POYEN, Ark. (NewsNation Now) — Justin Moore has nine No. 1 hits on country radio and his online content has 2.8 billion streams, and yet, Moore has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
In March, Moore played his last live show. Since then, all his other concerts have been postponed or canceled.
“It certainly has been devastating to our industry as a whole,” Moore said. “It’s tough not to get to go do something that you’re so passionate about that you’ve done basically your entire adult life.”
Without concerts to play, he is spending a lot of time at his home in Poyen, Arkansas. Poyen is about 40 minutes outside Little Rock. With this extra time, he has found chances to have fun, do a little virtual work and finish up some honey-dos.
“We’ve had a list a mile long of things that we gone ‘we ain’t got time to do that right now’, certainly we don’t have that excuse anymore,” he said.
Moore talked about his wife’s chores for him, saying “she has really great ideas and really great taste with anything and everything, but it’s up to me to execute those things.”
Moore and his wife Kate have four children and have been together since high school, but what is new for this couple is that Justin is home and Kate is running a children’s and women’s clothing store closer to town called This Little Piggy and SOCO.
“He’s kind of had to adjust to that too, me kind of going to work and now he’s staying home a little bit, and I think that’s been a bit of a challenge too,” Kate said.
While being a current stay-at-home dad, Moore can do some musical work from home including digital shows, video conferencing and social media posts.
“I’ve been in front of my phone I can promise you more than I’ve ever wanted to,” he said. “I’m thankful that I can get on zoom calls and play for people.”
He even started the “Justin Moore Podcast” during the pandemic.
“I’ve always used that excuse ‘I didn’t have time to fool with it’, again I don’t have that anymore,” he said.
The inability to work and play live shows is having a much deeper impact for Moore. He has 20 people that look up to him for a paycheck, but live music is his main income.
“I had a lot of sleepless nights, I mean I cried,” he said. “I spend as much time, if not more, probably more time with my road family. those men and women, than I do with my own family.”
Kate noted the difficulty her husband is having with COVID-19: “There’s many nights he cried because like they have families, some of them just got married, they have babies and infants and he’s like ‘I can’t pay them.'”
Moore added: “I’m fine, my wife and my kids are fine, we are blowing through all of our savings, which sucks, but these other men and women whether they be truck drivers or bus drivers or musicians or so many crew members that it takes to put on a show of the magnitude that we put a show on, they just have nothing.”
As he searches for answers to reach his team, he has hopes that his current small jobs will pay big dividends.
“I wish I had a better answer, I wish I had an answer for what to do. The podcast is something I’m doing in hopes that I can pay one guy,” Moore said.
Season one just wrapped up and it did not allow him to pay that employee, but Moore has hopes that season two, which starts in late September, can fill that need.
“I’m trying to do anything and everything I can do, but until we get back to playing shows, there really are no answers,” Moore said.
As he waits for the chance to play more live shows, Justin is releasing a live album on September 25.