The Will Hoge/Taylor Swift Co-Write That Never Was

And His Ongoing Musical Wrestling Match

Cool story, bro. That’s what I thought when I heard about this tale Will Hoge told when he was performing in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, recently at Music Fest.

It went something like this:

Hoge was asked to write with a new songwriter. But he had to do it in Hendersonville, Tennessee — about a 30-minute drive from downtown Nashville — and he couldn’t do it until after 3 p.m. That’s when the other songwriter’s high school dismissal was scheduled.

So Hoge said he Googled “Taylor Swift” and thought it just wasn’t worth the trip.

“Man, I ain’t driving to Hendersonville to write with some high schooler,” he recalled thinking. “And who is Taylor Swift anyway?”

Both artists went on to do great things since that co-write that never happened. But according to the new issue of Nashville Lifestyles magazine, Hoge has struggled a little bit to find out exactly where he belongs. And that’s what encouraged him to start his own record label.

“For years, I was too country for rock and too rock for country,” Hoge explains. “Even when I was making record on a major label, that was the big wrestling match: ‘Where does he go in the record store? Where does he go to radio?’”

So what’s a guy have to do? Start fresh with his own label.

“I’ve had to start my own record label basically to combat that problem,” Hoge said of his Cumberland Recordings label. “So that I can feel confident enough to just go, ‘I make Will Hoge records.’”

Hoge’s ninth album is set for release this spring.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.