Will Hoge is no stranger to Nashville. His track “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” became a hit for the Eli Young Band, and Hoge’s own version garnered plenty of attention as well. This is the gentleman who wrote a song Charles Kelley liked so much he recorded it with his band on a number one album – Hoge’s co-write, “Better Off Now That You’re Gone,” appeared on Lady Antebellum’s album Golden and featured a harmonica solo from Hoge himself.
As Hoge gears up for album ten, titled Anchors and due out August 11, he’s released two new singles. The lead single, “Little Bit of Rust,” features Sheryl Crow and a heavy dose of artful Southern rock vibes. Hoge’s gritty vocals ground the track, while Crow’s harmonies add hopefulness. The lyrics detail a relationship that’s hit a rough patch but is ultimately strong enough to endure inevitable hardships: “Well the truth is you could talk a little less and I could listen little more / But it ain’t like anybody’s walking out the door” Chorus: “Ain’t nothing we can’t fix, ain’t no broken trust, ain’t no great divide between the two of us.” The song feels traditional and fresh at the same time, and Hoge’s writing is on point, as always.
Follow-up track “Baby’s Eyes” starts with the chiming of a twelve-string acoustic, and soon Hoge’s voice is surrounded by country-rock instrumentation. “Breaks my heart to see that hurt in baby’s eyes,” croons Hoge, whose life has been refocused by “baby,” who, sings Hoge, “unlocked me like a door.” It’s as if Tom Petty has had a voice transplant, as the chord progression is very reminiscent of “I Won’t Back Down.” A superb few bars of electric guitar run through the song, bookending each section, and a final flourish lightens the heart and makes you want to hear it again.
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, and listen to Hoge’s songs on Spotify below: