Justin Moore has a very talented A&R staff at The Valory Music Group, the label for which he records. But, there's someone else who has a vested interest in his career that has a pretty good winning percentage as well -- his wife, Kate, who actually helped the Georgia native pick two of his biggest hits.
"When I put out 'Small Town USA,' she said that's a number one. Then with 'If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away,' I played her the song before we cut it, and asked her what she thought. She said 'I think that's a number one.' She has always loved 'Till' My Last Day,' and that's her favorite song on the album," he said of his forthcoming single, which hits radio on March 19. "She said 'It's about time you put a love song out.' This is our seventh single, and we've never done a love song. I'm pretty excited about it. It's got a different groove. It's not a typical love song per se. It's pretty much tempo honestly. We hope it goes well."
His most recent single, "Bait A Hook," made it to No. 17 on the singles list recently, but more important than a chart number was the reaction the tune got from his fans.
"It's one of those reactionary records that people are passionate about," he says. "We were going back and forth on what to put out after 'Heaven,' and we had played that song since the album came out, and the crowds were singing every word. We were wondering why they were singing it already. We decided to do it, and said 'It may go here, or may go there, but people are passionate about it. Let's put it out. It sold a lot of albums for us, and made a big impact in a short period of time."
Concert crowds have been growing since "Small Town USA" hit the top of the charts in 2009. "They have. It's cool to see. We haven't had a rapid rise to where we are. We've just kind of taken a gradual steady path, and it's been cool to see how it's grown over the years."
Later this year, Moore will be a part of the Country Throwdown tour, featuring Gary Allan and Sunny Sweeney, but for the time being, he's enjoying life on the road as part of the Blake Shelton tour. "It's a lot of fun. He's a great guy. It's been fun to get to know him. I'm good friends with Miranda, but hadn't got to know him. I'm blown away by his show. I'm so happy for him. I think he's finally getting the praise and respect that he's been due for a long time. I'm so happy for them both."
Moore says that Shelton is exactly what you would expect him to be. Well, almost. "He's not as idiotic in person," he says with a smile. "He's really a down-to-earth guy, and is such a good person. I hope you don't tell him I said this. I don't want him to think I actually like him... I'm glad we've become friends."
With his list of hits growing, as well as his family (Kennedy Faye, their second daughter was born in November), Moore considers himself to be very blessed. "I was telling my wife 'Something's gotta go wrong here.' This is going too good. I'm very happy. I'm at a better place than I've ever been. I'm a better Christian. Things are good. It's truly a blessing. It makes it so worthwhile to come home and share it with somebody. I'm very fortunate."
So, if "Til' My Last Day' makes Kate three-for-three, can she expect a reward? He sheepishly says "How about a new bass boat? That would be a present for the both of us. I don't know that she needs anything. The thing about her is she'll ask for something, and I'll gripe and moan, then about two hours later, we will go get it. She's not mistreated by any means," he said with his tongue planted firmly in cheek.