totally awesome] Carolina Chocolate Drops. These folks are all effin fabulous, and all making a living.)

    This group is fabulous and I never thought I’d see them mentioned here at mj’s!! I saw part of a workshop/jam thingy they did, but before I got there they asked my husband to join in on one of the songs on the mandolin!!!

    Of course there is Gillian Welsh/David Rawlings too. :D

  24. If Crystal wanted to go country she should have chosen more of those types of songs while she was on idol. It’s always harder to establish yourself in a genre when you haven’t really shown much interest in it.

  25. I’m not overly concerned with specific labels. I just hope Jive lets Crystal be Crystal, just like I’ve got my fingers crossed Sony Nashville lets Casey be Casey.

    ITA. I don’t want either of them to be watered down. However, I love Kris Allen’s album, but I do believe if he would have completely gotten what he wanted on it, it would have been even better, for me. I’m expecting some compromise on the first album from each.

    The following week with “Summer Wind” I was 100% sold on her true musical ability – again, a lot of people just didn’t get it, they wanted higher, faster, louder.

    Well, at least the judges didn’t get. I believe there are a lot of people out there looking for this sound that don’t watch AI. I loved both weeks personally.

    Heck, if they’re really savvy (or if the right person reads this idea, lol), and they decide to push back releasing her album until the spring, why not in the meantime release a couple singles – maybe even ones that won’t actually be on her first album? Do a studio remake of “Holy Toledo” and maybe another one of “Farmer’s Daughter” or “Grey Haired Rockstars.” Any or all of the three could probably be marketed to a HAC station in little more than their original forms, and it would keep her name out there while awaiting the release of her album down the line.

    Or an EP with a single release. I’ve said before here that I think an EP in the fall would be best for all artists coming off of AI. It would keep their name out there until they can do a full album for later release. I just don’t think that 19/sony/RCA/Jive care enough about the careers of the AIers to take what’s best into consideration. Sorry, I guess that could be a little knollish, but from what I’ve seen so far I cannot draw any other conclusion.

  26. Or an EP with a single release. I’ve said before here that I think an EP in the fall would be best for all artists coming off of AI. It would keep their name out there until they can do a full album for later release. I just don’t think that 19/sony/RCA/Jive care enough about the careers of the AIers to take what’s best into consideration. Sorry, I guess that could be a little knollish, but from what I’ve seen so far I cannot draw any other conclusion.

    I agree with exactly what you said here…the thing that I can’t believe they don’t realize, or at least wonder about, is that the success of their careers leads to greater success and profit for their labels. The money goes through a lot of hands, and it amazes me that they pretty much get handed people who are hungry for a shot and a career, and then they would try to pigeonhole them or just otherwise not basically “use” them in the best manner – in the style that they most fit, and with support to help them succeed. By making the final ~2-3 or even the top 6 or so on AI, obviously some people liked what they heard and there should be a buck to be made there from the label’s point of view. It really should be a win-win on both sides, but I definitely get the feeling the more I read of past Idols’ experiences it definitely isn’t (keep in mind I’m new to the more behind-the-scenes goings on, as of this year).

  27. To me country music is almost a wide open genre. I’m not even sure I could say what ‘true’ country music is. Maybe windmills could help me out with this.

    In many ways true country music is musicianship, and storytelling and good lyrics.

    I do have to say that I could see Crystal in the country genre much easier than I could have ever seen Danny Gokey.

    I don’t think this is going to be the direction of her first album, since she’s with Jive and cannot change that now, but I do think there will be some potential crossover music there.

  28. The money goes through a lot of hands, and it amazes me that they pretty much get handed people who are hungry for a shot and a career, and then they would try to pigeonhole them or just otherwise not basically “use” them in the best manner – in the style that they most fit, and with support to help them succeed.

    I believe it’s a problem with the music industry as a whole. It’s an industry. It’s about what is ‘current’, a ‘name’ a ‘brand’ and what is safe. What can we do other than support those we believe in?

  29. If Crystal wanted to go country she should have chosen more of those types of songs while she was on idol. It’s always harder to establish yourself in a genre when you haven’t really shown much interest in it.

