Some people are just born communicators and Lucas Hoge has that gift. Fans know this because Hoge's new album Dirty South ascended to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Country Album Sales chart during its debut week. Whether he’s performing for troops overseas, sharing his love for the great outdoors with fellow sportsmen at an outdoor gathering or writing another song for a hit TV show, Hoge has that rare ability to find common ground with just about anyone and draw them into his world. Hoge’s creative universe has long revolved around music, and his latest offering DIRTY SOUTH, showcases a songwriter of considerable depth and a singer with an enviable skill for interpreting a lyric. “I try to either find songs or write songs that I think are going to stand the test of time and really connect with the listener,” Hoge says. “I want every album to be an audio novel that people can listen to from top to bottom that takes them on a journey. I want songs that you can sink your teeth into and actually carry with you.”
Whether he’s delivering a breezy summer anthem like “Flip Flops,” the poignant ballad “Who’s Gonna Be There,” which he penned for a hometown friend who died much too young, or his single "Dirty South" with its swampy Southern groove, Hoge engages listeners with his warm, evocative vocals and emotional authenticity. Throughout his last album, he has a knack for bringing the best out in a lyric and does just that with the playful “Boom Boom." "It’s a fun twist on a love song,” Hoge says. “Boom Boom” shot to #1 on the CMT 12 Pack its second week on air and held the number one position for an unprecedented seven weeks.
Hoge’s journey began in Hubbell, Nebraska, a small town of only 44 people, graduated in a high school class of seven (7). Like many entertainers, he first honed his musical skills in church. “My family was pretty much the whole choir at our church,” Hoge remembers with a smile. “My mom and dad had a worship band. Our preacher saw me playing a little drum set at church and literally took me down to the band room at school and said, ‘This kid really has something. You might want to help him along,’ so I started playing drums and played drums all through high school.” High school consisted of 86 kids - kindergarten thru high school, so everyone played sports, “I would put on my football jersey, I was the kicker and during half time, run up to the band, play drums then run back to the field for the second half”.
Hoge’s childhood penchant for writing poetry evolved into writing songs and he studied the work of his favorite craftsmen. “I loved the artist/writers. I loved hearing them sing all their own songs,” he says of people like Garth Brooks, Paul Overstreet, Kenny Chesney and others who penned their own hits.
Hoge earned a degree in architecture and business then returned home to start his own construction company, but the music bug wouldn’t leave him alone. Always an over achiever with an abundance of energy and an impressive work ethic, Hoge ran his construction company and fronted three bands at the same time. The devoted Christian launched a worship band called Extreme Devotion that became a favorite at local college campuses and churches. He was also the leader of a Southern rock band called Southern Cross. Today Hoge’s #SundaySessions posts on his Facebook page, garner 100,000 to over 1 Million views each week!
“I also started a straight-up country band called Borderline with some friends,” he says, “so I had three bands going because I just had to be playing wherever I could possibly play. When I decided to go to Nashville, I didn’t want to have that ‘What if?’ factor in the back of my head my whole life. So, with the help of my hometown, I put on a farewell concert and my mom’s friends made quilts and baked goods to sell and my town raised 2500.00 to send me to Nashville with”.
Once he moved to Nashville, Hoge's willingness to work hard combined with his songwriting prowess proved to be a winning combination. Warner Bros. featured his song “If I Only Could” on the hit TV show “Smallville.” Soon after, he began racking up numerous TV, film and commercial credits. He scored a 13-episode series for HBO, wrote a jingle for Lipton Tea and appeared with Faith Hill in the TV campaign for Sunday Night Football. He wrote the title song and starred in the Animal Planet TV show “Last Chance Highway,” a reality show focused on rescuing dogs and transporting them to their forever homes. He also penned the theme song “Give a Damn” for the GAC TV show “Tom’s Wild Life.” Most recently, Hoge wrote the theme song for Hero Outdoor Products Brand and appeared in their commercial ad campaign airing nationwide.
Although appreciative of the chance to place his songs in numerous TV shows, recording his own albums and touring continued to be Hoge’s primary focus. He made his Ryman Auditorium debut in 2011 opening for the legendary George Jones, and he’s shared the stage with Rascal Flatts, Luke Bryan, Craig Morgan, Martina McBride, Hank Williams Jr. and others. Hoge spent12 year being a part of the Armed Forces Entertainment: Wrangler National Patriot Tour in which he traveled overseas to perform over every Memorial Day.
“I love performing live and I like telling stories,” he says. “I want people to feel like they are sitting in my living room watching us play and that they are a part of the show. I want the audience to feel like I’m talking straight to them. My audience is from 8 to 80 and everyone in between.”
Hoge’s drive to connect with people permeates everything he does. He’s a tireless humanitarian who loves animals and supports the military. He combines both as the official spokesperson for Guardian Angels for a Soldiers Pet, a group that fosters animals for soldiers deployed overseas. Hoge is an avid outdoorsman, The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation named Lucas their first Ambassador. Hoge is as an enthusiastic wine aficionado and also has a partnership with Gamble Family Vineyards. “I am a genuine fan of the Gamble wines and having grown up on a farm myself, I have a personal admiration for the family traditions upheld by the Gamble Family Vineyards,” he says.
Music remains his first love and primary passion. His success grows each year, with his first TOP 30, “Power of Garth” reached (#29) on Billboard Indicator Chart in 2018 and a TOP 40 (#37) with “That’ll Be The Day” in 2019.
His new music is the culmination of years of hard work, writing incessantly and performing for crowds all over the world. “I feel I’ve been hoeing my row for a long time and I’ve stayed true to exactly who I am,” he says. “I’m just going to be a nice guy and put good out there and hopefully get good back because that’s how mom and dad taught me. I’m going to cling to my roots and keep my head about myself. I just want to be the best me I can be.” Hoge was the very best he could be on the Ryman stage when he was asked to make his Grand Ole Opry debut on November 10th, 2017 and Hoge has returned to perform on the Opry several times since, including the Grand Ole Opry “Country Classics”
Hoge is currently filming his new outdoor lifestyle TV series “Hoge Wild” that will begin airing on Sportsman Channel in June of 2020. The show is hunting, fishing, diving and performing across the globe. Hoge is all about shedding light on the conservation efforts of hunters and changing the narrative. He will take viewers on adventures to South Africa,
Bolivia, New Zealand and more. The list of impressive partners grows daily GoPro, Salt Life, Ocean Technologies Systems (OTS), Akona Adventures, Sherwood Scuba, Walkers, GSM Outdoors, Stealth Cam, Muddy Blinds and many more.
With a #1 album, a TOP 30 single, a new TV show, restless creative spirit, abundance of Midwestern charm and a work ethic that won’t let him slow down, it looks like the best is yet to come.