Justin Moore Hoping ‘Live at the Ryman’ Album Helps People Deal With Stress of the Pandemic
In talking about the coronavirus pandemic, Justin Moore stresses that he doesn't think enough is being done to help people cope mentally. So he's doing his part.
Live at the Ryman is Moore's first live album, and that it comes when country fans are missing live music the most is no coincidence. He recorded the album on a whim in May of 2018, figuring that on the off chance that his band was perfect and everything went right (the 36-year-old has a dry, often self-deprecating sense of humor), he'd have a great surprise for fans at a date TBD.
Then, he sort of forgot about it. Only after the pandemic began and Moore realized his chances of performing live in 2020 were slim did he think to call his label president and ask something like, "Hey, you remember that Ryman Auditorium show?" Within a short amount of time a 17-song album was prepped for Sept. 25.
Live at the Ryman features his hits (including six of his Billboard Airplay No. 1 singles) and rowdy covers of Hank Williams Jr. ("Country State of Mind," featuring Chris Janson), Waylon Jennings ("I Ain't Living Long Like This," featuring David Lee Murphy) and Ricky Skaggs ("Honey," featuring Skaggs and the Whites).
LOOK: Pictures From Justin Moore's Live at the Ryman Concert
"I said, 'Who knows when we’re going to get to go play again,'" Moore told assembled media during a recent roundtable conversation, "but as cheesy as it sounds, a couple in their apartment or their house can sit around the fire or their kitchen table or the living room and have a cold beer … crank it up and maybe feel a little bit more like they’re at a live show."
The Boot's partner site, Taste of Country, was on hand to review Moore's 2018 set in Nashville — his first ever headlining tour stop in Music City. The crowd was particularly lit for a Wednesday night show, singing every word and shouting out between songs. Moore loved it, and that's part of what made this live album work.
"It was like we went in and played some bar," he shares. "That was a little surprising."
Since it was recorded more than two years ago, new songs from Moore's Late Nights and Long Necks album are missing. "Why We Drink" and "The Ones That Didn't Make It Back Home" are newer hits that took hold after the show, but the energy of the album is what he hopes fans will hang onto beyond the pandemic.
As for Moore? He's been using his time wisely with family and with his producer. He recently cut all of the vocals for his next album from his pool house, so a new studio album should be ready to roll sooner than later. Expect the next single to radio to be from that album. Tentatively, Moore believes it's going to be a song called "We Didn't Have Much."
WATCH: Justin Moore Shares the Story of "Why We Drink"
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