On the surface, the story of Justin Moore has been told countless times before. Small town boy with big time dreams packs his entire life in the back of a U-Haul and drives to Nashville in search of a better life than the one he’s living.
But this is no ordinary story.
The story of Jordan Moore is a story of second chances and crazy coincidences. It’s a story of a guy who could have given up a thousand times. It’s a story of a man whose life has always been somehow divinely directed by God above.
In short, the story of Jordan Moore is nothing short of extraordinary.
Of course, every story has a beginning, and this story begins in the little town of Lowell, Michigan. The youngest of five children, Moore spent his days playing outside and singing in the church. When he wasn’t doing that, he was painting pictures and drawing characters he would dream up in his head. And for as long as Moore can remember, his dad always seemed to have a guitar in his hand, and had once dreamed of a day he could follow his own music dreams.
But that was never part of his story.
Instead, Moore’s father infused the love of music into all of his kids, encouraging them to let music play some sort of role in their life. Heck, many a Saturday afternoon was spent driving Moore himself to the local retirement home to entertain the senior citizens hungry for some sensory overload. In high school, Moore would put his music on the back burner for a bit, eventually finding his way on the football team, resulting in a full ride scholarship to Ferris State University.
During college, Moore and a few of his buddies started performing around the state as part of the rock group, Sargent Avenue. While the band were never officially signed to a label, they did travel across the country and around the world, and quickly established a hungry fan base eager to follow them wherever they would go.
“It was there with that band that I really found my voice,” reflects Moore. “As the lead vocalist, I really needed to learn how to sing. The stuff we were playing was really on the edge of my range on the high side and I was constantly losing my voice.”
But that wasn’t the only thing Moore was losing.
That’s when the world started crumbling around Jordan Moore.
First, Sargent Avenue broke up in 2012. Then, Moore was forced to get a full time job at a production company to help support his new wife and growing family. In 2015, Moore and that family made the difficult decision to put their small town in the rear view mirror and head to Nashville for a bright new start.
But frankly, music was never part of the plan.
In fact, with an automotive business management degree in his hand, Moore quickly got a job as a manager at a local car dealership in Nashville, where he watched so many guys who looked like him and sounded like him enjoying a nice little career writing music and making a living from it.
“But I hadn’t written a song in forever,” Moore remembers. “It didn’t even feel like it could be in the cards for me anymore.”
And while the job proved to be quite successful and offered his family much-needed financial stability, the stress and hours of the demanding position began to take a toll on his personal life…and Moore got a divorce.
“I was working so much,” Moore remembers of his 70-hour work weeks. “I could not take care of a marriage. I couldn’t be the spouse or the parent I needed to be. But breaking up? It just wasn’t a scenario I ever saw myself in. I grew up in the church. I was one of the most loyal people you could ever meet. How the heck was this happening to me?”
The small town kid who once had the big time dreams was depressed and sad and shocked over the realization that he was losing everything he once loved.
But there was one thing he never lost.
And that was his love for music.
After reconciling with his wife and rebuilding their life together, Moore contacted longtime friend and former Sargent Avenue bandmate Noah Henson and went and took the turmoil of the past few years and put it into the lyrics of his debut single “Hard at Quittin.”
“Noah (Henson) invited me over to his house to write, but I just had no idea where to start,” Moore remembers. “But then I started telling him what had happened with me and my wife and I came up with the title ‘Hard at Quittin,’ and its really true. Quitting is not in my DNA. It never has been. I may fail but I will never, ever quit.”
At the same time this was happening, Moore decided to take a new position as a manager of a car dealership in Franklin, Tennessee.
And that’s when his destiny started walking through the door.
All of a sudden, music giants such as Michael Knox and Tim Nichols were coincidentally coming in to buy cars from Moore, but walking out with the demo of “Hard at Quittin’” and a belief that they had just met possibly one of Nashville’s hottest and brightest new stars.
And just maybe, they did.
“I’m 35 years old, I have a wife and three kids and I know darn well that some may think I’m too old or I don’t deserve a chance to have a solo country music career at this point. And yes, I also know darn well that, on paper, none of this makes any sense.”
He laughs. And then a tear falls.
“But the fact is that I constantly feel God in my life, directing me to make a return to music. And frankly, I’ve always listened to Him…and I’m not going to stop now.”