Singer/songwriter Steve Moakler has a staple in the Nashville music scene for several years now, releasing his own music in addition to penning hits for artists like Dierks Bentley, Ben Rector, Reba McIntire and more. Steve followed up the popular Born Ready EP with the release of Pocket 1 (the first three songs) from his forthcoming album Blue Jeans (expected release in early 2020). Good Grit got to chat with Steve about this new release, being a new father, the impact the Nashville scene & the south has had on his music, and what else we can expect from him in 2020.
1. Hey Steve! Pocket 1 is incredible - can you tell us about this new release? What was your inspiration behind these first three songs?
Thank you! I really appreciate that... yeah, we’re releasing my new album “Blue Jeans” different than any of my previous records. It’s coming out in 3 different parts that we’re calling Pockets. It’s been really fun to start rolling out.... The title track is inspired by the last 13 years I’ve spent in Nashville pursuing my dreams and starting a family. It’s kind of like the overarching storyline, while the rest of the record is zoomed on more specific moments. “One On The Way” is inspired by the anticipation of becoming a dad with the arrival of our son, Jack. “Push” is a song written to my wife inspired about standing together and fighting each other’s battles. They’re all inspired by things I’ve lived through, and the rest of the album will be too.
2. How does this music differ than what you've previously put out?
Given that a lot of these songs are specific stories and moments, I’m singing about some things I just hadn’t lived through until now. A friend of mine once said that a record is kinda like a snapshot of an artist's life in a moment, and there are some things that just haven’t come into frame for me until now.
3. Has becoming a father influenced your music in any way?
Yeah, it definitely has. There are two songs on the record that touch on life as becoming a dad. Overall though, I feel like having Jack has made me more present and emotional, and I hope that comes across in the music.
4. Tell us about the Hometowns & Campgrounds tour - how did you come up with that idea?
Gracie and I had just gotten married and were on a shoestring budget. She quit her job to start a company and I was starting my career as a songwriter. One morning I was praying & saw a picture of us driving around in a camper and it seemed like it would be fun. We developed the idea that became known as the Hometowns & Campgrounds Tour and what we thought would be a 1 week trip has become a 5 year family tradition.
5. What is your favorite place you've visited on the tour and why?
I’m not copping out here, but truly what make the tour amazing is the people. So, I can’t name a place. I remember the people more than I remember the places and our fans are incredible.
6. How has living in Nashville and the south influenced your sound and music?
It has influenced me tremendously. I fell in love with country music on Music Row. The writers and story tellers here in Nashville forever changed the way I approach music. I think the best songs in the world come out of this town.
7. What are you hoping your listeners connect with the most when they hear this music?
I hope they feel like they have a friend and someone who understands some of the things they’ve been through.
8. What else can fans expect from you in 2019?
Well, Pocket 2 is set to release later this year! And a tour announcement won’t be far behind.