MCA Nashville singer/songwriter Kip Moore’s single “Somethin’ ‘Bout a Truck” has quickly become a Top 25 hit and rising, and journalists are lauding his originality, grit and passion.
“For years, I have been searching for the missing link between blue-collar rock and country music,” says noted journalist/historian Robert K. Oermann, who writes for Music Row magazine. “This year, I think I have heard it. His name is Kip Moore. There is fiery, urgent intensity in his voice. His lyrics vibrate with conviction and true grit.
“The melodies have gripping, heart-in-throat passion. And the roaring, propulsive performances on his debut album sound like signposts on the highway to some Southern-fried Born to Run. Dare I say it? This man just might be the hillbilly Springsteen.”
Moore recently completed his debut album, Up All Night, which will be released this spring. He wrote or co-wrote every song on the autobiographical album that addresses coming-of-age themes, love and loss. His single and his energetic live shows have been earning tremendous reviews from fans and critics alike. That word will spread even faster when he joins Billy Currington and David Nail on tour beginning in March.
Huffington Post’s Michael Ragogna says Moore’s “style is a mix of country and genuine rock, making (him) an anomaly in country music right now.” Billboard Country Update’s Tom Roland says, “Gritty, earthy vocals layered over powerfully simple arrangements. Moore isn’t flashy, but the subtle frames he creates for his blue-collar portraits make the images seem that much more real. It also suggests he’s confident in his songs and his performance. Which he ought to be.”
Moore was born in Tifton, Ga., near the Florida line, and was one of six children, the youngest boy who had three younger sisters. His father was a golf pro and his mother was a painter who used anything handy for a canvas, whether it was cake plates or baby crates. She also taught piano and played the church organ.
Weekends were often spent driving to the beach with his father for fishing expeditions. “He would play a lot of Jackson Browne, Willie Nelson, Bob Seger, Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen,” he says. “As early as I can remember, I always gravitated toward lyrics. Even when I hadn’t lived enough to understand them, they still shaped me.”
During high school, he secretly began playing his brother’s guitar because he was intimidated by the talent of his mother and older brother. “I would play when nobody was around, just figuring out stuff, watching his hands and trying to do the same thing.”
He played point guard for Wallace State’s basketball team and also played on its golf team in Hanceville, Ala., for two years and then transferred to Valdolsta State University on a golf scholarship. He wrote songs daily and joined a band that performed throughout the South, providing him with all of his income.
After graduation and a short stint as a bartender on St. Simon’s Island, he moved to Hawaii on a whim with just a backpack, a surfboard and a friend. After six months of this tropical paradise, Kip thought he had found his permanent home until his friend encouraged him to pursue songwriting as a living.
He drove to Nashville on Jan. 1, 2004 in an old black Nissan truck that contained one bag and his guitar. He immersed himself in the songwriting community, observing songwriters’ rounds for two years and honing his craft before gaining the confidence to join in. After four years of performing locally, he caught the attention of Creative Artist Agency’s Marc Dennis, who called Universal Music Group Nashville’s Joe Fisher. Not only did Joe’s encounter lead to his record deal with MCA Nashville, but it also brought about his introduction to songwriter Brett James, who produced Kip’s debut album.
“Brett gave me the freedom to find who I was as an artist, the freedom for writing a different kind of thing, a different kind of melody and lyric,” he says. “He gave me room to grow.”
He also found important relationships with songwriters Dan Couch, Scott Steppakoff, Westin Davis and Kiefer Thompson. “There was definitely a special thing when we got in the room together,” Kip says. “They were open to my ideas of being different.”
He co-wrote “Somethin’ ‘Bout a Truck” with Couch. “I think anybody that comes from a small town has lived that song,” he says. “I lived that song 5,000 times growing up. When you are from a small town like I am, there’s not a whole lot to do. You have to make your own fun and there’s a lot of sitting in fields, and a whole lot of Bud Light and fishing poles. It’s real hot in south Georgia, so all of the girls were wearing sundresses. It was all you needed back then – a truck bed, beer, a radio and good company with you. It’s a fun song that everybody lived at a young age.”
Keep up with Kip by visiting his official website, www.KipMooreMusic.com.