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Taking Flight: Kingsport native Austin Moody spreads his wings in Nashville

Chelsey Bishop • Feb 29, 2016 at 10:30 AM

Prior to his inaugural benefit concert benefiting F.L.I.G.H.T. Foundation, country music recording artist and Kingsport native Austin Moody sat down to discuss his Kingsport heritage and spreading his wings in Nashville.

Moody’s passion for music began as a small child when he begged for and eventually got a banjo from his parents. He started taking music lessons when he was 8 years old and, by age 14, he was in a bluegrass band traveling to churches throughout the South, sometimes deep into the backwoods. He started writing music at the age of 15 and when he was 16 had the opportunity to play his songs for members of the Marty Stuart Band on the stage of the Carter Family Fold. Two weeks later, he was in Nashville writing songs with bass player Paul Martin.

Moody moved to Nashville at the age of 18 and immediately began juggling college and multiple full-time jobs (one of which was milking goats) and spending any free time he could manage honing his musical abilities. Moody met his neighbor D. Vincent Williams, who’s best known for penning “I’m Movin On” for Rascal Flatts, and spent years hanging out with him and writing songs. Williams admired Moody’s dedication and took him under his wing to mentor him and help Moody develop his creative skills.

“That was the start of everything,” said Moody. “Doors started opening once I came into myself as an artist.”

His hard work paid off when he signed a management deal with music industry heavyweight Mike Kraski at 22. Soon after, he landed a publishing deal with M-Pact Music Group. In addition to Kraski and Williams, Moody has had the pleasure of working with Grammy-award winning producer Keith Stegall (Alan Jackson, Zac Brown Band, etc). Now, at 24, Moody is able to focus solely on his music career while he continues to write and tour across the country playing shows.

He attributes that leap to God’s faithfulness to always provide for him and speak through him.

“I’ve realized it’s not about me,” said Moody. “I’ve been given the opportunity to be a vessel to say something that matters, but I also want to invest in other people’s lives and make a difference. It’s important to live your life, spend time with your family and friends, and do good to other people. I love what I do and I’m blessed, but that doesn’t completely satisfy me. Personally, I care about people and doing good to others. That’s what I want people to know about me.”

Moody has created a loyal fan base and those fans praise Moody for creating an atmosphere that reminds them of home. Despite the fact that his songs are about his life growing up in East Tennessee, Moody said people all over the country relate to them.

“The biggest compliment I get is when someone says I remind them of home,” Moody said.

Moody continues to hone his songwriting as well as live performance. He’s been touring across the country - playing colleges, fairs, festivals and clubs for the past few years. He’s currently in the studio with Stegall, recording his debut album slated for release sometime this year.

“I think in the big scheme of country music,” said Moody, “people are looking for honesty and authenticity, and that’s good for me.”

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