Will Hoge Aims For Huge:
Acclaimed Nashville Rocker
Draws The Curtains on Fourth Release

A SoundPress.net Archive Article by Rich and Laura Lynch

When Will Hoge stepped on stage in the Summer of 2007 opening for the newly re-united Squeeze at the Starland Ballroom, the audience was treated to a real slice of authentic roots rock. Hoge, looking like a wiry version of a mid-70's Springsteen and commanding his wood-grained tele to do his bidding, easily won over the central New Jersey crowd by offering up a heart warming warm-up for the legendary British rockers.

Will Hoge in Concert!

When we say "roots" rock - in this case the term truly applies to the Nashville native who inherited his chops and a love of music from his own musician father and the vast record collection that he owned. Will Hoge blends a stew of all of his influences into his very own rock and roll recipe that is stirred with the ingredients of the blues folded into country twinged Motown. The roots go even deeper in Will's family tree as Sony recording artist Josh Hoge is his younger brother

Hoge has hewn his own style over many years of touring and recording but he does as a singer often resemble Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes. However, more to the fact is that Hoge is a capable singing chameleon in that department and if you listen to enough of his recordings you will discover his true voice among his many influences. Overall, Hoge's songcraft is on par with the best in the business and with this record Hoge gets closer to hitting that high note of success with his strongest album yet. Hoge knows all sides of the industry very well as an indie and a major who tours dutifully year in and year out - determined to be an authentic beacon of rock and roll light - even if the music at times reveals a dark hue.

When we received Draw The Curtains we were immediately drawn into the record that was named "CD of the Year" on several websites for the way Hoge's musical talent and passionate delivery shines through. When the laser hit the plastic it immediately became clear that Hoge is a confident musician of ample quality with strengths laying in honest lyrical prose and inviting vocal stylings. Will's new CD lets the listener inside just a bit and shines some light on the hard road Hoge has hoed to keep his rock and roll dream alive.

Will Hoge in Concert!

"When I Can Afford to Lose" is the moody opening track that introduces Hoge's praise worthy supporting band. "These Were the Days" picks it up and rocks out on an anthemic ode to better times lying up the road. "Dirty Little War" takes on busted relationships and smolders on a musical refrain with perfect slide work and accompaniment from a band on fire.

"Silver or Gold" is another song for love gone wrong with soaring B3s and searing guitars. Will can kiss off with the best of them. "Sex, Lies and Money" could be a tribute to the girls Hoge and the boys meet on the road and what they're prepared to provide them with!

"I'm Sorry Now" is a low-key acoustic number that finds Hoge's protagonist remorseful for damaging a meaningful relationship once again and asking for another chance. "Midnight Parade" takes on the night with scorching slide work and an upbeat tempo driving this tale of nocturnal liberation. "Draw the Curtains" is a reflective and optimistic look forward anticipating a "brand new day" underscored by a subtle trumpet solo.

"Washed by the Water" is a Gospel-infused rocker that treads on the plight of New Orleans residents in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Think The Band meets Springsteen's "My City of Ruin" and you'll find the spirit of this track. "The Highway's Home" is the set closer and Hoge's personal anthem and ode to the life he's lived and left on the road. The countrified mid-tempo piece offers a heartfelt apology to one perhaps, but includes a promise to many more that he will be out there on the highway - at least in support of this record for sure!

Hoge is already a household companion and chances are you've heard his music on TV. Will performed the opening theme from the CBS sitcom Still Standing - an American comedy television series which had a four year run on the network and is now syndicated across the country in re-runs on cable. Hoge himself is still standing upon the foundation of rock and roll that has carried him to this point and he has delivered a strong effort with Draw The Curtains - so take a look inside - you'll like what you see and hear.

ABOUT Draw The Curtains: Decades ago, before the first rock and roll idols turned music into a product, musicians played music the way cobblers mended shoes and carpenters built homes. Welcome to the world of Will Hoge. I'm embarrassingly in love with rock and roll, he admits. It's all consuming. Draw The Curtains, Hoge's first album in two years, is a tour de force of authenticity, covering sounds from country and roots to rock, soul, and R&B. Washed by the Water and Silver or Gold gush with the passion and spirituality of Otis Redding-fired rock and roll while Midnight Parade resonates with the color and verve of early Springsteen.

It's music the way it was meant to be played, with a rock-is-my-life, let's-hit-the-road attitude. Hoge spends about 200 nights a year zig-zagging the country, doing what he does best. He headlines most of those dates, but has also played supporting slots for the Black Crowes, My Morning Jacket, North Mississippi All Stars and Drive-By Truckers, as well as appearances at Bonnaroo and Austin City Limits. "I bust my ass every night," he says. "I load my own gear and mortgaged my house to pay the band. But if you want it, you have to be willing to bleed." Hoge's music is the unwavering sound of a born rocker. He filters rock, soul, folk, blues and country through a prism of emotional authenticity and what emerges is undeniable.

Will Hoge in Concert!

Related Links: For more information on WILL HOGE and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links -- Will Hoge

Will Hoge CD

(Originally Published on January 27, 2008)

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