JT Hodges, singer, songwriter, actor, husband and dad ….. I’ve been a follower of him since the first time I heard “Hunt You Down” 5+ years ago, so when I found out I got to sit down and have a chat with him, I was beside myself! I wanted to find out …. What Makes JT Hodges Tick…..
I heard “Hunt You Down” when I was doing character research for a book I was writing. He had a sound and a song that was different, now mind you it wasn’t weird different, just different. Made you take notice. I took the bait and delved into JT. He quickly became one of my favorite artists. His interaction with the fans spoke about who he was as a person. His music spoke about who he was as an artist. The combination forms a bond that sparks a fire, a fire that is sure to grow. Being comfortable with who you are manifests itself into a confidence that is a driving force. You hear it in his voice, you see it in the twinkle in his eyes and it comes out in conversation and his music.
JT has always put music out that it is somewhat outside the box. It fits closest in the Country box, but it stretches the limits in a good way. It is fresh, it has ties to the past music in many genres, not just country, with the evolution of the genre over the past 10 years and the overall meaning behind “country music” being about the ability to tell a story is the reason it fits in country genre. “I didn’t set out with making country music in mind, but when all was said and done, that is where it seemed to fit best.”
Growing up in a musical family he followed his parents performing and getting a firsthand view of how thing really worked due to the recording studio his parents owned have gone a long way in the making of JT. “Pops taught us the how important it is to get it right.” His dad helped produce his first two works in high school. Taught him the ins and outs of the studio. Working with dad double edged sword …. so knowledgeable …. But at that age you don’t always see eye to eye with your parental units.
This is the first time JT has been able to “make music instinctively –vs- manufactured” and “was actually pretty cool. This is some of the best work I’ve put out, I produced, co-produced the whole thing.” The songs on the EP have great range from the softer side of JT with “Your Gonna Need A Guitar” to a more raucous side with “She’s Alive.” She’s Alive is basically a “real life testament to what is out in the crowd right now. I bet you come across more people than not that have from the likes of the Rolling Stones, Bob Segar, Bon Jovi to some old Waylon and Willie on their iPods. The digital world has changed music, broadened what most people listen to.”
When JT sits down to write or thinks about new music there are “No rules! Written everyway. Some start with no music – no words = just an idea like “Ray Bans”. That song came from a fun night he shared with his wife on a beach on vacation. She took his glasses off his head and put them on. When he went into a writing session he talked about it and how it “felt like a song”. Someone else jumped in and added to his thoughts…… and before you know it #Raybans was built, so to speak.
With that being said, he is continually working on new music. When we sat and chatted he had just written a new song, the band didn’t even know it yet. He was thinking about it’s potential to be a new single. That is exciting for us fans, we know there is always something new coming our way.
What an enduring heartfelt smile he had when talking about his family. His wife and daughters. His daughters like to dabble with music. “They are shy when daddy watches!” Delta Faye has a Ukulele – loves playing it and singing along. Charlee Joy got to sing with him, the song is available on his website. It goes without saying that his 3 girls are what he misses most when on the road. Especially when he is playing at the small town festivals that are “family affairs”. “You look out in the crowd and see all the families doing their thang, of course it makes me think of my family back home.” He enjoys the traveling that comes along with being a touring artist, he’s “Inspired to be in new places, if family could join I wouldn’t mind living like the gypsies.” He said that I enjoy seeing all the terrain” as he drives “I’m more drawn in by the environment around it, the mountains, the hills, and the weather.” To me this shows his reflective side and in my opinion, the better artists musically, the painters etc are the most reflective.
If you could tour with anyone right now who would it be? “Little Big Town” his sparkle lit up as he talked about the possibility “they are Country’s version of Fleetwood Mac, and they’re great people to be around. Yea I think that would be a fun tour.” I must say I concur! He is also “Always keeping options open in the movie business. It’s very fickle, more so than the music industry.” He doesn’t feel he will ever have to choose between the two, he feels that one tends to help him continue to grow with the other.
Since he’s played at the country music “must play’ venues such as the Opry and at the Ryman I wondered about if there was a “dream” place left to play? Of course it warmed my heart to hear, “It’s gotta be #RedRocks!!! Ya know, well yea you probably know about it and the draw to it. I’ve played at the Gorge in Washington, so yea I hope to play at red rocks.” He’s been to a show there, Dave Matthews, so he does indeed know the magical powers of the joint. I for one am looking forward to seeing him there.
I know we're looking forward to what he's got up his sleeve next! Hoping we'll get some more time to finish, expand our exploring him and share it with y'all.
Some of JT’s favorites
Singer/Songwriter - Dave Matthews ~
Color - Black
Book – instead of an actual book he named a character “Blink – fictional – Catcher in the Rye”
Movie – Too many great ones “Big Lobowski” again he went for character “Rudy” [side note, I think by him singling out characters shows why he connects with fans so well. It’s about people not ideas]
T.V. Show - Dexter
Stones or Beatles – “I’m one of those guys that love both for different reasons. I think the Beatles writing and Poetry is second to none. But the Rolling Stones, the way the preform, the way they evolve enough to stay relevant and continue to tour is aspiring”
- JT's Website - http://www.jthodges.com/
- See JT On Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/hellojthodges/
- Follow JT on Twitter - @HelloJTHodges -
- Give him a like on FB - https://www.facebook.com/jthodgesmusic/?fref=ts
- Grab some tunes - https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/jt-hodges/id441829829