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Country - Released June 26, 2020 | EDLO Records

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Folk/Americana - Released August 11, 2017 | EDLO Records

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Nashville singer/songwriter Will Hoge has released a slew of albums that actively straddle the borderland between heartland rock and Americana. Given the fact that country music's mainstream has embraced the former wholeheartedly in the 21st century, it's no surprise his songs have been hits for the Eli Young Band and Lady Antebellum, to mention just two. Anchors arrives at an interesting time in Hoge's career. After the release of 2015's acclaimed Small Town Dreams, he faced a dilemma. Despite being able to make his living from songwriting and a successful touring regimen with his longtime band, he found that while he enjoyed playing live and writing, being in a band had outlived its purpose. He let the band go, went out on his own with a guitar and keyboard, and wrote while he traveled. The 11-song Anchors was cut with crack session players, who help to fill out Hoge's portrait not only as songwriter but as a master storyteller. He doesn't seem concerned with where his songs fit musically, just as long as they're honest. They reflect on relationships caught in tension, in emergence, and spirals of slow dissolution; they offer reminiscences of wisdom hard won and chanced upon. They look at choices in the rear view and in the headlights. While the album's two pre-release singles -- the country rock of "Little Bit of Rust" (with Sheryl Crow) and "Baby's Eyes" -- that readily evokes Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers -- are excellent examples, they aren't the best ones here by far. The shuffling, love-haunted loneliness in "Cold Night in Santa Fe" and overamped rock anthem "(This Ain't) An Original Sin" are better examples of Hoge's literate, committed writing and passionate performance style. You believe every word because he does. The title track is a dreamy rock meditation on freedom and the real (blood) ties that bind. The poignant reflection on regret and possibility in "Angel's Wings" is delivered as a straight country song (complete with an awesome pedal steel whine courtesy of Fats Kaplan), but in the grain of his voice lies a rocker's heart. Closer "Young as We Will Ever Be" is an uptempo celebration of committed love as it shifts and changes over time without surrender; a screaming guitar break and clattering cymbals and snares underscore its truth. Hoge's protagonist is still hungry for his beloved and for life itself. Anchors is not only consistent, it's completely solid in flow, dynamics, and feel. It seems that by listening to his gut, Hoge put himself in the best possible place to receive these fine songs. Lucky for us. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 5, 2018 | EDLO Records

Arriving just a year after Anchors, My American Dream certainly carries a sense of urgency. That's intentional. Hoge designed this mini-LP to be an impassioned liberal cry during the election year of 2018, making each one of its eight songs (including a revival of its title track, which was originally cut in 2011) as a rallying cry for one specific theme troubling Trump's America. Hoge doesn't bother with empathy, preferring anger and disgust: he sneers at the subject of "Nikki's a Republican Now," dismisses the idea that "Thoughts & Prayers" mean a thing, and prays that the circus will leave town on "Oh Mr. Barnum." As his touring band kicks up so much dust they sometimes lumber like vintage Crazy Horse, Hoge wails and pleads, and his passion is invigorating: he's not looking to persuade, he's hoping to exorcize his frustration, an intent that is inherently kinetic and often exciting. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released August 25, 2009 | Rykodisc

The Wreckage was recorded on either end of Will Hoge's near-fatal accident in August 2008, when a vehicle plowed into his scooter as he left the studio. Apart from its title, the album makes little reference to Hoge's injuries or long, painful recovery, choosing instead to revisit the themes that populated his previous albums: love and life in the South, the sad beauty of roadside Americana, and the glory of rock & roll. Those are conventional subjects, perhaps, but few 21st century songwriters tackle them better than Hoge, who sets his lyrics to a soundtrack of heartland rock and soulful, hard-hitting alt-country. He remembers the golden days of radio during "Even If It Breaks Your Heart," trades a broken-down town for the road with "Highway Wings," and pines for his baby everywhere else, tying the whole package together with his Southern croon and multi-piece band. "When I Can Afford to Lose," the leadoff track from 2007's Draw the Curtains, may still be Will Hoge's best performance to date, but he's rarely sounded as convincing as he does here, having suffered enough misery during the previous 12 months to make his blues-influenced songwriting all the more persuasive. © Andrew Leahey /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released December 16, 2008 | Atlantic Records

Those who have caught his incendiary live show or who picked up his self-released first album already know what a huge, cathartic kick a Will Hoge song can be. Those who will experience him for the first time on his major-label debut are in for a fist-pumping, hip-shaking, chorus-shouting treat. Hoge is one of those big-hearted, shamelessly emotive songwriters who loves the sound of guitars and has a lot of broken relationships to work through, but who seems generally too busy crafting brilliant hooks to stop and wallow in the misery he hints at in most of his songs. Or maybe it's just that the misery is outweighed by the lusty joy that informs every chorus of those songs -- whether he's exulting in his own inability to play it smooth on "Not That Cool," or refusing to give up when he knows he really should on "Hey Tonight," or roaring out his romantic independence on the brilliant roots-rocker "Better Off Now"." If anything, the ratio of wonderful songs to merely very good ones is even higher on this album than it was on Carousel, and the general sound is, blessedly, almost identical: big guitars that alternately growl and jangle, the occasional Hammond organ, and Hoge's attractively blue-collar voice soaring above it all. Dan Baird's lead guitar is missed, but Brian Layson is no slouch himself. Highly recommended. © Rick Anderson /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 27, 2011 | Rykodisc

