In bluegrass, there's a lot of joke-telling and a lot of banter between bandmates. It's like improv or watching the 'Carol Burnett Show.'
I love to think on my feet, and I love to be able to feel from a close proximity how things are going.
Singing 'Family Tradition' with Hank Jr. was a pee-your-pants moment. Hank comes over while I'm singing and puts his arm around me, and my knees nearly buckled. You can put off the fact that this is reality, but when he came over, there was just no denying. I just lost cabin pressure.
The day Guy Clark passed away was the day we wrote 'Girl Goin' Nowhere.' It was the first day I had met Jeremy Bussey, who I wrote the song with.
As I got a little older, I discovered Lori McKenna and Patty Griffin and found out how many other tools we have as songwriters, that there's storytelling and there's ear candy, and that there is a place where they meet, too, and both of those women are really good at doing that.
It's all been guerrilla warfare trying to get my name out there.
I have a big love for jazz music. The only thing I hated about singing with a jazz band was having to wear a gown to everything.
In college, I was able to be the vocalist for the jazz band at Arkansas State.
I was lucky to grow up in the '90s, when we had just as many strong female artists as male artists. That's a world I would like to live in again.
I started playing mandolin when I was three or four years old because I was too small to be playing guitar. As I got older and more responsible with holding instruments, I was allowed to play my mom's guitar that she had.
It turns out, the bikers and the truckers and people in dive bars are the nicest people in the world.
Growing up, the Opry was my Hollywood.
Everything I ever needed came out of a radio and a dashboard. My Mount Rushmore of what was cool came out of a radio - Trisha Yearwood, Patty Loveless, Mark Chesnutt.
I grew up listening to an album start to finish, and you don't skip songs. You don't listen to a Paul Simon record and skip a song: you listen to it the same way you would eat a meal... the way the person who prepared that meal for you means for you to experience it. That's how you should do it before you add salt and pepper to it.
If you've ever been in a bar with a bunch of old sailors and see a guy that has an eagle tattooed across his chest, that guy has seen some stuff.
There's always going to be people that say you're a sellout - anyone who knew you back when or who wants to begrudge you for having success. That's OK. Their opinion of me, and the box they want to put me in, is just simply none of my business.
In my musically formative years, I grew up listening to Suzy Bogguss, Trisha Yearwood, Terri Clark.
I grew up playing bluegrass as a youngster, and I'm happy that I did.