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  1. I just do a random roulette wheel version of what I’ve recorded or sometimes tunes I haven’t recorded. It’s a collection of whatever happens, happens.
  2. I think there’s a preoccupation with the American market to make excuses and justify its past. If it isn’t current, it means somebody has to make an excuse for it. If it’s ‘cult,’ it gives it a sense of illegitimate legitimacy.
  3. I think of these things as obstacles rather than opportunities, because if they were opportunities it means I actually took the business of doing them seriously. To take myself too seriously is the gentle kiss of death.
  4. It can even be a single note which defines the entire song.
  5. If you’re not interested in history, if you’re living for the day, you need some sort of cliche hook. I certainly don’t think of myself as a cult anything. It’s a strange thing to even consider pursuing.
  6. I’m sad and blue, about nobody but you. I told you that I loved you right from the start, you told me the same and now you try to break my little heart.
  7. Other musicians are basically personalities who want to make a name for themselves. All I do is sing old songs in the best way I can. What else is there to know? If you were a blacksmith, what would people need to know about you other than whether you can make a good horseshoe?
  8. I’ve got a very behind-the-scenes personality. I don’t know how I became a performer. I like to stay discreet, out of the public eye, very low-key.
  9. Who told you I was a musician?
  10. I’m not interested in stirring anybody up through music. If you’re going to stir people up, it has to be a thought process that has nothing to do with music. I see music as having to do with an internal thing. Something that stirs you up is external.
  11. I don’t think music should be played anywhere near politics. The two don’t go together.
  12. My views on music, and life in general, are completely out of step with everything that’s going on. I’ve always been out of step. The only thing that interests me is history, reviewing the past and making something out of it.
  13. Home is where you hang your hat.
  14. What I do and what I record only work for the moment.
  15. I extract what I consider the best material from different sources. But often the material I perform comes from a very strange location in history, which are minstrel shows.
  16. I have a visual sense for the music. It has to stay true to a certain sense of period. I rely on a sense of colors and mood in my approach to the arrangement.
  17. There’s a little Christmas in all of us, I guess. Even in me.
  18. The only thing that interests me is history — reviewing the past and making something out of it.
  19. Lonesome. Lonesome. I know what it means. Here all by my lonesome, dreaming empty dreams. Weary. Weary at the close of day, wondering if tomorrow brings me joy or sorrow.
  20. Music doesn’t really require whether the person’s a young person or old person for whatever kind of music it is.

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