Watch “Even If It Breaks Your Heart (Live @ CMT)” from Will Hoge for free on CMT.com.
In February of 2011 my brother and I had the opportunity to open for a songwriting hero of mine, Nashville native Will Hoge. To say that Will is everything that is currently right in music is an understatement. A terrific purveyor of a unique mix of southern r&b, country and rock n’ roll on top of being an absolute gentleman. Oh, and he actually writes his own songs…really, really good songs. However, what may be the most impressive part is that despite being on a slow but steady rise since 2007’s Draw The Curtains, Will has never stopped working hard and pushing himself. When others would have given up he just kept working harder and harder.
Prime example: While working on his album The Wreckage in August 2008, Will was on his way home from the studio (on a scooter) and collided with a van that failed to yield before turning directly into his path. Will broke multiple bones (ribs, sternum, shattered femur, knee cap and shoulder blades), and suffered lacerations to his face, arms, and torso that required over 200 stitches. Now stop and read that staggering list of injuries again. Most people (pending survival) would have re-evaluated continuing on the path of being an independent musician (with a wife and two kids) and probably picked up an office job and started to chip away at what had to be massive medical bills. Instead he committed to an exhaustive schedule of surgeries and physical therapy and eventually released the aptly titled album in September of 2009 and got right back out on the road touring and promoting his new album. Main bullet point here in case you’re slow is that this guy could have and arguably should have slowed way down and scaled back. Well,..not Will Hoge.
Over the next 3 to 4 years Will kept recording, writing and touring and slowly but surely made some inroads into the world of country music and started to find some hard fought successes. Next came videos on VH1 and CMT and even a Grammy nomination for “Country Song of the Year”. Case in point is that this guy is damn good and deserves every bit of success he has rightly earned.
If you remotely love or care about music, I urge you to tune in (or at the very least DVR) the Late Show with David Letterman tomorrow night. Without even knowing it Will has been there for me in the bad times and helped celebrate some of my very best. I know I will be tuning in tomorrow night full of pride as if a close friend is getting another well deserved big break. Congratulations Will, you earned every great accolade you’ve attained and I have a feeling you are just getting started.