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.’”
Father’s Day is Sunday (June 20th), and we have audio with many of your favorite country stars! Download the soundbites below.
For 2021 Father’s Day liners, click here.
Adam Hambrick (Father’s Day-Dad) OC: …about my dad. :45“When I was a kid, my dad always included me on what he was doing. I feel like I learned a lot from watching go about life and watching him treat people well and with kindness. My dad is a pastor and I watched, my whole growing up, I just watched him serve other people, like put other people’s needs in front of himself and show up in the hospital when Sister Jeanette had surgery or whatever that thing was like any given day, it could be anything. I watched him tile floors in a new Sunday School building. I watched him do literally everything for a ton of different people in a really selfless way. That’s one of the things I admire most about my dad.”
Brandon Lay (father of two) OC: …embrace. :26
“Oh man! Now that I’m a father of two, it’s really it goes from more than just keeping one little guy alive and still having more me and Nicole time to wow, I’m actually a father. We’ve got a party of four now, not that I wasn’t before a father, but you know what I mean. I’m reaching real dad status. It’s a weird feeling, but it’s one I embrace.”
Brothers Osborne (Dad’s music) OC: (John) …anything else. :34
“Our dad listened to everything from Hank Williams to Willie Nelson to even pop music like Mariah Carey and Tom Petty to Bob Seger. You name it and he listened to it, so we really didn’t think about specific genres. We really just kind of soaked it all in, so we listened to it all at one time. It was just music to us. Th ere wasn’t a day in our house without the radio on or there wasn’t a weekend at our house that there wasn’t a party and people had their guitars out, so music to us is like eating and breathing. It’s just as essential as anything else.”
Carrie Underwood (Father’s Day) OC: …guy all around. 1:18
“Well, I am very lucky in my life to have two incredible fathers – my own father and then I get to watch my husband be a father to our boys – strong, amazing men, I am very lucky to be around them. Mike as a dad is just super involved in our boys’ lives, very hands on. It takes a team, definitely, to be able to support my crazy life and Mike’s always running around doing a lot of charity things and he’s always meeting with people and he’s on different boards and stuff like that, so we’re very much switching off duties as far as taking boys here and there to school and sports and to all the extra-curricular activities. I just love that I feel like we’re such a great team. I love it that he gets to now work with Isaiah on sports and things like that, and I know he loves it too. So, I think that’s one of my favorite qualities about Mike is just how hands on of a father he is and very willing to pick up the slack when I’m crazy busy. Obviously, he’s just a very Godly father, as well. He keeps God as the center of our family and gets to teach our boys all about that, as well. So, he’s just a great guy all around.”
Caylee Hammack (Dad) OC: …forget that. 1:19
“My dad has this really unnerving ability to be able to build anything at all just by thinking of it. He can look at something and build it in his mind and build it by hand, and it always works. I’ve always respected him for that. He’s a very hard worker. He’s worked every day of his life. He’s also kind, even when he doesn’t have to be. He’s the type of guy who always gives money at the light to whoever it is on the street. One of my favorite moments with my dad was when we were driving to Macon, Georgia. I was playing a show that night, and we were driving up and we saw this dog and I could tell she was a mama dog. I could tell she had babies somewhere that she was trying to nurse, and she was so skinny. And I’m a bleeding heart. I get it from my Mama, and I just start crying, and I’m like, ‘That poor dog. She’s starving trying to feed her babies.’ I thought, ‘Poor dog.” And my dad doesn’t say anything, goes up two more blocks and pulls into the McDonalds. And he goes through and he asks me if I wanted anything, and I say no. I just think he’s hungry. He goes and he buys three or four burgers, and then he goes back to that block and he drives around until we find that dog to feed it to ‘em. I just remember looking at him, being like this is what a man is; this is what a good man does, and I’ll never forget that.”
Darius Rucker (Father’s Day) OC: …loving dad. :41
“I think if you asked my kids what kind of Dad I was they would probably say…Dani would say that I was a fun Dad. My little daughter would say that I was a fun dad; she thinks I’m a lot of fun. I think if you caught them at the right moment they would say I was mean [laughs] because when I’m home I’m not afraid to discipline them. I’m all fun until it’s not fun anymore and then daddy’s not the fun guy. I think that they’d say that I was a fun Dad, I’m a loving Dad and I think they would say that. I’m gone so much that when I’m home, I just shower love upon my kids. I say ‘I love you’ probably fifty times a day. We hug, we kiss all the time. I’m always wanting them to know how much I love them. So I’d hope they’d say that I was a loving dad.”
