By Richard Thomas
I wouldn’t say country music and whiskey are synonymous, not even in the popular imagination. In my reckoning, beer gets mentioned as much, if not more, but it’s not hard to see where the notion that the song and the drink are bound together. So, when I got a chance to have a chat with Texas-born Hudson Moore, named by Rolling Stone as one of “10 Country Artists You Need To Know” just a few years back, I naturally had to take it and explore things country and whiskey.
RT: So, how we got started with this is your new single, “Can’t Waste Whiskey.” It’s a sentiment I agree with. I think I should let you tell the story behind how that came into being.
HM: The title “Can’t Waste Whiskey” was born right there in the writing room. We were at my buddy Lindsey Jackson’s house getting ready to start our first write of the day and our friend and co-write, Emma White, was running late. When she finally arrived, I said jokingly “where were you last night?”. She put her hands on her face and said “I was at the Red Door,” an infamous watering hole in Nashville, “I wasn’t planning on staying out late” she said, “but a guy bought me a shot of whiskey and, well… you can’t waste whiskey.” I said “that’s the song we need to write,” and I immediately started playing the chords and singing the chorus lines you hear on the record. It all came together pretty easily after that. Within a few hours, we had the song finished and the demo recorded.
RT: So, tell me about your introduction to whiskey. How did that come about?
HM: My first introduction to whiskey was Kentucky Deluxe, or “KD,” as we called it, because it was really cheap. Occasionally we’d save up enough to buy a bottle of Crown Royal, but mainly we stuck to the cheap stuff.
RT: Do you have any go-to favorites? What’s on your shelf at home right now?
HM: I don’t drink much anymore, but when I was in my early 20’s, I got really into whiskey, particularly Knob Creek and Maker’s Mark. On Friday nights, I’d pour a whiskey on the rocks, and would listen to James Brown, BB King, The Doors or The Rolling Stones on vinyl to set the mood for the night.
RT: Whiskey comes up as an element in a lot of country music; while not many songs are about it, it gets mentioned a good bit. Do you find it is a popular choice with your colleagues?
HM: Absolutely. For most of my friends, it’s usually beer, whiskey or tequila, but whiskey is typically the go-to liquor of choice.
RT: Circling back around to bars, this is a time when a lot of bars and the people working in them are struggling, making due with closures, limited capacity and carry-out cocktails. Do you have any whiskey-centric favorites you’ve been trying to keep in business?
HM: It’s been a really tough year for everyone in the bar/restaurant business as well as those of us in the music business. I recently launched a merch line called “Bring Music Back” where I donated 20% of proceeds to Musicares, which is an organization that helps musicians who are out of work. I also try to tip my waitresses and servers as much as I can since I know they’re struggling right now.