Kip Moore

London Music Hall presents

Kip Moore

Michael Ray

Fri, October 16, 2015

7:00 pm

$105.00

This event is all ages

Wildones tour 2015

Kip Moore
Kip Moore
Over the last couple of years, Kip Moore spent most of his time on the road, building one of country music's most loyal audiences show by show and plotting what would become his sophomore album, Wild Ones. He was a road warrior, living out of a tour bus with his bandmates and playing more than 200 shows per year. For a songwriter who'd grown up in a quiet pocket of southern Georgia, performing to crowds across the world — crowds that knew every word to his best-selling debut album, Up All Night — felt like a dream come true.

Somewhere along the way, though, the highway became a lonely place. The routine was always the same: pull into town, play a show, pack up and leave. There was no stability, no comfort. Things weren't much easier at home in Nashville, where Moore —whose first album had sent three songs to the top of the country charts, including "Beer Money" and "Hey Pretty Girl" —found himself receiving plenty of unsolicited advice from people who wanted to keep the hits coming…at any cost.

"Once you start having a little bit of success," he says, "all of a sudden, there's a lot of opinions about who you should be, what you should be doing, how it should be marketed. A lot of those opinions are great, but Wild Ones was influenced by me saying, 'This is just who I am. I'm not gonna do what other people are doing. I'm not chasing a trend. I'm gonna do the kind of music I wanna do, and the kind of music I think my fans wanna hear, and that's the end of the story.'"

From amphitheater tours with Dierks Bentley to his own headlining tours across America, Moore has spent the last three years learning what, exactly, his fans want to hear. He's a genuine road warrior, armed with a live show that mixes the bombast and wild desperation of Bruce Springsteen with the rootsy stomp of Merle Haggard. It's a sound built on space and swagger. A sound that bangs as hard as it twangs. A sound caught somewhere between blue-collar country music and stadium-sized rock & roll. And that's the sound that Moore's fans, who've already catapulted him to PLATINUM-selling heights, want to hear.

When it came time to create new music for his second album, Wild Ones, Moore didn't have to look very far for inspiration. He just took a look around, taking stock of the world as it flew by his bus window at highway speed.

"Everything that's taken place over the last two years —this traveling circus, these shows, the band, the toll that the road can take on you but also the exuberance it can bring —it all inspired the record," he explains. "It's a record about what we've gone through, and I wanted the music to match the intensity of what we do every night onstage. We never go through the motions, no matter how tired and exhausted we are."

Moore wrote or co-wrote all of Wild Ones' thirteen tracks, often teaming up with songwriters like Dan Couch or Weston Davis. More than a few songs were born on the road, where Moore found himself coming up with new ones during soundchecks, inside backstage dressing rooms, and in his bunk at night. He'd arrange the songs, too, coming up with bass parts, guitar licks and drum patterns in addition to the melodies. Sometimes, he'd write some lyrics, scrap them, then write a completely different set. The emphasis wasn't on creating the largest catalog of songs in the shortest time possible; it was on funneling the feeling of a Kip Moore concert into a single album, no matter how much time it took.

Driven forward by electric guitars and gang vocals, "Lipstick" is the album's most heartfelt tribute to the road, with each verse rattling off a list of the favorite cities Moore and his bandmates have played in the past. Other songs, like "That Was Us," take a look backward, sketching a picture of the archetypal small-town Saturday nights that filled Moore's teenage years in Georgia. "Magic," anchored by one of the anthemic, open-armed choruses of Moore's career, is loud and lovely, and "Comeback Kid" packs its punch the opposite way: by dialing back the volume and delivering quiet praise to the underdog in all of us.

Befitting an album that was largely inspired by —and written on — the road, Moore recorded Wild Ones during quick breaks in his touring schedule. He'd book one or two days of studio time, then hit the road for three months, then return to Nashville and book more sessions. Gradually, the album started to take shape. Brett James, his longtime friend and ally, co-produced the project.

"We created a lot of space in this record," Moore says proudly. "It's not a bunch of people playing all over the place. We tracked a lot of the record with just a three-piece band. If you go to most Nashville recording sessions, there's gonna be six or seven people in the room. But we recorded this one with less people, just to allow the fans to actually listen to what's going on. It makes everything sound bigger." "Big." Perhaps that's the best description for Wild Ones, a super-sized record inspired by the grit, grind, and glamour of the live shows that have helped make Moore a country favorite. For Moore, going big was the only option.

"I've always felt like the guy whose cards are stacked against him," he says. "I've always been the underdog, but I also say, 'You can count me out for a minute, but don't think I'll stay down for very long.'"
Michael Ray
Michael Ray
When rising country singer Michael Ray made his first exploratory trip to Nashville, he got a life-changing piece of advice from an industry insider.

Go home.

"He said, 'Don't move. The way the music industry's going to become, you're not going to be able to get a record deal just doing a showcase anymore. You've got to bring something to the table,'" Ray said. "He said, 'I want to you to go back to Florida, grab a band and become the biggest you can be in Florida on your own, and then I want you to come back.' So I put a band together of friends of mine and we started to play."

Turns out it was the best thing Ray ever did. He built a rowdy fan base tilling the same fertile Southeastern soil Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan used to start their careers and returned to Nashville three years later to claim a record deal, a publishing contract and a few unexpected opportunities along the way.

Ray will soon complete the journey from tiny Eustis, Florida, to the big time with the release of his first single "Kiss You In The Morning" from his forthcoming Warner Bros. Records album due spring of 2015. He arrives with fans in the know already numbering in the thousands, the ability to sell out large clubs in presale and the promise of a future star. Scott Hendricks, Warner Music Nashville's executive vice president of A&R and Ray's producer, calls Ray "country with an edge."

"Michael, he's got it all," said Hendricks, known for his work with Blake Shelton, Brooks & Dunn and Alan Jackson. "He sings well. He's a really seasoned entertainer. Girls find him not hard to look at. He's got the drive, the motivation, the work ethic, the right attitude going into this thing. He's been great to work with in the studio, just getting better and better every time we're recording. He takes it seriously, and we do have really high hopes for him."

Something else Ray has? Authenticity.

Raised in rural central Florida an hour from Orlando, but world's away, Ray grew up hunting alligators and fishing for tarpon at the end of white sand dirt roads. The child of a family full of musicians, he began his professional career before he was a teenager, graduated to the bar scene as soon as he could drive and hasn't let up on the pedal since.
"When I was 9 years old I wanted to learn how to play. I started playing guitar with my grandfather. Two, three nights a week we'd play community centers, Moose Lodges, assisted living homes, the VFW. I grew up with him on very, very old country music, I grew up playing Porter Wagoner, Bobby Bare, Earl Thomas Conley, Merle Haggard, Waylon _ that was my first introduction to country music."

Not long after, he went to his first big concert: Garth Brooks in Orlando.
"That was one of the big things that changed everything to me," Ray said. "That was my visual of what I wanted to do." The show was the start of a chain of musical events that would help shape Ray's dynamic, muscular, thoroughly modern sound. "I started watching everything Garth did. And Gary Allan came out with 'It Would Be You.' I started listening to my generation's country. And then I started listening to my generation's punk. And my generation's rock 'n' roll, my generation's R&B, even a little bit of hip-hop. I could relate to all of this stuff."
He started writing his own songs, blending the ragged spirit of those early favorites and the bombastic new sounds of modern country around the turn of the century with pleasing bits and pieces from all over the musical map. What emerges in a thoroughly modern sound that's sonically adventurous, lyrically diverse and over the top on the voltage meter.

"He is all about energy, energy, energy, both in his music and how he presents it on stage," Hendricks said. "There aren't very many moments where you're going to have time to rest when you watch him because there's a lot of energy he's putting out."

He developed the approach in a grassroots way, plying club owners and promoters with press packets that included music, fun facts and a headshot. His pitch: "Dude, I'll play for free." He'd stay glued to the riser four and five hours a night at the bar, armored with an acoustic guitar and a growing repertoire of original songs. He put together his first band after returning from that early trip to Nashville and got his first break playing the Boots N Buckles Saloon in Lakeland, Florida, opening for Jason Michael Carroll.

A DJ who didn't give her name approached him after the set and took a CD with her. The next day a friend called to announce he was on the radio. That DJ turned out to be Sara Michaels of WPCV-97 Country and she started playing his music every day at 5:15 during the rush hour, "Right between Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldean," Ray said with a smile.

The next time he came back to Lakeland, he sold out the club as a headliner. Not long after he graduated to some of the largest regional clubs, selling out Orlando's House of Blues, for instance, during presale multiple times a year.

He came to the conclusion he'd hit the mark he was aiming for: "There was nothing else I could do there on my own. I didn't know how to take that next step." It was time to move to Nashville, he shared a small apartment with his band. He slept on the floor. The bass player got the couch and the keyboard player had the closet all to himself.
He continued to spend about half his time on the road, traveling back and forth to the Deep South, and the work he was putting in began to pay off quickly. He soon met manager Tony Conway, a 40 year industry veteran and owner/CEO at Ontourage Management. Conway helped guide Ray to a publishing contract with Warner/Chappell Music and went on to sign a record deal with Warner Music Nashville. Ray has continued to grow his following, joining his band on tour with Chase Rise this fall and Sam Hunt next spring along with a string of his own dates.

"Now he's stretching the boundaries from state to state to state to stretch those fan bases," Hendricks said. "Some guys kind of stop when they get here. This guy is a road warrior. He's out there all the time, playing wherever they will allow him to play to build his fan base. We just need to get those fans some food, some new music to have."
Venue Information:
London Music Hall - CA
185 Queens Ave.
London, ON, N6A 1J1
http://www.londonmusichall.com/

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