20 June 2012

PAT HODGE- Sounds At Home

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Pat Hodge hails from Rochester, NY via Pennsylvania, and is one of those dudes that seem to appear out of nowhere, fully-formed. I'd never heard of the kid before he contacted me, but I was very pleasantly surprised and delighted by what I heard. I had to find out who he is. 

So Pat, give me your hype. 
What's your bio?
Pat Hodge is an American guitar player, singer-songwriter and producer from Rochester, New York. Drawing inspiration from the sounds and stories of rock and roll, blues, soul, gospel and folk musicians of generations past and present, his music is strangely familiar yet refreshingly unique. This sonic blend sets the tone for Hodge's lyrically focused debut release, entitled Home. The 5-track EP was released on May 23rd, 2012.

How about influences? 
How long you been playing guitar? 
Music run in your family? 
Have you always been solo or did you/do you play in bands as well?

Influences are all across the board from BB King, John Lee Hooker, Eric Clapton, Chuck Berry, Otis Spann, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Elmore James and Snooks Eaglin to James Taylor, Nick Drake, Bob Dylan, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Al Green, The Meters. My favorite guitar player is Peter Green from the REAL FLEETWOOD MAC. I'm also a huge fan of newer music with bands/artists like Wilco, My Morning Jacket, Band of Horses, Bon Iver, Norah Jones, Ray LaMontagne, Ryan Adams, Derek Trucks, etc. I love ALL kinds of music though -everything from delta blues to tradition and contemporary rock and roll, jazz, hip hop, bluegrass, grunge/garage rock, folk, classical and much more from the 1930's to now.
I'm fascinated by the progression of sound and it's seemingly infinite forms, and am excited about the state of the industry today. Great contemporary artists are selling out tours, live musical festivals are selling like crazy, and the independent musician can be heard. Of course major labels are driving over produced garbage that sells and will ALWAYS sell, but now more than ever, there is so much great, real, soulful music. The fact that artists like Gary Clark, Jr., The Black Keys, the Alabama Shakes, Ray LaMontagne are not only surviving, but thriving is really refreshing. REAL music will never die.

I have been playing guitar seriously for about 4 years now. I have not had much musical exposure in my family although with recently moving to Rochester, NY - I've gotten to connect and play a bit with my grandpa who lives in Cortland. He plays a lot of country/western stuff and is heavily influenced by players like Merle Travis and Chet Atkins who I have really come to appreciate.

I am just now starting to take the music thing a bit more seriously you could say, as it's been a pretty personal/private thing up til now. I recorded the EP entirely from my apartment, which has also been just as much of a learning process as playing and singing. I've been singing for about a year and a half now, which has been a difficult process. I have never had a lesson and just recently started learning covers to fill out the time of a live set. I think that for you to truly develop a sound, it's important to learn the instrument on your own. That way your approach to the instrument and what sounds good to you is completely organic and your own. Sure you're sound is guided by your influences and what your ears have been trained to enjoy, but i'm a firm believer in making the sound your own.

I played informally on the drums in a rock and roll group in college which was loads of fun/terrifying. I'll never forget the first time we played live in a Pub, I was so nervous I forgot the opening drum beat. Our lead guitar players face as he turned around to look at me as if saying 'DUDE WHAT IS GOING ON?!" is a moment I will never forget. But it was all in great fun and great to get comfortable in a live setting, something important for all musicians. 

I'm moving to Chicago this August to experience a big city and play and hear music. I intend on playing solo stuff but also diving into a few side projects and perhaps playing guitar or drums in a Chicago style blues group. Needless to say, I'm excited and am enjoying all that life has to offer these days, musically or not.
I think the key to life is doing what you love, surrounded by people you love in a place that you love.

It's apparent in Pat's words that he's a thoughtful man and it shows in his playing, as do his many influences. His sound is nimble and deft, without being self-conscious and showy. Pat's a listener. He's got that connection to the sound as a whole that makes some musicians extra-special. Everything matters but nothing gets in the way of anything else. It's timeless and nicely balanced yet deliciously soulful and blue. He has the goods to get slanky.  Check out Don't Be A Fool For Her Lovin' on headphones (all his stuff sounds great on headphones). You won't be able to help but be drawn in to a random act of taught yet smooth post-Lamontagne/post-Keys grooving. He's just getting started but he's made some good choices. Starting with a 5 song set instead of a whole album. Who has time for that? Give me quality.  No filler. He's got a fresh sound that doesn't try to make any major points. It doesn't have to.  Pat Hodge's music is just that good.

You'll find more videos on YT, he's also on Spotify.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love your music, Pat!