Steve Moakler
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Steve Moakler

Steve Moakler is an American country musician and songwriter from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, now based in Nashville, Tennessee.[1] He has released five studio albums and has written songs for Nashville recording artists including Dierks Bentley's single "Riser."[2]

Early life

Moakler was born in New Jersey but moved to Pittsburgh when he was four years old. His mother was a nurse and his father an architect. His father's stereo and record collection inspired Moakler,[3] who started playing guitar and writing songs at age 14, and forming his first band in middle school.[1] He played throughout Pittsburgh during his high school years. He graduated from Bethel Park High School in 2006 and turned down an independent record deal to move to Nashville.[1]

Moakler attended Belmont University in Nashville, taking classes during the week and playing shows on the weekends. After two years he left school to focus full-time on his music career.[1]


After moving to Nashville, Moakler began co-writing with songwriters[4] such as Gordie Sampson, Barry Dean, and Luke Laird.[1][3][5][6] He co-wrote Dierks Bentley's 2015 single "Riser," which Bentley states he built his album around.[2] Moakler's songs have also been recorded by Reba McEntire,[7]Ashley Monroe, Jake Owen, Ben Rector, and others.[8]

As a performer and recording artist, Moakler's work has been praised by Rolling Stone Country as "thoughtful singer-songwriter fare in the blue-collar vein."[9] His first record, All the Faint Lights, was self-published. In 2011 he formed his own label, Free the Birds, and released two more albums independently, Watching Time Run and Wide Open. The label also used the money raised to combat sex trafficking.[10] In 2014, Beth Laird of Creative Nation sought out Moakler and retained him under management.[11] In 2016, he worked with Creative Nation producer Luke Laird on a self-titled EP, whose songs made up the first half of his 2017 album, Steel Town.[6] Moakler says the latter album was inspired by his upbringing in Pittsburgh.[12] It has been called a more personal album,[1][6] as well as his "most country" album.[13][14] The first single, "Suitcase," became his first radio hit and first music video.[6] The second single was "Love Drunk," followed by a third single, "Wheels."[13] Moakler released his fifth album, Born Ready, in 2018. The album has been critically acclaimed,[15][16] with Bobby Moore praising its "pop gems that clear the barrier between Americana and the country charts."[17]

Moakler has been named an artist to watch by numerous outlets,[12] including Rolling Stone Country,[9]Spotify,[18] and Taste of Country.[5] He has been heavily promoted by SiriusXM's senior director of programming J.R. Schumann[19] on station "The Highway." The station also had him open their inaugural "The Highway Finds Tour."[12][20][8] Moakler made his Grand Ole Opry debut on March 19, 2016.[21] He opened for parts of Dan + Shay's "Obsessed Tour", Old Dominion's "Meat & Candy Tour",[22]Willie Nelson's "God's Problem Child Tour", and Tim McGraw and Faith Hill's "Soul2Soul World Tour".[23] Moakler toured in late 2017 and late 2018 on the "Hometowns and Campgrounds Tour,"[24] and he headlined in spring 2018 on the "Born Ready Tour."[25]

Moakler's music has been featured in several movies, TV shows, and commercials.[26] Two of Moakler's songs appeared in the movie October Baby, and two songs also featured in the Netflix show The Ranch.[27] In 2017, Mack Trucks commissioned him to write and perform a song, "Born Ready," for the release of their Anthem truck series.[28][29]


Studio albums

Title Details Peak chart positions


US Country

All the Faint Lights
  • Release date: March 30, 2009
  • Label: self-released
-- -- -- --
Watching Time Run
  • Release date: August 30, 2011
  • Label: Free the Birds
6 31 -- --
Wide Open
  • Release date: March 18, 2014
  • Label: Free the Birds
4 37 -- 5
Steve Moakler: The Mix Tape
  • Release date: November 2015
  • Label: Creative Nation Music
-- -- -- --
Steve Moakler: The EP
  • Release Date: March 11, 2016
  • Label: Creative Nation Music
21 -- 38 --
Steel Town
  • Release Date: March 17, 2017
  • Label: Soundly Music
-- -- -- --
Born Ready
  • Release Date: June 15, 2018
  • Label: Creative Nation Music

Music videos

Year Title Director
2016 "Suitcase"[34] Wes Edwards
2017 "Wheels" Steve Boyle
2017 "Born Ready" Mark Urmos


