The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Entertainment & Events

April 5, 2014

Prism of modern country on display

(Continued)

He says it’s really not as far from A to B as you might think.

“I was a 14-year-old kid listening to Frank Sinatra and none of my friends were, but I loved him so much,” Eldredge said. “That’s what made me gravitate towards big-voiced singers. That’s what I always wanted to be. ... I looked at people like Ronnie Dunn of Brooks & Dunn — he mixes soul with country — and Ray Charles. I love Ray Charles. Just big voices like that and that’s where I still try to come from. When I open my mouth I want people to feel something, I want them to be moved like those other guys move you.”

Justin Moore is sitting in a hotel in Los Angeles after a six-hour trip out West to perform on Queen Latifah’s show. The 30-year-old Arkansas native’s thick drawl is authentic, as is a sound that’s steeped in both traditional country and 1970s country rock influences. Ten years ago there would have been little argument that Moore’s sound is “real country,” but those lines have been blurred.

“If I could go make an album that I wanted to make and not worry about what’s going to get played on the radio and all that stuff, I would probably make an album that sounded like it came from Hank Jr. in the ‘70s or Mark Chesnutt in the early ‘90s, that’s what I love. But as an artist in today’s climate out there, I’m traditional country, but at the same time you kind of have to mix and match it with what’s going on right now, what’s happening out there — if you want to have a career where you’re relevant.”

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