Will Hoge planned to study history at Western Kentucky University to become a high school teacher and coach. That was until he began writing songs and wanted to play rock and roll music. That lead the Franklin, Tennessee native to begin playing his music on the Southern bar circuit and extensive touring to support his albums.
Leaving the studio one night in August 2008, Will was critically injured when the scooter he was riding was hit head on by a 15-passenger bus. As he was being treated in the intensive care unit of Trauma Division at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, he realized, “There was gonna be a big pause in what I was able to do and how I was able to do it, and some things would never be the same. But they were so minuscule, really, in the grand scheme of things, especially in that environment.”
The 41-year-old’s music reflects the influence of his musician father and uncles. It is a mix of Americana, Southern rock, and alternative country. Will and Eric Paslay co-wrote “Even If It Breaks Your Heart.” The song is on the album Will recorded after his accident, The Wreckage. While Will’s version didn’t chart, the Eli Young Band took the song to #1 on the Billboard Country Chart.
Will and Brian Layson co-wrote “Better Off Now (That You’re Gone)” which Lady Antebellum recorded for their Golden album. Last year Will made his first appearance on the Hot Country Songs chart with “Strong.” The song can be heard on General Motor’s 2014 Chevy Silverado ad campaign.
“The accident was a big life experience in the fragility of family, of love, of the time you get to spend with the people you love. That certainly was put in perspective because of the accident, and certainly comes through in the writing at this point. I don’t know how it couldn’t.”
“Middle Of America” is Will’s debut single from his upcoming album. It was co-written with Jessi Alexander and Tommy Lee James, and recorded in Nashville’s historic RCA Studio A.
“It tells the story of my growing up in a small town in Tennessee. One thing I’ve realized in all my travels is that it is the same for everyone no matter where they’ve grown up. We all know the same characters, just with different names, and that’s what, “Middle Of America” is to me.”
“We’re lettin’ our freedom ring
Chasin’ these small town dreams
Doin’ what our parents did
Watchin’ them shake their heads
Thinkin’ we’ve all gone crazy lately
But we know it’ll be alright
It’s just another night in the middle of America”
The lyrics and sound easily connects one to middle of America … the place where this reviewer grew up and misses greatly.