Darius Rucker (mother’s qualities makes him a great father) OC: …my mom. :45
“She had a lot great qualities, but she was always, family was first for her. She was always a rock and making sure she took care of us and making sure we had things we needed to have to survive – food and clothes and a home – and seeing that and seeing how hard she worked and all the things she did just really made me the father that I am today. I mean, I’m so crazy and hands-on with my kids. I think it all comes from watching my mom have to struggle so much to support us. And so now, I don’t want me or my wife to ever have to struggle, and I don’t want my kids to ever want or wonder where I am or where there mom is. I want them to always know where we are and always be taken care of, and that all comes from my mom.”
Dierks Bentley (dad & performer) OC: …to do both. :28
“When I get home, it’s a totally different reality that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. Just hanging with my girls and doing the things we do and seeing life through their eyes, it’s incredible. It takes a man to do it. It’s not a boys’ game. It takes a man to do it. I love the juxtaposition to be able to be that man and to also go on the road and act like I’m 13 years old and play video games all afternoon waiting for the fans to show up. So, it’s really a blessing to be able to do both.”
Dierks (Father’s Day) OC: …that’s for sure. :10
“My dad was my biggest influence in country music because my dad loved country radio. So, we always drove around listening to country radio and George Strait, Hank Williams and Randy Travis and all these guys, so. Without him, I wouldn’t be doing this, that’s for sure.”
Eric Church (Father’s Day) OC: …always admired. :29
“My dad is a, I’m trying to find the right words to describe him. My dad is a great guy, honest guy, very call it like he sees it, which is where I get a lot of that. No BS. I’m gonna tell you how I feel whether you like it or not. I’m that guy, I’m me…My dad’s that way, so I get a lot of that from him. There’s also an honesty and an integrity that my dad carries himself with that I’ve always admired.”
Eric Church (his father’s influence) OC: …same thing. :32
“My daddy’s always preached, and it’s something that rung true, he’s always preached authenticity. He’s always preached being honest and being true. My daddy’s from a small town, you know it’s a blue collar town, and he’s just always been pretty even-keeled; never too high and never too low. He’s always been honest and authentic. I think it’s a good template. It has been for me thus far, especially with this industry, ‘cause it’s really easy to get high and low. So, I think just keeping everything in perspective and trying to be real, and I think people can sense that, and I certainly will tell my kids the same thing.”
Jon Langston (Father’s Day) OC: …just fine. :16
“My Dad has been my hero all my life. He’s the man I want to be one day when I grow up. I’m thankful for all he’s done for me and the sacrifices he’s made for our family. If I’m half the man he is one day, I’ll be just fine.”
Jordan Davis (fatherhood 2020) OC: …here myself. :46
“Fatherhood is something, it really is tough to put into words, but one of my favorite things to do is to go in and get Eloise up in the mornings, and I just see this little bundle of joy. She is just so happy. She’s got a smile just like Kristen, and so it really is just crazy to go in in the morning. She could be crying, screaming and then you walk in, and the second she sees you, it’s all smiles and laughs. I don’t know. I think the coolest thing with a kid like her age is just the innocence. You see just how happy she is to be here, and I’m very happy she’s here myself.”
Jordan Davis (Father’s Day) OC: …my music. :45
“The thing I love most about my Dad is just his overall love of life. He’s a guy that’s worked hard and is now at a point where he can enjoy it, and he’s living every day to the fullest. That’s something that I’m very thankful that I’ve seen my Dad do and something to learn from. So, that’s probably my favorite quality about the old man, and just the hard work too. My dad ran a furniture business in Shreveport for a long time with his Dad. It was great to grow up and see a guy work hard and helped his Dad build a business from the ground up to a very successful business, and that’s something that I even try to carry over into my music.”
