Artist: Will Hoge
Single: “Middle of America”
Release Date: August 12, 2014
Label: Cumberland Recordings
Will Hoge already solidified himself as a bonafide country hitmaker with “Even If It Breaks Your Heart.” Recorded by Eli Young Band, the track quickly shot to number one and landed at number seven in the year-end country chart of 2011. But if you’re unfamiliar with Hoge as an solo artist, the singer has an expansive discography – having now released eight Americana/Country albums.
In anticipation for Hoge’s ninth album this fall, the singer/songwriter has released his latest gem of a track – the ode to small town living, “Middle of America.” Sure, the topic is probably one of the most overdone in the country genre, but Hoge’s take will make you forget all about that. Evoking similar qualities to Miranda Lambert’s 2007 single “Famous in a Small Town,” the verses profile different small town characters: “Jessie told her mama she’s gonna be out late, but she ain’t coming home at all.” and “Brandon just got back from two years in Iraq. They’re throwing him a party tonight.”
It all leads up to a soaring chorus that would fit in on radio today just as much as it would have ten years ago. That’s not to say the single isn’t modern – it just has a timeless country appeal. We could see someone like Blake Shelton or Tim McGraw singing “Middle of America,” but it often holds true that nothing is better than the original songwriter and Hoge’s vocal stylings really do the trick on this one.