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This time, Kip Moore is not an unknown

Kip Moore returns Joe’s Weed Street for concert July 13.

Kip Moore returns to Joe’s on Weed Street for a concert on July 13.

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KIP MOORE

DRAKE WHITE; STRIKING MATCHES

♦ 7 p.m. July 13

♦ Joe’s Bar, 940 W. Weed

♦ Sold Out

Updated: August 14, 2012 6:13AM



One might expect that the Kip Moore that pulled into the alley behind Joe’s Bar just last year to play a short acoustic set for a handful of newfound fans eagerly waiting inside is not at all the Kip Moore who will show up July 13 to play in front of a sold-out crowd at the iconic Chicago venue.

Indeed, since the country rocker last came through Chicago, his career has changed greatly. His summer hit “Somethin’ ‘Bout a Truck” spent two weeks atop the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. His new album “Up All Night” is receiving a similar amount of love from his growing legion of fans. Heck, he even played the “Today Show” on the Fourth of July.

Yet, the unassuming and down-to-earth Moore seems relatively unfazed by the state of his current career. Or perhaps he just hasn’t fully grasped the predicted trajectory of his country music success.

“It’s exciting to come back to Joe’s,” he said. “I loved that venue the last time I was there and the energy in that space. I only got to play three songs acoustically last time and no one had really heard of me . . . but this time, I think people are excited to see me. I’m ready to tear the roof off that place.”

A kind of magical cross between the songwriting talents of a Jackson Browne, the grit of a Bruce Springsteen and the twang of a Willie Nelson or Merle Haggard, Moore has taken the top spot when it comes to the title of one of country music’s most promising new stars. The unassuming songwriter honed his music and songwriting craft while playing countless backyard bonfires in his hometown of Tifton, Ga.

“The music I was listening to back then was shaking me at an early age, before I could even grasp what the lyrics really meant,” said Moore, who moved to Nashville eight years ago. “I hadn’t even lived enough life to understand what those artists were trying to say.”

And while his summer schedule is tight with concert dates, Moore still finds time to go surfing, fishing and preparing for his upcoming opener spot on Eric Church’s wildly successful Blood, Sweat & Beers Tour this fall.

“The last few months have really been wild,” said Moore, whose new single “Beer Money” was just released to the radio. “We had a real cool underground thing before “Somethin’ ‘Bout a Truck” ever hit. We were having people come out in the carloads and it definitely helped lay the foundation to my career. But yes, ‘Truck’ has taken things to a whole other stratosphere. I’ve been busting my ass for years now and I definitely have paid my dues. I just want to be successful. I love this life I’m living more than anything and I’m downright scared of losing it.”

Tricia Despres is a local free-lance writer.



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