Justin Moore [Enhanced]
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"With this album, I really got to make my record, which can be a rarity for a new act, and I'm very thankful to everybody here for allowing me to do that. My goal was to make sure people knew what I was about as an artist as well as a person.
"I liked those guys growing up where you felt like they were just one of you, except they had a really cool job and got to play music. That's kind of what I've tried to be in my career. After we play shows, I just hang out and drink beer with people in the clubs."
1. "How I Got to Be This Way" (Justin Moore, Rivers Rutherford, Jeremy Stover)
"Rivers has more hits than I will have in the next 30 years as a writer and it was cool to write with him. That was the only time we've written. When you get in these rooms with folks you've never written with before, you kind of B.S. for awhile and learn about each other.
"He was just asking me how I grew up and what kind of kid I was. I said, `I was a pretty good kid. I mean, I did some stupid stuff like any other kid does, but for the most part I was pretty good.' I said something like, `I guess that's how I got to be this way,' and he said, `Right there. What was some of the stuff you did?' I told him I totaled my dad's truck on Dixonville curve when I was in high school, and we went from there. The first line says, `I rolled my dad's truck off the Dixonville curve after drinking my fifth beer.' That's a pretty true song. Most of the stuff that happened in it actually happened. There's a pretty funny line in the song that says something about getting kicked in the face by a horse. Everybody is always like, `No way.' I said, `That's my excuse for why my face looks like this.'
2. "Small Town USA" (Brian Dean Maher, Justin Moore, Jeremy Stover)
"I believe it was the first or second song the three of us had written together. It was seven years ago. I was just talking about missing home because I had only been here for six or eight months at the time. I obviously didn't have anything going on really and I was like, `Man, I feel like I'm walking on quicksand here. I just miss home and want to go home.'
"Some of the songs you write you go, `Eh, maybe it's all right,' and later you find out that it's really cool. That was one of those songs where I remember going, `That's a special song. I think it can be a big song for us at some point.' That's the days you leave the writing room pretty happy."
3. "Backwoods" (Justin Moore, Jamie Paulin, Jeremy Stover)
"`Backwoods' is one of the newer songs on the record. We were in Jeremy's house and we were discussing my keyboard player, who grew up in Eastern Kentucky. My guitar player also grew up in Eastern Kentucky. We've become really good buddies. I went up to where he's from, Pike County, Kentucky. I thought I grew up in the backwoods! I found out that they grew up in a holler called Greasy Creek. I came back and said, `Y'all would not even believe how backwoods this is.'
"One of us just started playing the melody, the guitar stuff on it, and Jeremy just started rambling, `Rifle on my gun rack, hanging in my back glass.' That was one of those songs that we wrote in 30 or 40 minutes. We wrote it and were like, `It could be cool,' and when we demoed it, we loved it. It's a fun song to play live."
4. "Like There's No Tomorrow" (Brian Dean Maher, Justin Moore, Jeremy Stover)
"We wrote that probably five or six years ago. I steered away from writing any love songs up to that point. I said, `Man, we've got to write a love song. You can't make a record in Nashville without a love song.' But I was like, `We can't write a sappy, I love you and all this stuff. It has to still be me.' That's one of the most Southern rock-sounding songs on the record.
"It's about making love. Some of the lines are, `Worked hard all week and now you're here with me/ Staring up at a summer sky.' I've been married for two years and I'm gone so much, so I can relate to this song now more than I could then. I'm gone so much and you just don't have time to do some of the things that you used to do together, so it's about taking advantage of the time you do have together and making the most of it."
5. "Good Ole American Way" (Brian Dean Maher, Justin Moore, Jeremy Stover)
"I was at home watching the news with my dad and there was some guy on there griping about why we needed to get back to the Republican way of things. Another guy said we needed to get back to the Democratic way of things. My dad said, `Who cares what way it is? We just need to get back to the good ole American way of things.' I thought, `Man, that's a song title right there.'
"When I came back to Nashville, we wrote that song and that's one of those we wrote in a pretty short period of time. The thing I brought up was, `I wonder what my grandpa was thinking about at the time, paying $100 to fill his truck up?' That was our motivation, what our grandpas' take would be on things.
6. "I Could Kick Your Ass" (Brian Dean Maher, Justin Moore, Jeremy Stover)
"It's obviously tongue-in-cheek. It's not serious, like I'm really going to whip somebody's ass. It's become a staple of our show. It's more or less about a guy who has all the money in the world and he thinks that is going to allow him to just take your girl and take over your world. But the bottom line is, you might have all the money and the cars, but I can whip your ass. Obviously it's a fun song to do live. We close the show with it and we've had a couple of hits. That song holds it own with the radio hits we have."
