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.’”
For many decades, Labor Day was seen as a day for workers to voice their complaints and discuss better working conditions and pay.
U.S. Congress declared Labor Day a national holiday in 1894, and on Monday, September 2nd, we will once again celebrate the people in every occupation whose work and dedication make this nation great. Labor Day in the United States is a holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It is a celebration of the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers.
Labor Day weekend also signals the unofficial end to summer, and many of the hottest country stars are taking a look back at some of the toughest jobs they had prior to making their mark in music or their dream job now.
Adam Hambrick (Labor Day) OC: …that summer. :41
“I don’t know if I’ve ever had a bad job. I don’t think I had a bad job, ‘cause I actually enjoyed this job ‘cause I was actually sitting in the air conditioning all day over the summer in Arkansas. It was very monotonous, because I was spending every summer day repairing old fallen-apart medical charts in a heart clinic in Little Rock. I would take all these photos of all these records and re-sort them page-by-page and put ‘em back in the manila folder and re-alphabetize ‘em. But I did bring my computer and watch movies while I did it, so I drank a lot of soda and watched a lot of movies that summer.”
AJ (working people songs) OC: … appreciate that. :28
“I’ve always written songs and recorded songs, other people’s songs, about workin’ people, and workin’, the workin’ life ’cause I mean, that’s where I’m from. I mean, I worked…I’d already had jobs and worked as a grown person before I ever even thought about bein’ in the music business, so I come from that background, and…although I hadn’t had a job in a long time (laughs), I still remember a lot about it, you know, and I remember what the lifestyle is, and I still appreciate that.”
Billy Currington (Labor Day) OC: …record deal. :40
“I started working like at [age] 12, landscaping. This was summer, every summers, and roofing. I started when I was about 16 roofing houses, and that was probably one of my toughest jobs because down there in South Georgia, it gets hot, so doing that every day all summer long. The pawn shop when I moved to Nashville was one of my favorites, even though it was one of my least favorites. The concrete job was my least favorite of all – six years of that, and I couldn’t take it no more. After that job, that was my turning point. Either I’m going to do something else for a living [laughs] or quit and try to really focus on music and get this record deal.”
Brandon Lay (Labor Day) OC: …a good one. :13
“You know, I can’t complain too much about Labor Day, ‘cause usually doing landscaping and it had slowed down a little, but the water’s still warm enough to hit the river. I’ve gotten to spend some time out on the lake for Labor Day, so Labor Day’s a good one.”
Carrie Underwood (Labor Day) OC: …born to do. :59
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad job. I’ve had hard jobs. I’ve had jobs that worked random hours. My first job was at a gas station, and that was a lot of fun actually. While I was working at the gas station, I took another job at a hotel down the street. There was nobody else working there. I had one day of training and then the next day I came in, and the lady that had worked there the longest and was training me just didn’t show. So, the second day at work I was now in charge ‘cause I was now the senior member that was working at the hotel. So, I feel like that one was really challenging to figure my way through it, but I did. My best job is definitely what I do now. I really like being on stage. I really like performing for people and just having fun and singing, because that’s what I feel like I was born to do.”
Caylee Hammack (Labor Day-worst job) OC: …worst job. (laughs) :38
“My worst job was working in a nursery, actually. I love kids so I thought I’d be really good at it, but wen you’re the new person coming in, you have to change all the diapers first. So, I was changing 45 diapers a day and it got to the point where everything smelled like baby poop. It literally drove me crazy. I would walk my dog and I would have to go to pick up her poop, and it would smell like baby poop, and I just couldn’t handle it, honestly. The smell of poop warded me away. The children were lovely, but the smell of poop lingered, and I couldn’t handle that job. That was my worst job.” (laughs)
Darius Rucker (Labor Day) OC: …pizza. :15
“I was fifteen, and I worked at a pizza place, and the guy decided that at fifteen, that I could not only clean the floors and wash the dishes, but I also had to make pizza. So, for two months, he taught me how to make pizza.”
Dierks Bentley (Labor Day) OC: …generosity. :26
“Personally, the fans give me amazement. That’s the only word to really sum it up. I look out in the crowd, you know, usually see a lot of faces and fans are cheering. I know each one of these like from the road-the signs are from California…Michelle and Kayla live up in the Ohio area. They’re all, I just see them, and I’m like, ‘Wow!,’ they’re all from different regions. You know when you’re in a different region of the country and you just see certain fans. These people are way more hard core than I am, and I’m just amazed by their generosity.”