Jordan Davis (fatherhood and impending fatherhood) OC: …ever happened to me. :30
“I’m very blessed to have Eloise and to have another baby coming in September. It’s tough to put into words the change of becoming a dad. It really is an instant change in just your outlook on everything. I think it’s been amazing for me just to come home and see Eloise be so excited. It puts a lot of things into perspective. I think it’s helped with my music. It’s helped with every aspect of my life. Becoming a dad, it’s the coolest thing that’s ever happened to me.”
Josh Turner (Father’s Day) OC: …one of ‘em. 1:05
“As far as talent and potential, my oldest three, especially, they could do anything they wanted to do if they put their mind to it and their heart was there. My oldest [Hampton] is incredible at playing mandolin. Colby, we kind of noticed him turn the corner lately with the fiddle, and Marion is actually playing a ukulele that’s tuned like the top four strings on a guitar, so in essence, he’s learning how to play guitar. They’ve just kind of started incorporating some singing into some playing, so they’re starting the whole singing and playing at the same time kind of thing, and not only that, they’re even learning to play songs together on their individual instruments. So, it’s amazing to see how much they can learn in such a short amount of time. It makes me realize how much I missed out on when I was that age, ‘cause I did take some music lessons growing up and everything, but I think they feed off of each other honestly. I think that’s why they’re getting so good is because they’re all doing it, not just one of ‘em.”
Keith Urban (Father’s Day) OC: …experience that. :36
“The first thing is probably just having someone call you dad. I’m like, ‘Omigosh! I’m her dad! That’s amazing.’ That’s probably the first thing to me. I don’t know, I mean, the different personalities that our two daughters have, that’s amazing. It’s such a long list I think. I always say…I think for the people that haven’t had kids – which I hadn’t for a long, long time. I didn’t have kids ‘til later on, and being around it is not the same as having them, you know? I realize that it’s not something that can be explained until you actually sort of have it, so I’m glad I got to experience that.”
Kip Moore (Father’s Day-dad’s influence) OC: …of us singin’ ‘em. :29
“He would just play all those classic records – Little River Band, Jackson Brown, Springsteen, Seger, Willie Nelson, the Red-Headed Stranger, Kristofferson, Sam Cook – like classic music. He’d be singing the songs and telling us why it was such good music. And I looked up to him so much, that’s the music I gravitated towards and that’s what I continue to listen to. Whenever I think about those old fishing trips, that’s what I think about is on the way down there, him singing those songs and all of us singin’ ‘em.”
Lauren Alaina (Father’s Day best friend) OC: …my brother and I. :29
“My dad is one of my best buds. I absolutely adore him. He is hilarious, and every bit of my personality came from my father directly. (laughs) He is awesome and I’m lucky to be his daughter, and I’m thankful for Father’s Day so that I can celebrate him and show him how much he means to my brother and I.”
Luke Bryan (Father’s Day-life lessons) OC: …live by that. :46
“Well, my dad was, I always just go back to the life lessons that always started either in a fishing boat or hunting somewhere, and that’s why I’ve always kind of been a champion of those types of behaviors certainly with your boys and your children because you get to spend time and hand down values. My dad was always big on just hard work and being good to people and a handshake is the contract. A handshake is your bond, your word. His famous saying always was, ‘Do something right the first time and you won’t have to go back and do it over again.’ I won’t say I batted a thousand perfectly on that, but I’ve kind of tried to live by that.”
Maddie & Tae (Father’s Day) OC: …for Father’s Day. :26
“So, for Father’s Day, I made my Dad – I think it was right before I moved to Nashville – I made my Dad this little photo book where it had like his quotes that have stuck with me my whole life and then some pictures, and it was really funky. It looks horrible. It’s not put together, but that’s one of his favorite gifts that he’s ever gotten, and I cherish that ugly photo book thing that I made for him for Father’s Day.”
Sam Hunt (Father’s Day) OC: …he’s great. :27
“I’m obviously biased about my parents, but I’ve been around a lot of great men of integrity, but he is by far the best man that I know. He’s just taught me so much about being a man, doing the right thing, knowing the difference between right and wrong. And even though I don’t always follow his lead, I definitely know better because of him, and that means a whole lot to me. I was just really fortunate to have him as a dad, and he’s great.”