7. "Back That Thing Up" (Randy Houser, Jeremy Stover)
"I always tell people, `I don't know whether to apologize or say thank you after playing that song.' If you ask my mom, it's about a truck; that's what I told her. But if you ask Randy or Jeremy, it's probably about a rear end.
I thought, `I'm going to play that every night. It's hilarious.' I don't take myself too seriously and I thought it was a lot of fun and something different that I've never written anything like. It was a big song for us and we sold a lot of downloads of that. The struggle for a new artist is to have people recognize who you are. Instead of going, `I like that song. Who does that?,' they go, `Oh that's Justin Moore.' I think a song like `Back That Thing Up' did it for us, where a middle-of-the-road song wouldn't have. We open our show with it."
8. "The Only Place I Call Home" (Dallas Davidson, Justin Moore, Jeremy Stover)
"It's about where I grew up; it's just a little more hard core than `Small Town USA.' It's a little more to the point, maybe, and everything in it is true. `I was baptized in the Baptist church, my old man taught me about a hard day's work. I learned how to love and I learned how to fight.' It talks about how I was looking for something, and my grandpa said, `It's in the drawer in the bedroom.' I walked in, opened the door and there was $300-$400 cash lying underneath a pistol. That is just where he kept his pistol, by the bed, and he kept a little stash of cash there. So that is the next line, `We keep our cash in a dresser drawer underneath a .44.' It was real to me, and I found out it was real to other people as well."
9. "Grandpa" (Justin Moore, Jamie Paulin, Jeremy Stover)
"`Grandpa' is my favorite song that I've ever written. Jeremy, Jamie Paulin and I got together and Jamie grew up in Washington and Jeremy in Georgia. We all grew up on a farm and grew up in places where obviously our dads were our heroes. Both of my grandpas were Superman. I couldn't imagine them ever not being around. I'm very proud of that song.
"I sent a CD to both of them because they have no idea how to download a MP3. It was really the only time I've ever heard or seen my grandpas cry besides my grandma's funeral.
"I could have a 30-year career or be gone tomorrow, but nobody will ever be able to take that away from me, to be able to do that. I lost my grandma and an uncle a couple of years ago and I was at home playing this song acoustic after I'd written it. My wife walked in and I was bawling and I said, `I think I wrote this about my grandpas, but I think I also wrote it about my grandma and uncle.' "The first line is, `You stood on that bank where I got baptized/Gave me a 30-30 when I turned nine.' Actually it was eight, but nine rhymed. I've sat up in a deer stand with my grandpa since I was three years old."
10. "Hank It" (Brian Dean Maher, Justin Moore, Jeremy Stover)
"We got off the road with Hank and Lynyrd Skynyrd and my producer, Jeremy, had just bought a house. I went over to see his house and Brian, our other co-writer, just happened to be there. I said, `We've got to write a song at some point about me going out with Hank Jr. It probably won't ever make a record because it would be so personal and nobody really probably cares, but we have to write a song about that.' It was such a cool experience.
"Our first show that we played on that tour was in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and that is in the song. `A lot of things a country boy learns in life/how to shoot a gun and how to use a knife/But when I pulled into Hershey P-A, and I took my guitar up on the big stage/That night I did the best I could/ Me and my band played pretty dern good/ And I took myself out and sat in the crowd and learned how Bocephus shakes `em down/You've got to Hank it.'"
Country Standard Time Jeffery B. Remz
There are a lot of male singers out there today in country covering the same turf - Jason Aldean, Randy Houser and now Justin Moore among others. Their music may be steeped in country at some level, but the direction that they follow is far more rooted in rock. Arkansas native Moore has a few quality songs among the 10, but he never succeeds in carving out his o Moore falls victim to the host of other would be country poseurs who try to invoke the names of the forefathers in the belief that merely saying the same is good enough for inclusion in the same breath. When Moore sings "Hank It," he is playing rock with a bit of a country vibe, but chances are quite strong that Hank would not have done it this way. David Allan Coe's name is cited in the hit single, title track. Moore bears nothing to the music of the rugged Coe. However, the mention of Sweet Home Alabama sounds way more on target. He also covers the same tried-and-true pleas for the little man (Good Ole American Way) with the jingoist line "I still believe in the good old American way," but folks like Alan Jackson have done it way more effectively. Moore follows that up with I Could Kick Your Ass apparently showing his tough side. The production by Moore's mentor, Jeremy Stover, sounds a bit too clean and perfect, doing little to separate himself from his compadres. The big sound predominates time and again along with a big voiced delivery. A little more subtlety on both counts (rapping on Back That Thing Up doesn't quite do it) would have gone a long way to making this a more idiosyncratic set of music. -- Country Standard Time
Country newcomer Justin Moore Jack Bernhardt From Poyen, Ark., population 272, country newcomer Justin Moore describes his music as a blend of Alabama and Lynyrd Skynyrd. It's an apt description of the Deep South-Southern Rock sound on his self-titled Valory Music debut.