If it ain't broke, Will Hoge ain't gonna fix it. Number Seven takes most of its cues from the six albums before it, pairing grizzled country-rockers with the occasional world-weary ballad. In an effort to turn over at least one new leaf, Hoge tackles bigger issues than his love life on a handful of tracks, imagining himself as an immigrant under arrest for crossing "The Illegal Line," and a down-in-the-dumps homeless man reflecting upon his broken "American Dream." Most of the time, though, the lyrics trace his own history as a troubadour of the American bar circuit, meaning there are a lot of faithless women, beer drinking, and highway driving throughout these 11 songs. The most convincing part of the package is Hoge's voice --- a white-soul baritone with enough husk and grit to warrant the blues clichés that occasionally surface in his melodies --- and his band provides appropriate backdrops throughout, texturing the rock songs with layered Telecaster guitars and polishing the ballads with smooth pedal steel. Those who criticize heartland rockers like Bruce Springsteen for being too overzealous will have similar complaints about Number Seven, which is anthemic in the same sort of chest-thumping, roadworn way, but these songs hold their own against some of Hoge's best work. © Andrew Leahey /TiVo
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Country - Released April 24, 2020 | EDLO Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 21, 2001 | Atlantic Records

With a Hefty bag full of hooks and plenty of crunchy guitars, rocker Will Hoge can hardly do wrong, even if his lyrics add up to not that much. It is quite obvious Hoge is using his songs to exorcise his own personal frustrations (the details are all too perfect anyway). In "She Don't Care," he, a bar-hanging low life, pines for the well-dressed bombshell across the street. By "Let Me Be Lonely," the relationship has fallen flat and he sees her as a big phony, and even if he swears "I'm Over You," he has a tough time convincing even himself. It makes for an interesting story to follow, but not all that enlightening, considering how many times you've already heard it, or lived it. Guitar geeks, though, will love the strident playing of Hoge's friend Dan Baird. © John Duffy /TiVo
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Rock - Released September 6, 2011 | Rykodisc

If it ain't broke, Will Hoge ain't gonna fix it. Number Seven takes most of its cues from the six albums before it, pairing grizzled country-rockers with the occasional world-weary ballad. In an effort to turn over at least one new leaf, Hoge tackles bigger issues than his love life on a handful of tracks, imagining himself as an immigrant under arrest for crossing "The Illegal Line," and a down-in-the-dumps homeless man reflecting upon his broken "American Dream." Most of the time, though, the lyrics trace his own history as a troubadour of the American bar circuit, meaning there are a lot of faithless women, beer drinking, and highway driving throughout these 11 songs. The most convincing part of the package is Hoge's voice --- a white-soul baritone with enough husk and grit to warrant the blues clichés that occasionally surface in his melodies --- and his band provides appropriate backdrops throughout, texturing the rock songs with layered Telecaster guitars and polishing the ballads with smooth pedal steel. Those who criticize heartland rockers like Bruce Springsteen for being too overzealous will have similar complaints about Number Seven, which is anthemic in the same sort of chest-thumping, roadworn way, but these songs hold their own against some of Hoge's best work. © Andrew Leahey /TiVo
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Country - Released March 18, 2016 | Cumberland Recordings

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Country - Released October 15, 2013 | Cumberland Recordings

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Country - Released April 7, 2015 | Cumberland Recordings

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Rock - Released October 8, 2007 | Ryko - WEA

In early 2006, Americans were captivated by the Southern soul croonings of Taylor Hicks, a modern-day bluesman who rose to fame via the well-oiled American Idol machine. Meanwhile, the similarly styled Will Hoge was busy touring America's smoky barroom circuit, inciting his audiences to alternately weep into their whiskeys and hit the dancefloor. It was a routine that the Nashville-based artist was used to, having left the Atlantic Records roster several years prior to pursue life as an independent road warrior. Perhaps that's why his first offering on the Rykodisc label, Draw the Curtains, boasts the sort of informed authenticity that American Idol finalists can only seem to muster several years into their post-TV career. This is an album of countrified, bloodshot-eyed soul -- a difficult genre to execute, perhaps, but one that Hoge often nails. His vocals crack on cue and climb the treble clef like scaffolding, channeling Otis Redding one moment before veering into Joe Cocker territory the next. "Barroom fights and breaking glass, broken nose and a smoker's laugh; I'm sure I probably cut my life in half," Hoge sings on "The Highway's Home," a hint of vibrato coloring his lyrics. The track is one of Curtains' most overtly country numbers, complete with pedal steel guitar and a midtempo gait, but its rawness still stands against the spit-shine polish of many Nashville products. Where Hoge truly sets himself apart from those hometown contemporaries, though, is the album's early half -- specifically "When I Can Afford to Lose," "Dirty Little War," and "Silver or Gold," all of which revel in the sort of barroom rock & roll that's tailor-made for heartaches and hangovers. Hoge's second record contract may put him back in the big leagues, but his heart still rests in the concert venues and watering holes that have housed him over the years. © Andrew Leahey /TiVo
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Rock - Released October 12, 2010 | Rykodisc

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Pop - Released May 20, 2020 | EDLO Records

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Country - Released January 29, 2016 | Cumberland Recordings

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 3, 2018 | EDLO Records

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Country - Released June 18, 2020 | EDLO Records

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Country - Released March 31, 2015 | Cumberland Recordings

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Country - Released March 17, 2015 | Cumberland Recordings