    I believe Casey only sang one country song (a Keith Urban song) outside of country week and he got signed to a Nashville label. And all season long I got a strong blues rocker vibe from him.

    I love Casey and I love Crystal but it’s ironic that Crystal who would like to do a country-folk album is signed to a pop/r&b label, and Casey who would like to do a blues-rock album is signed to a country label. C’est la vie!

  30. I love Aaron. I think after going to the concert, he’ll be the one I’ll be paying attention to the most. Already in the process of that anyway :). Love how excited he got about the camera. He has a good eye for photography, too.

    Not to mention Crystal, Casey, and Siobhan.

  31. littlefishes: Sony Nashville is the perfect fit for Casey! It’s not get any closer than that! his style is routes music! that means southern rock/blues with country/bluegrass music!

    someone went to one of the shows and commented this : Crystal’s singing is the dillicious cream on Casey’s rock/blues pie!!
    I loved it! :)

  32. Actually Casey from top four alweays said he wanted to do a country rock blues album and alot of his songs on idol had a country feel to them. So I think he is doing jusdt what he wanted to do.

  33. Poor Crystal. It’s just seems like she’s with the wrong label and that they don’t care about her success much either way. I suppose they were badly bitten with last year’s so-called ‘best year evah!’ due of Kris and Allison. They figure if those guys can’t sell records, there’s no way the season 10 runner-up can do much better so they’re letting her write her own songs and not even pushing her to get an album out quickly. Maybe I’m reading it all wrong, but that’s my sense.

  34. I believe it’s a problem with the music industry as a whole. It’s an industry. It’s about what is ‘current’, a ‘name’ a ‘brand’ and what is safe.

    I don’t think the whole industry is that way – there are tons of fantastic and innovative bands and artists out there. But this is American Idol, where their entire goal is to manufacture a pop star out of nothing. It’s hardly surprising that the labels are not trying to promote their ‘artistry.’ Those kids knowingly joined a money-making machine. If they wanted to be treated as artists, they needed to make it on their own through the quality of their music.

  35. Negativo, I’ll show my age back and agree with you about the Linda/Crystal comparison, LOL. I loved Linda in her day and she IMO is one of the most versatile to ever grace the music industry. I do hope that Crystal can do something before next spring. You have to keep some momentum going after the tour, and having that end 10-14 days earlier than expected puts even more distance between its end and a spring release.

    So many genres seemed to blur together today. I think it is a good thing, because it enables each singer to have his/her own vibe or sound.

  36. I don’t think the whole industry is that way – there are tons of fantastic and innovative bands and artists out there. But this is American Idol, where their entire goal is to manufacture a pop star out of nothing. It’s hardly surprising that the labels are not trying to promote their ‘artistry.’ Those kids knowingly joined a money-making machine. If they wanted to be treated as artists, they needed to make it on their own through the quality of their music.

    You are right. It’s not about “artistry”. It’s about mass appeal, commercial viability and fitting into the current mainstream music market. Idol judges talk a lot about artistry during the season, but as Simon Cowell once said during the show: It’s good to be artistic, just not on this show. Idols first have to prove that they can sell records and make profit for their labels, then they can think about proving themselves as artists – but they still have to continue to sell records.

    I think during the first few years Idol fanbases helped Idols to sell their albums. But now, Idols are not as lucky. They need full support of their management and label and a lot of promotion. Sales are still the key, not quality.

    And didn’t Simon Cowell also tell Crystal that he doesn’t think Idol is the right platform for her?

  37. I think during the first few years Idol fanbases helped Idols to sell their albums. But now, Idols are not as lucky. They need full support of their management and label and a lot of promotion. Sales are still the key, not quality.

    Hence why I think it will be a huge mistake to wait until spring to release, especially with the S9 group. They’ve received too much negative spin (warranted or not) to wait and take a chance to lose their more casual fans by waiting. I hope she can make a fall release possible.

  38. cookcricket: To me country music is almost a wide open genre. I’m not even sure I could say what ‘true’ country music is. Maybe windmills could help me out with this.