Lyrically, the album is a tedious combination of self-centered declarations, lightweight ethnography and tough-guy bombast. At his best, Moore sings intimately about the small-town life he lived and loved before following his dreams to Nashville. In his current single, "Small Town USA," he sings, "A lot of people called it prison when I was growing up/But these are my roots, and this is what I love."
Moore writes knowingly about hunting, fishing, family, dating in the backwoods, and family values (the latter two often contradict one another), and his full-throttle vocals leave no doubt that he believes in what he sings. "Backwoods" paints a picture of a "Rifle in a gun rack hanging in the back glass/Buck knife on my belt, ain't no land for sale 'round here."
At his worst, Moore boasts with a swagger suitable for Jerry Springer, "I Could Kick Your Ass." And in "Good Ole American Way," emotion trumps perception as he rails against changes to the life and community he wishes would remain unaltered: "I watch 'em shut the factories down/Then the foreigners flood into town/They take what's left for half the pay." -- The News & Observer, August 16, 2009
Jenna Tanner, Malvern, Ar.
Our friend Jenna hit her Twitter page running the other night from the Justin Moore CD Release Party. If you didn't already know that his album dropped that day then you were certainly informed if you followed Jenna! Sounds like she had a TON of fun and it sounds like if you haven't already picked up Justin's CD you better!
Justin was introduced by DJ, Chad Herritage from Little Rock's favorite country music station, KSSN96. Justin's band starting playing the introduction to the opening song, a familiar sound to most of the crowd which had them roaring with excitement. Justin then ran on stage singing "Back That Thang Up".
As he did sing every song off of his new album, self-titled "Justin Moore", after the first few songs the band left the stage and Justin performed a few acoustic songs, beginning with "Grandpa", following his speech he gave on what this song meant to him, finding out his grandpa had cancer, and recently found out that Grandpa is now free of cancer. Justin also informed us that this is his favorite song off of the entire album. I must say this was a very heart-wrenching song that brought tears to my eyes as well as others around me.
After the mini acoustic set, the band came back on jamming out to a couple more from the album. Justin told the crowd "I usually have to explain this song before I sing it, but with this crowd of familiar people, I know I don't have to!" He then began singing a song that isn't on the album, called "Simply Guns".
Justin began to introduce some of his good friends from Music City, such as his manager, producer, and writers including Jeremy Stover. He gave all of them hugs after introducing them, and was telling us about what he missed the most about his hometown and "he even misses being able to piss off of his front porch if he wanted to". After much chanting by the crowd, Justin began to sing "Small Town USA".
Following his new single, he sang a couple more songs. Justin told the crowd about the next song he was going to sing, and stating "if this song offends anyone, then you can leave!" After that being said, we all knew we were about to hear "I Could Kick Your Ass".
During the whole performance, Justin liked showing off his belt that had his name on the BACK of it (wink, wink). The show lasted for an estimated 2 hours. It was good to see a lot of familiar people, and everyone come together for the celebration for Justin's first cd release party. During the set Justin also covered some songs from John Anderson, and Dwight Yokam, with a closing of Bad Company.
Being apart of the crowd, I loved when Justin was conversing with us from the stage. He made everyone feel like he was speaking to each individual person alone. with his conversation, stage presence, music, and the lyrics all combined, Justin Moore is the next big thing in country music in my opinion. -- Country Music Tattle Tale, August 13, 2009
Justin Moore offers up a mix of country and southern rock on self-titled debut Sacramento Country Music Examiner Shelly Fabian
The Valory Music Company recording artist Justin Moore has released his self-titled debut album, which is filled with a mixture of country music and southern rock that is sure to appeal to a broad range of fans.
His current single, "Small Town U.S.A.," has become his first Top 10 single, as it sits at No. 8 this week with a bullet. The song talks about the simplicity of living in a small town with lyrics like "A lot of people called it prison when I was growing' up/But these are my roots and this is what I love." Justin wrote it about his hometown of Poyen, Arkansas.
