Some dreams stay with you forever
Drag you around and bring you back to where you were
Some dreams keep on getting better
Gotta keep believing if you wanna know for sure…
– Will Hoge/Eric Paslay
There’s a phenomenon in the music industry known as general good fortune. I reckon that there’s a more Southern term for this, perhaps laced with some ancillary four letter words. Should that term exist, I am unaware of it. If you’ve ever stood on the outside and observed that general good fortune seems to be bestowed upon the few and the overly proud, then you are not alone in that feeling. I can confirm and not deny that there are still people around who throw a few words together, strum a few chords and, somehow, rain money and fame. For the talented mass of singers and songwriters who circle the bars and clubs in my hometown of Nashville, it can be, well…heartbreaking.
So, in honor of every talented artist fighting the good fight, I ask you to raise your glass to Mr. Will Hoge. Yesterday, I attended the BMI hosted #1 party in honor of the Eli Young Band’s recording of the Will Hoge/Eric Paslay co-written song “Even If It Breaks Your Heart”. This is no overnight success story my friends. Have you listened to the lyrics?
He writes from experience.
I have to say I am a wee bit biased when it comes to Will Hoge and his music. I have known Will and his wife since before I moved to Nashville. When I did arrive here, they always went out of their way to include me in friend and family gatherings, which made a big difference to a gal who made yet another trek across the country to chase a career away from her family. And from an artist and business related perspective, Will is my favorite example of someone who, quite literally, invented the now coveted and elusive social fan base. That’s not social media per se, although his community is thriving online now as well. That’s the “social media” from back in the day of staying after every show, shaking every hand, autographing every shirt and CD, and posing for every picture. For hours. Until there was no one left. And he still does it!
I don’t think many artists are willing to do that. It’s hard damn work, but, for some people, success is not an accident. Yes, the good fortune I referenced before is bestowed to some…but there are a few who earn it. There are those who make it happen. I think that Will made it happen. Because, as his now #1 song tells us, you have to “keep on dreaming/don’t let it break your heart”.
I parted ways with Will and friends and family last night, and on the way home, I saw this tweet from him:
Does this blow my theory? Perhaps there is a bit of luck dashed in there with all that hard work, talent and effort. We’re certainly lucky and blessed to have him around after that fateful evening four years ago. As for the rest of it- the fame, accolades and awards- I can’t help but go back to a lyric from Bruce Springsteen’s song “Lucky Town”: When it comes to luck, you make your own. That he did.