17 August 2017
Lucas Hoge Reflects on Hitting No. 1, Playing for the U.S. Military Overseas

… One of the most interesting aspects of the success of Dirty South was the marketing strategy behind the disc’s launch, which received a helping hand from the United States Military. “For the last nine years, I’ve been going overseas every year. We were able to open up pre-sales to all of the military that we had visited. Everybody was so excited. It just worked out fantastically.” Hoge says that he’s proud of their role in his story, and wants them to know they are appreciated. “As we were doing the pre-sales, I called everyone who had a laminate – which looked like a backstage pass. I told all of our service men and women that when they come back to the states, that would get them into any show that they wanted to – free of charge.”
His trips on behalf of the soldiers overseas started well over a decade ago. “I started out doing that in Iraq back in 2009. We were over there touring for about thirty days. We were playing all of the bases that we possibly could, and had a great time. We then came back to the states, and I was involved in the Celebrity Outdoor Challenge on the riverside (at the CMA Festival). The guy who was hosting it asked me about just getting back from Iraq, and he was organizing another series of tours each year over Memorial Day, and he wanted to know if I would be interested. They didn’t want me to bring a full band or anything like that, they just wanted me to come with a guitar on my back, and do some shows for the men and women who don’t really get to see a lot of concerts. I told them I was all in, and I’ve been going ever since,” he said of his involvement with the Armed Forces Entertainment Wrangler National Patriot Tour….