Moore wrote 9 of the 10 tracks on the album, including "Grandpa," which he claims as the favorite song that he's written. The bluesy track was written as a tribute Moore's grandfathers.
One of Moore's musical influences is Hank Williams, Jr., and the song "Hank It" is a song about his experience being on tour with Hank Jr. He sings, "A lot of things a country boy learns in life/how to shoot a gun and how to use a knife/But when I pulled into Hershey P-A, and I took my guitar up on the big stage/That night I did the best I could/Me and my band played pretty dern good/And I took myself out and sat in the crowd and learned how Bocephus shakes 'em down/You've got to Hank it."
Many of the songs on the album are mid-to-up-tempo, but there is a love song, "Like There's No Tomorrow," that Moore wrote about his wife, and how important it is to take advantage of all the time they have together, because it's usually brief, as he's on the road so much. He sings, "Worked hard all week and now you're here with me/Staring up at a summer sky." It's a lovely song without being mushy.
This is an album that will appeal to fans who enjoy country rock-styled music, from artists like Montgomery Gentry, Jason Aldean and of course Hank Williams, Jr. I give this album 3 1/2 out of 5 stars. -- Examiner.com, August 15, 2009
Ken Tucker On his debut single, "Small Town USA," country singer Justin Moore praised dirt roads, beer, Saturday nights and Sunday mornings. Fans of that song will love his new self-titled album, which is loaded with references to .44s, the preacher's daughter and working hard. Not much new ground is broken here, but that works in Moore's favor. Like Luke Bryan's 2007 debut, which championed pickup trucks and salt-cured ham, Moore's music speaks to the truck-driving, beer-drinking country core. "Hank It" is a homage to Hank Williams Jr., while "Back That Thing Up" upholds the tradition of "John Deere Green" or "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy." By writing what he knows best, Moore--who counts Williams and Lynyrd Skynyrd among his influences--may well tap into an audience that appreciates some Southern rock with their country. -- The Reviews
I have nothing in common with Justin Moore. On his debut album, Justin really introduces himself to the audience. I didn't grow up in a small town. I've never driven a truck or worked on a farm. I've been to the South a couple times before, but I couldn't really describe to you what's it's like to live in the South. I live in Los Angeles, which is the exact opposite from the small town Justin grew up in. I drive a convertible Mustang. I don't know anyone who owns a farm. In short, it's foreign to me.
So what draws me to his songs? Don't people usually listen to artists they can relate to? Why do I enjoy him so much if I can't relate to them?
It makes me forget. It makes me forget about my life and Justin invites me to his. It's a new adventure, one that I probably would never get to experience in real life. This is a hard thing for an artist to do and if they can do that, if they can really tell me something about them, well, they're amazing.
And that's what Justin Moore conquers in his new album. Most artists struggle with relating to their audience. And even though I have nothing in common with Justin Moore, his music makes me feel like I know him personally, which is really cool. Justin, with the help of a few other men, wrote the entire album. The lyrics are really amazing. His album is kind of like an autobiography of his life.
The first song I heard by him was "Small Town USA." It about a month ago in my car on the only country station in Los Angeles. I liked it immediately. It's about remembering and missing home. When Justin wrote it, he had moved away from his small town, Poyen, Arkansas. He writes, "I'm proud to say I love this place." This song really spoke to me. On August 22nd, I'm moving out of my house to a college dorm for my freshman year of college. It reminds me of the pride I have for my community, although I don't necessarily come from a Small Town. I wasn't the only one who loved this song -- country fans across the country are buzzing with joy about it.
I like "Grandpa" too, because it shows he respects his grandpas, which is always really cool in my book. It proves he's a gentleman, which is a great reason to listen to him.
I've spent this article rambling about how awesome the lyrics are and how I can relate to Justin even though we are complete opposites. I haven't even gotten to his vocal abilities. I think his vocals are absolutely amazing. Any hardcore country fan will love his voice. He's sort of like Willie Nelson and said he was influenced by him.
I seem to be using the word "amazing" a lot in this review. Well, this album is pretty much amazing. -- Blog Critics, August 12, 2009
Mansfield This small-town Arkansas boy raised on Hank Williams Jr. and David Allan Coe will let you know up front what he believes. And he believes he's getting hit from both sides, by the rich guy who wants his girl and the poor foreigner who wants his job. He covers the standard stuff -- heartland values, grandfathers, a pair of sweetly packed cutoffs --but when he sings about feeding hogs and getting kicked in the face by a horse, you'd best believe him. -- USA Today
Musical mergers between country and southern rock are a new thing, but Justin Moore's take on that blend is both extremely personal and expertly conceived.
