Adam Hood’s Opelika accent might linger in a voice register, leaving some to label him country, but the lyrics and bluesy turn of the guitar or banjo show a broader Southern influence with a little Rolling Stones thrown in for flavor. The 37 year old is enjoying a surge of attention thanks to the award-winning band Little Big Town’s cover of Hood’s song, Front Porch Thing, on their album Tornado. Add in an association with award-winning artist Miranda Lambert and an almost cult-like Texas following, and one could argue Hood has turned a proverbial career corner.
“There are days I still feel so far away from the artist I shoot for,” says Hood. “I can’t remember how being a musician looked at 16. I thought we could all be Garth Brooks! My dreams are more real to me now…more in tune with who I am and what I want from life. I’m content with my life, but not satisfied.” Hood adds his boss, Frank Liddell of Carnival Music, says the people in the industry he admired most were the ones still around because “it’s what they do.”
“That speaks volumes to me,” says Hood.
Hood can’t remember the first time he touched a guitar growing up in Opelika. “We weren’t exactly a musical family. My mother worked at some sort of finance company, and there was a guitar shop in the same mall as her office. I would go pester the crap out of that guy after school,” says Hood. Finally, $35 dollars poorer, Hood owned his first guitar and took lessons.
“It took three months to learn three chords. The music I heard in church was the music that inspired me first. I still pull from certain melodies I heard in hymns. They sound…fundamental to me. Of course, radio was really good when I was a kid as well!” says Hood.
On trips home, Hood heads straight for the meat-and-three. “Since Tyler’s closed, I always try to go to town for lunch. Mom and I walk down to Whispering Oaks,” says Hood whose mother Angela owns The New Blossom Shop. “I love Opelika. The funniest person I know from there is Jody Fuller. Not only because he is a comedian (www.jodyfuller.com), he’s a funny one. Jody and I are close in age, and I love to hear his jokes about bagging groceries at the old Kroger,” says Hood.
Fuller is equally impressed with Hood. “I am incredibly excited for all of Adam’s success. I can assure you it is well deserved as I was routinely there from his humble beginnings at Breezeway to where he is now. I lived in Shreveport for a few years, and he would stay with me when he was making his many trips to Texas. He even stayed with me when I was stationed just south of Seattle when he was on a West Coast tour. The man is a road warrior, and I just couldn’t be more proud of his success. He even sent me a bunch of CDs when I was in Iraq to share with the troops,” says Fuller, a veteran.
When asked to describe his big break, Hood dismisses the notion, adding each step couldn’t stand without the one preceding it. “I enjoy most every aspect of what I do. Writing is the most satisfying. Playing guitar is the most entertaining to me. The show is most gratifying. The people are what keep it interesting, musician or not,” says Hood, adding traveling remains the worst part of the job. “It’s taken years to develop the anxiety I get every time I have to pack. Traveling has broken me in countless places. Honestly, I can’t stand it…until I get there!”
Hood currently makes his home in Northport, Ala., with wife Britni, whom he married this October. “Being passionate about my work can lead to being over-emotional about things. I don’t cry twice a day or anything, but this is my life’s work and my heart on paper, and I can get too protective of that. She (Britni) and my daughter (Ashlyn, 14), keep me on a level plane than when it was just me against the world. They give me a reason to get out there and work hard,” says Hood. EAL
For more information on Adam’s music and tour dates, visit www.adamhood.com. His latest studio album, The Shape of Things, is on sale now.
Jody Fuller is a native of Opelika. He is a comedian, speaker, writer and soldier with three tours in Iraq. He currently holds the rank of Majoy in the U.S. Army Reserves. He's a syndicated columnist and has been published seven times by Chicken Soup for the Soul.