I have a confession to make…just reading the title to Kip Moore’s debut single made me cringe. A song titled “Something ‘Bout A Truck” was sure to be another cliché honky-tonk ode to a country boy’s truck. I could not have been more wrong. The first few notes of Kip’s raspy voice fill the space between the audience and singer. I was immediately swept up by his ability to build a story through stanzas and verse. This artist is not just another good ole boy trying to fit into the hard lined mold of traditional country. Kip is something undeniably unique. Born and raised in Tifton, GA, Kip Moore’s back story reads like a vagabond novel. Too shy to play or sing in front of his family, he honed his skills on the college bar scene. Unsure of his ability to make it as an artist, Kip drifted from one life to another during his twenties—playing basketball for Wallace State, golf at Valdosta State University and a short period as a bartender after graduation on St. Simons Island. It was only after six months of solitude living in a hut in Hawaii (yes…I am not making that up) that Kip made the leap of faith and moved to Nashville to pursue his dream.
Kip Moore is on the edge of something huge. His debut album Drive Me Crazy is slated for release this spring. His witty truck-loving debut single has been receiving rave reviews from fans and critics alike. Perhaps the best news of 2011 came recently when Kip was announced to join the upcoming tour of fellow Georgia boy, Billy Currington and current country sensation David Nail. Country music fans are about to experience what I know firsthand-this artist is damn good.
Kip spoke with CMP in anticipation of his upcoming tour and album debut. His sincerity and humor were evident within the first five minutes of our conversation. He advised me on the best places to eat in Tifton, spoke honestly about his father’s passing and why his legacy lives on with the music of Bob Seger.
CMP-What was it like growing up in Tifton?
KM-It is a lot bigger now. It was smaller when I was growing up. There were not a whole lot of outlets for mischief. As a teen, there was a whole lot of dirt road riding and sitting on the back of tailgates drinking beer. As a kid, I was always a big dreamer. There was always so much I wanted to do. I wanted to get out but now I have a new found respect for my town. It is a place I can relax, it’s peaceful. As a kid, all you can think about is getting out but now I look at it differently.
CMP-Who has most influenced you musically?
KM-My mom played piano. She gave piano lessons to lots of children. I wished I had savored that more. It was not cool to be playing piano back then, it was girls taking lessons. I wanted to grab a football and go outside. I wish I had taken advantage of my mom’s lessons. Outside of my family, my biggest influences are Bruce Springsteen and Bob Seger.
CMP-I can hear that in your music—the vibe of Springsteen.
KM-Thank you. I love Springsteen, Willie Nelson and Bob Seger. My Dad’s all time favorite was Bob Seger. He was always playing that when he took us on fishing trips. We would fish and listen to Jackson Browne and Seger. All good stuff. Even as a kid, though I had not lived a hard enough life to relate to what they were saying, I paid close attention to the craft of the lyrics. Now as I get older, I can relate to the songs so much. I know now why my Dad loved them so much. My Dad passed about a month and a half ago and now when I hear those, it puts a smile on my face. They remind me of him.
CMP-Tell me about the writing and recording of the song “Drive Me Crazy.”
KM-“Drive Me Crazy” is about two teens finding refuge in each other. As a teen you always feel like the world is against you. You find peace in one another. It was “us against the world.” It was something where my Dad was just trying to talk to me but I took it as him questioning me and challenging me. We argued but it was really him trying to reach out to me. I was just too stubborn to see that at the time. The girl (that this song was based on) had a troubled life and had to grow up really fast. In the song, they found solace in one another.
CMP-What song are you most connected to on the record?
KM-“Crazy One More Time” is the song for me. I had a girl that I knew growing up and I was very close with my first couple years of college. Then I moved away and years went by without seeing each other. We ran into each other and it was like we had never missed a beat. I think that everybody in life has somebody that you are always going to have that deep, deep connection to. For me, it was her.
CMP-Does she know the song is about her?
KM-I am sure she does. We dated for a while after I ran into her again and she will always be a close friend. She will always have a special place in my heart.
CMP-Tell me about your Opry debut this summer. What was that experience like?
KM-It is something I can’t even describe. I felt the presence of the legends around me. I told a lady named Goldie nine years before when I visited the Opry that one day I would play on that stage. She laughed and said, “sure you will.” I wish she could have been there to see me play. My hands were shaking and I could barely even plug in my guitar amp. There was stone cold silence because no one knew who I was yet. Very humbling.
2012 will undoubtedly be a life changing year for Kip Moore. With his album set to debut in spring and a spot on one of the hottest tours of 2012, Kip is in for a wild ride.
Watch a special acoustic version of Kip’s current hit “Somethin’ Bout a Truck”