His debut has both traditional pieces with poignant messages ("How I Got To Be This Way," "Backwoods," "The Only Place I Call Home") and more humorous, irreverent and rowdy numbers like "Back That Thing Up," the lead single that generated enormous online interest weeks before the disc's Aug. 11 release date.
But the song that's gotten Moore widespread attention throughout the country world is "Small Town USA," a song that zoomed into the iTunes Top 10 almost immediately, and remains one of its hottest numbers among any performer.
The combination of modern swagger and vintage feeling is something you hear quite often on every Moore number, and it's that mix that's making Justin Moore a rousing success. -- The City Paper
Poyen native Justin Moore sings what he knows - well
Justin Moore Justin Moore Valory Music Co. BNative Arkansan Justin Moore writes and sings what he knows -- about growin' up in the country (the rousing "How I Got This Way," the bluesy "Backwoods"), lovin' his family ("You were the same man Sunday morning you were Saturday night," he sings on the tender "Grandpa"), home ("The Only Place That I Call Home") and gettin' a little rowdy (the double-entendre-loaded "Back That Thing Up," the only song he didn't co-write).
The evocative "Small Town USA" is his breakthrough hit, a slice of real hometown life that has reached the country Top 10. The debut of this man born in tiny Poyen in Grant County is sure to draw some comparisons to Hank Williams Jr. ("Hank It" is about the singer) for his energetic contemporary Southern rock and his forceful, strong country voice. But Moore's songs have a more universal quality that reflects common experiences, memories and yearnings. His embrace of the everyday is heartfelt and personal and taps memories that span generations. -- Arkansas Democrat Gazette, August 16, 2009
We're seeing seeing more country artists reach deep into the old vaults and tweak the formula a bit to make it into one interesting brew and Justin Moore is one of those people with his debut self-titled album. This recording starts with "How I Got To Be This Way" as it's a romping country rock jam full of big guitars and twang as it's a cool opener that will surely rev you up. Next was this disc's first single, "Small Town U.S.A." which has this laid back style with Moore's subtle lyrical style as it defines what Southern life really is.
"Backwoods" brings it back to that honky tonk swagger with Justin's booming baritone as it's matched well with his hot as hell rhythm section picking loud and proud getting you to rock and play air guitar yelling this one out from your car window. "Good Ole American Way" continued on a slightly similar story that "Small Town U.S.A." brought us; yet it had more up tempo beats and shinier harmonies sparking a big old smile as you listen closely.
"I Could Kick Your Ass" reminds us of something out of the late `60s or `70s when country music was less pop and more western with its smoky moods and tough words slinged with some ivory magic that makes this cut so traditional and obtains some modernity as well. "Grandpa" is probably the slowest song on here as it's a sentimentally poignant ballad honoring his grandfather. "Hank It" smoothly finishes it off with a homage to Hank Williams, Jr. with some great blues chords and feel good vocals that puts this baby to rest quite well. Looks like Justin Moore learned what country music is supposed to sound like and we hope to hear more of the same from him in the future. -- The Cleveland LeaderSee all Editorial Reviews
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Such personal connection to the work comes through the album. Most of the CD features songs that appear to come from the experiences of Mr. Moore himself. Moore gives accounts of his childhood and growing up in a Small Town in southern America. As such one can find themselves liking the CD before finishing the first song. The lyrics are well written and due Justin's tales from his past justice.
The Lyrics are front and center stage, the musical accompaniment is just that the accompaniment. While accompanying the lyrics, the do a fine job of adding to the song. They is also flair added to the pauses in the lyrics and can often be carry into the lyrics coming off a pause. This is none the less effective. In may cases these pauses are accented with the introduction of a (another) electric guitar and most songs feature a short (10-20 second) guitar solo.
The Biggest advantage is that there isn't really a bad song on the CD. If you find yourself liking one or two of the songs than your more likely than not going to like the entire CD.
The CD also features two music video (Enhanced content - Computer Required). The video for Small Town, USA is excellently crafted and worth watching at least once. Between the good music and the excellently crafted video, the CD is worth picking up.
On a side note the song "Back That Thing Up" really doesn't go with the rest. First off it is apparent that something about that one is different. Primary the subject matter differs considerably form the rest of the CD. It is my best guess that the song was done to have a second single (Small Town, USA being the first one). As such, while it is a good song it doesn't showcase the full potential exhibited through the rest of the CD. Truth be told the CD will do fine without this one song and The CD is worth buying regardless.