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.’”
“Hey! This is Billy Currington. Hope you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey, this is T.J., and I’m John, and we’re Brothers Osborne. Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hi! I’m Carrie Underwood, wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day. Send me some chocolate.”
“Hey everybody, this is Catie Offerman, wishing you all a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey y’all! This is Caylee Hammack, wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey, I’m Dalton Dover – for all the lovers out there, I’m wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“What’s up y’all? This is Darius Rucker, hoping you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey, it’s Dierks Bentley, hoping you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey! This is Eric Church, hoping you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“This is George Strait, wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hi! It’s Jon Pardi, and I hope you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey! It’s Jordan Davis, hoping you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey! This is Josh Turner, and I want to wish you and your sweetheart a Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hi, this is Kacey Musgraves, and I hope you have a Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. This is Keith Urban. Make the day special for your ‘Once in a Lifetime’ love.”
“Hey! What’s happening, everybody? This is Kip Moore. Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey y’all, this is Kylie Morgan, wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey! We’re Little Big Town. Happy Valentine’s Day!”
“Hey y’all, it’s Luke Bryan. Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey everybody. I’m Parker McCollum, wishing all the lovers out there a Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey y’all, this is Priscilla Block wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey everybody, this is Reba McEntire, wishing you and your sweetheart a Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey everybody, this is Reba McEntire, wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hi! This is Sam Hunt, wishing you a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hi, this is Shania Twain. Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey, it’s Tyler Hubbard, wishing y’all a Happy Valentine’s Day.”
Kip Moore has been tapped to perform during this year’s Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, taking place June 15th-18th in Manchester, Tennessee. He’s scheduled to perform on Sunday, June 18th. The four-day event will include headliners Kendrick Lamar, Foo Fighters, Odesza, Paramore and L’il Nas X, among others. Early Access ticket sales will begin Thursday (January 12th) at 10am, but if you cannot get there, then you can watch the festival stream on HULU.
Several famous faces are set to honor the late Leslie Jordan. Reportin’ for Duty: A Tribute to Leslie Jordan will be held February 19th at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. Brothers Osborne, Maren Morris, Eddie Vedder, and others, in addition to special appearances by Jim Parsons, Anthony Mason, Mayim Bialik, Cheyenne Jackson, Max Greenfield and Margaret Cho. Tickets go on sale Friday (January 13th) and all proceeds from the event will benefit the EB Research Partnership, an organization that funds research to treat and cure Epidermolysis Bullosa.
John Osborne from Brothers Osborne plays guitar on Elle King’s song, “Tulsa,” which she just released from her upcoming album, Come Get Your Wife. The track also features Ashley McBryde on backing vocals.
Guitar virtuoso and legend Jeff Beck passed away on Tuesday (January 10th) after contracting bacterial meningitis. The music world mourned the loss of the icon, including one of country music’s best guitar players — Keith Urban. On Wednesday (January 11th), he posted a heartfelt tribute to him, saying, “I was shocked and saddened to hear that Jeff Beck had ‘portaled into the next realm.’ It’s impossible to label or frame his gift, his music, his ART, or to try and quantify his impact on not only guitarists, but all kinds of musicians, singers, and music lovers all over the world. He’s absolutely one of the few faces on the Mt. Rushmore of guitar players.” Keith was able to stand side stage, along with ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, last year and was mesmerized by his talent firsthand.
God bless you Jeff. Thank you for your light. RIP brother. pic.twitter.com/hGWcrDk3pn
— Keith Urban (@KeithUrban) January 12, 2023
Tyler Hubbard will be featured on CMT’s Hot 20 Countdown this weekend. Catch him on Saturday (January 14th) beginning at 9am ET/8am CT and Sunday (January 15th) beginning at 8am ET/7am CT.
This weekend on #cmtHot20 @blakeshelton goes back to the glory days, @tylerhubbard gives a whole new meaning to every inch is a mile, @ernest615 talks budding friendship w/ @wizkhalifa & @ElleKingMusic proves Trying Jesus may be Worth A Shot! Tune in Sat at 9a/8c & Sun at 8a/7c! pic.twitter.com/hCR2vIXOc7
— CMT Hot 20 Countdown (@cmtHot20) January 12, 2023
What are some of your favorite stars doing to welcome in the New Year? A few of them are working to help fans celebrate. Several artists have taken the time off around the holidays and will hit it hard when they return to the road in 2023. Some artists have resolutions, some artists look ahead to the new year and some are very helpful with their own hangover cures for those who imbibe too much on New Year’s Eve.
For several country stars, they’ll be ringing in the new year with Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Little Big Town, Kelsea Ballerini, Brooks & Dunn and Zac Brown Band in Nashville on New Year’s Eve as CBS presents NEW YEAR’S EVE LIVE: NASHVILLE’S BIG BASH on Saturday (December 31st) at 8-11pm ET/PT and 11:30pm-1:30am ET/PT. The special programming will air on CBS and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+. Originating from downtown Nashville across multiple locations, the star-studded special will be packed with high-energy performances celebrating the excitement and anticipation of a new year. In addition to Dierks, Little Big Town and Luke, Darius Rucker, Jason Aldean, Elle King, Thomas Rhett, Kane Brown, Sheryl Crow, Ashley McBryde, Jimmie Allen and Lainey Wilson, among others will perform. The broadcast will cross multiple time zones, with the traditional countdown at midnight ET, culminating with the renowned Nashville music note drop and fireworks at midnight CT.
