With the recent release of his album Off the Beaten Path, and a jam packed tour coming to a close at the end of April, and his upcoming performance at the ACM Fan Jam, Justin Moore has had a great year.
Fans have fallen in love with the New Artist of the Year nominee for his ability to walk the line between total bad boy and charming country crooner. Moore’s hit songs “Lettin’ The Night Roll,” “Point At You,” and “Small Town USA” have spread across the nation but their inspirations came from much closer to home.
Moore cites Dwight Yoakam as his greatest influence, musically. “I’ve met a quite a few folks, but if I met him I’d be in awe. To me, he was an ultimate artist. I looked up to him as a songwriter and an entertainer probably more than anybody,” Moore told Country Weekly. He names Charlie Daniels, Hank Williams Jr, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Marshall Tucker Band and the Allman Brothers Band as other influences that shaped his own music.
With his ever-present cowboy hat and an album cluttered with references to small towns, pick-up trucks and dirt roads, Moore is a tried and true country boy. In an interview with Taste of Country Moore reveals, “I think some of the people I grew up listening to — Alabama, Charlie Daniels, Hank Jr. — they always cut songs about their lifestyle and what they did, their routine, what they loved etc …” he adds. “And I always thought that was really cool, you know. Cause I felt like I knew them, these people.”
In contrast to the bad boy persona he puts forth in songs like “I Can Kick Your Ass,” Moore has a softer side which he taps into with his family’s help.
Moore exposes sentimentality in his recent songs “‘Til My Last Day” and “Point At You”, both of which were released at his wife Kate’s urging. “I have to give credit to my wife,” Justin said. “She’s the one that told me it was time for me to do something different. And thankfully I listened,” Moore told Great American Country.
Moore’s relationship with his late grandfather is also pervasive throughout his music, such as in his songs “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away,” “Old Back in the New School” and “Grandpa.”
Moore grew up in Poyen, Arkansas, a small town with a population of just 300 and the obvious inspiration behind his hit “Small Town USA.” Moore moved to Nashville when he first started out, but has admitted it never felt like “home.”
“I was one of the guys in my class that wanted to stay home. I didn’t want to get the heck out of dodge and go to school or whatever, but I knew I had to do it if I wanted to do this for a living,” Moore told Taste of Country.
Now that Moore’s career has taken off, he has moved back to Arkansas where he currently lives with his wife and daughters. “[Moving back home has] been really good for me personally, in the respect that I see my mom and dad a couple of those days,” Moore told Country Weekly. “I get to go to church where I grew up and I get to help out the communities that I love and care about and am from. And, as an artist, it’s been good for me because it’s where I draw a lot of inspiration from.”
In addition to performing at the ACM Fan Jam, Moore is nominated for New Artist of the Year. You can cast your vote for your favorite New Artist of the Year nominee at www.VoteACM.com.