Over the last couple of years, Kip Moore spent most of his time on the road, building one of country music’s most loyal audiences show by show and plotting what would become his sophomore album, Wild Ones. He was a road warrior, living out of a tour bus with his bandmates and playing more than 200 shows per year. For a songwriter who’d grown up in a quiet pocket of southern Georgia, performing to crowds across the world— crowds that knew every word to his best-selling debut album, Up All Night— felt like a dream come true.
Somewhere along the way, though, the highway became a lonely place. The routine was always the same: pull into town, play a show, pack up and leave. There was no stability, no comfort. Things weren’t much easier at home in Nashville, where Moore— whose first album had sent three songs to the top of the country charts, including “Beer Money” and “Hey Pretty Girl”— found himself receiving plenty of unsolicited advice from people who wanted to keep the hits coming… at any cost.
“All I ever wanted to do coming to Nashville was to write rowdy, in-your-face, straight country music,” says Jon Pardi, “and that’s what this album is.”
Pardi’s high-energy approach, perfected on stages throughout his native California, has its stamp all over his Capitol Records Nashville debut. Just as importantly, that energy is applied to music rooted in songwriting legend Harlan Howard’s adage that country is three chords and the truth.
“If you can take a piece of life and put it in a song,” says Pardi, “it’s going to be a good song—especially if it’s from the heart.”
Life and love, truth and energy wind their way all through his debut album, which showcases a young artist who is clearly no ordinary newcomer. Few artists hit stride as quickly and as forcefully as he has, and his fellow artists have been among the first to take note.
“People ask me who I’d like to open up for,” he says with a smile, “but I’ve been lucky enough to have opened for several artists I look up to.”