With a pleasant vocal style and a genuine talent for selecting songs that suit his voice, Lucas Hoge has steadily been growing into his career as a major artist at a time when it’s not exactly easy to do so. With 10 tracks, Dirty South, Lucas’ third album and first for Rebel Engine Entertainment, finds the artist tackling multiple stories and sounds that are as classic sounding as they are freshly current.
“That Ain’t Cool” is the kind of song that used to dot the great country records from the likes of Clay Walker and Billy Currington while “Mad Dog Memories” finds Lucas getting a little nostalgic about an early and pivotal relationship in his life. “Boom Boom” and “Power Of Garth” are both songs I’ve heard prior to this album being released and they’re both strong songs, particularly “Power Of Garth,” a song which uses Garth Brooks songs to show how memories are tied to the soundtrack of our lives and how these songs bring us right back to those moments of our lives.
With powerful vocal delivery, the funky “Halabamalujah” is certainly something different than most of what’s on the mainstream. It recalls Jeffrey Steele and is one of three songs not co-written by Lucas on Dirty South. While these songs are all strong, it is the title track “Dirty South” and emotive closer “Who’s Gonna Be There” which are the clear highlights of this record. The former is about life and love in the country while the latter finds Lucas Hoge delivering a powerful, string-filled song wondering about one life’s impact will have on others when it’s time for them to meet their maker.
It is only 10 songs deep but Dirty South is the kind of pleasant brand of music that country music has often been known for. These are ten good songs with no real ‘fat’ to be found. Here’s hoping the album finds a wider audience.