Will Hoge Premieres Timely “Con Man Blues” Video Ahead Of Election Day
Wielding six strings and a pen, prolific rocker Will Hoge’s mission has always been unadulterated and honest; unabashedly sharing his opinion no matter who it pisses off while maintaining respect from his peers. Hoge’s new album Tiny Little Movies is full of these personal truths of his—most of which are timely, sharp jabs at the current state of politics—but none are as poignant as “Con Man Blues,” a 2 minute, 19-second barn burner aimed at the head “con man” in charge. “This song was written as a direct rebuttal to not just the failures, but the abject cruelty of so many of our current leaders; led by one ultimate con man for certain,” says Hoge.
Today in addition to interviewing Hoge about the progressive rebirth of the American South and his and other musicians’ roles in it, Forbes premiered the political-imagery-filled music video for “Con Man Blues,” noting Hoge’s opportunity to communicate with members of his demographic who may not encounter progressive political messages. “Music, particularly when it works within a recognizable genre, can speak to people in terms they understand,” wrote Forbes. “With the video I wanted it to reflect the non-stop madness, the chaos, that is necessary to keep a con like this going,” says Hoge. “Keeping people distracted by so many things happening at once. That, accompanied by a performance by a kick-ass rock n roll band, properly socially distanced of course.” Fans can read the interview here and watch the “Con Man Blues” video here.
For two decades, Hoge has carried the torch for American rock & roll, carving out his own blue-collar sound rooted in amplified guitars, melodic hooks, southern soul, and rootsy stomp. It's a sound that nods to the best moments of the past—the punch of Tom Petty's anthems; the countrified twang of Buck Owens' singing; the raw, greasy cool of the Rolling Stones—while still pushing forward into new territory with Hoge's storytelling and larger-than-life voice leading the charge on his new self-produced album, Tiny Little Movies. In the days leading up to Tiny Little Movies’ release, Associated Press called the album “Compelling soundtrack material for the progressive political movement,” adding “whether the subject is politics or romance, Hoge sings with a hungry heart.” Rolling Stone also praised Hoge’s passionate and direct songwriting, saying, “Content but far from complacent...On Tiny Little Movies, Hoge doesn’t sugarcoat tough topics.” Fans can see Hoge and his band play the album’s first single, “The Curse,” recorded live for Public Radio Music Day at NPR Music, and Tiny Little Movies be streamed or purchased here.
"I grew up loving rock & roll records, and that's my intent every time I go into the studio—to honor that sound," Hoge says. "You get closer sometimes more than others. This time, I think we nailed it." The sound complements the songs on Tiny Little Movies, and the songs add more depth to Hoge’s career-spanning catalog of love lost, stories told, and lessons learned; a little wiser and more patient with each new album. "I spent years worried about things falling apart—personally, musically, emotionally, financially, you name it,” Hoge recalls. “As I've gotten better at my life, there’s a moment of realizing that this is it. It is where it is supposed to be. So I've been looking around, embracing the good and the bad, hoping to change what I can, and accepting the things I can’t." It's Hoge at his best; raw, amplified, and inspired, with enough hunger to keep him inspired and enough contentment to add perspective to his rougher edges.
More About Will Hoge: "Even If It Breaks Your Heart"—a tribute to his musical upbringing in Franklin, TN, just 30 miles south of Nashville—became a crowd favorite when it appeared on Will Hoge’s 2009 album, The Wreckage, then grew into a Number One country hit when Eli Young Band covered it in 2012. One year later, Hoge earned another smash with "Another Song Nobody Will Hear," a duet with Wade Bowen that topped the Texas charts. When a life-threatening car collision left a battered, broken Hoge in recovery for a year, he turned the experience into fuel for his music and his own heightened appreciation for life. He also learned to trust his own instincts, producing a number of his own albums—as well as albums for Red Wanting Blue, Stephen Kellogg, and up-and-coming songwriter Jackie Darlene — while releasing records like 2013's Never Give In and 2015's Small Town Dreams on his own label, Cumberland Recordings. 2018 found Hoge releasing My American Dream, a sharply-worded protest album which tackled everything from political corruption to social issue. Those progressive stripes, along with Hoge’s now-classic song-crafting style, have woven their way into his new release Tiny Little Movies, out now via Thirty Tigers.