Maddie & Tae will perform “Bathroom Floor” and “Every Night Every Morning” from Disneyland on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest,” which kicks off at 8pm ET/7pm CT on ABC.
— Maddie & Tae (@MaddieandTae) December 6, 2022
Brothers Osborne (New Year) OC: (TJ) …next month. :44
JOHN: “I think it’s kind of funny how we spend literally the last moment and the very first moment of every year being extremely intoxicated, extremely, because you don’t want to wait until like 12:30 to get your buzz on. You’ve got to do it before midnight, and then once midnight happens, you’re like, ‘Omigod! Now it’s time to celebrate even more.’ Debauchery is the literally bookending your entire year.” TJ: “I love how everyone starts the year off with diets and then we end the year with like excessive amounts of food. And then you get to the end of the year, you’re like, ‘Oh, I’m going to start a diet on the 1st, so I’m going to eat everything that’s in front of me.’ I love it.” JOHN: “And come February 1st, ‘what diet?’” [laughs] TJ: “What diet? I’ll start it next month.” [laughs]
Brothers Osborne (hangover cure) OC: …of the year. :07
“Usually drinking more. I mean, a little hair of the dog never hurt anybody. Plus, it’s the first of the year.”
Dierks Bentley (NYE From Nashville) OC: …watching it. :52
“Nashville’s just, people just can’t get enough of it. I mean they’re just crazy about this city. They’re crazy about the music. You can feel it from the, well, you can feel it from the real estate housing market to Lower Broadway, and it’s just unbelievable. So, I think, I just know people across the country if they had a choice to watch – nothing against New York – but that or actually see their favorite city on TV with all of their favorite artists performing from the big, Bicentennial Mall stage to Miranda’s bar, my bar, Luke’s bar, Aldean’s bar, I mean it’s unbelievable. I can’t imagine it won’t be the most exciting thing to see on TV for all of the country fans out there. It’s long overdue to have, for our city to have a New Year’s Eve show. And again, nothing against the other cities or whatnot, but it’s just they’re not Nashville. And Nashville, it’s hot. It’s hot right now, and it has been for a long time. So, this is gonna be a lot of fun to be a part of, and I think people across the country are gonna love watching it.”
Dierks (NYE) OC: …for that. :10
“I think January first is universally accepted as a dog. So I mean, a little hair of the dog, I guess. But just…water and stay on the couch, I guess. There’s no real sure-fire cure for that.”
Dierks Bentley (New Year’s traditions as a kid) OC: …So fun. :30
“I don’t really have any great New Year’s Eve traditions. As a kid growing up, we would watch the ball drop in Times Square on TV. We were usually up in a little cabin up in the mountains, and we had a black and white TV and we’d watch the ball drop. I would’ve rather been back home in Phoenix with all my friends going to a lot of parties, but my parents kind of sequestered us in the mountains. So, not a lot of fun traditions growing up. Now, I love watching the Nashville New Year’s Eve show. So fun.”
Dierks Bentley (New Year’s resolution 2023) OC: …have more fun! :12
“I don’t really have any New Year’s Eve resolutions this year. I’ve got a lot of stuff going on with the new album coming out and a new tour happening, but I guess if I had one resolution this year, it’d be to have more fun!”
Eric Church (hangover cure) OC: …every time. :17
“The best hangover cure – I’ve got two. One is 5-hour Energy [bottles], because of all the B-vitamins that are in it. You can start pounding those, and it’s either gonna work, or it’s gonna keep you up and prolong your misery. But the other one I have is just take two Advil and a beer in the morning. Hair of the dog, man – that works every time.”
Jon Pardi (hangover cure) OC: …deal with it. :20
“My hangover cure is Bloody Marys, but be careful – because once you have a couple, don’t go to beer, because if you go to beer, you’re gonna start drinking again and you’ll end up a morning drunk. OR if you want to go the non-alcoholic route, there’s nothing you can do for hangovers. [laughs] You just go deal with it.”
Kip Moore (avoiding hangovers on NYE) OC: …yourself. :03
“Pace yourself on New Year’s – that’s the remedy. Pace yourself.”
Luke Bryan (New Years-best) OC: …great night. :17
“My best New Year’s Eve is definitely when my wife and I started back dating. We started back dating right before Christmas, and we went on a trip down to Florida and met some friends. And her birthday is New Year’s Eve. We celebrated it that night. It was just a great night.”
Travis Denning (favorite New Year’s Eve party) OC: …it was good. :41
“I think my favorite New Year’s Eve party ever was when my sister got married, and my sister’s party got done at 10:30, 10:45 and she got married right behind a little club that I played a lot in Macon, Georgia called the Crazy Bull and love the owner. We’re boys, you know? So, we just literally walked right over and burned the house down. That was one of my favorite New Year’s Eve memories, ‘cause I got to see my sister and brother-in-law get married and that was such a great, great time, and then me and my older cousin and best friend, we ended up at Waffle House that night, so it was good.”
Travis Denning (hangover cure) OC: …me better. :17
“You know, I think my hangover cure is just sitting on my butt, [laughs] not doing anything. Drink some water, a cup of coffee, but usually anything greasy or just some big ole Mexican food that’ll get me at least to a nap, which will get me better.”
Tyler Hubbard (New Year’s memory) OC: …comes to mind. :24
“Well, this is probably a classic answer, but we did play New Year’s in New York and watched the ball drop and it was a big, special moment, one of those kind of check it off the bucket list type of moments, and we did that. And it is incredible. The energy’s amazing, and it’s super cold, but we had a great time. When I think of epic New Year’s, that’s definitely, it’s probably the first memory that comes to mind.”