When I was sent the artist, Adam Hood, to consider, I listened to one of his songs “22 Days Too Long.” I wondered, “How in the world has he not crossed my radar until now?”
Hood has labeled his music as “southern soul” and has collaborated with artists like Brent Cobb, Josh Abbott, Jason Eady, and Miranda Lambert (to name a few). He is known to the music world as a songwriter’s songwriter as he effortlessly tells stories of everyday life in a meaningful way.
Adam Hood is from Opelika, Alabama, and did not come from a musical family, but he did a have music teacher at high school who taught him to play guitar. He took to it naturally and his parents supported his efforts and even got his first-ever gig in their hometown while he was still in high school.
His musical influences included Bob Seger, Travis Tritt, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Steve Earle, then later he discovered one of the most revered songwriters of all time, John Hiatt.
He was good enough to play cover songs at various outlets in his hometown, but it wasn’t long before he realized, “Okay, I can keep learning other people's stuff or I can just find ways to say what I want to say and borrow from other people's stuff."
And while stylistically he learned from those he admired, he wrote songs about real life and real situations. They may have been about him or somebody else, but the stories were still somebody's life.
When he first started in the early 2000s, Hood wrote alone and you can hear his solo efforts in one of his earliest EPs, 6th Street. Co-writing wasn’t a thing for him until he moved to Nashville and put out his The Shape of Things album in 2011.
In 2016, Hood signed a publishing deal with Warner/Chappell Nashville and GRAMMY Award-winning producer Dave Cobb’s Low Country Sound. All while remaining adamantly focused on his career, playing around 100 shows annually promoting his third solo release, Welcome to the Big World, and then in 2022, Somewhere in Between.
In 2023 he got the idea to re-record one of his earliest and acclaimed albums, Different Groove. So much has changed in the 16+ years since the original recording and he didn’t even have a vinyl copy for himself.
Hood was excited to work with Gordy Quist at his The Finishing School recording studio in Austin, Texas.
And while these songs come from a younger version of Hood, he still feels the same way about the songs. Like all well-written songs, the title track, “Different Groove” is just as relevant today as it was years ago. The production of the song is outstanding, as is Hood’s southern, bluesy voice. And may I give a shoutout to Trevor Nealon for his magnificent organ playing? Anytime a song starts with a wailing Hammond B2 organ sound, you know I’m going to listen to the whole thing.
But even with all of that, I am just as happy to hear his soul-stirring lyrics with just an acoustic guitar. He is just that good. He delivers the words he writes with verve, passion, and a
smooth, confident voice that only comes from an artist who truly believes in each word he is singing. His acoustic version of a tune about a tiny town in Louisiana, “Varnado” is further proof of his genius.
However, the song that defines his style and sensibility most accurately is his favorite, “Downturn.” Lyrically, it’s the finest country music you can find. The song is not overproduced. And Hood’s delivery of it is exactly what the song requires.
Early on, Hood traveled with Leon Russell. These days, however, Hood is no longer just putting his own stamp on the songs of chart-topping country stars. Instead, many of those acts -- including Little Big Town, Miranda Lambert, Anderson East, Josh Abbott Band, Lee Ann Womack & Brent Cobb -- are playing his songs.
Adam Hood will always be found where there’s a stage, sharing his version of country music. The essence, the emotion, the spirit, and the institution of Southern music reside in Hood’s soul. He will continue to write, perform, and share that mastery with his audience for years to come.
“Music should get under your skin and make you think and make you feel,” he exclaimed. “Some people get what I’m saying, some don’t. But I want to say what I feel and hope others feel the same.”
After listening to the album Stoned Cold Country on repeat, I have concluded that Adam Hood is to country music what Mick Jagger is to rock and roll. He profoundly tells the simple stories of ordinary people in a way that makes them appear extraordinary to the listener. Not since Heidi Newfield’s Barfly Sessions have I been so excited about a body of work as Hood’s reimagined Different Groove. Make sure to check it out.
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Different Groove Track List
- 22 Days Too Long (Adam Hood, Pete Anderson)
- Shelly (Adam Hood)
- Never Comes Easy (Adam Hood, Pete Anderson)
- Cars, Trucks and Me (Adam Hood)
- Buzzes Like Neon (Adam Hood, Stephen Moss)
- Fool of an Honest Man (Adam Hood, Pete Anderson)
- Different Groove (Adam Hood)
- Late Night Diner (Adam Hood, Pete Anderson)
- Varnado (Adam Hood, Justin Johnson)
- Whole Town Talking (Adam Hood, Pete Anderson)