Justin Moore debuted the release of his new album, "Outlaws Like Me" from an unusual perch, sitting in a bass boat on a lake in New York City's Central Park with skyscrapers rising up from the line of trees on the far shore of the waters.
"When the label wanted to launch the album in New York City, it seemed like an obvious choice to kick things off in a setting where I feel so much at home, out on the water," reflected by the title of track six on the new album, "Bait A Hook."
"My fans know that the music I make represents who I am and since the outdoors have been such a big part of my life, I wanted people to watch on their TV or on the internet and know that it is what you see is what you get," he continued. "When you listen to my music, it is me, it is real."
"It is not just a country thing," said Moore who was trying to convey the message that. "Country is wherever you're at, whether it happens to be New York City, L.A. or the little town of Poyen, Arkansas where I grew up. Country isn't about a place; it's a state of mind."
Arriving in the park at the crack of dawn, he said the joggers and bikers who passed by stared at the unusual sight of the cowboy hat clad country star floating in the fishing boat as he conducted six hours of live radio, television, online and print interviews from a bass boat in the middle of the lake. It was a scene reminiscent of Paul Hogan as the weathered Mick 'Crocodile' Dundee and Moore agreed, stating that he felt "like an exhibit in a zoo."
"Talking about myself for six straight hours was probably harder than having to sit there in that lake being stared at and all the while not being able to touch those fishing poles," said Moore, who is an avid outdoorsman.
"My manager is from (New) Jersey and he told me that if I was to catch something in that pond, I probably shouldn't even touch it," he added with a laugh.
Through his hit song from his first album. "Small Town USA, Moore has become the voice of small town America and released this, his second album, in conjunction with NRACountry, a partnership between the National Rifle Association and some of the brightest stars of country music.
Moore explained that while some people have a negative image of the NRA he has been working with them for the past two years, and is proud of their efforts. "The common perception of the NRA is that they just go out waving the flag for the second amendment, which they do, but they do so many other great things and I am trying to get the message out about all they do."
"Fans should know that if you get the new album at nracountry.com, you get an exclusive bonus track. It's called "NRA country"," he promoted. "They teach gun safety, helping people learn what they need to know about owning a gun. They teach you responsible gun ownership, how to do things the right way," said Moore who included a track called "Guns" on his new album.
"It is not PC (politically Correct) but I have to be real," Justin stated. The chorus of the song states his feelings in a pull no punches style: "Guns / Whether Remingtons or Glocks / Come on man it ain't like I'm slinging 'em on the block / I'm gonna tell you once, and listen son / As long as I'm alive and breathin' / You won't take my guns."
While some might avoid the controversial issue, Moore's fans like the honesty of the young artist. "I know some people might not listen to this music because of the content," said Moore who relates to the Outlaw title through being a free spirit in the world of Country music. "I was raised in a family that enjoyed the outdoors lifestyle and my mom was sitting with me in my tree stand when I shot my first deer."
"My wife and 16 month old daughter are at home alone sometimes," remarked Moore who is on the roads touring a majority of the year. "So you know I am going to put it right out there, we have guns in the house for our protection."
Moore's latest single, 'If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away,' is the second time the song is getting radio airplay in the country music format. The song, originally recorded by Rhett Akins in 2006, was written about real life people that the songwriters - Dallas Davidson, Brett Jones and Rob Hatch - no longer had in their life.
"Redneck Side' is the only other song that Moore didn't write on 'Outlaws Like Me,' but the singer says he knew it's one he had to have.
The album also features eleven of his new songs in addition to "Guns" and "Bait A Hook" there are: 'My Kind of Woman', 'Run Out of Honky Tonks', 'Beer Time', 'Flyin' Down a Back Road', 'If You Don't Like My Twang', 'Sunshine Babies', ''Til My Last Day', 'Bed of My Chevy' and the title track "Outlaws Like Me."
There's a special place in Justin Moore's soul for the title track from his new 'Outlaws Like Me' album. It's "without a doubt my favorite song I've ever written," the singer tells Taste of Country. The nearly six-minute long, piano driven ballad tells a story of redemption and change. It tells his story.
Moore said that he has always had good fan support in our area and is looking forward to his first trip to Jamboree in the Hills and wants to put on a great show for the crowd.
"With the way our economy is right now, everybody is struggling," said Moore. "So when they spend that dollar to come and see us, we are not going to disappoint them."
Moore appears on stage Thursday night before CMA vocalist of the year Miranda Lambert. Moore has been touring with Lambert's Revolution tour in 2011, with Josh Kelley that wrapped up in April.
The Stickers open Thursday night's show, followed by Josh Thompson and David Nail before Moore takes the stage tomorrow night. Lambert wraps up the opening night as the 35th Anniversary edition of the concert gets underway. Tickets can still be purchased online or at the On-Site box-office.