Story Behind the Song: Steve Moakler, ‘Born Ready’
As an acclaimed songwriter and performer in his own right, Steve Moakler is as familiar as anyone in the country music industry with the ups and downs of life on the road and on tour. The artist drew the inspiration for his 2017 album Steel Town from the working-class area in Pennsylvania in which he grew up, so it makes sense that Mack Trucks -- also based in Pennsylvania -- approached him to write a song for their company.
However, the song that resulted, "Born Ready," went above and beyond the assignment, and became so special to the country singer that he used it as the title track for his 2018 album. Below, Moakler tells The Boot how the song turned from a company's request into something more personal, and why he's so connected to the track.
That song had a very interesting journey into life. The whole concept came out of a song on my last record, which is a song about a bar in my grandfather's basement. In that second verse, I mentioned that my grandfather and his brothers had a trucking company, which they did, in small-town Pennsylvania, where I'm from.
Mack Trucks is a company based in Pennsylvania, and they were looking for someone to write a song for them. I ended up meeting them, and we hit it off in a big way, because we just had a lot of the same values, so they gave me the assignment to write them a song. Just as a working songwriter, I told them I'd be honored to. After getting into the song and starting it, I felt super connected to it. I'd started out writing the song about long-haul truckers, and I was on the highway, literally going down the road among a bunch of trucks, but really quickly I realized I was telling my own story, which was the story of being a road-dog country singer.
So the song became something more than just the assignment. It fulfilled the assignment and became a song they used, but I also told them, "Hey, I think this might be the heart of my next record, and I'd love to put it on my album, too." They were excited about that.