Adam Hood Talks Upcoming Album, ‘Bad Days Better’: ‘Almost Everything Has Changed’
When an artist steps out from behind the songwriting curtain, stamping their name on the front of the album cover rather than residing in the proverbial liner notes, the world stops and stares. Adam Hood took that leap in 2002 and went on to carve his own path in country music for nearly two decades.
Raised in Opelika, Alabama by a forester and shop owner, Hood’s upbringing didn’t involve much music, but judging by the seemingly synonymous status between his name and a chart-topping country hit, it seems he was born to do so. While his early career saw Hood pay homage to his hometown greats, many artists he hired are now playing his songs.
Over the years, he’s lent his songwriting prowess to names like Little Big Town, Travis Tritt, Whiskey Myers, Anderson East and Frankie Ballard, marking him as a fixture in Southeastern writers’ rooms. . His self-productions have marked him as an essential country artist in his own right.
Hood continues the balancing act with his next outing Bad days are better. With help from members of Blackberry Smoke and producer Brent Cobb, Hood calls his 10 new songs “southern music” – full of soul and Hood’s powerful testament to self-improvement.
The album’s final single, “Harder Stuff,” speaks to Hood’s sobriety in a deeply vulnerable way – a belief he has pursued for three years now. The poignant song is lifted by the stunning harmonies of ACM Artist of the Year Miranda Lambert.
Raised for the first time by his friend and frequent co-author David Nix, Hood was reluctant to talk about his personal journey.
“It’s kind of my own little fight and nothing that I really wanted to wear as a badge,” Hood said. “But when a chorus like that falls into your lap, you realize the song is going to have to write itself.”
These days, alcohol don’t write my songs
It’s not good for a family man
To build a house on quicksand
Don’t think I gave up
I just take the hardest things
Having struck up a relationship with Lambert, fueled by a chance car breakdown outside of a radio show he was invited to, the decision to add him to the mix on “Harder Stuff” was a no-brainer.
“I’ve known Miranda for almost 15 years,” he said. “She’s really one of the reasons I have a job in Nashville as a songwriter. I owe her a lot. She kind of discovered me.
Released earlier this year, the album’s first single takes another hard look in the mirror, this time exploring Hood’s relationship with his faith. “Business with Jesus” was written with fellow Hood friend 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 had the idea and pitched it to Pat. That was all there was to it. Pat is one of those guys, if I can just take four lines from him, then we let’s go shopping.
Both songs, along with the rest of the upcoming album, were recorded in Macon, Georgia at famed Capricorn Studios. Baptized by Al Green, Percy Sledge and Otis Redding, Hood feels their spirit has empowered his sessions.
“We are spoiled in the southeast. It’s rich in musical history and a hub for a lot of the music I was raised in,” Hood said. “When I was younger, I really looked to artists like Otis Redding and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
“There’s something special about recording in places like Capricorn,” he continued. “I feel like sonically you can hear a difference. It changes the mojo. As if you were walking on holy ground. It allows you to up your game a bit.”
Hood’s latest album, somewhere in between, plays true to the title, walking the ever-tighter line between small-town dreams and full-fledged country stardom. He winds his way through the everyday – relationship feuds, hurt pride, and lost love – to his new reality in the spotlight, taking the heavy beating the industry inflicts on him.
The reflective album began to lay bare Hood’s inner dialogue for the rest of the world to join in the conversation. Having lived a lifetime since its 2018 release (along with the rest of the world), Hood says his upcoming fifth album dives even deeper.
“Almost everything has changed,” Hood explained. “This album is really introspective. There’s a lot of introspection and witty stuff in there. My approach to everything is different. I play so many more shows by myself now. I don’t drink anymore so I can remember the last time I played. My family life has changed. My life as an artist has changed. I would say for the best.
Picture by Justin Cook/117 Entertainment