Justin Moore always said if he could go make the album he really wanted to make and didn’t have to worry about what anybody else thought, he’d would put out an album that sounds like it came out in 1992.
So, he’s doing it! In its early stages, the as-yet-untitled album will be Moore’s fifth for The Valory Music Co. This time, Moore is doubling down on his hybrid country and Southern rock sound, calling on longtime writing buddies including Rhett Akins and David Lee Murphy, who each had their own charting singles as artists in the ‘90s.
But first, Moore will hit a new career milestone tonight (Wed May 2), bringing his Hell On A Highway Tour to Nashville’s mother church, the Ryman Auditorium, for his inaugural headlining show at the historic venue. “We’ve done a lot of charity events, but it’s our first time bringing our show to the Ryman and to Nashville at all, which is hard to believe,” says Moore, who released his first album nearly a decade ago. For his Ryman show, Moore will welcome new UMG Nashville singer-songwriter Travis Denning, whose debut single features the wordy title “David Ashley Parker From Powder Springs” and lyrics devoted to college days and a fake ID. Also on the bill is “The Difference” singer and Moore’s BMLG labelmate Tyler Rich. In true Nashville fashion, Moore says fans can expect a few surprises. “We are definitely going to have some buddies show up, and I’m excited about that. Any time you have the opportunity to walk onstage at the Ryman—I’m such a huge fan and have such a huge respect for the history of country music.” Hours before his Ryman show, Moore will meet with executives at Big Machine Label Group to sift through nearly 50 potential songs for the new album. “I’ve been writing a ton, probably more than I have since the very beginning of my career. We will try to whittle the songs down to 20.” Though Moore has a wealth of material for his upcoming project, don’t expect a sneak preview of the songs during tonight’s Ryman show. “Some of the songs are like a week old. My band hasn’t even heard them,” Moore says. “The last thing I want to do is screw up a new song on a Ryman show. But hopefully we will get in the studio this summer.”