First Published August 2022
WILL, RUTHIE, & CHASE
WINGS ON MY SHOES marks yet another milestone on Will Hoge’s two-decade-plus musical journey, an already remarkable career that has seen him logging countless miles on the road and crafting an ongoing body of work, earning acclaim from media outlets spanning Rolling Stone and American Songwriter to NPR and Forbes, a GRAMMY® Award nomination for Best Country Song (honoring the Eli Young Band’s chart-topping cover of his Even If It Breaks Your Heart), and an intensely loyal worldwide fan following.
Produced by Hoge during a week’s worth of live performances at Nashville’s Sound Emporium Studios, Wings On My Shoes was preceded earlier this year by the powerful album-closing Whose God Is This?, available for streaming and download now. The album – which sees Hoge joined by his longtime backing combo, guitarist Thom Donovan, drummer Allen Jones, and bassist Christopher Griffiths, with guest multi-instrumentalist Joshua Grange contributing pedal steel and organ – features few overdubs and zero studio trickery, wearing its rough edges with pride to stand tall as a document of a hardscrabble band at work, sweating and stomping its way toward rock ‘n’ roll redemption.
Written largely during the pandemic era, Wings On My Shoes is, at its core, a testament to Hoge’s renowned gifts as a songwriter, highlighting the diverse perspectives of an expert craftsman whose songs turn Southern storytelling into universal sentiment. From the jubilant jangle of It’s Just You and the furious All I Can Take – the latter an inspired blast of bar band bombast recorded in a single take – to the stunning, string-laced The Last One To Go and the desperate narrative drive of Dead Man’s Hand, Hoge distills American roots music to its essential ingredients, carrying the torch for an enduring blue collar sound rooted in ringing guitars, anthemic songcraft, and steadfast lyrical integrity.
“I always want to embrace change,” Hoge says, “to accept new things artistically, but at the end of the day, I can try to run from this idea that I love good, guitar-based rock ‘n’ roll music or I can wear that badge of honor. I’m in the ‘wearing the badge of honor’ phase now.”
~ WINGS ON MY SHOES, the brand new album from WILL HOGE, is released on all formats from August 26th.
Sidewalk Records recording artist, Ruthie Collins, will be returning to the UK next month to play two highly anticipated shows – Millport Music Festival on August 20th, and Nashville Meets London on August 24th, completing the trio of major country festivals that started back in March with her debut appearance at C2C Ruthie‘s return also follows a successful run of UK shows with Americana singer-songwriter Sam Outlaw earlier this year.
Collins released Cold Comfort + in January, an expanded version of her critically acclaimed 2020 long-player, Cold Comfort. Cold Comfort + features Joshua Tree which was co-written with Luke Sheets. It’s a cathartic combination that underscores her ability to blend various sounds into her own potent delivery.
Speaking on her return to the UK, Collins commented, “I’m counting the days till I get to return to the UK and perform again for the audiences that have quickly become so dear to my heart. This will be my third trip and every time is better than the last. I couldn’t be more excited to share some brand-new material, and also the fan favorites with the audiences at the Millport and Nashville Meets London Festivals!”
Praised by Billboard for its mix of “ethereal vocals alongside soaring string features, minimal piano parts, and delicate percussion,” Cold Comfort was initially released during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic. Unable to tour behind the album, Collins temporarily left her adopted hometown of Nashville and headed home to her mother’s place in upstate New York. There, she recorded acoustic renditions of three Cold Comfort highlights: Hey Little Girl, Joshua Tree, and Wish You Were Here. Those homemade, reimagined versions appear on Cold Comfort +, demonstrating Collins’ ability to deliver a knockout performance with little more than her voice and an acoustic guitar.
~ COLD COMFORT + from RUTHIE COLLINS is OUT NOW.
Key West & Colorado is the reflective new song from Chase Rice – and the latest preview of his forthcoming album – recently recorded in his rural Tennessee home-turned-studio, and released last Friday.
The song was one of the first recorded for the project during that marathon at-home session, with Rice describing it as “the heart of the record.” Written by Rice together with childhood friend/longtime collaborator Brian Kelley, plus Corey Crowder, Blake Pendergrass, John Byron and Hunter Phelps, on a writing retreat in Grayton Beach, Florida, the mid-tempo song chronicles the literal journey of coming to terms with a relationship’s end:Somewhere between Key West & Colorado / I found God in a gold Silverado / Had to get a little lost to get a little found / Learned you can’t find love if you can’t slow down /
Somewhere between that sand and the snow / Salt in the air and salt on the road / Finally let myself let her go / Somewhere between Key West & Colorado
The song also represents a sonic shift for Rice, who teamed with producer Oscar Charles to fill his living room with a vintage stand-up piano, guitars, drums and percussion, bass and keyboards while leaving out some of his usual recording tools. For the first time in his career, Rice recorded for the new project with no click track, no pre-programmed music beds – and in many cases, one-take vocals.
“I had started writing songs at home with just me and a guitar whenever the inspiration hit me; instead of heading downtown and trying to crank something out during a scheduled writing session,” explains Rice of the transformation in his creative process. “I realized that bringing the writing room into my real life – my farm, duck camp, a vacation with my friends – whatever that might look like, was making for some really great songs. So, when we started talking about getting into the studio – what that should look and feel like – I realized we already had the answer. It should feel like home.”
“It was an incredible experience,” he continues. “We camped out there for weeks, usually going for 12-plus hours a day without even realizing the time was flying by because everyone was in such a creative groove. It’s definitely the most excited I’ve ever been about making music, so I can’t wait to share this new sound with the fans.”
~ KEY WEST & COLORADO, the NEW single from CHASE RICE, is OUT NOW.