Packard offers double dose of country
Two generations of country music will be represented this weekend at Packard Music Hall.
A double bill of new country acts, Kip Moore and Jon Pardi, plays the Warren venue on Saturday while Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Vince Gill performs there on Sunday.
Moore’s debut album, 2012’s “Up All Night,” spawned three top 10 country hits — “Beer Money,” “Hey Pretty Girl” and the No. 1 hit “Somethin’ ‘Bout a Truck.” The 2015 follow up, “Wild Ones,” had two singles that peaked in the 20s, “I’m to Blame” and “Running for You.”
When the “Me and My Kind Tour” with Pardi was announced, Moore said, “Being out on the road is where me and the band feel most at home. Even though we’ve been nonstop already this year with the headlining shows in the U.K. and the Miranda (Lambert) tour, it just doesn’t feel natural to slow down, our live show is when we are in our element. I’m really looking forward to having the opportunity to test some new material that we’ve been working on out on the road and having Jon out with us too, I’m sure we’re going to get into some trouble out there.”
Before the tour started, Moore and Pardi released a short video with the singers talking about their favorite movies — Pardi picked “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby”; Moore went with the original “Karate Kid” — and even tossing in impersonations (in costume) of the movies’ stars.
The Packard show comes less than a week before the release of “Underground,” a five-song EP inspired by life on the road. Moore co-wrote all five songs, and three of the five tracks were recorded live.
In a press release announcing the EP, Moore said, “The problem I often face is leaving behind some songs, because I never stop writing. I write so many that some never see the light of day. I’ve been working on a full record, which looks to be coming out in late spring, but everywhere we go the fans keep asking for the recordings of these underground songs that they’ve been hearing for the last few years. They’re a passionate fan base so I decided to ask my label if I could record these songs live and give them the raw recordings. These songs are completely separate from the new record I’ve been making, I simply made this EP for the true fans.”
Pardi had a top 10 hit in 2013 with “Up All Night,” and “Head Over Boots” peaked at No. 4 on the country chart last year. Other radio hits include “Missin’ You Crazy,” “What I Can’t Put Down,” “When I’ve Been Drinkin'” and his new single, “Dirt on My Boots.”
Sunday’s headliner has a much longer resume. Moore has three top 10 country hits in his career; Gill had that many in an average year in the 1990s.
As a solo artist and with others, Gill has had more than top 40 country hits. He has 20 Grammy Awards, 18 Country Music Association Awards (including winning four Song of the Year honors), and eight Academy of Country Music Awards (including its Home Depot Humanitarian Award and Career Achievement Award).
He is a member of the Grand Ole Opry, a 2007 inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Gill also has a connection to some of the Mahoning Valley’s leading contributions to country music. Gill and Leavittsburg native Jerry Douglas have worked together on numerous occasions, including performing together at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2004. And Liberty native Bob DiPiero cowrote Gill’s number one country hit “Worlds Apart.”
His latest album is “Down to My Last Habit,” released earlier this year. It includes appearances by Little Big Town, Chris Botti and Cam.
“I think I’m a better singer today than I was 20 years ago and 40 years ago,” Gill told the Chicago Tribune earlier this month. “I’ve learned how to sing. You learn what not to do. You have to say the most with the least. Music and songs and singing and playing are the same exercise.”