Guitar Or A Gun

Album: Small Town Dreams (2015)

Songfacts®:

  • Penned by Will Hoge with Dylan Altman and Gary Allan, this song was inspired by a specific store in his Tennessee hometown of Franklin. "There was this little pawn shop in Franklin and I would ride my bike over there on the weekends," Hoge recalled to Billboard magazine. "I was always attracted to both of those things. I would spend half of my time there looking at the guitars on the wall and then I'd look at the old revolvers and six shooters."

    "There was this sense of romantic idealism with both of those things," Hoge continued, "You were either going to join a band, which is like being in a gang anyway. You travel all over the world, play music and raise hell for a living. Then, there's the option of the cowboy image, where you grow up watching Young Guns and you want to start a gang and ride off into the sunset. I guess when you do this for a living, you sort of split the difference between the two."
  • Co-writer Gary Allan is a successful recording artist in his own right. Hoge told Taste of Country how the "Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)" singer ended up with writing credits on his record. "Gary was getting ready to work on what was his last album, and he was looking for songs, and I got a call to go write with him," he explained. "That's just not a call that I get very often, you know, getting to really focus on writing for an artist. I relish those opportunities when they come. So I sat that morning and really wanted to go in with Gary and give him songs, I wanted him to go, 'Yes, here's my next single.' And then Gary does all the work, I just cash the checks and buy a new house and feel great about it."

    "So I came up with these two what I felt like were really strong songs, so much so that I called my manager that morning, and I was like, 'Man, I've got these two songs that I love, and I'm wondering if I should go in and finish them with Gary, in hopes that he'll cut them, or do I just keep them for myself?'" Hoge continued. "And he said, 'Look, this is an incredible opportunity, I would suggest when you're in these moments, you have to take advantage.'"

    "Which made total sense. So I go in with my friend Dylan and Gary, and I play these songs, and we wrote the rest of them, two songs in a day," he added. "I just loved them, and I felt sure Gary was gonna have huge hits with them. And he didn't use either one of them. So I was like, "Well, I know which two songs I'm gonna put on my next record." I'm excited about having Gary as a writer on my record. I think he's a talented guy."

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