Parade of Lights
The Take Off and Landing of Everything
The latest Will Hoge album continues the trend of Hoge’s work becoming heavier with blues and soul influences. Otis Redding is one of Hoge’s heroes of sorts and has obviously shaped his work a great deal. As he continues to get older and as he continues to get more freedom with his music his stuff continues to lean to that side of things. In his latest effort “Draw the Curtains”, his blues/soul influences are at the forefront (Cocker, Redding), but there’s an element of southern-pop, almost country on this disc that’s best compared to Bob Segar and that really stands out. The style works well for Hoge and he can pull it off a million times better than the two other relevant (or irrelevant) figures in music that do this kind of music- Taylor Hicks and Bo Bice. Hoge is a legitimate artist who performs 300 times a year with raw talent. Key tracks on this one that goes into the pile of Hoge classics include “Washed By The Water”, “When I Can Afford to Lose”, and “Dirty Little War.” The blues/soul stuff is great and is a strength for Hoge, but there’s nothing on this disc that rocks like Hoge used to do and that’s really the only flaw. I miss some of the Hoge songs like “Ms. Williams”, “She Don’t Care” and “Be The One.” The direction he’s going in is awesome and he continues to get better as a vocalist and as a songwriter, and continues to be one of the music’s best kept secrets, but it’s a bit of a shame that Hoge won’t let loose anymore. It’s good to be good at raw soulful blues music, it’s really bad to make an Elliot Smith like album where everything is a big downer. Only Elliot Smith can do that. “Draw the Curtains” is another strong set from Hoge, you’d just like to see more variety with some faster paced songs.