2018 CD REVIEW
KIP MOORE BRINGS BRIGHT LIGHTS OF PARIS
“If you were my last breath I'd just wanna hold ya/ if you were my last night I ever had on wheels/ I would drive you like I stole ya/ if you were my last shot, last shot of whiskey/ I'd press you to my lips, take a little sip/ swirl you around and around and around/ then I'd shoot ya down.” - Last Shot - Kip Moore- Dan Couch- David Lee Murphy.
Georgian singer-songwriter Kip Moore has exploited the power of videos so much he has now released a 33 minute documentary as he makes his third Australian tour.
Moore , 37, mastered narratives in his imagery for his Last Shot video featured on Nu Country TV on the eve of his tour with South Carolina born star Lee Brice and Mississippi man Charlie Worsham.
Kip turned his song into a powerful paean featuring a quartet of friends bringing the bright lights of Paris to a terminally ill young women on her death bed.
Moore 's powerful video, directed by P J Brown, impacted heavily on viewers on the eve of his concert at the Melbourne Flinders Street Forum on April 25.
"When we first talked about the video for this song, I felt like I wanted to tap into the deeper meaning behind it," revealed Moore who also played the Way Out West festival at the Waltzing Matilda Centre in Winton in Western Queensland.
"How that feeling of desperation and realisation that every second matters, can sometimes be the motivation you need to really take action. I've always been a big believer of living in the moment and I hope people are inspired in some way by this video to do the same."
Kip, son of a small town Baptist church organist, wrote the song with prolific hit writer David Lee Murphy, who also toured Australia for the late Rob Potts, and Dan Couch.
Moore has taken more risks and covered more exotic locales than many troubadours who reach our shores.
In 2017 after releasing 2016 EP Underground he took an off grid trip to Iceland .
"There was this one canyon we got to, and it was No Trespassing and we went through anyway," Moore revealed.
"It was a super sketchy hike down, and even more trying to come back up. That was pretty dumb.
“There were a couple of slips that we had that could have been detrimental. But we wanted to see what was at the top of certain canyons, and that was the only way to get there. So we went for it.”
Moore also swam through alligator-infested waters in Central America , surfed internationally and entered a bull ring in pursuit of great stories.
Kip says his daredevil tendencies lead to better song-writing - including many songs on Slowheart .
"I'm always very aware of what's around me and of trying to soak it all in," Moore explained.
"I think that I'll always be inspired when I go places like Iceland , because I'm not walking around with blinders. Now, I'm ready to get back in the room with those guys and make a little more magic happen."
MOORE GIRLS REACH FOR THE STARS
“Girls like you make guys like me / wanna reach for the brightest star, set it on a ring / put it on your hand, grab a piece of land / and raise a few, yeah / more girls like you.” - More Girls Like You - Kip Moore-Steven Olsen Josh Miller-David Garcia.
It kicks off with Moore explaining the story behind the song.
“I've been travelling the whole world, and that's the one constant that you see - a dad with their little girl or their little boy,” Moore explained.
“There's just something that's super special about that.
“A lot of people are going to take this as, this song is about wanting to have a kid, and that's a small element of it. But to me it's more of, that person that you find so amazing that you hope that, when you have a kid, they turn out as amazing as her.”
The video features footage of Moore in various locales across the globe, performing, interacting with locals and hanging out on the beach.
He says that even if he wasn't a country singer he believes travel and chasing new experiences would still be an important part of his life.
"Even before I was doing this, I'd save up money and eat ramen noodles for two months and then go take a trip somewhere," Moore recalled.
"To me, it's always been about seeing as much as I could and soaking up as many different cultures as I could take in."
His documentary backs that up - it exposes the man behind the music in a revelatory way.
Moore takes viewers on personal tours of places that directly impacted his life and songs.
They meet his family in his hometown of Tifton , Georgia .
Moore also introduces a surfer and cancer patient named Pete in Costa Rica , Moore 's friend, Jeremy, as they explore Iceland and his lifelong hero and sister, Jennifer.
