The singer-songwriter has always played music that was stylistically rooted in the '30s and the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. But the fact of the matter is that none of us remember the Depression firsthand.
My dad was in a wheelchair and on oxygen for the last few years of his life.
The drama teacher that I had in high school, back in Texas, was the only teacher who didn't kick me out of his class. He turned me on to 'The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan.' I had picked up Dylan with 'Bringing It All Back Home,' and he turned me on to the first couple of albums, which I hadn't heard.
In New York, I'm around a lot of the reasons I started playing music in the first place. I live right behind Matt Umanov Guitars. I live on the street that Suze Rotolo and Bob Dylan were walking down on the album cover. I recognize the history.
The human race survived the Inquisition. We can survive. It's like the Anne Frank quote: 'In spite of everything, I still believe that people are basically good at heart.' Given what happened to her, it's one of the miracles of the world that she said that.
You see things differently at 40 than you do at 31. Especially if you got to 40 the way I did.
I am connected to the past in a way that keeps me going forward. Every leap forward that I make is by reaching back and firmly getting a footing in the past, and pushing forward as hard as I can.
My spiritual system is 12-step programs. That's the only one I've ever had. I didn't have one before that.
San Antonio is like a military town. It's like literally - when I was growing up there, there were five Air Force bases, plus Fort Sam Houston. I was always sort of near the military.
I'm from Texas. I hitchhiked to Tennessee when I was 19 years old, and it is really beautiful in Tennessee.
Becoming interested in poetics got me interested in theater. Theater is supposed to be poetry, you know, before it's anything else. It just doesn't fly if it isn't musical.
Sonnets are guys writing in English, imitating an Italian song form. It was a form definitely sung as often as it was recited.
I think the singer/songwriter genre is going to be like bluegrass and jazz. You can make a living at it, but it's not part of the musical mainstream anymore.
The idea that murder victims' families are best served by continuing the cycle of violence is something that I consider to be not only a lie, but criminally negligent. You lie to victims' families when you tell them they're going to receive closure if they participate in the process and witness the execution of a human being.
All we do as songwriters is rewrite the songs that have impressed us till we find our own voice. It's part of learning the craft.
I'm a country singer, and I'm comfortable with that. But why does a country singer have to play only on country radio or a rock singer only on a rock station? I still don't understand why it's that big a deal.
I don't care what's happening in the mainstream of country music. I haven't in a long time.
As much as I'd like to think and as much as people mistakenly think my audience is blue collar people in the heart of America, my audience is basically, in the States, an NPR audience. I play college towns in the summer because that's who comes to see me.
Truman Capote is really an interesting cat.
I promise you that I did not become an addict because of anything to do with the behavior of either of my parents. Everybody has to make their own choices.
My son was diagnosed with autism. He's OK, he makes eye contact, but he doesn't talk. He needs eight hours a day of very intensive school, and you wouldn't even believe me if I told you how much it costs.
Actually, in its purest form, Islam is incredibly tolerant. That makes what's going on in the world really bizarre.
I don't usually read reviews.
If I can get Me out of the way, I can do anything.
I think the criticism that I take to heart is from other writers that I respect.