“I’m afraid to use three-syllable words,” says solo artist and occasional Uncle Kracker sideman Tim Diaz. “Some people in the folk genre tend to get artsy and complex, but I think it’s dangerous to get too intellectual. The last thing I want to do is have someone like Steve Earle think that I know anything about anything [laughs]. I mean, John Prine can write about spilling a glass of water, and it’ll be a great song.
“Instead of using big words, I think it’s better to use a metaphor that says the same thing. For example, Anita Baker once complimented me on my song ‘Dreams’—which is a kind of love song to my wife—and one of the lines is ‘You can roll all over town on your brand new skates/set all your traps/and I’ll steal all your bait.’ Now that line is all about the politics of relationships, but the metaphor is simple, and while it may be a little clever, it’s still very direct. I don’t like to make things difficult for people. I’m a huge proponent of crafting songs that are what you’d call ‘stupid simple.’”