Twang-Bar King

Country has a long tradition of songs with crazy wordplay and funny titles, like Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn's "You're the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly." Did you pay attention to stuff like that? You seem to have a lot of that going on in your music.

Yeah, I must have. Hoagy Carmichael wrote a bit like that. A lot of the Tin Pan Alley writers did, too. I don't know where that came from in my music. I guess subconsciously I've always wanted to get a chuckle out of people. I mean, what are you gonna write about? Why not do something besides 'I love you, I need you, I miss you, I cheated on you?' We're always looking for something to get us away from that.

Your videos are very funny, too. Where would you be without video outlets like CMT?

The country video stations gave me airplay, and I had a couple of No. 1's because of that. Now why is it that the radio stations are so much more restrictive? I don't know -- it's got something to do with the advertisers, I suppose. Certainly it doesn't have to be like that. Every time you pick up a magazine, you'll read that people are tired of that. You never pick up a magazine and read that everybody likes country radio just the way it is -- don't change it. Never! Everyone is always saying it's too restrictive and too predictable. Something's gotta give somewhere, sometime.

You've done some acting. Anything else in the works in that direction?
Yeah, in fact, I'm going to be in a movie called Whom Shall I Fear. I'm going to be doing some of the soundtrack and some acting. It's going to be a lot of work. I've just got my feet wet in all this; it's not anything big. There's a Brendan Fraser movie out called Still Breathing that's doing really well in home video right now, and I had a small role in that. And I did The X-Files, which people made a big deal about, 'cause it's such a popular show. That kind of whetted my appetite.

You know, the thing that might work for you is the same thing that did for Dwight Yoakam -- I don't think I know what you look like without the hat.

Right. I can change my image. Although I guess a lot of people don't know what I look like either way. (Laughs)

Junior Brown plays at Mississippi Nights on May 14 with BR5-49
and Reverend Horton Heat.

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