After a bruising encounter with the Nashville major-label machine following the release of his previous solo record Small Town Dreams, singer-songwriter Will Hoge decided to get back to basics, and tenth solo effort Anchors categorically validates that decision.
True, a Nashville veteran like Hoge, fresh from penning songs for other artists in recent years is able to call on the not inconsiderable talents of Sheryl Crow to guest on the excellent “Little Bit of Rust”, but it’s clear Hoge has exchanged the polished sound of his previous record in favour of a more rootsy approach this time around.
The powerful “The Reckoning” is evidence of that, as is the brooding “Angel’s Wings” and the reflective “Cold Night In Santa Fe”. The rousing “Young as We’ll Ever Be” and “This Ain’t An Original Sin” raise the tempo somewhat while the brilliantly written heart-wrenching duo of “Through Missing You” and the outstanding “This Grand Charade” showcase just why Hoge has been in demand as a writer for other artists.
His solo work may not yet have hit the heights of his contributions for other artists, but Anchors shows that Hoge deserves recognition on his own terms too.