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.’”
Kip Moore wrapped a seven-show sold-out stint across Canada this past weekend with a two-night run in London, ON, as part of the second leg of his headlining PLEAD THE FIFTH TOUR. The thrilling run comes hot on the heels of a successful return across the pond as part of C2C Festival, where Moore was met with rave reviews, declaring “from the huge cheers he got when he walked on stage, it was clear most of the crowd was here for Kip Moore, and he didn’t disappoint.” (Entertainment Focus) Moore then headed over to Canada, where the critical reception continued to praise his entertaining and emotional performances.
“Kip Moore is without a doubt a headliner. From the moment Kip ran on stage to the moment he ran off, the O2 Arena were in full force, all standing, dancing, rocking, cheering.” – Building Our Own Nashville
“Glasses were raised for the sub-Springsteen rock of Kip Moore.” – Evening Standard
“Another fun-filled, high-energy concert rockin’ and jammin’ at the Machine Shop.” – Sault Online
“When Kip walks out onto the stage you just can’t help but get caught up in the energy of it.” – Sound Check Entertainment
“As the country music fans filed into the venue the volume of the crowd increased. And by the end of the night… it was past impressive and into memorable territory.” – The Reviews Are In
Kip Moore recently released the “equal parts powerful, heartwarming and tear-jerking” (Entertainment Tonight) new music video for his new single “Last Shot.” The track is the second taken from his revered third studio album SLOWHEART and follows his fourth No. One hit “More Girls Like You.” “SLOWHEART,” is continuing to garner praise by critics across the country as 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) as well as wrapping 2017 on multiple “Best Of” lists including Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, UpRoxx, Bobby Bones Show, Taste Of Country, Sounds Like Nashville, The Boot, PopMatters and Whiskey Riff. SLOWHEART follows the acclaim that surrounded Moore’s sophomore album WILD ONES heralded as “an impressively singular release from Music Row” by The Guardian and his PLATINUM debut album UP ALL NIGHT that spawned three No. One hit singles. A unrelenting road warrior, Moore will continue his headlining PLEAD THE FIFTH with dates kicking off in Australia on 4/20, and will continue with shows across the US and Canada beginning 5/10. For more information, visit kipmoore.net.
Chris Stapleton is Justin Timberlake’s special guest on today’s Brit Awards. The pair will perform their duet, “Say Something,” from the pop superstar’s new album, Man of the Woods.
Kacey Musgraves will perform during Monday night’s (February 26th) Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on NBC.
Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley is teaming up with Jake Owen next Thursday (March 1st) to perform a show at Topgolf Nashville’s live music venue, The Cowan, to benefit pediatric cancer research at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Click here for ticket information.
Jon Pardi and Kip Moore will perform during the Academy of Country Music’s “Party for a Cause” events in Las Vegas prior to the ACM Awards. For ticket info, go to partyforacause.com. The ACM Awards will broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas April 15th at 8pm ET on CBS.
Kip Moore announced the second leg of his headlining PLEAD THE FIFTH TOUR today, kicking off in Kingston, Ontario on March 22nd. The new dates follow the fall leg of the tour which wrapped with a sold-out stint and praise from critics, including declaring “if you’re not sold on Kip Moore, one of his concerts will make you a fan… dang, is it a good show!” (The Boot.) Moore has invited Drake White to rejoin him on the trek following a fun-filled fall run, and has also enlisted Fairground Saints to join. Tickets will go on sale on Feb. 2 at 10am CT, here.
New PLEAD THE FIFTH TOUR Dates:
3/22/18 Kingston, ON Rogers K-Rock Centre
3/23/18 Barrie, ON Mavericks Music Hall
3/24/18 Toronto, ON Danforth Music Hall
3/25/18 Toronto, ON Danforth Music Hall
3/27/18 Sault Ste Marie The Machine Shop
3/29/18 Ottawa, ON Algonquin Commons
3/30/18 London, ON London Music Hall
4/5/18 Charlotte, NC Fillmore
4/6/18 Myrte Beach, SC House of Blues
5/10/18 Vancouver, BC Vogue Theater
5/11/18 Vancouver, BC Vogue Theater
5/12/18 Penticton, BC South Okanagan Events Centre
5/14/18 Medicine Hat, AB Esplanade Theatre
5/15/18 Prince Albert, SK EA Rawlinson Centre for the Arts
5/17/18 Winnipeg, MB Club Regent Event Centre
Kip Moore recently released the “equal parts powerful, heartwarming and tear-jerking” (Entertainment Tonight) new music video for his new single “Last Shot.” The track is the second taken from his revered third studio album SLOWHEART and follows his fourth No. One hit “More Girls Like You.” “SLOWHEART,” is continuing to garner praise by critics across the country as 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) as well as wrapping 2017 on multiple “Best Of” lists including Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, UpRoxx, Bobby Bones Show, Taste Of Country, Sounds Like Nashville, The Boot, PopMatters and Whiskey Riff. SLOWHEART follows the acclaim that surrounded Moore’s sophomore album WILD ONES heralded as “an impressively singular release from Music Row” by The Guardian and his PLATINUM debut album UP ALL NIGHT that spawned three No. One hit singles. Ahead of Moore’s headlining stint, he will hit the road 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, visit kipmoore.net.