Spotlight: Lucas Hoge as Country as It Gets
Spotlight: Lucas Hoge as Country as It Gets

Singer Who Wants You to 'Give a Damn' Preps Full Album

Pardon the pun, but Lucas Hoge has plenty to "Give A Damn" about these days. The Nebraska native is watching his current single of the same title pick up momentum at radio stations across the United States. Hoge is proud of what the song has accomplished so far.

"We're making some impact, which is great," he says, with more than a little twinge of excitement. "We had a number 2 video on for Video of the Week for two weeks straight. We just hope it keeps going." The single is also the theme song of GAC's "Tom's Wild Life."

Hoge is grateful for all that is going on in his career, and he's also thrilled with the team he's surrounded himself with. "I kind of call them my board of directors. I call them up and ask 'Do you think this is a good or bad idea?' They will tell me flat out, and that's what you need in this industry. People who know what they are talking about that can influence you in the best way possible. I thank God for them every day, and appreciate them very much."

Furthermore, it was another "team" that helped the singer make his way to Music City, as he was presented a going-away present by many in his hometown of Hubbell, NE. "It was that 'What if' moment," he recalls. "I was still touring around in the mid-west. I woke up one day, and realized that I didn't want to 50-60-or 70 years old, and ask myself 'What if I would have thrown all my cards on the table? At that point, I literally packed up my truck. I had a concert that night in my hometown, and the three towns right around all consolidated in together, and raised about $2,500 for me, and sent me on my way. They're all family to me."

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Hoge can't wait for fans to hear his upcoming album, of which he says "I think it's going to be a fun album. I pretty much wrote all the songs so it goes through a lot of songwriter's moods -- from happy to sad to faith-based songs to party songs. So, there's something for everybody."

One song from the disc that has already made an impact is "How Was I To Know." Hoge recalls how the song came to be. "I was doing a hunting show in South Dakota called 'Gone Country.' The camera guy - who is a Nebraska guy, and I hit it off. We kept in touch, and since then, he stopped working for the TV show, and he went to work for a local Hospice as head of the 'Dying Wish' program there. He called me up after he had been working there for a couple of weeks, and said they had a lady there named Natalie Fognani, who was dying from ALS. She has written a poem called 'How Was I To Know.' It's one of her dying wishes to have this poem turned into a song. He asked if I would be willing to do that, and I said 'Absolutely. Have her send it to me.' She typed out the words with her big toe because she can't move her upper body and can't speak anymore, but she did have the function of moving her legs. She had a service dog that would get up on her bed, and she could rest her leg on that dog. She typed it out and said 'Lucas, I would really love for you to see what you can do with this poem.' So, I sat down with my buddy Cory Barker, and we turned the words into lyrics, and the lyrics into a song. I sent it off to her, never intending anyone else to hear it but her and her family. They fell in love with it, and took it to their local radio station in Pueblo."

Word about the song began to spread like wildfire. "It became the most requested song in the history of the station for two weeks straight. It gained momentum, and we took it to No. 2 on the Christian charts. I get emails from people who will say that they were thinking about ending their life, then they heard this song, and it turned a switch."

Lucas is in the midst of a radio tour right now, but this fall, you just might catch him enjoying one of Nebraska's biggest draws - the Cornhuskers. "Tom Osborne Field is one of the most well-kept fields I have ever seen," says the one-time worship leader at the University.