The liner notes of Americana singer-songwriter Will Hoge’s new album “My American Dream” include lyrics for the project’s eight songs, a band photo and the U.S. Constitution.
“We were preparing to be told ‘Shut up and sing’ on the internet for days on end,” said Hoge. “There’s a handful of folks that’ll say we’re anti-American, so we thought, kind of jokingly at first, ‘What if we put a copy of the Constitution in there just to show how proudly American I actually am?’ ”
A Walmart run turned the joke into something more serious: “You could buy a pair of panties with an eagle’s face on it or a bikini with the American flag…all these ‘American’ things, but Walmart didn’t carry a book, poster or anything with the Constitution. We thought, ‘That’s all the more reason (to include it with the album).’ ”
On “My American Dream,” Hoge sings about the Flint water crisis (“Gilded Walls”), how his opinion on the Confederate flag has changed (“Still a Southern Man”), and takes feckless politicians to task on “Thoughts and Prayers,” which was written in the aftermath of 2017’s mass shootings at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas and First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
“It just seemed like I needed to write and record these things and get them out there, so I feel like I’m going on the record, literally and figuratively, I suppose, with where I stand on all this,” he said.
But don’t call it a protest record.
“I think that instantly conjures up the image of…somebody with an acoustic guitar and singing these really peaceful folk songs,” said Hoge. “I love what Rage Against the Machine has done, and has done for years. You think about what Public Enemy did for years, what Neil Young has done. That was sort of what wanted to be reflected (on the album), to me.”
Hoge is currently on tour with Social Distortion. They, and Pony Bradshaw, will play Marathon Music Works on Oct. 21. Tickets are on sale now via marathonmusicworks.com.
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