Eric Church (Labor Day-odd jobs) OC: …bought at 2am. 1:27
“I had an awful job. I’ve had a lot of awful jobs…my worst one was when I first came to Nashville. I got a job at the Shop at Home Network. I worked midnight, graveyard, midnight to eight. That was bad enough but then I would work all night, go home, shower and then I had writing appointments all day because I was trying to get a career started. I’d go write songs and get meetings just trying to get signed. And end up getting done at 3 of 4 with all of that, I’d go home, take a shower or sleep for a little bit and then I had to be at work again at midnight. So the schedule was bad enough, however, what I had to do at the job…I sold knives from midnight to 7 or 8am. And, anytime somebody calls you at 3 or 4am and needs 200 knives for $19.95, it’s automatically an alarming situation. And I just, I was young and I’d been in a lot of these people’s shoes, I had done this…I knew they were drunk. I knew what they had done. They’d just come home from the bar, flipped on Shop at Home and said, ‘You know what? I need that.’ So the reason the job didn’t last long for me is that I was maybe the worst salesmen in history because I ended up talking a lot of these people out of it, I’d say, ‘I’ll tell you what man, go to bed, call me, I’ll be here in the morning. If you get up in the morning and want these knives you call me back.’ Because I knew what was going to happen, you know. They bought 200 knives for $19.95…first of all some of these people you didn’t know whether you should call the cops. What do you need 200 knives for? Even though I’m selling them…what do you need them for? So, it was awful doing that job. And then they got rid of me because, they were like, ‘You’re the worst. I can’t believe you’re talking people out of it.’ I was like, ‘Man I know…I’ve been there.’ [laughs] I’d want some to talk me out of buying some of the stuff I’ve bought at 2am.”
George Strait (first time on radio) OC: …records I’ve put out. :26
“I took it to a radio station in San Antonio KKYX, and a guy named Jerry King put it on and played it while I ran out to the car to listen to it on the radio. So, it’s just been relationships like that through the years that I’ve had with different people. I don’t know, they’ve just supported me so much and have been very open to the records I’ve put out.”
Jon Langston (Labor Day) OC: …is the bomb. :45
“The worst job – it wasn’t bad – I could just say growing up and stuff and in high school, I was working for my dad. It was a great job, working at the shop. One day I got tired of working for my dad. I thought it’d be smart to go work for somebody else and so I went to work at Chik-fil-a for a family friend, and I’m just not made for cooking chicken. But, I told my dad, ‘Hey, can I come back to work?’ (laughs) So, yeah, I mean, Chik-fil-a a great place to work if you’re into that kind of thing, but not me. But Chik-fil-a is m favorite fast food restaurant of all time. I mean, I will go to war for Chik-fil-a. I eat there probably three or four times a week. Chik-fil-a is the bomb.”
Jon Pardi (Labor Day) OC: …so bored! :17
“The worst job I ever had was at Hometown Grocery Store. I didn’t want to work, I was 15, and I did not want to work at the grocery store. Bagging was fun, but they sent me down the aisles to pull up cans and turn ‘em around and face ‘em, and I would just get so bored!”
Jordan Davis (Labor Day) OC: …worst job. :41
“[My] worst job was probably whenever I got out of school I started working for an environmental group in Baton Rouge, and I was doing actual environmental work at first. I went to my boss probably about four months in and told him that I was going to move to Nashville and write songs. Luckily enough, he let me stay on, but I became the weedeater guy for the landscaping side of the business. I seriously weedeated eight hours a day. The only break I would get would be in-between yard to yard. So, like we would be in the car and I would try to doze off for like 10 minutes. I was covered in grass in the middle of the summer in Baton Rouge. It was awful. That was definitely the worst job.”
Keith Urban (Labor Day) OC: …amazing. :22
“Seeing people connect to the music is absolutely, hands-down the biggest reward for me, especially when you go to a place you’ve never been to before and it’s all these people, I mean lots of people out there. You’ve never met a single one of ‘em and they’re singing every word, and you realize that it’s not just a pretty melody and everything, but they get the songs. It’s amazing.”
