After a nine-year gap — during which he co-wrote for Brent Cobb, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Anderson East, Frankie Ballard and others — Adam Hood is ready to get his artist career back on track.
Somewhere In Between comes out Oct. 12 and brings the Alabama native and resident back to making music under his own name. “It just happened organically,” Hood tells Billboard. “I can’t say I write so much (for others) that I don’t have time to make my own record, but I had a couple of good cuts (Cobb’s ‘King of Alabama,’ East’s ‘Surrender’) and I really wanted to give the writing some more attention. Then children kind of happened — we had our third about two months ago — and the timing just wasn’t right. It’s not the best business model for an artist career, but No. 1, it’s kind of always the way I’ve done it before, for better or worse, and No. 2, I feel like you can really tell the difference when it happens on its own. The time in between gave me time to grow.”
“Easy Way,” which premieres below, was inspired by Hood’s wife and child. “I went in and what I thought was going to be the chorus actually turned out to be the first verse. So, I went in, this time with ‘I don’t wanna add anything to what’s already been a long hard day,’ and it just kind of came from, you know, my wife. We have a 20-year-old, then I have a 2-year-old, and then I have a new baby. So, this was when the 2-year-old was just born, and she was kind of going through mom-life. She’s great at it, I mean, it doesn’t stress her out, but it’s nice to have a glass of wine every once in a while and have a little bit of a night off.”
Producer Oran Thornton started to push Hood to return to his solo career about three years ago. “We just couldn’t schedule things together before,” Hood says, “but this time we just had a conversation in passing, over drinks. He said, ‘Hey man, can I produce your next record?’ As soon as he brought it up in conversation I said, ‘OK, this is great.'”
Hood and Thornton recorded Somewhere In Between at Nashville’s Sound Emporium with an eye towards Hood’s live show. “When I tour I’m never really more than a four-piece, and honestly a three-piece most of the time,” he says. “I wanted to make a record I can take and reproduce on stage so people who have heard it don’t feel something’s missing.” Several of the songs, meanwhile, have been squirreled away, waiting for their moment — including the Brent Cobb duet “She Don’t Love Me.”
“That was a song Brent and Josh Abbott and I wrote for one of Josh’s albums,” Hood recalls. “Neither Brent nor I were doing as well as Josh at the time, so we went to Texas and spent a week with Josh and wrote three or four tunes. (‘She Don’t Love Me’) was sitting in the catalog and I always loved it, so I grabbed it for this (album).”
The songs are continuing to flow for Hood, who has a publishing deal with producer Dave Cobb’s Low Country Sound. He has more tracks slated for others’ albums, but he promises we’ll be hearing more from him as an artist as well. “Both of them work supplementally off the other,” Hood says. “I couldn’t just be a writer or just be an artist. I need both of them in my life — for financial reasons but also for creative balance. They work together really well, and between the two I can feel really fulfilled.”