Growing up in Opelika, Hood said he was always influenced by country music, but he had a slow start getting into the music business.
After working 10 years surveying land and delivering flowers for his mother’s business, Hood got his big break in 2001 when music producer Pete Anderson watched him play a club in Little Rock, Ark.
Hood then appeared on Ray Wylie Hubbard’s radio show in Gruene, Texas, and was heard by country singer Miranda Lambert. Lambert loved his music, insisted on meeting
him and helped Hood advance his career by introducing him to some country music heavyweights.
Hood has since released two albums and two EPs, and also signed with Carnival Music Publishing with Lambert’s help.
“She’s the biggest cheerleader I got,” Hood said.
Hood said country music has always been a part of his life.
“The South is kind of the start of it all,” Hood said. “Southern music is American music.”
Hood said one of his favorite places to perform is here, close to his roots.
“I like being back home because it’s low maintenance,” Hood said. “I can bring whoever I want to play with and it feels like more of a gig than a show.”
The locals are supportive when Hood comes back to play.
“He’s like a country James Taylor,” said Daren Rasey, 1991 Auburn alumnus. “He’s folksy and fun.”
Another fan had the same feelings about the local country singer.
“His songwriting is really heartfelt,” said Auburn local Bryan Alldredge.
Hood’s most memorable show was one of his first out-of-town paid shows in Aiken, S.C.
Hood and his band arrived at a cinder block building located in a trailer park and instantly questioned the legitimacy of the venue. Their suspicions were confirmed when, before they even went on stage, the bouncer was knocked out by a convict.
Looking back, Hood has advice for those looking to get into the industry.
“Don’t expect too much too fast,” Hood said. “Work on your craft. If you’re a guitar player, focus on that. Don’t be afraid to play original material. And finally, don’t worry how much it pays.”