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 latest single "Dirty South" with its swampy Southern groove, Hoge engages listeners with his warm, evocative vocals and emotional authenticity. That signature combo has been resonating with fans who helped Hoge make his debut at #1 on the Billboard Top Country Album Sales Chart with his new album DIRTY SOUTH. Throughout the 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 it’s 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. 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.”
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.
“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 I just loaded up my truck and I left.”
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 Brand and is appearing in their commercial ad campaign airing nationwide now.
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, Rodney Atkins, Craig Morgan, Hank Williams Jr. and others. Hoge is also part of the Armed Forces Entertainment: Wrangler National Patriot Tour and wrote the powerful “Medal of Honor,” which was chosen as the Wrangler National Patriot official theme song.
“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.”
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. An avid outdoorsman, he’s the newest brand ambassador for Cabela’s, the world’s foremost outfitter of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear. An enthusiastic wine aficionado, Hoge 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.
However, music remains his first love and primary passion. Teaming with noted writer/producer Matt McClure, Hoge has created a new project that showcases his playful side on such tunes as “Halabamalujah” and “Shoofly Pie,” yet also reveals his ability to relay the angst of a failed relationship in the heartbreak anthem “Holding On.” He also pays homage to one of his major influences on “Power of Garth.” The song is a potent testament to the impact of great music and is as much a celebration of Hoge’s personal philosophy as it is an homage to Mr. Brooks. “I was eight or nine-years-old when Garth came out with the No Fences album,” Hoge recalls. “From then on, when other people were going to pasture parties, I’d be sitting in my room playing guitar. I just loved Garth’s music and the stories he would tell. This is a song so many people are going to relate to be-cause what Garth did transcended music. He paved the way for so many people today.” I’m excited that I finally get to release this song as a single. “Power of Garth” already hit the TOP 40 in the first 6 weeks of it's release on Billboard Indicator and monitored airplay, with PD's giving it amazing reviews:
“Never have I ever heard a song as amazing as this! Move over Friends in Low Places, make room He Stopped Loving Her Today, the new single by Lucas Hoge is the best country record I have heard in 19 years! Simply put, it is a masterpiece! - *Jimmy Lehn Music Director at WCTY*
Lucas provides the audio equivalent of a Norman Rockwell painting. We received emotional feedback from listeners that were raised on Garth. Cassettes may be a vessel of the past but the memories remain stronger than ever. That’s the power of Lucas! -*Tony Michaels / KSUX Program Director Sioux City, Iowa*
"THIS IS A HIT SONG! I got goosebumps listening tthis song. That Never Happens to me. This is exactly how I felt about Country Music growing up, it's why I became a fan and why I still Love Country Music Today." *KRGI Derek Beck, Nebraska*
"Wow! This song will be huge!!" *KTHK Don Jarrett, Idaho Falls
Hoge is carrying the torch with the same passion and professionalism he admired in his heroes. He takes pride in giving his audience songs that celebrate their lifestyle like the title cut “Dirty South.” “This is a song I co-wrote with Troy Johnson and Jack Williams,” Hoge relates. “Jack used to tour with The Who for 20 years as a guitar guy. We all got in the room for the first time and he said ‘Man, I’ve got this idea rolling around,’ and he put down a little melody thing. I thought it was really cool so we sat there and just cranked this song out. It has a very deep-south swampy feel to it. It’s just about having fun in muddy water, under the Magnolia tree, being with your girl on a hot summer day. It’s a feel good song about having fun in the outdoors.
His album 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 this past November 2017. In 2018 Lucas has been asked back to perform four more times, including the Country Classics show.
With a #1 album, 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.