Will Hoge: Again
By: Lauren Jonik
Will Hoge is a man who
knows how to make both a powerful entrance and exit and to make
every moment count in between. Again Somewhere Tomorrow,
the latest album from Hoge and his talented band, captures a snapshot
of the effusive energy Hoge brings to his shows. Recorded in September
2006 in Hoge's hometown of Nashville, TN in front an appreciative
audience at the Exit/In, Again Somewhere Tomorrow is a live
album in the truest sense of the word. A dedicated road warrior
who has more than earned his musical stripes, Hoge brings to life
the eleven tracks on the CD with passion and ease.
Opening with just a bluesy harmonica and the smoky tones of Hoge's voice, The Man Who Killed Love, quickly crescendos into a full-bodied rock song that never loses sight of the country and blues roots that pulse through Hoge's entire sound and persona. In Wait 'Til Your Daddy Gets Home, Hoge eagerly anticipates the upcoming (though most likely temporary) end of the separation from a lover enforced by the rigors of life on the road. Alas, being a working rockstar isn't all fun and games. I've been gone so long / Been on this road for far too long / Man, it gets tired and lonely. . . I'm comin' home to you, darlin'. The Gospel-twinged warmth of singer Ericka Smith enhances the fullness of the track and adds playful moments of vocal interaction with Hoge. Honest in self-reflection, in Woman Be Strong, Hoge pleads with a lover to endure "these wicked ways of mine." Stepping into the unenviable shoes of a soldier immersed in war in the song Bible vs. Gun, Hoge sings: I hope that I can still get home to heaven. . . Wish I had a Bible instead of this damn gun.
Flashing back to one of his earliest songs, Hoge muses upon the simplicity of love in Sunshine Burn. Seduction is often most effective in its honesty rather than because of illusions of grandeur. If I could write a song / I would sing it to you soft and low / I don't know the words / But this is how it goes / Say la la la la la la la. Heartbreak never really reaches completion until the former beloved has moved on to another. The death of hope, even false hope, is the final moment of the end of a relationship. Hoge knows this. And I know just what you'll say / When I tell you that I'm sorry / That I let you get away / Well, you'll know that I found out / That you're someone else's baby now. Hoge's band softly backs him up in this revelation in Someone Else's Baby, before raising the energy again in Rock and Roll Star, another longtime audience favorite.
Accentuated with the
style of a southern gentleman, in the hip-swaying and romantic July
Moon tempts: Carry you across the river / Gently will I lay
you down / Make love to you with the tall grass, baby / And watch
the world keep spinning 'round. Hoge continues upon the endless
musical highway ending this particular roadtrip with Lover Tonight,
a rousing ballad that exemplifies Hoge's vocal talent and sense
of showmanship. And lover tonight, don't leave / Just one more
kiss upon my cheek / Cause it's just miles and time / Between this
heart of yours and mine / And lover tonight, don't go. Hoge
proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that less is more as he ends both
the song, the show and the album as he leaves the stage while still
singing. He exits as powerfully as he began: with just the power
of his voice moving the room.