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'Small Town' boy Justin Moore on his No. 1 single and the delicacies of squirrel meat



Country singer Justin Moore was feeling homesick and missing his momma’s cooking when he wrote the song that recently rose to the top of country single charts.

The Arkansas native knew Small Town USA meant a lot to him, but he never expected the lyrics would have such broad appeal”

A lot of people called it prison when I was growin’ up / But these are my roots and this is what I love.

“I’ve played it in big cities and small cities and we get the same reaction,’’ he said. “Everybody is proud of where they’re from regardless of if they want to admit it and regardless of the size.’’

The song, from his self-titled debut album, boosted him to the top of the country charts in September, making him the only new country artist to reach No. 1 this year. He returns to Tampa Friday to perform at the Round Up, 13918 W Hillsborough Ave., Tampa. $10 cover.

Susan Thurston chatted with Moore, 25, by phone about growing up in Poyen, Ark. (pop. 300), going on tour with Brad Paisley and Miranda Lambert, and, yes, the huting his own squirrel meat.

"Squirrel dumplings — ain’t nothing better," he said. "It’s just like chicken and dumplings except you put squirrel in it. I’ll come and cook you some, some time."

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[Last modified: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 3:14pm]


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