Toby Keith tour a time to learn for country singer Moore

| Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 6:10 p.m.

The whirlwind of big breaks for country singer Kip Moore just keeps blowing, especially just in the past few weeks.

Moore, who is opening for Toby Keith on June 15 at the First Niagara Pavilion, appeared in People magazine's Country's Hottest Guys list this month. On June 5, Moore appeared on the Country Music Television Music Awards, where he was a nominee for breakthrough video of the year (for the song “Beer Money”). On June 7, Moore performed at the Country Music Association Music Festival, an annual four-day concert where “two years ago, I was sitting in the field watching the thing,” he says.

“I'm so thankful to be up for awards,” he says. And the People appearance was “cool,” but “I'm trying not to get too caught up in those kinds of things.”

And though the singer and songwriter from Tifton, Ga., has sold out many shows at smaller venues since his debut album, “Up All Night,” came out in 2012, touring with Toby Keith gives Moore exposure to much-larger audiences.

“I look at the Toby tour as more, this is my time to learn,” Moore says. “When I'm out with an artist like that, I want to learn.

“Toby's a good and consistent professional,” he says. “I'm going to learn a lot of tricks and trades from a guy like Toby.”

Moore and Keith are a compatible match for a tour, except for — shh — Moore owns a Chevy truck, instead of the rival Ford trucks for which Keith has done commercials.

Whether he is singing for hundreds, a few thousand or up to 23,000 at the Burgettstown pavilion, Moore especially loves live performances, more than anything else in his music career.

“I enjoy playing my shows. That's, honestly, the best feeling there is,” Moore says. “Singing to crowds where my entire crowd is singing back to me is incredible.”

“Up All Night” includes the singles “Beer Money,” “Hey Pretty Girl” and the No. 1 hit “Somethin' ‘Bout a Truck.” Much of Moore's inspiration for his self-penned songs came from his time in Hawaii several years ago, where he spent his time surfing and living in solitude in a tent for about six months. In particular, Moore penned the song “Everything But You,” which shows how paradise doesn't mean much if you don't have people around.

“Anytime you're stuck in solitude with yourself, you're often forced to answer a lot of your own questions and you learn a lot about who you are,” Moore says.

Moore is almost finished with his sophomore album. He will put out a new single from the album at the end of the summer, and release the record in the winter of 2014.

“I want every record that I do to be different,” Moore says. “I don't want to be one of those artists where you know what's coming.”

Kellie B. Gormly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at kgormly at or 412-320-7824.

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