By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal
Thursday’s having an identity crisis.
When Brad Paisley, Justin Moore and Miranda Lambert roll into Tupelo on Thursday, they’re going to turn the day into an “American Saturday Night.” And while concertgoers revel in the Saturday night-style festivities, Justin Moore is hard at work – just like he has been for the past several years.
“It has been a slow build,” Moore said in a phone interview from his home in Franklin, Tenn. “It’s definitely taken a little time, but it makes you appreciate it. If it had happened overnight, you could take some stuff for granted.”
‘Small Town USA’
Determined to make it in country, Moore moved from his tiny hometown of Poyen, Ark., – which has a population of less than 300 – to Nashville about seven years ago.
He got a publishing deal that eventually led to a record deal. He released his self-titled debut album in August and racked up a few hit singles, like “Small Town USA,” “Backwoods” and “Back That Thing Up.”
That album and those hits garnered Moore touring opportunities, like opening up for Trace Adkins, Hank Williams Jr. and Lynyrd Skynyrd – and, now, Brad Paisley.
“It’s going great,” he said of the American Saturday Night tour. “It’s a huge opportunity for a new artist like me to go out on one of the biggest tours of the year.”
Best of both worlds
In between his American Saturday Night dates, Moore stays busy playing headlining gigs in intimate clubs.
All this touring means the singer isn’t home much at all.
“It’s funny – me and the band were talking the other day about how the bus is actually home, and when we get to go home, it’s a place to wash clothes and head back out. We don’t sleep in our own beds. But it’s all good,” he said.
Moore said he likes the differences between playing smaller venues and huge arenas.
“I need that balance. We obviously love being out on major tours and playing in front of 20,000 people a night; that’s an experience you need to have for down the road when you have opportunities to do that. But it’s cool to get in the club and be right on top of people and get to play for an hour and a half every night as opposed to 20 minutes,” he said.
Moore said country fans will love the triple shot of himself, Lambert and Paisley at Thursday’s show.
“I always tell my guys, it’s our job to throw a party,” he said. “I think if folks can tell we’re having fun on stage, they’re gonna have fun out there in the audience. …With Brad and Miranda, it’s a great fit, and they put on a heckuva show. It’s a lot of fun.”
Miranda Lambert photo by Randee St. Nicholas
CUTLINE: “White Liar” is Miranda Lambert’s latest hit single. She also hit the charts with songs like “Famous in a Small Town,” “Kerosene” and “Gunpowder & Lead.” Learn more about the singer at mirandalambert.com.
– American Saturday Night Tour
Who: Brad Paisley, Miranda Lambert, Justin Moore
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday
Where: BancorpSouth Arena
Cost: $54.75 and $39.75 plus service charge
Info: bcsarena.com or (662) 841-6528
– Hey, Justin Moore, what’s on your iPod?
“A lot of those guys say they listen to everything, but the only thing I listen to is country music, and a little bit of Southern rock. I’m a fan of that stuff. There’s a good mixture of old-school country and Southern rock in our live show. I have just about every (song) by Hank (Williams) Jr., and I’ve been going back to some of the more obscure songs I’d forgotten, so I’m listening to that.”