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Kip Moore In Concert

Who: Kip Moore

When: 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 26

Where: Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa

Admission: $49-$59

Information: 707-546-3600, lutherburbankcenter.org

Named “New Artist of the Year” five years ago by the Academy of Country Music, Georgia-born singer-songwriter Kip Moore has been busy ever since.

Now, at 37, he has toured the world and recorded two top-selling albums, with a new one due out in August. Moore makes his first appearance, backed by his band, Wednesday, April 26, at Santa Rosa’s Luther Burbank Center for the Arts.

Moore is a genuine country boy. But musically, he’s compared to Bruce Springsteen as often he is to Merle Haggard.

While Moore’s music video output is prolific, including hits like last year’s “I’m to Blame” and this year’s “Running for You,” he said he doesn’t think in terms of marketing or target audiences. His focus is on his songwriting.

When he’s not touring — he played 150 dates last year — Moore lives in Nashville. Speaking by phone from his home there, Moore took time recently to talk about his music and his future.

Q: What are you working on while you’re between tour dates?

A: I’m at home shooting music videos for my new record.

Q: You have a polished approach to your storytelling in those videos. Is that something you had to learn along the way? A: I’ve always been a fan of film. I’ve always studied the acting and the cinematography in movies. I’ve just had a yearning to make great videos, so I try to take a cinematic approach to ‘em. I think the videos I’m making this new record are by far the best ones I’ve made yet. People will get to see those this summer.

Q: Even though you’re young, you’ve had a long career, starting when you were still in community college in Alabama.

A: I’ve been at it a long time. I would say that my career took off about five years ago, and ever since then, it’s been a whirlwind. I’d been trying for many years before it took off.

Q: Your songs often have strong rock beat. Do you find that the instrumental music on country records now sounds like rock music from a generation or two ago?

A: I think country music has taken up that space in the format. I know a lot of people have talked about our shows bein’ like an old-school American rock ‘n’ roll shows. It feels like heartland rock at times. I think guys like Bob Seger, if they were around today, they’d be in the country format. It’s gotten where you’re not hearing that old American rock ‘n’ roll thing as much on mainstream radio anymore. It has kind of filtered into country music sometimes. Not all the time, but sometimes. You listen to (country singer Chris) Stapleton’s “Parachute,” and that’s an old-style American heartland rock ‘n’ roll song.

Q: And yet the country music lyrics stay true to tradition, with the storytelling, don’t they?

A: Yes, and that’s what Bob Seger’s songs did. They told stories, like “Against the Wind” and “Night Moves.”

Q: Country music now is more sophisticated, but aren’t the songs still about romance, family, patriotism and hometown values?

A: Yeah, and I don’t think that’s ever gonna leave. That’s a staple in the genre.

Q: Do you have a target audience?

A: No, I don’t think that way. I just think about staying true to myself as a writer. I’m never trying to target an individual audience. I not trying to target radio. I’m trying to be true to myself as an artist and a writer. If I’m true to that, and if I write from within and from what I know, I feel like that’s gonna relate to a certain crowd. I’m thinkin’ there are other people out there who are feelin’ the same thing.

Q: In terms of age groups, do you see everybody in your audiences?

A: I have a pretty wide, eclectic group, in terms of ages and ethnicities, that relate to the shows. I see every walk of life at my shows.

Q: Country music used to be thought of by some people as southern music. Do you think that’s true now?

A: Man, there’s country people everywhere. There’s people who live a certain way life all over the world — Australia, Europe, everywhere.

Q: What is that way of life?

A: You know, I can’t tell you exactly what is, and I don’t try to. A lot of people try to describe what “country” is. It’s different for each person. I’m an avid surfer and rock-climber. I saw someone make a statement the other day that country boys don’t surf. I’m about as country as it gets. I’m from the sticks and the dirt of South Georgia. If I feel like doin’ something, then that’s what I’m gonna do, and nobody can tell me I can’t. I’m never gonna be on the same hamster wheel with everybody else.

Q: Does that feeling influence your writing?

A: Oh yeah. I have different people that I write with, but I have a hand in writing all my music.

Q: Can you imagine a song that you wouldn’t do?

A: No, I don’t have any restrictions on my writing. Am I gonna sit down and write a song that sounds like some other pop act? Probably not. That’s not what I do.

Q: You talked about film and acting. Do you see movie or TV roles in your future?

A: Possibly. I’ve always been fascinated by movies. I go to the movies by myself all the time. When I was little, I always wanted to be an action star. I wanted to be the next Rocky Balboa.

You can reach staff writer Dan Taylor at 707-521-5243 or dan.taylor@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @danarts.

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