If JT Hodges isn’t on your radar, he will be soon.
This up-and-coming country singer signed on with Show-Dog Universal Music, and in just a few short months, he’s already making a name for himself in country music. He spent last summer touring with Toby Keith and Eric Church, he’s played the Grand Ole Opry, and he’s still going full steam ahead.
His debut single, “Hunt You Down,” was released in June 2011 – a toe-tapping, upbeat song with a melody you’ll be singing for days. Hodges co-wrote the track, as he did the majority of his upcoming album.
Sorry, ladies – this Nashville native has been happily married since 2009, but don’t let that stop you from swooning over the handsome singer. His movie-star good looks aren’t the only reason for his rising popularity, though. Hodges is known for danceable, high-energy songs delivered with smooth, easy charm.
If Hodges seems at home in the recording studio, it’s because he grew up there. He was born in Fort Worth, Texas, where his parents established the city’s first multi-track studio, Buffalo Sound Studios. Unfortunately, he had to do his fair share of the work. “On weekends when there were sessions, Pops would make us vacuum up and clean the bathrooms,” he laughs.
But there was playtime too – “Once we were done, me and my brother would be so excited to go into my dad’s audio library and listen to record after record. That was the environment that I grew up in, from crawling around under the console at 8 months old to the day my dad finally had to sell the studio.”
Hodges was surrounded by music as a kid, and it’s no surprise as he has an impressive musical pedigree. His father studied concert piano at Juilliard, and his mother, a singer, had a record deal with MCA Nashville. They met in a country cover band, and they passed on their love of country to their son.
“Country is the first thing I ever remember hearing,” Hodges says. “I’ve definitely come back to my roots. For me, it started with country and that’s where it ends, too.”
But for Hodges, it’s only the beginning. He was nominated one of the top eight New Artists of the Year by the Academy of Country Music, so it’s clear Hodges is here to stay.
In addition to his first well-received single, he’s just released a second, “Goodbyes Made You Mine,” and his album is finished and coming out soon. “Hunt You Down” charted in the top 40 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs, and the guitar-heavy “Goodbyes Made You Mine” is already gaining ground.
“I feel this record is a great introduction to what I’ve worked up to. It’s a great introduction to who I am, and it’s left of center country music,” he remarks about his album. “It’s contemporary, but it definitely pays tribute to what the history of country music has always been about, and that is a song and a story.”
And there will be plenty more songs and stories from this young artist – he’s just getting started.
Hodges will be performing at the 3rd Annual CountryMusicIsLove Concert Benefiting City of Hope, alongside Chris Cavanaugh, Chuck Wicks, Love and Theft and Casey James, on February 21 at the Exit/In in Nashville, TN. Click HERE to purchase tickets.
-Kathryn Paulson, CMIL Intern
Hodges recorded a special version of his brand new single “Goodbyes Made You Mine” for your ACM Consideration – enjoy!