Will Hoge is a creative gambler. He left the comfort of touring with his band because he hit a wall and needed to figure out his next move. The CMA- and Grammy-nominated artist took to the road for a year of solo shows with a guitar and keyboard and in so doing, reclaimed what inspired his soul. That journey resulted in his current release, Anchors (out August 11 via Thirty Tigers).
Hoge will tour the U.S. in November and December, traveling through Texas, Arizona, California, up through the Pacific Northwest and into the Midwest. A full itinerary appears below.
Recorded with an all-star band composed of drummer Jerry Roe (Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Darius Rucker), bassist Dominic Davis (Jack White, Wanda Jackson), and guitaristsBrad Rice (Son Volt, Ryan Adams) and Thom Donovan (Lapush, Ruby Amanfu), the album is a prime showcase for Hoge’s soaring, gritty vocals, as well as his remarkable gift for crafting complex characters with real emotional depth and plainspoken profundity. Over the course of 11 tracks (including guest Sheryl Crow on “Little Bit of Rust”), Hoge weaves elements of vintage country, literate folk and heartland rock into a passionate, genre-busting set, one that offers an unflinching portrait of the messy challenges of adulthood and the ways in which we persevere (or don’t) through hard times.
The release of his 2001 debut Carousel established Hoge as a masterful songwriter and performer as well as a critical favorite, with Rolling Stone comparing him to Bob Seger and John Mellencampand NPR praising his “sharp, smart, passionate rock ’n’ roll that seems to exist out of time.” He built up a loyal fan base the old-fashioned way, maintaining a steady studio output and a relentless touring schedule of more than 200 shows a year, including bills with the likes of My Morning Jacket, the Black Crowes, and Drive-By Truckers, in addition to festival slots from Bonnaroo to Austin City Limits. In 2012, the Eli Young Band hit #1 on the Billboard Country chart with their platinum-selling recording of Hoge’s song “Even If It Breaks Your Heart,” earning Hoge nominations for CMA, ACM, and Grammy Awards. Soon he was performing everywhere from the Grand Ole Opry to The Late Show With David Letterman, his music was soundtracking a high-profile Chevy truck campaign, and he’d signed a major publishing deal.
When the inspiration ran dry, though, Hoge took a gamble on himself and walked away from it all in order to pursue the kind of art that truly moved him, to make something that mattered. If Anchors is any indication, it was a safe bet indeed.