Country star Justin Moore performs Friday at Fraze Pavilion

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

It’s hard to dampen down a love of sports when it’s in you but Justin Moore wisely quit playing organized athletics following high school graduation to focus on music. In late 2021, the Arkansas native, headlining the K99.1-FM Birthday Bash at Fraze Pavilion in Kettering on Friday, July 15, found a new way to indulge that side of his personality. He now has a side hustle as a sports talk radio host on “Morning Mayhem” on 103.7 The Buzz.

Moore left the small town of Poyen, Ark. for Nashville in 2002. He paid his dues as a staff songwriter and performer for years before breaking into the country mainstream with his self-titled debut in August 2009. The single, “Small Town USA,” became his first number one hit that same month. He has scored nine more number one singles since then.

“Straight Outta the Country” (2021), Moore’s sixth studio full-length, featured his most recent number one single, “We Didn’t Have Much.” It topped the country music charts in August 2021. Moore’s latest single, “With a Woman You Love,” was released in 2021. It’s from his forthcoming album and peaked at number 12 on the charts.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Moore was on a break from the road when he answered some questions from his home in Nashville.

Q: With everything going on, what attracted you to joining the “Morning Mayhem” team on The Buzz?

A: I’m out of my damn mind. I don’t know why I said yes to that but I did. But, in all seriousness, it’s a lot of fun. You know, I’m as passionate about sports as I am about music, quite honestly. If I had been 6′-6″ instead of 5′-6″ I’d probably still be playing sports. I played baseball and basketball growing up. I coach my kids in basketball, softball and t-ball. I’m still heavily involved in sports and trying to affect kids’ lives through sports. This opportunity came along and I was great friends with the guys who are also co-hosts on this show.

Q: How is the radio gig going?

A: I’ve enjoyed it outside of getting up at 5 o’clock. It’s the number one sports talk station in the state of Arkansas. It was another opportunity to go win and we’re doing just that. We just got our first ratings back and we’re number one in the state. That’s pretty cool. Beyond that, being from Arkansas, I’m a huge Razorbacks fan. Obviously, that’s all we have. I’ve had the opportunity to not only interview people but I got to know and become friends with a lot of my heroes growing up who played basketball, baseball, football or whatever. It’s just kind of intriguing to me, man, and it’s been a lot of fun. It’s been a fun challenge, for sure.

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Q: What’s the plan for the upcoming album?

A: I anticipate it will be out in late summer or early fall. ‘With a Woman You Love’ is the first single from the album. It was inside the Top 20 on the charts and doing really well. It’s a fun time to have new music out there, for sure. Fingers crossed that will be our 11th number one. That’s the goal, for sure.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Q: That seems pretty fast on the heels of “Straight Outta the Country,” which came out in April 2021. How did you turn the album around so quickly?

A: The whole process is completely different now. With technology being what it is, we’re all still trying to figure out the best way to release albums or if albums are even the best thing to do. We had a lot of music ready to go so we’ve had this album done for a while now. We’re excited to be able to put it out a lot quicker now than what we used to. It used to be two or three years between albums. Now, having the opportunity to put new albums out much quicker than we used to is pretty good.

Q: What else is occupying your time?

A: I’m just finishing up coaching my kiddos in softball and t-ball. We’re about to wrap that up for the year. We’ll have some vacation time here in the summer. We’ll get to go to the beach and hang out. Then, the new album will drop and we’ll be out there promoting it, man. That’s about it.

Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or e-mail at donthrasher100@gmail.com.

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HOW TO GO

What: K99.1-FM Birthday Bash featuring Justin Moore and special guests Dillon Carmichael and Jake Worthington

Where: Fraze Pavilion, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 15

Cost: $35 lawn & terrace, $55 orchestra and $60 plaza in advance. $40 lawn & terrace, $60 orchestra and $65 plaza day of show

More info: 937-296-3300 or www.fraze.com

Artist info: www.justinmooremusic.com

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