For the past couple of years, Kip Moore has spent most of his time on the road, building one of country music’s most loyal audiences show by show and plotting what would become his sophomore album, Wild Ones. He was a road warrior, living out of a tour bus with his bandmates and playing more than 200 shows per year. For a songwriter who’d grown up in a quiet pocket of southern Georgia, performing to crowds across the world — crowds that knew every word to his best-selling debut album, Up All Night — felt like a dream come true.
Somewhere along the way, though, the highway became a lonely place. The routine was always the same: pull into town, play a show, pack up and leave. There was no stability, no comfort. Things weren’t much easier at home in Nashville, where Moore —whose first album had sent three songs to the top of the country charts, including “Beer Money” and “Hey Pretty Girl” —found himself receiving plenty of unsolicited advice from people who wanted to keep the hits coming…at any cost.
“Once you start having a little bit of success,” he says, “all of a sudden, there’s a lot of opinions about who you should be, what you should be doing, how it should be marketed. A lot of those opinions are great, but Wild Ones was influenced by me saying, ‘This is just who I am. I’m not gonna do what other people are doing. I’m not chasing a trend. I’m gonna do the kind of music I wanna do, and the kind of music I think my fans wanna hear, and that’s the end of the story.'”
From amphitheater tours with Dierks Bentley to his own headlining tours across America, Moore has spent the last three years learning what, exactly, his fans want to hear. He’s a genuine road warrior, armed with a live show that mixes the bombast and wild desperation of Bruce Springsteen with the rootsy stomp of Merle Haggard. It’s a sound built on space and swagger. A sound that bangs as hard as it twangs. A sound caught somewhere between blue-collar country music and stadium-sized rock & roll. And that’s the sound that Moore’s fans, who’ve already catapulted him to PLATINUM-selling heights, want to hear.
When it came time to create new music for his second album, Wild Ones, Moore didn’t have to look very far for inspiration. He just took a look around, taking stock of the world as it flew by his bus window at highway speed.
“Everything that’s taken place over the last two years —this traveling circus, these shows, the band, the toll that the road can take on you but also the exuberance it can bring —it all inspired the record,” he explains. “It’s a record about what we’ve gone through, and I wanted the music to match the intensity of what we do every night onstage. We never go through the motions, no matter how tired and exhausted we are.”
Moore wrote or co-wrote all of Wild Ones‘ thirteen tracks, often teaming up with songwriters like Dan Couch or Weston Davis. More than a few songs were born on the road, where Moore found himself coming up with new ones during soundchecks, inside backstage dressing rooms, and in his bunk at night. He’d arrange the songs, too, coming up with bass parts, guitar licks and drum patterns in addition to the melodies. Sometimes, he’d write some lyrics, scrap them, then write a completely different set. The emphasis wasn’t on creating the largest catalog of songs in the shortest time possible; it was on funneling the feeling of a Kip Moore concert into a single album, no matter how much time it took.
Driven forward by electric guitars and gang vocals, “Lipstick” is the album’s most heartfelt tribute to the road, with each verse rattling off a list of the favorite cities Moore and his bandmates have played in the past. Other songs, like “That Was Us,” take a look backward, sketching a picture of the archetypal small-town Saturday nights that filled Moore’s teenage years in Georgia. “Magic,” anchored by one of the anthemic, open-armed choruses of Moore’s career, is loud and lovely, and “Comeback Kid” packs its punch the opposite way: by dialing back the volume and delivering quiet praise to the underdog in all of us.
Befitting an album that was largely inspired by —and written on — the road, Moore recorded Wild Ones during quick breaks in his touring schedule. He’d book one or two days of studio time, then hit the road for three months, then return to Nashville and book more sessions. Gradually, the album started to take shape. Brett James, his longtime friend and ally, co-produced the project.
“We created a lot of space in this record,” Moore says proudly. “It’s not a bunch of people playing all over the place. We tracked a lot of the record with just a three-piece band. If you go to most Nashville recording sessions, there’s gonna be six or seven people in the room. But we recorded this one with less people, just to allow the fans to actually listen to what’s going on. It makes everything sound bigger.”
“Big.” Perhaps that’s the best description for Wild Ones, a super-sized record inspired by the grit, grind, and glamour of the live shows that have helped make Moore a country favorite. For Moore, going big was the only option.
“I’ve always felt like the guy whose cards are stacked against him,” he says. “I’ve always been the underdog, but I also say, ‘You can count me out for a minute, but don’t think I’ll stay down for very long.’”
