“I am looking forward to getting my new music and the story behind it to my fans; I’m very proud of what’s being created. It’s true to me, and I think any artist would say he or she has no regrets and can hold their head high if that’s the case.”
JT Hodges has spent the last year embracing his new-found growth in making music. Becoming who he is instinctively as an artist remains the cornerstone of his new album as it did the first. After several months in the studio, he is most proud of never losing the honesty of himself or the music and where it has taken him. He had a vision to make it unique with a sound that was different. This defines where he is as an artist. The new music shows different parts of Hodges’ personality and his unique ability to be a storyteller through his lyrics.
“I have respected country music all of my life and no matter where country music goes stylistically it will always be a lyric based format. It’s the kind of music where people want to hear a story and feel something real and honest. I think this new music has challenged me and set a new vibe within the sound of what my fans will hear when they listen. I personally feel it is my best music yet.”
The sophomore album will undoubtedly be his best music to date, offering a more reflective take on the music and a different twist in the lyrics. It includes a diversity that suggests JT Hodges is creating a whole new kind of Country Pop Rock music.
Hodges newest track “Lay It Down” is just as uninhibited and mysterious as it sounds. Written by Liz Rose, Busbee and Eric Paslay, the song includes ambiguous lyrics with a sexy, rocking beat and an intriguing melody. Hodges shares that “‘Lay It Down’ is music that makes you wanna move, get your head noddin’ and put you in a mood.” Hodges is currently writing the script for his new music video with Mason Dixon who directed the “Goodbyes Made You Mine” video. He will star in a series of webisodes that will lead up to the national release of the music video and be supported by a national marketing campaign.
Growing up in a musical family in Ft. Worth, Texas and spending most of his free time at his dad’s studio, Jim Hodges Buffalo Sound, gave JT a unique foundation for music appreciation. Affectionately known as Pops, his dad studied concert piano at Julliard and jazz composition at the University of Texas. His mother Marsha, who Hodges says to this day can still out-sing him by a mile, decided to pass on a country record deal with MCA in order to pursue motherhood. The studio was the family’s second home and at age seven Hodges was singing and writing his own lyrics. When asked what the first song he ever wrote was, JT laughed and replied, “It was called “Lover Girl” and I was in 1st grade. Hey, I still think it’s a hit.”
JT witnessed numerous artists and producers including heavyweights like T-Bone Burnett, Michael Bolton and Delbert McClinton, all who left a lasting impression on him. His grandmother loved Conway Twitty; his mother loved the early rock of Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Buddy Holly while Pops often praised artists like George Strait, Reba McEntire and Garth Brooks. All of this has contributed to Hodges now being the sultry country music artist with a little bit of attitude and a Texas size personality.
In addition to the timeless classics he was exposed to at home, his musical influences also include Don Henley, Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp, and Tom Petty. He considers these artists timeless, honest treasures. And it’s this honesty that he carries in his own music.
“I started writing songs at an early age and was around such great music that it is naturally a part of me. Of course, I was interested in other things like sports as a kid, but music was always there.”
After spending a few years in Los Angeles, where he met wife Kasey, Hodges moved to Nashville in 2010. He quickly caught the eye of some of the industry’s most influential producers and managers. He signed with Show Dog-Universal Music in 2011 and released his debut single “Hunt You Down” from his album JT Hodges which charted on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs. The follow up single “Goodbyes Made You Mine” raced up the charts and the music video quickly racked up over 1 million views; the song continues to be a fan favorite. Another single off the album “Sleepy Little Town” spent two weeks at #1 on Sirius/XM’s The Highway. That same year Hodges was nominated as a semi-finalist for the 47th Annual Academy of Country Music (ACM) New Artist of the Year.
The Texas newcomer’s original and raucous sound combined with his soulful lyrics make him an undeniable country-rock classic. Hodges has produced himself and worked with a variety of other producers including Busbee, Nathan Chapman, Don Cook, Ross Copperman and Show Dog- Universal Music President Mark Wright --- who has worked on both Hodges’ freshman and current sophomore effort. He has collaborated with numerous award winning songwriters such as Rivers Rutherford, Chris Stapleton, Shane McAnally, Eric Paslay, Nathan Chapman, Ross Copperman, Don Cook and Mark Wright. He has toured with the likes of Eric Church, Eli Young Band, Toby Keith and Miranda Lambert among others. He has also performed multiple times on the legendary stage of the Grand Ole Opry.
“It’s all about not taking music and that which inspires you for granted. A well-written song that can really reach and move you is what I feed off of.”
In December of 2013 he took his theatre and acting talents to network television when he starred in Finding Christmas, a Hallmark Films release on the Hallmark Channel during the network’s popular holiday programming schedule. The movie became the #1 rated movie of the week and cemented a rave review for Hodges from the New York Times. He also performed a heartwarming rendition of the holiday classic “Joy to the World,” which was released digitally the same month.
It goes without saying that JT Hodges is acting every bit of himself, making the music that he loves and giving back to the fans what he gets from them…an honest reaction. Under the bright lights of the stage, one has no problem recognizing the singer’s passion and heartfelt thankfulness for his audience. His newest music, although a bit mysterious like his personality, continues to set JT Hodges apart from other artists and offers a new style with very little restrictions.
“The journey continues to be amazing and that’s what it’s all about. Making music, the kind that is true to me, is all that I want to do.”