  1. ^ a b c d e f Deitch, Charlie (May 6, 2015). "Bethel Park native Steve Moakler returns to his musical roots". Pittsburgh City Paper. Retrieved 2015.
  2. ^ a b Lendenmuth, Katy (June 15, 2015). "Dierks Bentley Explains Why New Single 'Riser' Is a 'Once In a Career' Song". Billboard. Retrieved .
  3. ^ a b Hoover, Carl (April 16, 2015). "Songs drive Steve Moakler's 'Humble Operations' in Common Grounds Visit". Waco Tribune-Herald. Retrieved 2015.
  4. ^ Farley, Cassie. "Playing for a Dollar a Day - Steve Moakler Interview". Retrieved 2015.
  5. ^ a b Dukes, Billy (January 7, 2016). "Hot Artists to Watch". Taste of Country.
  6. ^ a b c d Reuter, Annie (March 15, 2017). "Steve Moakler's 'Steel Town' is a Personal Album of Roots and Reflection". Sounds like Nashville.
  7. ^ Tracy, Brianne (March 17, 2017). "How Steve Moakler's New Album Pays Homage to the Hometown that gave him 'Strength'". People.
  8. ^ a b Staff (March 16, 2017). "Steve Moakler's SiriusXM Inaugural 'Highway Finds Tour' Launches Today". Country Music Tattle Tale.
  9. ^ a b Staff (February 1, 2016). "10 New Country Artists You Need to Know: Steve Moakler". Rolling Stone Country.
  10. ^ Rosokoff, Jacqueline. "Steve Moakler On The Making Of His Latest Album & Why He's Been Jumping Out Of Planes". TuneCore. Retrieved 2015.
  11. ^ Stephenson, Troy. "Steve Moakler Inks Management Deal with Creative Nation". MusicRow. Retrieved 2015.
  12. ^ a b c Pierce, Susan (April 6, 2017). "Rising Country Music Star Steve Moakler has Roots of Steel". Times Free Press.
  13. ^ a b Manning, Craig. "Steve Moakler: Steel Town".
  14. ^ Staff (March 20, 2017). "Steve Moakler's Nostalgic Music Video "Wheels" Premieres Exclusively on CMT". EB Media.
  15. ^ Wiggins, Mark (June 18, 2018). "Review: Steve Moakler: Born Ready". Six Shooter Country.
  16. ^ Manning, Craig (June 15, 2018). "Review: Steve Moakler - Born Ready".
  17. ^ Moore, Bobby (June 2018). "Album Review: Steve Moakler - Born Ready". Wide Open Country.
  18. ^ Staff. (December 15, 2015). "Spotlight on Country". Spotify.
  19. ^ Staff (July 28, 2016). "Billboard's 2016 Nashville Power Players List Revealed". Billboard.
  20. ^ Tady, Scott (February 4, 2017). "8 Entertainment Bites". Times Online.
  21. ^ Laffer, Lauren (March 22, 2016). "Steve Moakler Makes Grand Ole Opry Debut". Sound like Nashville.
  22. ^ "Steve Moakler Debuts Brand New Single 'Suitcase'". For The Country Record. Retrieved 2015.
  23. ^ Staff (March 13, 2017). "10 Questions with Steve Moakler". All Access.
  24. ^ Giardina, Courtney (Fall 2017). "Steve Moakler is Heading to his Fans' Backyards". Wide Open Country.
  25. ^ Casey, Jim (February 18, 2018). "Steve Moakler: Born Ready Tour". Nashville Country Daily.
  26. ^ Whitaker, Sterling. "Steve Moakler Goes Back in Front of the Mic for 'Suitcase' [Exclusive Premiere]". Taste of Country. Retrieved 2015.
  27. ^ Trigger. (October 25, 2016). "Music from Season Two of the Ranch". Saving Country Music.
  28. ^ Harris, John (September 12, 2017). "Mack Unveils New Highway Truck". The Morning Call.
  29. ^ Pollack, Judann (November 13, 2017). "When Country Wasn't Cool".
  30. ^ "Steve Moakler Album & Song Chart History - Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2016.
  31. ^ "Steve Moakler Album & Song Chart History - Independent Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2016.
  32. ^ "Steve Moakler Album & Song Chart History - Country Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2016.
  33. ^ "Steve Moakler Album & Song Chart History - Folk Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2016.
  34. ^ "CMT : Videos : Steve Moakler : Suitcase". Country Music Television. Retrieved 2016.

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