Lucas Hoge Talks
“Power of Garth” & George Jones
I was intrigued to speak with Lucas Hoge after a brief meeting at the grand opening of The George Jones Museum in Nashville. We spoke briefly and he carried himself in a way that made you think he’s going to have a tremendous impact on the world of country music. He has a politeness, a kind demeanor that rivals Steve Wariner. (And anyone who has interacted with Steve Wariner, me included, will tell you that Steve is the nicest guy in the country music industry.)
But Lucas has got some serious accomplishment to go with that kindness. His resume is already stockpiled, as the Reviver Records artist is Cabela’s newest ambassador. (The brand is famous for quality equipment and clothing for hunting and fishing excursions.)
Lucas is also getting geared up to go overseas to perform for the troops for his sixth straight year in the Wrangler National Patriot Tour. He’ll be playing his new hit single “Power of Garth” to the troops; and, appropriately, the tour kicked off this past Memorial Day Weekend.
And at the 16th Annual Los Angeles Music Awards, Lucas was named Contemporary Christian Singer/Songwriter of the year for his song “Get The Door.” With country songs like the summer smash “Flip Flops,” a song featured on TV show “Smallville” called “If Only I Could,” and an acting career on Animal Planet’s “Last Chance Highway” (as himself — a singer songwriter who helps transport rescue dogs to new homes), the man has more hits than a hound dog has ticks, and he is on the rise with no signs of stopping. I had the privilege of speaking with the Nebraska-born, now proud Tennessee native about his current projects.
Could you discuss with us your role on the Wrangler National Patriot tour?
We leave next Tuesday, going overseas again for two weeks for Memorial Day, which we have done the last six years in a row. It’s fun, it’s very honoring and it’s a little scary at time too, I ain’t gonna lie [laughs], but it is cool to be a part of something like that. Wrangler is a great brand. They love giving back and going over there and telling the troops, “Hey, thanks on behalf of everyone in the Western industry, cowboys and cowgirls out there.”
I also learned you are Cabela’s newest brand ambassadors. Congrats and could you tell us more about it?
Thank you very much. I just signed on with Cabela. There are three ambassadors now myself, Luke Bryan and Justin Moore, and we are the only country artists who are brand ambassadors. What I do is I go to a lot of their grand openings and block parties and play music in front of every store before they have the grand opening, and they are sponsoring my tour this year, which is great. We will be all over the country, and they are coming to follow me on a bunch of hunts with a video crew, and they are just a great brand to be a part of, good people in the crew, and behind the scenes as well.
The new single “Power Of Garth,” it’s pretty self-explanatory, but can you share why you decided to cut it?
Yeah, well, of course I grew up a huge Garth Brooks fan as a kid and a friend of mine brought the No Fences CD to school, and I just fell in love with it and it just opened me up to so much more country music, and I started diving in deeper and deeper and becoming a part of it. A friend of mine here in Nashville, as we flash forward a few years, my friend Matt Rogers wrote this song with Terry McBride — two powerhouse songwriters, and the song came across my desk and the song was tailor made for me, and I could not pass it up [laughs]. It’s a really fun song about growing up with Garth’s music and associating it with everyday life.
You were named Contemporary Christian Songwriter of the year; how did that honor make you feel?
It made me feel really good, man, I grew up in church and writing and singing Gospel always came natural to me, and the great thing about country music is that the genre always has those ties back to your faith and spirituality, so it kind of comes hand in hand, so to get recognized on the inspirational side is a huge honor for me.
We originally met and spoke briefly at the George Jones Museum grand opening, and I learned that your debut at the Ryman Auditorium was performing with George Jones. What was that experience like?
Oh man, I still get goosebumps thinking about it [laughs]. It was just unreal when I got the call. There is a friend of mine, Reggie Mac, who does a lot of booking, who used to do all of George Jones’s booking, and he heard a couple of songs of mine and invited me over to his house, and Reggie told me he would love to invite me to open up for George at the Ryman. It about made me drop my guitar after that [laughs]. I was asking, are you kidding me? It was pretty cool to finally get to go and be put on that stage. And to stand in that hallowed circle where so many legends had stood before and to open for the greatest singer in country music history no less.
It was kind of cool because I had an inspirational song that was at the top of the charts at the time called “How Was I To Know,” that I wrote for an ALS patient who had passed away from Pueblo, Colorado. And we were able to bring her out to the Ryman show and sing the song that I wrote for her on the Ryman stage before she passed. So it was really cool to have all those ties at the same time.
You probably had the whole audience crying?
Yeah, it was pretty cool man. I don’t usually brag about myself too much, but that got a standing ovation there at the Ryman, playing that song, and the experience was surreal.