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 announced he will release ROOM TO SPARE: THE ACOUSTIC SESSIONS EP on November 16th. Driven by a promise to fans to share an acoustic EP, Moore shared further insight into the project exclusively with American Songwriter today, including the creative process that went in to the seven-song collection and
co-writing five of the tracks. Fans can pre-order the upcoming release starting today here.
Been a long time coming. You guys have wanted some acoustic recordings for quite some time and you won’t have to wait much longer. Also I told y’all we were gonna play some small acoustic shows at the end of the year. #RoomToSpare https://t.co/w9i6ch31sW pic.twitter.com/FutLSTUmva
— Kip Moore (@KipMooreMusic) October 12, 2018
Audiences across the country will also be able to experience the new tracks live this fall as Moore also revealed a limited Room To Spare: Acoustic Tour kicking off in Milwaukee, WI on 11/29 and stopping in Des Moines, IA (11/30), Emporia, KS (12/1), and Akron, OH (12/8), inviting special guests Charlie Worsham and Jillian Jacqueline to join him on the special stint. Tickets will go on sale Friday, Oct. 19 at 10am local time here. Moore is currently out on the road proving why he is “one of country music’s most tireless and powerful live draws” (Rolling Stone), as he headlines his stacked AFTER THE SUNBURN TOUR.
ROOM TO SPARE: THE ACOUSTIC SESSIONS showcases Moore’s signature sound in a stripped-down setting, as his gritty vocals resonate through each track. The collection opens with an acoustic spin on fan-favorite and live-show staple “Plead The Fifth,” and keeps the momentum going with the hook-driven “Tennessee Boy.” The longing and reflective “It Ain’t California,” offers another stand-out moment and also sees Moore collaborate with upcoming tourmate Charlie Worsham, who has co-writer and studio credits throughout the release.
ROOM TO SPARE: THE ACOUSTIC SESSIONS Track List:
1. Plead The Fifth (Acoustic Version)
(Luke Dick, Josh Kear)
2. Tennessee Boy
(Kip Moore, Dan Couch)
3. Love You To The Moon
(Charlie Worsham, Natalie Hemby, Luke Dick)
4. It Ain’t California
(Kip Moore, Charlie Worsham, Jon Mabe)
5. Wish It Was Me
(Kip Moore, Adam Browder, Scott Stepakoff, Dan Couch)
6. Come Home With You
(Kip Moore, Troy Verges, Blair Daly)
7. Part Of Growing Up
(Kip Moore, Josh Miller, Andrew DeRoberts)
**Physical EP only available at roomtospare.kipmoore.net and at Moore’s Room To Spare: Acoustic Tour shows. When you pre-order at roomtospare.kipmoore.net, the first 250 purchasers of the EP Fan Package will get their EP autographed. Preorders also include presale ticket access to those upcoming dates.
Kip’s current song, “Last Shot,” is closing in on Top 15. It’s the second single from his third studio album, Slowheart, and is the follow-up to his fourth No. 1 hit “More Girls Like You.
Kip Moore kicked off his highly-anticipated headlining AFTER THE SUNBURN TOUR with a string of roof-raising shows on the east coast this weekend. Beginning in Silver Springs, MD and wrapping with a sold-out show in Huntington, NY, a highlight from the opening weekend saw Moore play a personal bucket-list show at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on Friday night (9/21.) Moore, who has “cultivated an extensive international touring base… quickly becoming one of country music’s most tireless and powerful live draws” (Rolling Stone), has a fiercely loyal following in New York City, returning each time to play bigger headlining rooms, often doubling the capacity size, since 2012. The unforgettable evening had Moore’s notoriously passionate fans singing back every song, single or album track, unwaveringly to the very last note of his set.
Each night across the high-energy weekend saw Moore give fans a sneak peak of upcoming new music and he will continue his stacked headlining tour this weekend with stops in Birmingham, AL and Louisville, KY, as well as joining Lady Antebellum for a night in Alpharetta, GA. Moore has invited a combination of special guests including Jordan Davis, Jillian Jacqueline, The Wild Feathers and Caroline Jones to join him across the dates this fall. For a full list of tour dates and to purchase tickets visit: kipmoore.net.
Kip is making his way up the country charts with his latest song, “Last Shot,” from his current album, Slowheart.
Brandon Lay, who is making his way up the country charts with “Yada Yada Yada,” will make his Grand Ole Opry debut on September 29th!
— Brandon Lay (@brandonlay) August 29, 2018
Kip Moore, Darius Rucker and Jewel have been added to the list of performers at the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) annual Nashville Songwriter Awards. The event, which will also feature previously announced performers Brothers Osborne, Thomas Rhett, Old Dominion, Brantley Gilbert, Blake Shelton, Scott McCreery and others, will take place September 19th at the Ryman Auditorium.
Luke Bryan appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America for the second time this week. On Tuesday, he helped announce the CMA nominees from his bar, Luke’s 32 Bridge Food + Drink, along with Dan + Shay and Sugarland. On Wednesday (August 29th), he took GMA anchor Paula Faris for a tour around the bar, where they talked about his upbringing, peanuts, family and his multi-week No. 1 smash “Most People Are Good.” Check out the interview here.