    In many ways true country music is musicianship, and storytelling and good lyrics.

    I’ll spare you a treatise since I’ve gone off about this so many times ;) IMO what you described is definitely part of what makes country country. But country is also a style of singing. I don’t mean twang necessarily. It’s a style of singing that’s descended somewhat from yodeling and when I think of true country singers I think of people who’ve got that in their voices. There’s also a sliding, lingering aspect that makes country vocalizations stand out. My hangup with the Crystal/country is not authenticity and I even said I see where Farmer’s Daughter with some adjustments could work as a country song. My hangup is her style of singing which I hear as much more a soul-folk-rock blend. I’m not questioning that the songs she’s writing now may have more of a country feel.

    I actually see Casey fitting country better because when you think of honkytonk, that’s already a blend of country, blues, and rock. Casey’s blend of those 3 leans more towards Southern rock although more bluesy but I think his delivery has enough natural country in it to work in the mainstream and alternative parts of the genre.

    koshka: Hence why I think it will be a huge mistake to wait until spring to release, especially with the S9 group. They’ve received too much negative spin (warranted or not) to wait and take a chance to lose their more casual fans by waiting. I hope she can make a fall release possible.

    Casey’s already waiting until next spring in all likelihood but it’s not like he has a huge AI fanbase anyway. Crystal’s got more AI fans to lose but on the other hand you can always get a good number of them back by coming back and performing on the show.

    ITA with Niall that a place like Lost Highway seems like it’d be the perfect place for Crystal to land. I’d actually say the same thing for Casey although I think he won’t have to compromise himself as much being at Sony Nashville.

    I just hope the 1st album with Jive isn’t such a messed up process that it winds up compromising Crystal’s ability to sign with name indie after she’s done with Jive. Maybe if her songs are really THAT country Jive can reach an additional revenue-sharing/promotion-sharing agreement with one of the Sony Nashville labels.

  39. No fluff, no bullshit gimmicks, no shallow glitz and glitter, just pure honesty and truth

    Yeah, it´s a lot easier to know what Crystal is NOT about. What ever she will do, I have a hunch it will be different from anything else out there, and unique to her alone

  40. Well, I keep thinking of Blake Lewis and Taylor Hicks who were both mishandled by Sony. Yeah, they got dropped, but both are making the kinds of records they were meant to record on other labels and doing just fine. They aren’t huge pop stars, but I don’t think either of them care about that.

    If Crystal’s relationship with Jive doesn’t work out, she’ll land somewhere else, I know it, where she’ll make the kind of music she was meant to make.

  41. One important note that I somehow neglected to mention: How friggin’ hot is Didi? For the guys, if you didn’t check out her interview you don’t know what you’re missing.

  42. I’m with Negativo and Yvonne13 on the Linda similarities. I’ll throw in a little Emmylou too. She personifies folksy country and I would love to see an artist gain popularity in country music with that style. Just listen to “Profile, Best of Emmylou Harris” and you’ll see what I mean.

    Emmylou
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bk9DK0c0SSI
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxIBGkfgzTk
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTry1yKvxZM

    Linda
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrFyxlyx0Yc
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haZPPBJC8Ic

  43. ITA with Niall that a place like Lost Highway seems like it’d be the perfect place for Crystal to land. I’d actually say the same thing for Casey although I think he won’t have to compromise himself as much being at Sony Nashville.

    Windmills, I really enjoy your posts they are always insightful.
    I have always thought that Crystal was straight forward country, with perhaps a bit of folk leanings. But then again I am not American so perhaps I just don’t understand country all that well. Perhaps Crystal should just be described as a singer/ song writer, that description really works for her.

    The same thing with Casey, I have never thought of him as country, I was frankly surprised when the Nashville rumours started. But he obviously does a variety of music.
    When Casey choose for example, I got mine for the tour, he said it was a song for himself, but people likes it when he does that type of thing, and he obviously likes it as well, otherwise he wouldn’t have said that he just choose the song for himself. So I have to ask and wonder, would he really be able to record music like that on a country album?
    Throughout idols Lee was put forward as the rocker, but I think Casey is actually much more of a rocker then Lee. While I think Lee is almost more of a folk-rock artist.

