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If John Mellencamp is entry-level Springsteen, then what to make of a storytelling songwriter who so slavishly emulates the former that you might think he's a tribute performer with access to unreleased tracks? Nashville's Will Hoge was barely making a living writing Mellencampish ditties about Jacks and Dianes for other acts until the Eli Young Band took his song "Even If It Breaks Your Heart" to the top of the charts. Hoge actually did have a shortlived rock group called Spoonful in the mid-'90s, though only one EP was released.
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