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Preview by Kevin Wilson
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One worthwhile way to sp/files/storyimages/leap year is in the presence of explosive pop-rocker Will Hoge and southern rock icon, Jason Isbell.

 

For over a decade now, Hoge, a Nashville native, has been building a following the old-fashioned way, through relentless touring and word of mouth.

 

Hoge got his start as part of the almost famous regional act Spoonful and kept the group’s infectious rock & roll spirit alive when he eventually struck out on his own.

 

His first solo recording, All Night Long: Live at the Exit/In, was released in 1999. A high-energy concert souvenir that showcased Hoge’s classic sensibilities and fresh ideas, its success paved the way for Hoge’s studio debut, Carousel, which arrived in 2001.  

 

Since then an assortment of independently produced but well-received live documents and studio albums have followed. But Hoge’s real breakthrough did not come until 2006 when The Man Who Killed Love finally put him on the map in a big way. Critics finally took notice and Hoge was thus invited to participate in much higher-profile tours.

 

Sharing the bill with the likes of the Black Crowes, North Mississippi All-stars and Drive-By Truckers, Hoge often outshined his hosts. This is why he is now headlining dates as he intensely promotes his raucous new release, Draw The Curtains.

 

Stylistically, Hoge serves up blues and soulful country rock, which makes him a good match for warm up act, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, who offer much of the same.

 

Isbell hit the big time as a member of southern rock stylists, Drive-By Truckers. Known for an experimental spirit and bad behavior, the Truckers have become something of an institution.

 

But Isbell’s recently released solo album, Sirens of the Ditch, has also been quite a hit across the nation. This is evidenced by the fact that Isbell is currently in near-constant rotation on WFPK here in Louisville.

 

Additionally, in a live setting, Isbell has been earning a reputation as a first-rate front-man, a role he never had in the Truckers, as he introduces the 400 Unit to the world.

 

Together, Hoge and Isbell will rock Headliner’s Music Hall Friday February 29.

 

For more information about the show, visit www.headlinerslouisville.com.

 

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