Interview: Hudson Moore for "Sweetwater"

Photo Credit: Hudson Moore
October 15th, 2013

Hudson Moore is an up and coming country music star from the great state of Texas.  Hudson’s first major hit “Fireworks” garnered him tons of attention in the country music scene.  Now Hudson has put his songwriting skills to the test with a song he wrote for the film “Sweetwater” called “The Cold Gray Light Of Dawn”.  The film “Sweetwaer” was just released last week and stars January Jones, Ed Harris, Jason Aldean, and Harry Potter’s Jason Isaacs.  Hudson was kind enough to talk with Movie Room Reviews about the experience. 

Nicholas Leyland from Movie Room Reviews: So you co-wrote the song 'The Cold Grey Light of Dawn',  with songwriter/producer Wally Wilson for the film "Sweetwater" starring Ed Harris, January Jones and Jason Isaacs, among other people. First of all, have you gotten to see the film yet?

Hudson Moore: I have. This song was specifically written for the film so, you know, I got an early screening, I got a rough cut. We watched it and Wally and I specifically wrote this tune for the film. So it was something I'd never done before. It was really fun.

MRR: Well, what are your thoughts on the film itself? How did you like it? What's it all about, you feel like?

Hudson Moore: I think it's great. I mean, I was honestly on the edge of my seat.  I think the directors did a fantastic job. They've got their own style of doing things, and I'm just a Western fan. I love that genre of film. The cast is obviously amazing. I mean I'm a huge Ed Harris fan, January Jones, Jason Isaacs. And you know, of course, Jason Aldean, this is his first on-screen performance and I thought he did a great job. So I was thoroughly entertained. And I just thought it was a really inspiring film for this song. You know, it inspired me to write something that I'd never written before. You know, this song "Cold Grey Light" is so different from any song that I've ever written, so it was very, very inspiring and fun to be a part of.

MRR: Well, how did you get involved with the project in the first place?

Hudson Moore: Well, my brother, Tucker Moore, is a producer on this film and he called me and he said "Hey, Hud. We need a song. We need a theme song for the end credits. Do you wanna write it?" And I said, "Absolutely." So he said, "Oh, yeah, here's the thing though. You only have a week to do it and... I mean, write it, record it, mix it, master it, everything." [chuckle] So, you know, Wally Wilson, my friend was in town and he was in this motel. We watched the DVD at the motel and literally just whipped the guitar out, and pen and paper, and went to work. And we literally had a song in about an hour and a half. So it was pretty amazing how it worked out.

MRR: As you watched it, what kind of key elements in it kind of inspired you to write the song as it turned out?

Hudson Moore: Well, first off, the song sort of takes on a different time period sonically. We were sort of channeling our inner Bob Dylan, if there is any in there. [chuckle] I don't know if that's fair to say, but, you know, it's sort of got a folky aspect to it. The film is a period piece, the song to us was a period piece, and we were really just channeling January's character. She's the central character of this story. She had a lot of hardships and a lot of hurdles to jump over. And just the strength of her character throughout that whole film, to us, was kind of who we had to key into for this theme song.

MRR: Now when you wrote it, let me ask you this, did you take into account the historical accuracy with the music with instrumentation and things like that?

Hudson Moore: We really just got creative. If we wanted to write a song that was consistent with the time period then we couldn't have had synthesizers or electric guitars, [chuckle] or we couldn't have even used a microphone. So, you know, we used modern gear, I guess you could say, but, sonically, we were channeling a sound that wasn't 2013, but you know it might not have been 1870 or whatever it was. It was somewhere in between. But I do think that the sound we came up with aligns with the time period as best as we could.

MRR: Yeah. I felt like it did. That was one thing I wanted to ask you was, since you've been writing country songs for awhile now, what are the essential instruments to have with country music?

Hudson Moore: Well, honestly, today, you know, country music is all over the place. There's programmed drums and there's banjo. At the end of the day, I think, country music sort of comes down to the vocal and the content. Of course, there's the essential classic instruments that you associate with country, the bluegrass instruments like banjo, Dobro guitar, fiddle, and then of course, steel guitar. But just speaking of pop music and country today, I don't really think there are any rules. Like I said, if you listen to some of pop country, you'll hear programmed drums and voices that really don't even sound country. They just might throw a banjo in the background and that sort of has that country blueprint. But I think today, there are really no rules with what instruments you need to use.

MRR: Now you play guitar, what kind of guitars do you play? What's your favorite one?

Hudson Moore: Well, I have a Guild Acoustic, a Guild D-55 Acoustic and then I have a Fender Telecaster. I started out on a Fender Stratocaster, but I'm really just a Tele guy.  So, the Fender Tele is definitely my go-to guitar.

MRR: See I like the Strat more, I feel like.

Hudson Moore: They're both great. I can get different sounds out of both. I'm primarily a blues rock player more than a country, like chicken pickin' player. But I started on a Strat and I just  couldn't get this rock and roll thing out of the chords that the Tele did. So I don't know, it's different for everybody. I just feel at home when I play a Tele, so that's just me.

MRR: Alright. Well your big song, Fireworks, right, that's been out for a while now?

Hudson Moore: Mm-hmm.

MRR: Now, what can we look forward to hearing from you now in the future now that this song's out and everything like that?

Hudson Moore: I have a new album coming out next month. It's called True Love and I'm also working on album number three already. I'm writing songs, going to Nashville every other week it seems like to write songs. So, yeah, you can expect a new album coming out next month, for any tour dates, if anyone would like to see us live, we're finishing out our Fall tour through December. So a lot's going on.

MRR: Now your Fall tour, you're mainly playing Texas right now, right?

Hudson Moore: Yeah, it's mainly Texas with a few Arkansas and Oklahoma dates sprinkled in. And then we're doing this ALABAMA and Friends Cruise which will be fun, we're actually boarding a ship for about five or six days and playing with ALABAMA and Travis Tritt and some country guys like that.

MRR: Man, well you'll have to let us know when you're making it to the Midwest.

Hudson Moore: I will, and my bass player is from Cleveland, so.

MRR: Really?


Hudson Moore: Yeah, he's got family up there and I wanna see the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and so...

MRR: Cool. Well, yeah, I’m right near there.

Hudson Moore: We'll get up to Ohio for sure.

MRR: Well thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us today. We really appreciate it, and the song was great, and good luck on your tour and with your new album.

Hudson Moore: Thank you. I appreciate your time, appreciate your questions.