Pensacola, Florida
Tuesday September 17th 2019


Moore Beach Time

By Savannah Evanoff

The album title—well, it’s kind of a funny story.

Country musician Justin Moore’s 2019 album is called “Late Nights and Long Necks,” but you won’t see that name on the track listing.

That song isn’t even on the record. Moore wrote it 16 or 17 years ago.

“I’ve wanted it to be on every album,” Moore said. “For whatever reason, it’s not made any of the albums. Fast forward to this album, and I just knew for a fact it was gonna be on this one. This album was perfect for that particular song. We went back and made a super traditional country album, and that’s the type of song that it is.”

“But long story short, it didn’t make this album either.”

Maybe the next one, he said nonchalantly.

The album title isn’t the only funny story. He tells another one.

“Why We Drink”—the next single—is an up-tempo, party-ish song, he said. The idea behind the lyrics stemmed from a double date with Moore’s parents at a Chili’s or TGI Fridays—some restaurant of that sort.

“My dad doesn’t drink, so he always drives,” Moore said. “The rest of us do. I ordered a drink. Then, I ordered two or three more throughout dinner. My mom happens to go, ‘Why do you drink so much, son?’ Mind you, she’s drinking a margarita at the time. ‘Hell, I don’t know. I just never found a reason not to. If my team loses, I drink. If they win, I drink to celebrate’ … there are a lot of reasons why we drink.”

When Moore tells the story, he always says it’s a drinking song inspired by his mom.

Not all of Moore’s songs have a playful context. His most popular on Spotify today is “The Ones that Didn’t Make It Back Home,” a song meant to honor servicemen and women.

“That’s those who are in our military and here at home—whether it be police officers or firefighters, teachers, which are unfortunately in the line of duty now,” Moore said. “It’s a song I wrote to honor those men and women. People have obviously taken to it. I’m proud of it.”

It reminds Moore of a former hit song, “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away”

“(It) kinda taught me how powerful country music is,” Moore said. “It’s always fun and good for your career to have a hit song, but it’s even more special when it’s a song that people tell me in meet-and-greets, in the supermarket, that it helped them through a difficult time of losing a loved one. It’s special to have songs that impact people’s lives in a positive way when they need it.”

Moore’s songwriting style is reflected in the album title. Late nights and long necks are involved.

Moore and co-writers wrote his latest record “retreat style” at Moore’s beach house in Destin. And it isn’t the first he’s written in Northwest Florida.

“Early on in my career, when I lived in Nashville, my producer and I would drive down—which is about a six-and-a-half-hour drive—and lock ourselves in a house that we’d rent and write songs,” Moore said. “Drink beer and write songs. So that’s what we did this time. Half the material on my first couple albums I wrote down there years and years ago. Matter of fact, probably half the vocals I did on those first two albums were in a hole-in-the-wall studio down there.”

Moore has other significant memories in the area, too. He met his wife in Panama City 18 years ago during a high school senior trip. The two have been together ever since.

“It’s always been a really special place to my wife and I and also been a big part of my songwriting over the years,” Moore said. “It breeds creativity.”

A creative, stand-out title on the album is “Jesus and Jack Daniels.” In it, Moore sings, “I’ve got my strength, and Lord knows I’ve got my weakness/Oh, I’m lost somewhere between Jack Daniels and Jesus.”

“It’s a fictional couple in the song, but I think a lot of people—at least where I grew up—can relate to it,” Moore said. “I knew people who had parents like that. I saw it firsthand growing up. I’ve always enjoyed when titles do that, you read a title and go, ‘I gotta hear that.’”

Moore digs a title that draws attention—like his album title—even if it the song doesn’t end up on the album.

WHAT: Justin Moore with Easton Corbin
WHEN: 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1
WHERE: Flora-Bama, 17401 Perdido Key Drive