As the curtain closed on a sold-out show at New York City’s Town Hall last night (December 14th), multi-PLATINUM singer/songwriter Kip Moore took a bow to 2017, for what can only be described as a benchmark career year. Moore is wrapping up an overwhelming year on multiple “Best Of 2017” lists by Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, UpRoxx, Bobby Bones Show, Taste Of Country, Sounds Like Nashville, The Boot, PopMatters and Whiskey Riff for his revered third studio album SLOWHEART, while reflecting on his 4th career No. One for his “rousing” (UpRoxx) single “More Girls Like You,” sold-out headlining shows, national TV appearances and more.
Moore kicked off the year with the release of his now No. One smash hit “More Girls Like You” in February. Moore released the wanderlust-inducing music video for the single exclusively with Travel & Leisure as he offered an unfiltered look into his trip to Costa Rica, one of many stops during an extended break to Iceland, Australia and more, that he also gave further insight to during a feature with Conde Nast Traveler.
The momentum continued into the summer as Moore announced his highly-anticipated third studio album SLOWHEART, which was released on Sept. 9. Leading up to the release, Moore teased fans offering advance listens to the album via NPR’s First Listen, song premieres with Noisey and American Songwriter, as well as live sessions with Billboard and Paste & Daytrotter Music. Upon release, critics were quick to praise the collection.
“SLOWHEART is his most complete, cohesive declaration of his artistic sensibilities yet.” – American Songwriter
“Kip Moore has been up all night, he’s been a wild one, but in 2017, he’s a slowheart. The titles of his albums have always been at least somewhat indicative of where he’s at in his life, and his third LP, SLOWHEART, shines a light on his more sensitive side” – Billboard
“The most thrilling set of his career.” – Entertainment Weekly
“[Moore’s] strongest, most artistic album” – Forbes
“A thoroughly vital, 13-song collection…It’s not that Moore avoids contemporary country conventions. He enlivens them by injecting self-awareness or playing up the tensions between country and rock’s various masculine ideals.” – NPR
“As much influenced by a longtime love of Southern rock as traditional country music, SLOWHEART is the sound of an uncompromising, genre-defying artist firing on all cylinders.” – Noisey
“Between the rough edges of Americana, rock and the evocative storytelling of country, produced to let every guitar lick ring true and every edge and wail of Moore’s voice reverberate raw but strong” – Rolling Stone
“With his grizzled voice, and the hint of humor lurking behind every roiling guitar solo, Moore was a shoo-in to dominate the sweet spot between radio hits and diehard old school fans.” – UpRoxx
“Moore blends the passion and connection for which he’s known with a new self-awareness that will speak to both commercial and underground audiences.” – USA Today
While undertaking his headlining PLEAD THE FIFTH fall tour in November, Moore celebrated his 4th No. One by performing “More Girls Like You” live on national TV on TODAY. In a milestone-heavy year, Moore also celebrated his breakout debut album UP ALL NIGHT, which spawned three No. One hit singles, being certified PLATINUM by the RIAA.
Following the release of SLOWHEART, and in a year filled with reflection and honesty, Moore also delved into the process of making the album with his vulnerable documentary THE JOURNEY TO SLOWHEART, available to watch via VEVO now. The refreshingly raw piece follows Moore as he returns to his hometown of Tifton, GA, as he looks back on his childhood and the importance of his family in shaping the artist he is today. Moore’s upbringing also sparked and influenced his charitable initiative “Kip’s Kids Fund,” which this year saw him team up with international skateboarding champion Tony Hawk to host “MUSIC CITY SKATE JAM” in an effort to raise funds for hurricane-affected communities.
Last night (12/14) in New York City, marked the final show on a limited acoustic-storyteller run, alongside fellow singer/ songwriters Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen, the stop marked the last of many capacity-crowd houses Moore has played to this year including his recently wrapped PLEAD THE FIFTH TOUR and a headlining sold-out stint across the pond earlier this fall, with CMT praising “it’s the way he expresses what’s on his mind that draws sold-out audiences around the world.” As Moore looks toward a stacked 2018, with the recent release of his “smoldering” (Rolling Stone) new single ”Last Shot,” he will hit the road again in February with Luke Bryan in Springfield, MO on 2/16 and will then head back across the pond for a highly-anticipated return to Europe’s Country To Country Festival taking place March 9-11 in London, UK, Glasgow, UK, and Dublin, I.E. For more information and a full list of tour dates visit kipmoore.net.
Kip Moore and his brothers would go on fishing trips with their dad around Christmas before the elder Moore passed away a few years ago, and it was always one of his favorite traditions. Another one of his favorite traditions was watching movies with his family on Christmas Eve.
