Will Hoge has made a career of writing and singing powerful songs about life's cruel and dark turns. Not long ago, he fell victim to one such turn.
As Hoge rode his scooter home from the studio, he was struck by an oncoming van that had veered into his lane. There were no skid marks. Launched off his bike, Hoge ended up bloodied, broken-boned, temporarily blinded, and near death.
"[The accident] was like stopping a record as it spins," says Hoge, who had been halfway through recording material for his new record before getting derailed. "It was like taking the needle and pushing it off the turntable."
For ten months, the accident sidelined Hoge. For ten months, it made him do something he hadn't done in 18 years: stop the music. Larger matters dominated his life, like physical recovery and the well-being of his family. "People would say, 'I bet you're ready to get back to playing and writing.' I'm thinking, 'Playing or singing is not the issue right now. I'm ready to get back to walking.'"
His previous album, Draw the Curtains, had been a unanimous high-water mark in his career, a magnificent collection of rock, country, soul, blues, and folk. With a great band, good vibes, and clear skies overhead, Hoge felt like he was building something real as a career artist.
Eight months after the incident he re-entered the studio in pursuit of that mission. He now has his health, an invigorated spirit, and a renewed sense of his musical journey. "Making The Wreckage opened me up in a different way," says Hoge. "I felt a calmness, a purpose. Right now it feels like I'm getting to the core of what I want to do and why."