In a time when singer-songwriters are as plentiful — and nearly as indistinguishable — as the corporate coffee shops lining the streets of tony shopping districts, Will Hoge stands out like a homegrown roaster serving his hand-picked beans in a secondhand mug in some bohemian boutique. Hoge's raspy, soulful voice is as expressive as it is authentic: Every word he sings sounds geniunely heartfelt, like he's lived it, whether he's indulging his Southern-rock roots on cuts such as "Pocketful of Change," doing his best Otis Redding on "When I Get My Wings," or singing with a pained resignation on ballads like "Goodnight/Goodbye." And Hoge's songs are affecting even when he's not doing the singing: Just ask the Eli Young Band, which has made "Even If It Breaks Your Heart," a song Hoge co-wrote, a country staple.
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