Counting down the days to his self-titled debut, JT Hodges proclaimed August “Prize Month.” On his various social sites, he invited fans to vie for more than 160 prizes, ranging from personalized handwritten notes to autographed guitars, photos, hats, and Copperpeace guitar straps. Fifty lucky winners got their Twitter addresses included in the album’s liner notes.
Clearly, Hodges knows both sides of the music business. That’s no surprise: His parents met as band members. Their son grew up at their high-profile studio in Forth Worth, where he learned the ropes, from cleaning bathrooms to laying tracks. By the time he moved to Nashville, he was ready and eager to launch his career.
Signed in 2010 to Show Dog-Universal Music, Hodges’ rock-toughened style won notice from SDU President Mark Wright, who shares production on the young artist’s debut project, which marries crisp instrumental tracks and high-impact vocals. (One track was produced by Don Cook, Wright and Ross Copperman.)
JT Hodges hits full speed with the opener, “Rather Be Wrong Than Lonely,” penned by Hodges, Mark Collie and Cook. One of the nine songs co-written by the artist, it’s a nonstop four-beattour de force, with a call to “come on, come on, baby” whisking listeners into an irresistible chorus hook, sung in solid harmony. A similar exuberance permeates the single, “Hunt You Down” (Hodges, Collie and Rivers Rutherford), where a simple I-IV chord sequence gives Hodges space to animate the playful, seductive lyric. “We never talked about tomorrow,” he sings, although people will talk about this gifted newcomer for many tomorrows to come.
IN HIS OWN WORDS
SONG YOU SING IN THE SHOWER
“Depends on the mood. I do whistle ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ theme quite often — haha.”
SONG YOU WISHED YOU’D WRITTEN
“‘Unanswered Prayers’ by Garth Brooks.”
MOMENT YOU’D LOVE TO RELIVE
“The day I first kissed my wife.”
“The White Elephant Saloon in Fort Worth, Texas. Went great … sang a lot of Blackhawk covers.”
WHAT YOU HOPE PEOPLE AY ABOUT YOU 50 YEARS FROM NOW
“He played by his own rules and made music his own way. He was unique.”