Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Will Hoge. Scooter. Bad.

A new experiment for the song postings... please be patient with us/me.

All Night Long - Will Hoge (mp3)

I'm Sorry Now - Will Hoge (mp3)

In my whole miserable music-lovin' life, I've never seen one artist as many times as I've seen Will Hoge. I've seen Patty Griffin four times, Rush thrice, and U2 and the Indigo Girls twice. I've seen a whole shitload of people once. I've seen Hoge eight times.

I've taken my picture with the dude. He sat a row in front of me at the Ryman while we both wept and basked in the glow of Patty Griffin.At right, you can see how thrilled he was to be in the presence of my golden greatness.

To be fair, mine isn't a bona fide fan-obsessed following, although the picture might make you doubt that claim. I've seen him a lot because he's one of the few artists who regularly stops by Chattanooga and because his concerts are dirt cheap, usually running $15-20 if not less. For $15, Hoge puts on one serious show of energy, passion and talent. Hell, he even played the opening act at the school where I work. He opened for Vertical Horizon. They were on what increasingly looks to be the final tour of their existence, and their performance screamed their pending demise. By comparison, Hoge wowed the underage crowd with one serious, wall-crumbling rendition of "All Night Long," a cacophonous assault of a song about a teen grrl's rebellious youth. He repeated the line "She wears black lipstick... She's got a fake eye-deeeee" five times, just to get the kids all wound up.

Will frakkin' Hoge. He's stood up several times at the end of his concerts, not six feet from my presence, on a table in the middle of the crowd, to sing "Carousel" without any mike, without any instrumental back up, leaving a pin-drop silent crowd in awe, which ain't easy to do in the small drunken venues that are his specialty. He's sung "Woman Be Strong" like the bitch kicked him out that very afternoon.

So how spooky freaky ice in my veins chalkboard scratch down my spine is it when my wife informed me that Will Hoge was in a scooter accident that almost killed him last week.

You can read it straight from the horse's mouth on his web site. Or you can have the Cliff's Notes version: Scooter. Van. Crash. Hoge FUBAR.

"I'm Sorry Now," from his latest album Draw the Curtains, includes the very line for which our blog is named. (Even if it wasn't quite that intentional.)
Sometimes things are over,
Sometimes over doesn't last.
Sometimes i can't find my way back home
'Til the bottom of the glass.
Hoge became a first-time father just over a year ago, which makes his survival all the more emotional for me, having lost my own father when I was an infant.

Oh yeah, and one more thing that makes this story amazing: Neither Hoge nor the guy in the van that failed to yield were drunk. Or stoned. Or on any kind of illegal substance. Yes, a dude who fights for every penny he earns with his band, touring night after night so he can stay in his chosen line of work (and now, also support a family), actually travels from recording studio to home without being shitfaced drunk. You might not think it possible in the 21st century, but there you have it.

Both songs from Will Hoge are available on iTunes and's mp3 site, or you could even order directly from his site.


Bob said...

Dude, that's the shirt you wore to a Patti Griffin concert? It looks like you went straight from faculty normal?

Daytimerush said...

I liked your first sloppy thought today, but your latest is just bad...

Billy said...

That's what happens when Billy invades the Sloppy Thoughts section, which is very rare and usually tasteless.