A country outlaw

Dallas Moore Band at Riff Raff Tavern

By Josher Lumpkin

Photo: The Dallas Moore Band will perform on Jan. 24 at Riff Raff Tavern; photo: Jenna Danielle Moore

The outlaw country musician Dallas Moore had a busy 2014.

“Between my solo shows and the full band tour dates, I hit 321 nights in 2014, which was a record,” Moore told me over the phone, while he was home for a couple days in between a string of shows in Louisiana and a handful of dates here in Ohio. “I beat my 317 of the year before. I think we keep the roads hot.”

His full band act, The Dallas Moore Band, will bring the show to Dayton, performing at Riff Raff Tavern on the Canal on Saturday, Jan. 24.

“This is going to be, actually, our first appearance in Dayton in years,” the Cincinnati musician told me. “We did several shows, and I’m going way back, at a club called Breakers, years and years ago. We had the opening band slot for a few shows – Marshall Tucker Band, The Outlaws, Jackyl and David Allen Coe. It was many, many years ago. I also did a show with Doctor Ralph Stanley and John Harper, back when he was still alive, at the Mountain Days Festival, but again, that was several years ago. So, it will be good to kind of be starting fresh and get up there, and hopefully, this will turn out to be a new home that we can make a stop two or three times a year, and have it be really cool.”

Moore, who fronts Dallas Moore Band, and also performs and records as a solo artist, added another gun to his holster last year, as well: he put out a record with his mama.

“My mom actually appeared on the [country and western variety television show] Midwest Hayride back in the early, early ’50s, and I still have a couple of copies of her old 78 records,” Moore said admiringly of Mama Madgelee Hanes Moore. “We got to release an album of just the two of us, that we had talked about doing forever, of old bluegrass and Appalachian gospel tunes. It’s called Old Time Family Jam. We were really just making a record for ourselves. We always wanted to do something like that, because it’s all the music we play when it’s just the two of us hanging out either at her place or down at the camp we had in Kentucky when I was growing up. Mom will play the dulcimer, autoharp and guitar, and then I play guitar, banjo, mandolin and bass on the record. But it’s just the two of us on the entire album. It’s something that’s really special.”

“My mom just turned 78 years old,” he continued. “She’s beat cancer twice. And on her 78th birthday this year she went on tour with her band, and played a four-day bluegrass festival down in Kentucky. Right as soon as this record really started taking off, mom said, ‘Well, I never thought I’d have me a little hit record when I was 78!’ She was really excited about it.”

As Moore is an expert on traditional country and western music, and all of its various subgenres, I couldn’t help but ask him where he thought mainstream country had lost its way.

“I’ve always been an amalgam of my influences, which would be mainly Willie Nelson, Billy Joe Shaver, Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings, and combine that with, like, the Allman Brothers, so I was never worried about what everybody else was doing, and kind of struck out on my own path,” he said. “We’ve always remained independent. We’ve just kept truckin’ away, doing our own thing, and we just really started to get wings with it over the last several years, and now things are really starting to pick up steam.”

Moore said the commercialization of pop-country “actually made an opening for guys like us. There’s still a huge audience for what we do, but you’re not going to find it on your local Top 40 country station.” Moore explained.

“Number one, the Internet, has opened everything to where people can actually find you now. You’re not relying on having a major label Nashville deal to exist. In fact, we actually turned down three [record deals] back in the day. I kept all my own publishing and everything. And then, as far as radio exposure, the biggest feather in our cap has been Sirius XM satellite radio. We’re broadcast everywhere, and it’s so powerful. That’s what’s enabled us to literally tour from coast to coast, whereas we used to primarily be a regional act. Now we’re playing everywhere from New York City to California, and everywhere in between. Before, people would have never heard of us. Now, thanks to Sirius XM Radio and the Internet, people have an awareness to where when we come to a town for the first time, there’s people there and hopefully they know our songs and know what to expect. It’s just really changed everything for us.”

“The folks that are into us are, on one hand, discovering something new, because it’s all original music,” Moore said, “but it’s firmly rooted and based in our honkey tonk heroes – those who came before us. And you can hear all the different influences in our music.”

The Dallas Moore Band will perform on Saturday, Jan. 24 at Riff Raff Tavern on the Canal, 130 N. Patterson Ave. Doors at 8 p.m. Admission is $5 for patrons 21+. For more information, please visit DallasMoore.com.

Reach DCP freelance writer Josher Lumpkin at Josher Lumpkin@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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Josher Lumpkin is a nursing student and aspiring historian who enjoys writing about music and geekdom of all kinds. He is especially fond of punk rock, tabletop gaming, sci-fi/fantasy and camping with his wife, Jenner, and their dogs, Katie and Sophie. Reach him at JosherLumpkin@DaytonCityPaper.com.


  1. A country outlaw – Dallas Moore Band @ Riff Raff Tavern | Dayton City Paper | Music Connection- Dayton - January 24, 2015

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