Travis Denning (Father’s Day) OC: …for sure. :43
“My dad – I call him ‘Diamond Dave’ and a lot of other people do too. Honestly, I don’t know if I drink more with anybody else more than my Dad. I think a super cool thing now is getting older and knowing that I’m starting to get more and more sustained as a human that it’s like my parents get to be friends now with me and my sister, which is such a cool thing. And so, yeah, me and my Dad – we love music and we love heavy metal and we love all that. We get to go to concerts and football games and drink beer and just enjoy that cool part of a father and a son and a mother and a son where now we get to be friends and it’s really cool. My Dad is my best friend, for sure.”
Vince Gill (Father’s Day) OC: …feels like. :33
“Kindness-hopefully make them kind and that’s all we got. Five great kids, a couple of grandkids. Those grandkids are the complete light of my life. You know, they just show up and the rest of the world can kiss my you-know-what. (laughs) I say, ‘We’re just gonna go swing in the backyard; we’re gonna wrestle on the bed; we’re gonna eat those Goldfish (crackers), you know? And nothing else kind of seems to matter. And then I think what I love seeing, more than anything, for my kid to finally understand what it means to love, and it’s awesome to see my kid finally get it what that unconditional love really looks like and feels like.”
Kip Moore had a blast on the set of the music video for his latest single, “Good Life.” Check out all of the behind-the-scenes action below.
Kip Moore revealed he will officially return to the road this fall, announcing THE HOW HIGH TOUR today, slated to kick off in Chicago, IL on 10/14. The multi-city run across The US will see Moore back where he has built a reputation for his “much-praised live shows — equal parts high-energy showmanship, sincere audience connections and formidable musicianship from Moore and his band” (Detroit Free Press). Tickets for the tour will begin becoming available to purchase this Friday, 5/14 at 10am local time at kipmoore.net.
Moore is also embracing the feel-good vibes from his new single “Good Life” in the official new music video for the track out today and available to watch here. Directed by friend and long-time collaborator PJ Brown, the video sees Moore embody the free-spirited nature of the song, channeling multiple facets of living him a “Good Life” throughout the trippy video. Critics have been quick to praise the “rat-a-tat country rocker that will light up his live audience” (Billboard) on which Moore embraces a sonic shift, and also joins forces with renowned producer Jay Joyce for the first time. “Destined to be his next radio hit” (Country Now), “Good Life” is officially available to be added at country radio today.
“The live show has been a massive part of everything we’ve built up until this point,” shared Moore. “We brought out a full record this past year and so it’s been a huge priority to get this tour scheduled so we can get out there and play those songs with the people who supported ‘Wild World’ and maybe even play some newer material now we have “Good Life” out there. Working on the music video for the single was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had making a video. We really just went for it and let our inhibitions go.”
THE HOW HIGH TOUR official dates:
10/14 Chicago, IL
10/15 Newport, KY
10/16 Rochester, NY
10/21 Fort Wayne, IN
10/22 Grand Rapids, MI
10/23 Detroit, MI
11/4 Knoxville, TN
11/5 Chattanooga, TN
11/6 Asheville, NC
11/11 Huntsville, AL
11/12 Charlotte, NC
11/13 Orange Beach, AL
11/19 North Myrtle Beach, SC
11/20 Raleigh, NC
11/21 Silver Spring, MD
12/2 Kansas City, MO
12/3 Kearney, NE
12/4 Dubuque, IA
12/17 Phoenix, AZ
12/18 San Diego, CA
Kip Moore has toured the world earning acclaim and a rabid fanbase as an all-in performer in each setting, consistently selling out headlining shows internationally with huge followings in The U.S, The U.K, Europe, Australia and Canada. Praised by Noisey as “an uncompromising, genre-defying artist firing on all cylinders” Moore has blazed his own trail, with “a bit more Southern rock than traditional country… to be a Kip Moore fan suddenly became a marker of your having a certain refinement in your country-music taste” (Chicago Tribune). The CMA “International Artist Achievement Award” nominee first splashed into the mainstream with the double-PLATINUM “Somethin’ ‘Bout a Truck” in 2012, then followed up with three more best selling No. Ones (“Hey Pretty Girl,” “Beer Money” and “More Girls Like You”), a trio of ambitious, critically-praised albums and two gritty EPs that landed Moore on multiple “Best Of” lists. For more information visit kipmoore.net.