Country artist to perform Friday


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Imagine riding down the street on a scooter and then all of sudden being struck by a van and landing on the cement, bloodied, bones broken and temporarily blinded.

That happened to musician Will Hoge on his way home from the studio in 2008. While his music career continues on, his memories from that day are always on his mind.

“It was a spotlight situation,” he said. “[The accident] was more of an inspiration.”

Hoge, a country singer born and raised in Nashville, will perform at 9 p.m. Friday at Gabe’s, 330 E. Washington St. Admission is $10 in advance, $12 day of show.

When he woke up from a coma three days after the accident, he was only worried about his wife and son. He was relieved after seeing they were OK.

“It left me feeling fortunate the more I heard about what happened,” he said. “I was going to be somewhat normal again.”

After the accident, he said, there was no “switch” — he didn’t dwell on the idea of living each day as if it were his last. He worked hard and strove to be better at everything he did. He said the accident gave him a “new fuel for the fire.”

“It was closing a book and starting a new one,” he said.

Hoge has sung and written songs for 15 years. When he was a senior in high school, he dreamed of playing basketball. But his passion for music led him to join a band, and he dropped out of college to pursue his that dream.

He has played with different bands over the years. And after many gigs, he said, it was time to think if being a full-time musician was going to provide him with an adequate life.

“Family’s got to eat,” he said. “It was time to decide whether it was going to be full-time or not, and it snowballed from there.”

Hoge enjoys reflecting on life, and in his songs, he mirrors what he, his family, and his band members are going through. His favorite part of his career is performing the songs and reveling in getting on stage and hearing the audience’s reaction.

“We put everything out on the line and have people react to it,” he said. “It’s the only reason to continue.”

And because he wants the crowd to react to his music, he said, his performances are different from those of other bands.

“Our show is much more ‘dangerous,’ off-the-cuff,” he said. “Our songs change, we play different things each time, and sometimes we don’t know what’s going to happen. With no risk, there is no fun.”

UI student Aubriana Hurley, a fan of Hoge’s music, is looking forward to seeing him perform live.
“I’m really excited to get a chance to go see Will and check out his music," she said.

With live shows, Hoge’s opinion is that people like great rock ’n’ roll or magician shows, because they have a chance to see something that could blow up and fall apart. His shows are on the good side of that — when it works, it really works.

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