Release Date: Apr 7, 2015
Record label: Cumberland
Genre(s): Country, Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, American Trad Rock, Contemporary Country
Topically, Nashville singer and songwriter Will Hoge is fond of looking into the rear-view mirror, even as the motion of his career hurdles ever forward. His topics cover past relationships, incidents, and impressions of life on the road, the confusion and contradiction of everyday life, and in the case of Small Town Dreams, reexaminations of the place he called home. Hoge originally hailed from Franklin, Tennessee, when it was a sleepy little burg with a gas station, a couple of bars, and a store or three; in the 21st century it has become one of the state's fastest-growing cities.
He’s yet to achieve upper marquee status, but Will Hoge is rapidly positioning himself between those two pillars of populist rock, Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp. It’s not that his voice bears any special resemblance to either; less blustery than Bruce and not as folksy as Mellencamp, he nevertheless demonstrates a knack for creating rousing anthems ready-made for air guitar wielding enthusiasts and those in the crowd with a penchant for waving lit lighters above their heads. Of course, there’s no shortage of troubled troubadours documenting the legacy of America’s rural environs and the places where desperation and desire are typically spawned.
Much like Springsteen and Mellencamp, Will Hoge recognizes that even the most sweeping epics are essentially borne from an individual’s ordeals. Indeed, the title tells it all; Small Town Dreams is essentially a look at a rapidly fading pastiche, that of life in middle America, where for all the touting of an economic recovery, the struggle for survival still persists. Hoge documents these tales from a knowing, first-person point of view, giving each scenario the credibility — and respectability — that the characters deserve.