Justin Moore s always had a thing about doing it his way. Call it stubborn redneck mettle, a well-developed case of who I am or just the fierce commitment to blaze a trail inherent to people from his home of Poyen, Arkansas. It doesn t mat ter why, just that the blazing sense of off the beaten path drives his album of the same name.
There s a strong vein of tenderness and decency holding Moore s kind of country together. Look no further than Rhett Atkins/Ben Hayslip/Ross Copperman-written Point At You, the lead single, that acknowledges every wild hair Moore has, but hits the bottom line of his goodness via the woman who became his bride.
Get loud, get rowdy, but get home and emerge solid family men dedicated to some basic ideals that have defined this country. One need look no further than The Warren Brothers/Lance Miller/Austin Cunningham-penned opener Old Back In The New School to understand Moore is all about the things that last, the wild times and the enduring values making for a way of life worth living.
It s that kind of edge that draws a singer like Miranda Lambert to duet on the somber heartbreaker Old Habits. A little bit rowdy, a little bit sentimental, a whole lotta roughneck, Moore has dented the country radio charts with three #1s in the anything but big city Small Town USA, the sentimental family embracing If Heaven Weren t So Far Away and the fidelity pledge Til My Last Day, in addition to the Top 10 mission declaration Backwoods.
But the hits don t really tell the whole story. This is the man whose first single a digital only release was I Could Kick Your Ass, who flexed his sense of humor with the new guy mocking Bait A Hook and unapologetically throw down How I Got To Be This Way. And long before booty country became a touchstone, Moore dropped the swaggering Back That Thing Up.
Indeed, Booty Country is full force on OFF THE BEATEN PATH. He has the Kim Kardashian and J-Lo invoking I d Want It To Be Yours co-written with Stover and Brandon Kinney and the slip into the night guitar grinder Off The Beaten Path that slithers through the Patron and the moonlight.Good ole boys doing what they re good at. Moore has built a career eschewing the path most taken, building a fanbase of people just like him.
Take a certain amount of swagger, add some hard-rocking guitars and add Country Radio, a howler that celebrates the ultimate lube for escaping the boredom and expectations. There s the same kind of bulked up, bearing down picture of pride of Lettin the Night Roll, pure freedom and the will to be alive.
Two strong hands, a back that can shoulder anything, this is working man s post-modern American and that respect is what binds him to his woman in That s How I Know You Love Me. Ultimately, she refuses to make him change, and takes what s there for what it is, loving him for all its busted glory.
To believe in values that last, to embrace what is enough and know it s more than plenty, that is the greatest truth for a man like Moore, who sees no reason to leave the place he grew up. Beyond the hits, the gold-certified albums and the momentum of a career hitting its stride, OFF THE BEATEN PATH is a collection of classic postcards that make up the ascending This Kind of Town and the driving chugger One Dirt Road.
You don t have to take it from Moore, though. No less than the great Charlie Daniels, a man who s hung tough for hardcore old school values is featured on For Some Ol Redneck Reason, a pledge of allegiance to living true to principles and never giving into convention. This is one of the truest event moments as Moore dials it back, unfurling the map of his heart and soul.