Thanks for ignoring Will Hoge

Mountain Xpress
is a great source of information about which musical acts are hitting local stages, and the coverage is generally good and accurate. But you guys missed something, and I'm selfishly thankful.

Jordan Lawrence did do a nice full-page narrative about a band that's been covering Grateful Dead tunes for 15 years [“Gratefully Undead,” Aug. 1 Xpress]. There was only a time/date/venue listing in Clubland for my guy, though.

A little Nashville singer-songwriter named Will Hoge played the Grey Eagle on Aug. 2, and it was a wonderfully intimate show — maybe 50 true fans quietly taking in Hoge's songs and stories. For his final number, the band stepped off the stage and did an acoustic rendering of a little ditty that recently hit No. 1 on the Billboard Country chart. That's "Even If It Breaks Your Heart," which Eli Young has made a staple of country radio lately.

People learn to love what they hear, and if you'd publicized to the local unwashed that this huge hit was written and recorded first by Will Hoge, my date and I wouldn't have been able to hear the subtleties of the performance, let alone stand four feet from the maestro, singing along like we were in a living room at a friend's house.

— Norman Plombe

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4 thoughts on “Thanks for ignoring Will Hoge

  1. boatrocker

    While Norman’s point is well made (focusing media attention on one band playing locally while ignoring another- that’s nothing new to the Xpress), I find his comment “People learn to love what they hear” a bit disturbing.

    Am I to assume that if a band is constantly featured on radio stations or playing live in my town that I must eventually like their music? Will I be penalized if I don’t eventually like their music?

    Maybe this isn’t the most pressing issue in Asheville right now, but the above comment is a bit weird to me.

    • normanplombe

      Wow….good thing the radio-listening masses don’t share your opinion…or Payola would never work!

  2. boatrocker

    Actually I’m assuming the radio-listening masses probably don’t share my opinion. I actually question the programming choices of local, regional, etc. radio stations all the time by asking “Really? This song again?” when I drive.

    I’m still confused though about your apparent feathers being ruffled by my comment-

    Are you miffed that your singer/songwriter buddy didn’t get the recognition he obviously so rightly deserved,

    or do you actually believe in the validity of your comment that “people learn to love what they hear”? If the latter, it would seem that you are in favor of payola, would it not?

    You have to understand that I have no vested interest either way in the artist you went to see but rather only seek clarification for the rather pro-payola comment you’ve posted.

    I’m even biting my tongue by not mentioning that Nashville is a music city well known for payola and shoving music down listeners’ throats. Oops, guess I said it anyway.

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