“The night before Christmas, we would rent a bunch of movies,” says Kip. “My dad would take us to the store, the video store and we would rent a bunch of movies and we’d watch them all through the night. That was always a thing that we’d look forward to was all hanging out together and laugh until 3 or 4 or 5 in the morning, then waking up two hours later for the presents.”
The Georgia native has just released his new song, “Last Shot,” from his album Slowheart. He’s got a few dates left on the books to close out 2017, before hitting the road with Luke Bryan on the What Makes You Country Tour, kicking off February 16th in Springfield, Missouri.
Kip Moore (Christmas) OC: …fishing trips. [laughs] 1:06
“Growing up, the night before Christmas, we would rent a bunch of movies. My dad would take us to the store, the video store and we would rent a bunch of movies and we’d watch them all through the night. That was always a thing that we’d look forward to was all hanging out together and laugh until 3 or 4 or 5 in the morning, then waking up two hours later for the presents. I hope that I can carry that out when I have a family – I’m still a little ways away from that. [laughs] But, I hope, there comes a time for that when I can, you know, I think all of the video stores will be gone by then, so I guess that’ll be a Netflix night, but hopefully I can do that kind of stuff. I really miss it bad going on the fishing trips. I grew up going on tons of fishing trips with my dad and brothers, and usually the holidays were a time to get to do that again, and I hope I can be half as awesome as my dad was with us, and knowing how much he worked taking the time to take us on those fishing trips. I hope I can get the chance to do that with, I might even include my future wife on the fishing trips.” [laughs heartily]
Kip Moore (last Christmas fishing trip) OC: …never forget that. :45
“I went fishing with my dad for the last time. We all went fishing together during the holidays. Growing up as a kid, he was always taking us flats fishing up the Gulf Coast, and we all went one last time when we knew it was coming to an end. It was just one of those days – never in my life, so many times we had gone, we didn’t catch anything. I mean, it was every single cast for seven hours, we catch a fish. It was the wildest thing ever where I didn’t know it was possible to catch that many fish. It was the most amazing painted sunset when we were driving in that I’ve ever seen in my life. We just stopped the boat and we all just stared at it for a while, and you just knew, we would kind into that moment for that day. That was kind of given to us, and you knew that was going to be probably the last time that we got to take a fishing trip with him. It was special, man. I’ll never forget that.”
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® will kick off a nationwide campaign called “THIS SHIRT SAVES LIVES” featuring some of the industry’s biggest names and influencers in order to create a giving movement. Nashville photographers, John Shearer and Andres Martinez, have lent their talents to the campaign, shooting many of the over 80 artist images that will be featured.
The campaign will be supported by St. Jude Country Cares radio partners to cover more than 120 markets in December. The on-air push will coincide with a social push as artists and influencers wear and share photos in THIS SHIRT on their socials.
St. Jude has long given apparel as a thank you to “Partners In Hope,” donors who give $20 per month to the hospital’s lifesaving work. THIS SHIRT SAVES LIVES T-shirt will exclusively be available to those that become Partners In Hope.
“St. Jude is an amazing organization, and whenever you see that name you trust that it’s the best of all causes,” said award-winning singer, songwriter and longtime St. Jude supporter Luke Bryan. “It’s important for me to be a part of causes that inspire people. It’s a life-changing experience to get to see St. Jude and meet the kids who are fighting for their lives.”
St. Jude will officially launch the campaign with an industry-wide reception at the Country Music Association in Nashville on Monday, December 4, 2017.
Confirmed artists include: Luke Bryan, Brothers Osborne, Darius Rucker, Jon Pardi, Kip Moore, Josh Turner, Easton Corbin, Kacey Musgraves, Canaan Smith, Brandon Lay, Mickey Guyton, Brett Eldredge, Cassadee Pope, Chris Janson, Chris Young, Cole Swindell, Dustin Lynch, Hunter Hayes, Jake Owen, Kelsea Ballerini, Lee Brice, Maren Morris, Rascal Flatts, Scotty McCreery and Thomas Rhett.
Since 1989, Country Cares for St. Jude Kids has raised more than $750 million for the kids of St. Jude.
To join the THIS SHIRT SAVES LIVES movement, visit: www.thisshirtsaveslives.org.
About St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90 percent, and we won’t stop until no child dies from cancer. St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. Join the St. Jude mission by visiting stjude.org, liking St. Jude on Facebook (facebook.com/stjude) and following us on Twitter (@stjude).