Stray Dog, Moore’s seventh album, is out now. He signed his record deal in 2007 and has since had eleven number-one songs, his most recent one being “With a Woman You Love.” But he still feels like an outlier in country music. That’s what inspired his new albums title. He said the music industry, radio and his fans have always been really great to him, but he’s had moments in his career when he’s been labeled an outlaw or an outlier. Award shows have never paid much attention to him, even though he’s sold more records than most of the people who are winning at the shows. He doesn’t say this to sound angry, he’s just going off analytics and thinks it’s weird he hasn’t been recognized for those awards. It used to bother him that he wasn’t playing big shows, but it doesn’t anymore because now he doesn’t miss coaching his son’s baseball team on a Tuesday night and can be there more for his family. While writing the song, “Stray Dog,” it became autobiographical for him, and he thought it was a cool album title. But he didn’t go into the studio that day with a chip on his shoulder wanting to write about that topic. He was just trying to write something good and as real as can be, and that just so happened to be the topic that day.
Moore feels like it’s been forever since his song, “Small Town USA,” went number one back in 2009. But he means it in a good way. He feels super blessed that he still gets to make music in this capacity so many years later and his fans and radio have continued to support him. He moved to Nashville in 2002 to chase his music dreams and lived there for about 10 years. Although Nashville was good to him, he never felt like it was home and he never intended to live their full time. He said today’s Nashville has changed and grown so much compared to when he moved there. He moved back home to Arkansas when his daughter, who is now 13, was born, so she could be raised close to family. He made that choice because he never wanted his decision to have a career in music to impact his family in a negative way. When he decided to move back home, it wasn’t popular with his record label. But he told his manager about it who told him he’s a grown man and does not need to ask for permission.
His recent single, a duet with rising country star, Priscilla Block, called “You, Me and Whiskey,” was a little bit out of his comfort zone he admits. He first met her at a St. Jude benefit concert and was blown away by her voice and songwriting. He went up to her after the show and told her to let him know if there was any way he could help her. Then, he got sent “You, Me and Whiskey,” and ended up needing her help when he asked her to be on it. They wrapped up the You, Me and Whiskey Tour at the end of last month, and he thinks she has a bright future in country music.
Moore hates asking people to do stuff, because he never wants them to feel obligated. That’s why he had a hard time asking Riley Green to be on his new song, “Everybody Get Along.” But he and Green got to know each other pretty well over the last seven years, and he is a big fan of his. The guys in the song he sings about reminded him a lot of their friendship. They are identical but also disagree on everything.
Moore will be playing at the iHeart Country Festival on Saturday, May 13th. And he is currently on tour until the fall. For more information go to justinmooremusic.com.