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Hear Kip Moore’s Rousing Tom Petty Tribute ‘It Ain’t California’

Kip Moore gets an assist from fellow singer-songwriter Charlie Worsham on “It Ain’t California,” a rousing new track from the Georgia native’s Room to Spare: The Acoustic Sessions EP. The new collection, which follows the Moore’s 2017 album Slowheart, arrives November 16th.

Moore had originally started writing “It Ain’t California” some 10 years prior and though he liked what he had done with the chorus, he wasn’t sure the verses were right. Mississippi native Worsham, who became friendly with Moore after they went on tour in 2014, eventually helped him straighten it out. The result mixes Moore’s full-throated, urgent singing and a bittersweet, acoustic guitar-driven melody with numerous references to Tom Petty songs — doubling as loving tribute to a primary influence and meditation on making meaningful art.

“Charlie heard me humming the chorus and was immediately engaged, asking why I wasn’t recording that one,” says Moore. “I explained my reservations, which led to us talking about a variety of topics. One being Tom Petty mixed with the vanity of the world, and how it seems musicians are chasing fame now rather than greatness. And Petty being a guiding musical light all these years. Next thing you know we were re-writing ‘It Ain’t California.’”

In addition to co-writing “It Ain’t California,” Worsham contributed some of his instrumental talents to other recordings on Room to Spare. The 7-track EP also includes a stripped-down rendition of Slowheart standout “Plead the Fifth,” as well as “Tennessee Boy,” penned with frequent collaborator Dan Couch.

Moore will give audiences a chance to hear some of his music rendered this way on the brief Room to Spare: Acoustic Tour. Featuring guests Worsham and Jillian Jacqueline, the trek launches November 29th in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and continues with stops in Des Moines, Iowa; Emporia, Kansas; and Akron, Ohio.

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