Imagine being compared to a “hillbilly Springsteen” and having your breakthrough single certified gold all before your debut album is even released.
For Kip Moore, that’s a reality.
The critically acclaimed singer-songwriter calls the newfound attention he’s receiving “humbling” and admits, “You get used to it not happening, so when it finally does start happening, it’s kind of like somebody’s playing a joke on me.”
Rest assured, it’s no joke.
“Somethin’ ’Bout a Truck” is already perched at No. 9 on Billboard’s country songs chart, and the video has received more than 6 million views online.
The track is the first single from Moore’s debut album, Up All Night, released Tuesday (April 24).
On top of the popularity Moore’s receiving from country fans and radio, he’s also garnered glowing reviews from the media. When veteran Nashville journalist Robert K. Oermann wrote, “This man just might be the hillbilly Springsteen,” the comparison to the Boss spread throughout country music websites.
Moore, however, takes it in stride and is fully aware he still has a lot to prove in the years ahead.
“I grew up loving Springsteen, so it’s humbling,” he says, “but at the same time, I know that I’ve done nothing in this business. I hope to prove that that was a valid comment.”
Up All Night shows his potential. With Moore co-writing all 11 songs, it offers a realistic and relatable outlook at life, love, retrospection and optimism for what’s still to come.
“You’ve got wild good-time songs, and you’ve got songs that are really going to make people reflect on their past, hope for their future and reflect and think upon what’s going on in the present,” he says. “I hope it moves people.”
“Drive Me Crazy” and “Crazy One More Time” are bittersweet reminders of love’s fleeting moments, while “Beer Money” and “Somethin’ ’Bout a Truck” serve as anthems about the simple joys of small-town life. In “Everything but You” and “Where You Are Tonight,” he yearns for the one who got away, and “Reckless (Growing Up)” and “Up All Night” focus on living in the moment.
“I think you get a lot of the sense in my music to not let your soul die — keep it young and stay youthful,” he notes.
The album was produced by Brett James, who Moore describes as “one of the most talented and accomplished writers in this town.” James’ songwriting credits include Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus, Take the Wheel” and “Cowboy Casanova,” Kenny Chesney’s “When the Sun Goes Down” and “Out Last Night,” Jason Aldean’s “The Truth,” Chris Young’s “The Man I Want to Be” and Martina McBride’s “Blessed,” among others.
Moore’s admiration is obvious.
“Brett has been a brother to me,” he explains. “Brett has done more for me than I could put into words. He gave me the chance. He gave me the freedom to find myself as an artist and a writer, above all things. He never gave up on me, which I’ll never forget.”
While he never lacked faith in his craft, Moore admits he wasn’t expecting sudden success.
“I think you always believe in yourself, but I definitely didn’t know it was going to be as successful as it has been so far.”
Even more surprised is Moore’s family back home in Tifton, Ga.
“I think they’re all a little shocked because I’ve stayed really quiet about what I do,” he says. “I’m the worst self-promoter in the world.”
He wanted to be an artist “from the moment I picked up a guitar” in high school.
“I didn’t know it was an option for me,” he continues, “but I always knew I loved that more than anything.”
Upon graduating, he and a friend moved to Hawaii on a whim. Admitting he’s always been spontaneous, he says, “I’m always getting restless. I got really hooked on surfing, and where else to go than Hawaii and live it up?”
During his stint in the islands, he began focusing more and more on his songwriting. Eventually, he established his goal of pursuing music as a career.
“This is what I want to do with my life,” he says. “And this is what I’m going to do. Nothing else.”
With that steadfast determination, Moore moved to Nashville on New Year’s Day 2004, when he jumped into the songwriting community. After making connections with fellow writers, he performed locally over the course of four years and ultimately nabbed a record deal with MCA Nashville.
Those local gigs are a thing of the past as he’s currently on tour with Universal Music Group labelmates Billy Currington and David Nail. Moore will also be seen performing at the Riverfront Stage in June during the CMA Music Festival in Nashville.
Describing his live shows as “far from linear,” he says, “I want it to feel like it’s taking you on a journey emotionally.”