116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Justin Moore returns to touring in the post-pandemic world playing large venues and having notched the latest in a long line of hit country singles in “We Didn’t Have Much,” which is included on his sixth album, “Straight Outta the Country.”
To say he’s surpassed any expectations he had for his career would be an understatement.
“It’s kind of funny, early on in my career I thought man, if we just have a couple of hits or maybe a couple of albums would do well, and that would be great,” Moore said in a recent phone interview. “And here we are, I guess 14 years later, and we’re still having hits being on the radio. It’s pretty unbelievable, to be honest with you.”
Moore has never been the flashiest of country stars. He’s never necessarily been seen as being among the top tier of country acts at any point over the past dozen-plus years. Plenty of country fans would probably be surprised to learn three of his albums — “Outlaws Like Me” (2011), “Off the Beaten Path” (2013) and “Kinda Don’t Care” (2016) — reached number one on Billboard magazine’s country album charts and he’s had 14 Top 20 singles, eight of which have gone No. 1.
What: Justin Moore and Tracy Lawrence: The Late Night and Longnecks Tour
Where: Alliant Energy PowerHouse, 370 First Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids
When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021
Tickets: $39.50 to $184.50 VIP; creventslive.com/events/veue/powerhouse
Moore won’t brag on himself, and knows he wouldn’t be where he is without the help of radio and his loyal fan base.
Moore also is very grateful to be getting back out on tour and reconnecting with fans. He’ll be at the Alliant Energy PowerHouse on Saturday night (9/25/2021), along with Tracy Lawrence, on The Late Night and Longnecks Tour.
While Moore knows many people lost loved ones or friends to COVID-19 and had bigger struggles, the pandemic shutdown was still quite a shock to his system. He obviously missed playing live shows, but that wasn’t the only challenge.
“Obviously, our typical routine is 180 degrees from what most people’s is, but that’s what we’re all accustomed to,” Moore said, referring to life for his wife and four kids. “So to have the rhythm of your life just completely shaken up, it was tough for us to redefine roles in the home and kind of get into a new routine for a while.”
One thing Moore didn’t do during the pandemic was much songwriting.
“It’s funny, in talking to a lot of artists, friends of mine, a lot of them wrote a ton of songs throughout this,” Moore said. “I wrote a handful. Some artists, and this is kind of where I was, just didn’t feel too creative. … I was maybe a little down in the dumps or whatever, and just didn’t really think too much about it.”
As such, it’s a good thing he went into the shutdown with a lot of new material already in the can. The period in which Moore made his 2019 album “Late Nights and Long Necks” was especially prolific. Some 40 songs were written and recorded during those sessions — and the vast majority were keepers. That output isn’t typical for Moore, who co-writes most of his material.
“Usually when we go in to make an album it’s half (that many songs) at the most,” he said. “And usually the seven or eight we don’t use we don’t really ever revisit too much. But we got so much stuff that we absolutely loved that we had and said, ‘Let’s just put three different albums together.’
“I’m sure the tendency or the thought out there or the perception might be that well, he put his 10 favorites on this one, his next favorites on this one and the (rest on the third album). That wasn’t really the case. We just put three albums together that made sense together from a song perspective and an album perspective.
“And to be honest with you, there are songs on this (third) album that’s to come that I was kind of ticked off that we didn’t have them on the first one, because I wanted people to hear it. But now looking at it, I’m excited now that people are going to get to hear it in the near future.”
The second of the three albums is “Straight Outta the Country,” which was released in April. Like his other albums, it leans strongly toward traditional country with a rock edge — a mix he lightheartedly calls George Strait meets Lynyrd Skynyrd. The third album figures to follow suit stylistically.
In a sense, Moore feels he’s already playing with house money when it comes to his career. He’s had enough hits to know he’ll be able to continue playing shows for as long as he wants and he’ll always have an audience. And on his current tour, Moore is continuing to try to give his fans what they want.
“We’re trying to give them as much (music) as we possibly can,” he said. “It’s been fun to get back out and not only play some of the new stuff, but we hadn’t played the older stuff in so long, it’s fun to play that, too. But we have a pretty high energy show.”