The documentary gives a deeper understanding of the solitude and thought it took to create Slowheart and his appreciation for family.
“The journey it took to get to the place of recording these songs and writing these songs it was all a gradual, organic process,” Moore revealed.
“I think about the power of places like Iceland and Costa Rica - these places that have had such an impact on the way I see the world and the way I see myself, the way I feel about music.”
Toward the end of the documentary, Moore reveals his definition of success has been redefined.
“My goals are different now,” Moore said.
“I'm not basing my success off accolades. I'm doing it the way I want to do it. I get to wake up every day and do what I love. And that is success to me.”
MOORE - SINGER AND GUITAR SLINGER
“Well, I woke to the rise, sun going down/ still taste the whiskey, still fresh on my mouth/ hot cup of coffee, smoke in my hand/ another day in the life of the guitar man.” - Guitar Man - Kip Moore, Dan Couch, Westin Davis.
Moore kicks off with lost love lament Plead The Fifth and ends with Guitar Man - one of 11 songs he co-wrote on his 13 track album.
The singer, like many peers, had a surfeit of original songs penned between albums that were culled to fit the disc.
Moore cut about 25 tracks - most at Southern Ground studio except More Girls Like You and Blonde - that he and co-writer David Garcia recorded at Garcia's home studio, playing all instruments themselves.
Moore was the sole producer on seven songs as well as co-producing five more.
"This is the record I've been waiting to make," explained Moore who played guitar on all tracks.
"The one that leaves you with a peace in your heart, knowing you did it exactly the way you wanted to. The one that makes it okay if you fail, because it truly came from your soul and no other place. You can't go wrong if you can lay your head on your pillow with no regrets."
So how autobiographical is Guitar Man ?
“ Guitar Man came from actually watching a guy in a bar, and it just took me back to being that guy for so many years,” Moore revealed.
“That's how that song came about, was drawing from someone, remembering my life and the people that were a part of my life at that particular time.
“I think that's the most honest, autobiographical song. It displays all the vulnerabilities of what you're feeling in the midst of chasing after a dream.
“I definitely felt those insecurities into my late 20s, living in a garage apartment and barely making my rent while my other friends were building their 401Ks, having babies and houses with white picket fences. You have all those insecurities of feeling like a loser. But you still continue to dream and you fight. It kind of exposes all those elements.”
But that was then and this is now.
“I had to allow this record to embody where I truly was at in my life. I want my records to always dictate that,” Moore revealed.
“There is definitely a yin and yang with this record. A lot of songs came before my travels, and a lot of songs came after. You feel the struggles of being stuck in a stubborn place and not allowing my vulnerabilities to show in the first songs that were written before I left, and then there's an openness that happens after, to where I'm more in touch with my vulnerabilities and more hopeful.”
Moore 's vulnerability in song contrasts his personal life.
“I definitely hold my cards a lot closer in person,” Moore confessed.
“In the music, I try to really shed whatever I'm feeling in its most authentic form. And I feel like that's what resonates with the fans.
"I just want to make the best music and be the best songwriter and performer I can, and that's all I strive to do. I no longer hold my success on if I'm playing arenas or winning awards the way I used to, what I used to shoot for.
“My goal is to truly touch people's soul with my music, the way the greats did with me. I want to give people an escape in my music, and I want to continue to be able to play my own music to a fan-base that wants to come hear it. I just want to make the best music and be the best songwriter and performer I can, and that's all I strive to do. I think that I was where I needed to be. And now I'm where I need to be right now."
Slowheart reflects more maturity and resilience than debut LP, Up All Night , and second album Wild Ones.
“I've learned to realise the small accomplishments are success, and to not always look to the next day and to actually be thankful for the days that you're in and where you're at a particular time,” Moore explained.
“I think that I needed to be a madman. I think that I needed to be somewhat of a maniac in my pursuit to be good at what I do to get to where I'm at.
“But I think that there's also something that happens in the learning process that allows you to tap into another whole thing. It's a constant evolution. I think that I was where I needed to be. And now I'm where I need to be right now.”
The album title Slowheart was inspired by an observation from his guitarist David Lapsley.