    I think it would actually have been quite interesting if Crystal and Casey would have been able to swap labels. I could see Crystal doing her singer/ songwriter thing on a country label. While jive also has a few rock acts, and I could have seen Casey recording a more rock orientated album with a bit of blues (something in the vein of I got mine). It is interesting the way things have worked out. However, I hope that they will all do well with the labels they are signed to.

  44. Crystal’s description of herself as a “roots” musician has led me to hope she could have a career along the lines of Alison Krauss–someone very respected with a loyal following who other musicians want to work with (Robert Plant worked with Alison on a great record). The female John Denver is another really good analogy. I think it’s great she is writing her own music (if they actually let her) but the key is who they get to produce her. She definitely needs some guidance in how present herself. A roots guy like T Bone Burnett would be awesome, but someone from Jive’s usual stable of pop-oriented producers could be horrible.

  45. Crystal’s description of herself as a “roots” musician has led me to hope she could have a career along the lines of Alison Krauss–

    Alison Krauss, however, emerged on the music scene as a fiddling wunderkind and comes out of an authentic bluegrass background. Nothing more inherentely “country” than bluegrass music! (See: Parton, Dolly; “The Grass Is Blue” and “Little Sparrow”)

    T-Bone Burnett (my dream producer for Casey, BTW) would be an excellent choice for Crystal. He’s produced both the Krauss/Plant collaboration “Raising Sand” and the soundtrack for the movie “Crazy Heart,” (winning a Grammy for “The Weary Kind”) among a SLEW of great, critically-acclaimed albums.

    T-Bone also produced Brandi Carlile’s “The Story,” which has been labeled “folk rock,” but when I bought it a few years ago was classified “country.” (Crystal reminds me a LOT of Brandi, which is why I don’t really get when Crystal fans claim “there’s nobody out there making music like Crystal.” I’ve got an iPod full of them myself!)

    Crystal also reminds me a lot of of T-Bone’s ex, Sam Phillips, who penned “Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us” (covered on “Raising Sand”). Check out “I Need Love” from Sam’s post-Christian “pop” album, “Martinis and Bikinis.” GREAT song.

    ETA: Crystal also reminds me a lot of Brandi Shearer, who’s variously labeled “country,” “rock” and “alternative.” That pretty much sums up Crystal to me (with a side of “blues”). :-)

    Check out her “Lullabies.”

  46. But country is also a style of singing. I don’t mean twang necessarily. It’s a style of singing that’s descended somewhat from yodeling and when I think of true country singers I think of people who’ve got that in their voices. There’s also a sliding, lingering aspect that makes country vocalizations stand out.

    Thanks windmills, that makes sense. I understand how Crystal’s phrasing pre-idol and on the show was different than that.

  47. If I could just share why I heart Didi Benami is evident on this interview (around 4:14). Again and again when she talks about her fans, she is so appreciative and sincere.

    She talks about the creator of her fansite in the vid and going out to the public preshow meet and greet that she doesn’t normally do just to meet her and Didi gave her backstage passes!! (http://www.didibenamifansite.com/) In another interview she talked about a fan who gave her a guitar strap, in another about a fan who’s been to 5-6 shows just to see her!!

    I know not too many like Didi’s style or even her voice but music isn’t about all that- it has alot to do with the fan-artist connection. If you feel ‘connected’ to that artist for any reason then you connect with the artist’s music. Music is very subjective- it is emotion and feeling and if there’s nothing there to bridge the music to the fans then what’s the point of following a particular artist?

    Didi isn’t the best singer in the world, she hasn’t the best voice, she isn’t even the ‘prettiest’ of all ‘pretties’ but she has got that magic in her that draws me or her fans to her. She is very inspiring and she moves people and for me that is more than enough to follow her and be a fan. Thank you. I respect all of Season 9 cast and respect all the fans who follow them… :-)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.