KF: Do you think your admiration of cowboys inspired the country music star in you?

CB: No, I think it was really my parents. My mom loved all kinds of music. My dad strictly [listened to] country, except for Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. So, at a very early age, I was introduced to ... all the great country music from that time and before. I think it was partly that and partly the lyrics.

When I was in the ninth grade, I had a drama class, and one of the things you had to do was recite a poem in front of the class. ... I think, from that point on, I decided to grow up and be a lyricist. Lyrics really matter, and I think the most important thing about country music is the lyrics.

KF: You are one of few artists who writes and records almost all of your own music. Why is that?

CB: I've done a couple of tributes, but I set out to try and write all my own music because I respected the songwriters so much. My intent from the first album was to never be caught without enough songs to make an album I would be proud of. ... I'm a songwriter who happens to sing. I've got about 35 songs. I'm going to have to write a few more, and then, really narrow it down to the best album I can make. I look at it like they're my kids. If I'm raising a family of 10 kids, I want to send them all off to college. I'm not going to send my neighbors' kids and make one of my kids miss college. That's just not the way a parent is, so I can't do that with my songs.


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