“He told me that I had a slow heart years ago,” Moore recalled.
“He said, ‘It takes you a while to show your cards - to show your heart. You evaluate yourself before you make decisions, and you keep your feelings close to you.'
“He named me that, and then I named the band that. I just felt like the journey was such a slow, organic process to making this record that it just all made sense. It was all cohesive with the travels, with the pictures, with the making of the record. It was just time to call the record Slowheart .”
BITTER SWEET COMPANY
'Our chemistry the jealousy / a symphony of things gone wrong / there's something here behind the tears / for all the years that we've held on / It'd be easier to let you go / let this thing go up in smoke / leave and let it turn to ash/ 'Oh, but I remember when we / loved each other so fearlessly / so tell me how the hell did we / turn into bittersweet company.” - Bittersweet Company - Kip Moore-Josh Miller-Troy Verges
Moore illustrated his Bittersweet Company video with a hitch-hiker who is picked up by a beautiful woman.
The couple slowly falls in love as they traverse back-roads while Moore performs the acoustic track on his guitar in the backseat.
“It was such a slow, melancholy acoustic thing when I wrote it,” Moore recalled of the song about a fading long term relationship.
“I live with it for a while before I go in to record it. I think, ‘how is this song going to grab people live? How am I going to get the maximum feeling and emotion out of this song?' I think of all the elements, like what that title means. Bittersweet is a contradiction of each other, it's a double-edged sword. The music and the lyric is a contradiction of each other. The lyric is a heart-wrenching, sad thing, but yet I put this happy melody on top of it. It feels like a straight old-school ‘90s rock ‘n' roll song to me.”
Moore also released a video for his version of Luke Dick-Jon Randall song The Bull.
“The reason I put The Bull on this record is, I wouldn't have put that song on the Up All Night record or the Wild Ones record because it wasn't time for that song yet,” Moore explained.
“It took going through getting that second record shelved and then having to make Wild Ones , and then that one being doubted, too. It took all that for The Bull to make sense to me, and to be on this record.
“It's a song about self-preservation, and getting kicked in the teeth, and always getting back up. When you do stand back up, you might have a middle finger for a few people that doubted you along the way.
“That's the first time a song had really punched me in the mouth like that that wasn't mine. That's how I feel about everything right now.”
FAST WOMEN COME BACK FOR MOORE
“Between the sloe gin fizz and fast women/ I'm stuck in a place my Mama's King James calls sinning/ but it feels so good where I'm sitting / between the sloe gin fizz and fast women.” - Fast Women - Kip Moore-Blair Daly-Westin Davis-Troy Verges.
Moore says his hedonistic songs don't reflect his personal life.
“The ironic thing is, I've never been a promiscuous guy, but I've also never been a saint,” Moorer added.
Moore covers joy in Just Another Girl, Sunburn and Good Thing and sincere devotion in Try Again.
“I always want my records to evolve with who I am and what I'm feeling,” Moore says.
“What those vulnerabilities and insecurities are at that time of my life. What my hope is at that time of my life.
“I had lived with these songs for so long and I had been imagining all these arrangements. I had a blueprint for each and every one. I knew exactly the sound I wanted. And I didn't want anybody to deter me from that sound.”
Moore 's writing never stops.
“I've already been writing what I think will be the feel of the next record after this one,” Moore predicts.
“You'll find out, but it's completely different than Slowheart . I'm still the same person at my core. But where I'm at musically right now is completely different from where I was a year ago. I want there to always be a direct correlation of my life and what I'm making musically.”
Moore doesn't just sing about life - he acts out his beliefs.
He recalled offering a ride to an African American walking down an Alabama street carrying groceries.
“We shared some laughs and embraced as I dropped him off,” Moore recalled.
“He had love for me and I'm white. I had love for him and he's black. I'm not alone in that feeling, there's so many ethnicities all taking care of each other and that gives me hope.
“I know there's injustice all around us and I pray for peace and healing on that front every day. I'm also aware that there's so much good taking place every single day. But most of those things you'll never see.”