Kip Moore (Labor Day-worst job) OC: …than that. :21
“I’d have to say my worst job ever was laying sod in the south Georgia heat. There’s nothing than that, especially when somebody would think that you’re waiting for the next sod patch to be thrown to you and you got your back turned, and all of a sudden, that big ole piece of sod hits you right on the back. You got nowhere to clean up, and you’re just stuck with dirt on your back for the rest of the day. It doesn’t get any worse than that.”
Luke Bryan (Labor Day-jobs) OC: …Nashville… 1:07
“At age 12 thru 13, I worked at Rubos IGA Supermarket in Leesburg, GA. I worked during the summers on Monday and Tuesday. I stocked and cleaned up the produce. They paid me under the table…I peeled off all of the brown lettuce. Let’s see, when I was 15, I was a cashier at K-Mart for two months. I worked at K-Mart for two months, and then I reverted back to Rubos because it didn’t really make sense for me to drive all the way into Albany and work for K-Mart. The benefits were great though-you’d get an hour-long on the blue light special. So I started back at Rubos, and then I quit Rubos and worked for my Dad-just awful just driving tractors through cotton all day, and spraying pesticides that eventually would turn your hair green. And then at some point, I started playing guitar. And well, after college I went back and worked for my dad and continued to spray and haul fertilizer around. And then I moved to Nashville…”
LINER Adam Hambrick (Labor Day)
“Hey guys! It’s Adam Hambrick, hoping you have a Happy Labor Day weekend.”
LINER Billy Currington (Labor Day)
Hey y’all! It’s Billy Currington, wishing you a very happy Labor Day weekend.
LINER Brandon Lay (Labor Day)
Hey y’all! This is Brandon Lay, wishing you a happy and work-free Labor Day weekend.
LINER Brothers Osborne (Labor Day)
This is TJ, and I’m John, and we are Brothers Osborne, wishing you a happy and work-free Labor Day weekend.
LINER Carrie Underwood (Labor Day Weekend)
Hey everyone! I’m Carrie Underwood, hoping you have a happy Labor Day weekend.
LINER Caylee Hammack (Labor Day)
Hey y’all! This is Caylee Hammack. I’m wishing you a fun and work-free Labor Day weekend.
LINER Chrissy Metz (Labor Day)
Hi, I’m Chrissy Metz, wishing you a work-free Labor Day Weeend.
LINER Darius Rucker (Labor Day)
Hey! It’s Darius Rucker, and I hope you have a have a happy work-free Labor Day weekend.
LINER Eric Church (Labor Day)
Hey! It’s Eric Church, and I hope you have a have a happy Labor Day weekend.
LINER Jon Langston (Labor Day)
Hey! I’m Jon Langston. Hope you have a Happy Labor Day weekend.
LINER Jon Pardi (Labor Day weekend)
Hey! It’s Jon Pardi, and I hope you have a happy and work-free Labor Day weekend.
LINER Jordan Davis (Labor Day)
Hey! I’m Jordan Davis, wishing you a happy and work-free Labor Day weekend.
LINER Kacey Musgraves (Labor Day weekend)
Hey! It’s Kacey Musgraves, hoping you have a happy Labor Day weekend.
LINER Keith Urban (Labor Day weekend)
Hi everybody! This is Keith Urban, wishing you a very happy Labor Day weekend.
LINER Kip Moore (Labor Day)
Hey—what’s happening guys? This is Kip Moore, wishing you a happy and work-free Labor Day Weekend.
LINER LBT (Labor Day)
Hi! We’re Little Big Town, hoping you have a work-free Labor Day weekend.
LINER Luke Bryan (Labor Day)
Hey! It’s Luke Bryan, and I hope you have a have a happy Labor Day weekend.
LINER Maddie & Tae (Labor Day)
Hey everybody! I’m Maddie, and I’m Tae, and we’re Maddie & Tae, hoping you have a happy and work-free Labor Day weekend.
LINER Sam Hunt (Labor Day)
Hey everybody! I’m Sam Hunt. Have a great and work-free Labor Day weekend.
LINER Travis Denning (Labor Day)
Hey y’all. It’s Travis Denning, hoping you have a happy and work-free Labor Day weekend.
Kip Moore debuted a spot for the new Ford Bronco during the CMA BEST OF FEST ABC-TV special on Monday night, and the fit between the two was a perfect match.
Kip is currently making his way up the country charts with “She’s Mine” from his recent album Wild World.