Country music artist Kip Moore is not intimidated by invitations to open for big-name artists like Toby Keith or play arenas and amphitheaters packed to the rafters with some of popular music's most savvy and enthusiastic fans.
Then again, having a No. 1 hit song and a debut album that has spent 53 weeks on the Billboard charts on your resume does tend to boost one's confidence.
"It used to be that you'd have to come out and really win the crowd over but I think more people are coming to see me now as well as the headliner when I'm on bigger tours," the 33-year-old Tifton, Ga., native said. "My philosophy has always been that I want to come out and make you glad you came and hit you right in the mouth."
Moore's single "Somethin' 'Bout a Truck," has been on Billboard's Country Hits chart for 35 weeks and peaked at No. 1 last year and other singles from his debut album, "Up All Night" continue to shoot up the charts. "Up All Night" appeared at No. 27 on this week's Top Country Albums chart but peaked at No. 3 last year.
"As far as the reviews go, they were all really positive, but with the fans, the people that really matter to me, the reaction to the record has been amazing," Moore said. "It exceeded my expectations, especially now that I'm headlining my own tour and having crowds showing up just for me, and they know the record from to back. It's been a heck of a ride."
Moore will perform "Somethin' 'Bout a Truck," "Beer Money" and other hits from "Up All Night" during a performance May 11 at the Music Farm in Charleston as part of a solo tour before joining Keith on the road this summer.
Moore discusses his next record, his musical influences and his home state's current reign over country music.
Question. Do you have a favorite song on "Up All Night?"
Answer. "Crazy One More Time" really sums me up the best, I think. I'm always changing my sound and I want each of my records to sound different and that song really captures that.
Q. Are you working on new material now?
A. I am actually working on a new record now, and it really feels like the essence of what I do. We hope to have a single out by the end of the summer and have the record out sometime in 2014. What is it going to be like? I guess you'll have to find out (laughs). I do think it's going to turn some heads, though.
Q. Who inspired you to want to play music for a living?
A. I'm really into Jackson Browne, Bruce Springsteen and Sam Cooke and a lot of that early Motown stuff. My biggest inspiration was just the soul of Sam Cooke, and I've tried to emulate some of that same soul in what I do.
Q. Would you ever consider doing a covers album of songs by those artists?
A. I would love to do an album full of Smokey Robinson songs, and Bob Seger and (John) Mellencamp and all that stuff. I think that'd be awesome.
Q. You're from Georgia, a state that seems to be enjoying quite the run with the success of fellow Georgians like Zac Brown Band, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and others. What is it about Georgia right now?
A. I don't think there's anything necessarily special about Georgia that is producing all of these artists. I think it's more of a coincidence than anything. Next year, it could be artists from another state, but there is something to the slow vibe to everything outside of Atlanta, parts of which are real country and real rural. It's from life in those places that a lot of these great country songs come out of.
Follow reporter Patrick Donohue at twitter.com/IPBG_Laura .
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