Hager, who hails originally from Buffalo, received good airplay, indy chart action (primarily in Europe) and super response on Ol' Grey Goose, Honey (I Tell You), Nightshift & others when released in '95. Slippin Away charted top ten on one American indy chart in '96.
Reviews & Comments:
"it sounds like a Buddy Holly who made a change to old fashioned honky tonk - it brings back memories" - Andre Vanoppen - Maasvallei Radio - Belgium
"Orange White & Blue is a great album -it gets a lot of airplay in our country sessions" Radio Enghien FM 98 -France
"We like Ol Grey Goose a lot" Anne Lise & Knude B.Nielsen - Amager Denmark
John Hager has a good sensitive voice - the album Orange White & Blue is great - no favorite cut - all cuts are great" I. Flindt-Madsen - Denmark
"John Hager created his own style recognizable in voice & instrumentation....also a compliment to John Hager as a producer" - Roel Stabler Radio Eemsmond - The Netherlands
"this is great! John has an unusual voice that grows on you" BBC Radio Shetland "Make Mine Country" - Scotland
"Ol Grey Goose - this is the best of the bunch in my opinion - i do like the hook it has " - London Radio Network
"John has obviously been influenced by a wide range of musical styles - the album contains the excellent Fastball Blues which is certainly a standout feature both vocal & instumental versions for a dancin and listening audience - Great." Tom Robinson - Yorkshire England
"John Hager is one of the most important singer/songwriters in the field of Indy Country Gospel. This CD contains 14 self penned songs + 1 instrumental. These songs aren't Gospel but modern country with modern backing. His voice is smooth and pleasant. I like this CD very much.." -Jukka Joutsi - Finland
Orange White & Blue by Armando Canales The Critical Review
This album opens with "Ol Grey Goose" a nicely laid back country song. Hager's vocals are smooth and textured. A really neat tune.
Next he does "Queen of Hearts" a solid effort. "Hey" is a super song with Hager's very unique voice and nice instrumentation. There's lots
of musical support and good playing. Production is not overdone. On "You're my Girl" we're reated to a lush relaxed voice and music.
The picking of guitar is really nice. Hager comes across vocally as confident, professional, unrushed and unforced. I rarely hear country
stars sound this good. Plus the song has some pretty good lyrics.....
.....We are treated to the cut "Honey (I Tell You)" which has Hager sounding a tiny bit like Elvis the king. I liked the musical and vocal arrangement.
One of the better songs. "Blue River of Tears" is a sad selection, what sounds like violins making it feel lonely. The steel guitar is great and
the vocals (front and back) come across very well. A very strong creation.
On "Nightshift" Hager gives us one of the best songs on the CD. The music is more exotic, bits of blues and maybe a tropical influence make
this a really creative number. Even his voice changes and the echo effect complimnets this musical item. A very listenable selection.
On "Blue Avenue" which is the 11th track the singing and music is great, a lush sophisticated cut that displays a rich nuanced lyric line
and voice. His delivery at times has a slightly Dylanesque edge. "Ellie" is a different song, a more traditional aura is evident.
Nice banjo(?) work and guitars make it a winner.
He next does "Wishin Waitin Hopin" another musically creative number. Hager's voice has a great feel to it and I can't believe that he
is not a big star. His voice is smooth, smart and has a unique edge to it. He sounds like a natural and makes singing sound so easy.
The CD closes with a bluesy tune called "Fastball Blues" and here the music and vocals tune into the blues sense. Actually Hager does
a vocal version of the song as track 14 and an instrumental one as the final and 15th selection. Not too many albums give you 15 songs
much less 15 good ones .. with a few being great numbers. This fresh, easy country styled CD is a very solid performance for John Hager.
I recommend this album to country and a/c fans. This is a diamond not too much in the rough. Hager is great, hopefully the public will
appreciate his easy smoother and thoughtful country sound. Check it out!