Written By Megan Guthrie
“Goodbyes Made You Mine” is the second single released by Show Dog-Universal Music artist, JT Hodges. The song was inspired by JT’s relationship with his wife, Kasey.
“I was thinking back to when I first met my wife and how there was a little bit of holding back because she had experienced a rough relationship prior to meeting me. The song is about looking across at that special someone in your life and saying, ‘look, whoever broke your heart in the past, let that go and realize that I’m different’—it’s about realizing that all of those former goodbyes made you mine,” JT stated during a backstage interview at Country Thunder in Florence, AZ.
Lyrical Lifestyle met with the rising country singer and songwriter at the four day music fest, where 76,395 people watched as major artists took the stage including: Alan Jackson, Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, Jake Owen and JT Hodges.
Fans wondering who Mr. Hodges is off-stage should note that he treats everyone he meets with respect. This fact was exemplified during our interview as JT finished his hour long set, dashed off to sign autographs with his fans, before hurrying over to talk with Lyrical Lifestyle where the singer apologized profusely for being a mere one minute late to our interview. Thinking of others and valuing their time is the type of man JT is—proving that this native Texan has remained a “good ole boy” despite his recent success.
“I’ve tried to keep the traditional values that my parents raised me with. Growing up in Fort Worth, if someone were to ask me a question and my reply was, ‘yeah’ my mom and pops would immediately correct me by saying, ‘yes sir or yes ma’am.’ That’s simple Texas etiquette and I love that attitude,” JT recalled before adding how his parents have not only shaped his manners, but have attributed to his career success as well, “they are extremely supportive and feel very proud in seeing me doing what I love. They are my heroes and I will always pay tribute to them for any success that I have.”
Since childhood, JT was immersed in music. Hodges’ parents, Jim and Marsha, owned a recording studio and JT’s mother was once offered a record deal by MCA Nashville, but turned it down in order to be a full-time mom.
“Living in Texas, there was always country music, but I was also exposed to many other genres of music because I could go into my dad’s audio library and hear guys like John Mellencamp, Don Henley, the Eagles and the Gypsy Kings. I became a fan of great songs and I think those experiences have shaped the kind of sound that I’m currently making.”
That unique sound has been defined as “country-rock,” but for JT, is it all about the lyrics.
“I don’t necessarily worry about what I’m trying to sound like when I sit down to write a song. For me, it’s about singing something real that others can relate to. Country music is about the story and the lyrics and that’s what I love the most.”
While working his way up the “music city” ladder, JT found that it was his faith in God that kept him going through the hard times.
“The Man upstairs is always involved. Whenever I’ve hit a rough spot, I’ll say, ‘hey, throw me a little sign. Am I on the right track here?’ and He always guides the way.”
In 2011, Hodges entered a partnership with Show Dog-Universal Music—the merging of star, Toby Keith’s label, Show Dog with Universal South. The label was looking for their next act to sign, when President Mark Wright gave JT a chance.
“It was very old school—I went into Mark’s office and played a couple of songs on my acoustic guitar and he signed me that day,” JT enthused.
Since signing his contract, Hodges has collaborated with country acts such as Vince Gill for the song, “When I Stop Crying.” During the recording session, JT learned a valuable lesson from Mr. Gill.
“I learned to be confident in who I am. I’ll never forget the day he came into the studio—I was in awe of him and I was laying back and not really saying much when all of the sudden he stopped during the second pass of his guitar solo, looked at me and asked me what I thought. Here is a country music legend, asking me, a no-name artist, for advice. I told him what I thought and he agreed. If I never do anything else, at least I can say, ‘Vince Gill and I agreed on something musically,” JT laughed.
For music news and tour dates check out: http://jthodges.com
Click here to watch the premiere of JT’s official music video, “Goodbyes Made You Mine” airing today on CMT’s, “Big New Music Weekend!”