When an artist comes out from behind the songwriting curtain, stamping his name on the front of the album cover rather than residing in the proverbial liner notes, the world stops and stars. Adam Hood took that leap in 2002 and has continued paving his own path in country music for nearly two decades.
Raised in Opelika, Alabama by a forester and a shop owner, Hood’s rearing didn’t much involve music, but judging by the seemingly synonymous status between his name and a chart-topping country hit, it seems he was born to do it. While the beginning of his career saw Hood playing tributes to the greats in his hometown, many of the artists he praised are now playing his songs.
Over the years, he has lent his songwriting prowess to names like Little Big Town, Travis Tritt, Whiskey Myers, Anderson East and Frankie Ballard, marking him as a staple in writer’s rooms across the Southeast. His self-releases have marked him as a mainstay country artist in his own right.
Hood is continuing the balancing act with his forthcoming release Bad Days Better. With the help of members of Blackberry Smoke and producer Brent Cobb, Hood calls his newest 10 songs through and through “southern music” – chock full of soul and Hood’s powerful testament to getting better.
The latest single from the album, “Harder Stuff,” speaks to Hood’s sobriety in a deeply vulnerable way – a conviction he has continued for three years now. The poignant song is lifted up by ACM Entertainer of the Year Miranda Lambert’s stunning harmonies.
First brought up by his friend and frequent co-writer David Nix, Hood was hesitant to open up about his personal journey.
“It’s kind of my own little struggle and nothing I really wanted to wear around like a badge,” Hood said. “But when a chorus like that falls in your lap, you realize the song is going to have to write itself.”
These days liquor don’t write my songs
It ain’t right for a family man
To build a house on shifting sand
Don’t think that I’ve given up
I’m just taking on the harder stuff
Having garnered a relationship with Lambert, fueled by a fortuitous car breakdown outside a radio show he was guesting on, the decision to add her to the mix on “Harder Stuff” was a no-brainer.
“I’ve known Miranda for close to 15 years,” he said. “She’s really one of the reasons that I have a job in Nashville as a songwriter. I owe her a lot. She sort of discovered me.”
Released earlier this year, the first single from the album takes another hard look in the mirror, this time exploring Hood’s relationship with his faith. “Business with Jesus” was written with another of Hood’s friends, Pat McLaughlin.
“I think I had been running around listening to gospel songs, it was kind of a day where you get divine inspiration—You try to be a vessel,” Hood added. “I came up with the idea and took it to Pat. That was all there was to it. Pat is one of those guys, if I can take him just four lines then we’re off to the races.”
Both songs, as well as the rest of the forthcoming album, were recorded in Macon, Georgia at the famed Capricorn studios. Christened by the likes of Al Green, Percy Sledge, and Otis Redding, Hood feels their spirit empowered his sessions.
“We’re spoiled in the southeast. It’s rich in musical history and a hub for a lot of the music I was brought up on,” Hood said. “When I was younger, I really gravitated toward artists like Otis Redding and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
“There is something special about recording in places like Capricorn,” he continued. “I feel sonically you can hear a difference. It changes the mojo. Like you’re walking on holy ground. It makes you step up your game a little bit.”
Hood’s last full-length release, Somewhere In Between, plays true to the title, walking the ever-narrowing line between small-town dreams and full-fledged country stardom. He meansders through the everyday—relationship spats, hurt pride, and lost love—right along to his newfound reality in the spotlight, taking the heavy blows the industry deals on the way up.
The reflective album began to bare Hood’s inner dialogue for the rest of the world to join in on the conversation. Having lived a whole lotta life since its release in 2018 (along with the rest of the world) Hood says his forthcoming fifth album dives even deeper.
“Almost everything has changed,” Hood shared. “This album is really introspective. There’s a lot of soul searching and spiritual stuff on there. My approach to everything is different. I play so many more shows by myself now. I don’t drink anymore so I can actually remember the last time I played. My family life has changed. My life as an artist has changed. I’d say for the better.”
Photo By Justin Cook/117 Entertainment