Written by Kim Burdi of TCU Daily Skiff
Country music artist and TCU alumnus JT Hodges was one of eight semifinalists nominated for the Academy of Country Music’s New Artist of the Year. The Fort Worth native returned home to share his recent recognition and pick the guitar with TCU football head coach Gary Patterson.
Hodges is a fairly new artist on the country scene. For the New Artist of the Year, he will be up against Brantley Gilbert, Hunter Hayes, Scotty McCreery, Justin Moore, David Nail, Jerrod Niemann and Thompson Square.
He had one single released last year that broke into the Billboard Top 40 called “Hunt You Down.”
Patterson and Hodges met at a mutual friend’s house a couple of years ago where they played and sang together for the first time.
After deciding to return to Fort Worth, Hodges’ manager contacted Patterson, who invited Hodges to stop by his office to take a tour of the football stadium and facilities, making sure to leave time for a little jam session in his office before practice.
Hodges broke out his guitar and sang his new song “Goodbyes Made You Mine.” Then, it was Patterson’s turn, and he chose to sing “Your Mama Don’t Dance,” which has been recorded by several artists such as Kenny Loggins, Poison and The Delltones.
“It depends where my voice is and where I can sing,” Patterson said. “I think the biggest thing is I like old rock and roll. I like any kind of country that has good words to it.”
Patterson said he began playing guitar around the sixth and seventh grades when he was in a little band with a couple of friends.
He said playing guitar was his favorite thing to do besides football, but he didn’t get a chance to play very much during the season.
“By no means am I very good at it,” Patterson said. “I always tell people playing a musical instrument when you’re by yourself is like when you’re doing your own cooking. You only have to cook well enough that you eat it. So most of the time all I gotta do is play well enough so I can sing it, and it makes me feel good.”
Hodges disagreed. He said Patterson was a good guitar player and knew what he was doing.
“He can come up and jam with me anytime,” Hodges said. “He’s got a feel for the guitar, and I was very impressed.”
Hodges received the key to the city from Mayor Betsy Price and visited his old high school, The Oakridge School in Arlington. For a taste of home, he ate at Angelo’s BBQ and enjoyed some time in the Stockyards. He also performed on CBS 11 and at 8.0 Bar in Sundance Square.
“It’s been a really cool day for me; it’s a great memory and honor,” Hodges said. “I’m just proud to share this with my hometown.”
He said he grew up in a musical family. His mother was a country singer while both of his parents started the first multi-track recording studio in Fort Worth called Buffalo Sound Studios.
“I’ve got so many memories of Fort Worth,” Hodges said. “It’s nice to be home.”
He said it was unbelievable to come back and see how much TCU changed since he graduated in 2001.
“I would love to come to school here, now, just to see how much different it is,” Hodges said. “The athletic conference, the new stadium, the campus and how it’s grown — I think it’s fantastic.”