Justin Moore is known for being a devoted family man and dedicated patriot. Memorial Day Weekend the Arkansas native will be pulling double duty in Washington D.C. as he joins Patti LaBelle, Gavin DeGraw and Alison Krauss this Sunday for the PBS Memorial Day Special, and then on Monday he’ll participate in the National Armed Forces Memorial Day Parade, which will also include Dennis Quaid, Kiefer Sutherland and others.
Moore is excited about performing his new single, “The Ones That Didn’t Make it Back Home,” which is currently climbing the charts. “It was written to honor these men and women that Memorial Day is all about,” Moore says, “so to have opportunity to showcase the song on those two stages is very, very special. We’re looking forward to it for sure.”
The song is featured on Moore’s upcoming album, Late Nights and Long Necks, which will be released July 26. “We had a song out, ‘If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away’ eight years ago,” he says of the song, which hit No. 1 in 2011. “Every night on stage I talk about the fact that I had one grandpa in the Navy and the other in the Air Force and because of that it was always instilled in me that certainly we should honor those men and women and respect them every chance we get. Before we play it, [I say] ‘We’ll send this out to the ones that didn’t make it back home.’ I’ve done that for eight years and for whatever reason about a year ago I go, ‘Man that may be a song idea!’ I don’t know why it took me so long, but I guess better late than never so I went back to the bus that night and started it and finished it the next day.”
Moore has been really pleased with the reaction he’s been getting to the song. “It’s been really good. It kind of stands out on the radio. There’s not anything else out there right now obviously,” he says. “These types of songs don’t come along very often. I’ve been doing this now for 12 years, which is also hard to believe. I’ve had one of them in my career up until this song. They are special songs and I’ve been saying it’s fun to have hit records and No. 1 songs. They are great for your career and it’s exciting and all that, but when you have a song that impacts people’s lives like this song has the opportunity to do and did, it makes it even more special. So it’s been really cool.”
The video for the song is garnering lots of attention and Moore credits director Cody Villalobos for making the clip special. “He is 24-years-old and has never shot a music video in his life,” Moore says. “He is kind of my digital/social media guy who also is a great photographer and videographer. He came to me when the song came out with this idea and said, ‘What do you think?’ I thought it was amazing and fortunately my label allowed him to do it which is somewhat rare because the guy has never shot a video before. He did a fantastic job with it and 99% of the people in the video–which I think is really cool—are actually firefighters, police officers, teachers and all of those soldiers are actual soldiers. He did a great job with it. I would like to take credit for the idea, but it wasn’t me.”
Moore is looking forward to performing in our nation’s capital this weekend. “Hopefully I’m giving back a little bit, certainly not anything close to what those men and women give each and every day, but it feels as though in our own little way we’re giving back just a little bit,” he says, “If nothing else we’re just shining a light on what those men and women do every day to keep us free and safe. It’s the greatest country in the world regardless of how kooky it gets sometimes. It’s still the best country in the world in my opinion.”