Born in 1961; grew up in Flint, MI; married; one daughter. Addresses: Management--Overflow Inc., 8161 Hwy. 100, #171, Nashville, TN 37221-4213. Website--Geoff Moore Official Website: http://www.geoffmoore.com.
With his band the Distance, Christian rock vocalist and songwriter Geoff Moore scored four Grammy Award nominations for Best Rock Gospel Album and several Gospel Music Association Dove Awards during the 1990s. Moore disbanded the Distance in 1998 to lighten his touring schedule and to make albums on his own. The result was the self-titled release Geoff Moore in 1999 and A Beautiful Sound in 2002. Inspired by rock music and his Christian faith, Moore continues to spread the word of God through heartfelt, crowd-pleasing songs.
Moore grew up in Flint, Michigan. His father was a retired player for the Toledo Mudhens, a minor league baseball team. After retiring from baseball, Moore's father ran a steel fabrication plant and expected that his son would one day succeed him in the business. Moore went as far as to study business administration at a Christian college, but soon found that it wasn't for him.
He moved to Nashville, where he worked as a salesman at a men's clothing store, wrote songs, and dreamed of making his living as a musician. He got his chance when he landed a job writing songs at Paragon Music, a Christian music publishing company that wrote songs for established artists. At Paragon, Moore met Christian singer-songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman. When Chapman had heard a demo tape on which Moore had recorded "Built to Last," one of Chapman's songs, he was impressed. The two, who have since become the best of friends, went on to write many songs together, including the Dove Award-winning "Great Adventure." As Moore told Susan Hogan/Albach in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, "Even the songs we've written together have been an outgrowth of our friendship more than it has been a business partnership."
Moore had grown up listening to the secular rock music of John Cougar Mellencamp, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger, and others, so it was only natural that he write and play Christian rock. He saw it as a way to reach people who might not ordinarily listen to Christian music. So, in the mid-1980s, Moore founded the band Geoff Moore and the Distance. The lineup included Roscoe Meek on guitar, Gary Mullett on bass, Geof Barkley on keyboards, and Chuck Conner on drums.
Meanwhile, Moore continued to work with Chapman, contributing to his debut album First Hand in 1987 and cowriting several tunes--including the titles track--on Great Adventure, Chapman's 1992 release. That album went on to win Dove Awards for Best Pop/Contemporary Album, Song of the Year, Best Pop/Contemporary Song, and Best Short Form Video in 1993.
Geoff Moore and the Distance released several more albums during the 1990s, including 1993's Evolution, on which Greg Herrington replaced Chuck Conner on drums. Evolution turns the scientific theory of evolution on its head in the first track by redefining it as the power God has to change one's life. This track is followed by a cover of the 1970 rock hit "I Can See Clearly Now." The album also features a cover of Christian rock music founder Larry Norman's "Why Should the Devil (Have All the Good Music)," a song that has become one of Moore's most popular concert tunes.
Geoff Moore and the Distance released Home Run in 1995, with Greatest Hits and Threads the following year. To create Home Run, Moore continued his collaboration with Chapman. Finally, after more than ten years with the Distance, which he called "an incredible journey" in the Star Tribune, Moore decided to disband the group and go his own way in 1998. As he told Jim Varsallone in the Tampa Tribune, "I just really sensed it was time for me to explore some new things, musically and in the ministry.... I needed to slow down and simplify my life."
Moore wasted no time in recording a solo album. Released in 1999, Geoff Moore emphasizes Moore's songwriting skills and vocals, and features his rich voice accompanied by acoustic guitar. Chapman contributed his talents on several tracks, including "Thanks to You," on which he and Moore sing a duet.
Chapman joined Moore on a concert tour following the album's release. Chapman's own band accompanied them, opening each night for about 45 minutes before Chapman and Moore took the stage. The two played acoustic sets together, playing each other's songs, and telling stories about their work together. Midway through the concert came a worship session during which Moore and Chapman asked members of the audience to step forward to devote their lives to Christ.
Moore cemented his solo career with his 2002 release A Beautiful Sound. His most mature work to date, this album featured acoustic guitars, mandolins, and piano along with Moore's vocals. Accompanied by Chapman on the closing track, Moore sings of the love of Christ in what All Music Guide's Steven Douglas Losey described as an "intensely personal offering." The title and opening track refers to the hardships mortals are asked to endure by God--hardships that lead to greater truth or understanding, and which therefore are beautiful.
In the months before the release of A Beautiful Sound, Moore and his wife adopted a baby girl from China, Anna Grace. Moore sings about her in the album's fifth track, "Swept Away." The song refers to the overwhelming love he and his family share for Anna Grace. Initially planning to let some time pass after adopting his daughter before writing songs about the experience, Moore found that the album's original lineup of songs felt incomplete to him. As he explained on his official website, "I was going to wait and just let the experience grow in me a little bit more and include a song on a later album. But when we were picking songs for the album, it just felt like it was incomplete. 'Swept Away' was the last song I wrote."
In addition to recording, playing in concert, and spending time with his family, Moore leads workshops at singles and youth conferences. Bob Poe, the director of the SonShine Christian Music Festival, at which Moore is a frequent guest, has called him as a preacher first and a musician second. "He's out there on stage because he believes God wants him there," he told Hogan/Albach. "His passion is for sharing the gospel with kids. Music is just his vehicle." Moore and his family live in Nashville, Tennessee.
by Michael Belfiore
Geoff Moore's Career
Moved to Nashville, TN, to start a music career; met future collaborator Steven Curtis Chapman; formed the band Geoff Moore and the Distance; released The Distance and All the Good Music, 1987; Pure and Simple, 1990; A Friend Like You, 1992; Evolution, 1993; Beginning Years, 1995; Home Run, 1995; Threads, 1997; Geoff Moore, 1999; and A Beautiful Sound, 2002.
Geoff Moore's Awards
Gospel Music Association Dove Awards, Song of the Year and Best Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song (with Steven Curtis Chapman) for "The Great Adventure," 1993; Best Pop/Contemporary Album (with Steven Curtis Chapman) for Great Adventure, 1993; Best Short Form Video (with Steven Curtis Chapman) for "Great Adventure," 1993; Best Long Form Music Video for "Roadwork," 1997.
- Selected discography
- Geoff Moore , ForeFront, 1999.
- A Beautiful Sound , ForeFront, 2002.
- With the Distance
- All the Good Music , Benson, 1987.
- The Distance , Power Discs, 1987.
- Pure and Simple , ForeFront, 1990.
- A Friend Like You , Maranatha, 1992.
- Evolution , Forefront, 1993.
- Beginning Years , Benson, 1995.
- Home Run , ForeFront, 1995.
- Threads , Chordant, 1997.
- Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), May 9, 1998, p. 7B; November 6, 1999, p. 7B.
- Tampa Tribune (Tampa, FL), University/New Tampa section, November 6, 1999, p. 6.
- "Dove Awards," Gospel Music Association, http://www.doveawards.com/history/keysearch.cfm (March 31, 2003).
- "Geoff Moore," All Music Guide, http://www.allmusic.com (March 18, 2003).
- Geoff Moore Official Website, http://www.geoffmoore.com (March 18, 2003).
- "Steven Curtis Chapman," All Music Guide, http://www.allmusic.com (March 31, 2003).