Originally from Hubbell, Nebraska (population 44), the country music artist Lucas Hoge’s album Dirty South debuted at No. 5 on Billboard’s overall Country Albums chart.
“To me, music is a universal language,” says Hoge. “It breaks down barriers for communication in other ways that normally you might not be able to communicate with that person or that group of people. But as soon as you start playing some music, it’s just a different language. It speaks to everyone.”
Hoge regularly performs for U.S. troops overseas. With many family members in the military, but not feeling “wired” for the military himself, Hoge says he wants to give back by directly thanking and showing his appreciation to servicemen and servicewomen where they are stationed. “The loyalty, the dedication, the sacrifice, that all these men and women do for us is beyond compare. Getting to see exactly what they go through day in and day out intensifies my respect for what they do for us.”
Dallas Chief Eagle
Dallas Chief Eagle (Rosebud Lakota) is a K-12 art teacher with a Master’s degree in guidance counseling and personal services. A recognized hoop dancer, Chief Eagle presents and teaches stories, dances, and song that help people from all cultures navigate difficulties and face fears . “Our people were very good at developing songs, a language, and a way of life that was very close to nature,” says Chief Eagle. “It was interrupted, so what we are doing ourselves is we are re-emerging that part of our culture in our schools and in our homes.”
Chief Eagle discusses the spirit that can be found in the world around us, including “Grandpa Rock,” a stone he uses to help students improve self-awareness and self-management exercises. “How does this rock teach us? It’s not moving, so we’re not going to move, we’re not going to make noise. I teach the students how to turn off all the channels in their brain and we go into spirit. Eventually, they can turn off their brain and their spirit gets most of the attention. Then we can start to see nature and other people as spirits and start treating them that way.”
Watch these intimate portraits and get a taste of each artists’ performance style on SDPB’s Facebook and YouTube.