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Although Roger Hoover has made a name for himself in folk and Americana circles with his brand of searching, wistful songwriting, the last thing he wishes to do is be pigeonholed into any specific genre. In particular, with his latest collection of originals,Pastures (out October 7 on Last Chance Records)*, the singer wishes most to look forward while keeping an eye on the road behind.
“My favorite songwriters are the risk-takers who leave traces of the past in their songs–Tom Waits, Kris Kristofferson, Leonard Cohen,” Hoover explains. “And I feel I’m doing the same, advancing the genre while paying homage to the past.”
Indeed, Pastures’ thoughtful meanderings take listeners through a map of contemplative, everyman’s observations in the vein of music history’s best storytellers, set in the fertile backdrop of the U.S. Midwest—a region Hoover himself knows firsthand. His childhood in Northeast Ohio gave him a lens on the life of the area’s working class population, which grew to a talent for turning observation into poetry.
About Roger Hoover
“This album is an expression of the frustration that comes when you feel as though you’re being beaten down, but also an expression of hope and optimism that permeates the Midwest. This feeling that, ‘Times are hard tonight, but they won’t be in the morning.’”
With Pastures – his sixth collection of original songs – Roger Hoover gives us a haunting collection of sublimely rendered ballads, like the revenant of a place that once existed.
A fearless songwriter, Hoover who distills the experiences of an American wanderer into songs that illuminate the ethereal worlds and promise within each of us. The darkness underlying Hoover’s compositions manifest itself as songs exploring mysterious religiosity of a swirling Depression-era dust storm, as the harsh North Dakota wilderness and of finding work there, the yearning for quiet places far from humanity, Saint John’s contemplative life and brotherhood, and one man’s gratitude for love and the potential inside all of us to change our landscape, songs that playwright Tyler Whidden says, “howl with the voices of the disenfranchised and heartbroken whose ghosts hang like shadows.” Even in the most desperate times, there is a blush of hope, a glimmer of promise.
In a series of songs to lovers, friends, and family, Hoover weaves together diverse strands of experience, wilderness, love, work and wisdom, into a collection of songs that explores man’s relationship with himself, with nature, and with women. Roger Hoover will release Pastures on September 16 via Last Chance Records.