Solo artist. Frontman. Behind-the-scenes songwriter. For more than a decade, Adam Hood has left his mark both onstage and in the writing room, carving out a southern sound that mixes equal parts country, soul and American roots music.
It's a sound that began shape in Opelika, Alabama. Raised by working-class parents, Hood started playing hometown shows as a 16 year-old, landing a weekly residency at a local restaurant. He'd perform there every Friday and Saturday night, filling his set list with songs by John Hiatt, Hank Williams Jr, and Vince Gill. As the years progressed, the gigs continued — not only in his home state, but across the entire country. Eventually even landing himself a three-year nationwide tour opening for Leon Russell.
These days, though, Hood is no longer just putting his own stamp on the songs of chart-topping country stars. Instead, many of those acts -- including Little Big Town, Miranda Lambert, Anderson East, Josh Abbott Band, Lee Ann Womack & Brent Cobb -- are playing his songs.
In 2016, Hood signed a publishing deal with Warner/Chappell Nashville and GRAMMY Award-winning producer Dave Cobb’s Low Country Sound. All while remaining adamantly focused on his own career, playing around 100 shows annually promoting third solo release, Welcome to the Big World, and now his newest release, Somewhere in Between.
A showcase for both his frontman abilities and songwriting chops, Somewhere in Between shines a light on Hood's strength as a live performer. He recorded most of the album live at Nashville's Sound Emporium Studios over two quick days. Teaming up with friend and producer Oran Thornton (Miranda Lambert's Revolution, Angaleena Presley's Wrangled) their goal was to create something that reflected the raw, real sound of his concerts, where overdubs and unlimited takes are never an option. The result is a record that reflects Hood's working-class roots, mixing the upbeat thrill of his roadhouse roots-rock songs with the contemplative, stripped-down sway of his country ballads.
Joining him in the studio were guitarist Pat McLaughlin, bassist Lex Price, and drummer Jerry Roe. All of whom captured their parts in just a handful of live takes while Hood simultaneously tracked his vocals. Stripped free of studio trickery and lushly layered arrangements, Somewhere in Between is an honest, story-driven record. One that’s both relatable and deeply autobiographical, with Hood writing or co-writing ten of the record’s eleven tracks, alongside friends like McLaughlin, Brent Cobb -- who also appears on the electrified "She Don't Love Me" -- Josh Abbott, Jason Eady, and plenty of others.
Somewhere in Between is an album that finally finds Hood telling his own story. A dedicated family man, he wrote "Locomotive" — a heartland anthem, full of Telecaster twang and sunny swagger — after watching his young daughter develop her motor skills while playing with a set of blocks. Balancing his life as a relentless road-warrior, Hood penned highway ballad "Downturn" about a life filled with wanderlust and long drives from gig to gig.
As a blue-collar songwriter, Hood shines a light on everyday experiences — from family and friends to the thrill of Friday nights. Partly because he’s stuck to his roots. The native Alabaman still lives in the Yellowhammer State and celebrates America's rural pockets with songs like "Keeping Me Here" and "Real Small Town," two songs filled with images of main streets, open landscapes, hard times, and good people.
"It's southern music," he says, grouping Somewhere in Between’s wide range of music under an appropriate banner. "That's what it represents: the soulful side of southern music, the country side of southern music, the genuineness of southern culture, and the way I grew up. One of the t-shirts I sell at every show simply says ‘Southern Songs,’ and It's a good summary of what I do. It's what I've always done."
Noah Smith grew up exploring the endless trails of woods and still waters of Brown County, Ohio. At a very young age Noah knew music would be his life’s path. Cereal bowls turned into drum sets, endless hours of garageband practices, and an insatiable ambition that lyrics and melodies could transcend it all would be early indicators of his life filled with music. As a songwriter and a performer Noah was influenced by a wide array of musical influence such as Paul Simon, Johnny Cash, Alan Jackson, to bands like Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, and Death Cab for Cutie. Humbled by the impact these greats left on his life he often reflects on a modified version of his favorite Sir Isaac Newton quote, referring to himself as a boy who has “walked on the shoulders of giants.”
As his story continues Noah Smith has now had opportunity to share the stage with some of the industry’s most talented Artist such as Josh Turner, Cassade Pope, Steve Miller Band, David Alan Coe, Aaron Tippin, Reckless Kelly, Crystal Bowersox, Levi lowery and Andrew Combs. Noah has continued to grow and flourish as an artist. Lyrically Noah creates a simple home for his listeners to briefly escape to. Musically his energy and presence on stage impacts rooms large and small. Touring regionally with several bands over the years, Noah has found himself a home away from home in music city. Lately Noah finds himself writing on a weekly basis out of Nashville, TN. His music is a capsule of childhood faith, ambition, a little bit of love, God's good word, and the uphill climb to living an American boys dream.
“No matter what the sounds, I was putting on my homemade mix tapes, there was always a story involved. Lyrics mattered most to me, if Ohio is the melting pot of the country? My mixtapes were cassettes patchworked together with the same sonic landscape. I can only hope my songwriting does the same.”
Noah is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with a degree in Electronic Media, Music Production and Audio & Video Design. It was during college while building life experiences, Noah’s songwriting began to flourish. Heart Ache, God's Blessing, and the devils conviction all found their way into his life and the lyrics he penned. After deciding to go out on his own and start his solo career, Noah received numerous accolades including Nominations for Best Live Act, Best Country Artist and Artist of the year 2016 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards. Noah has several releases on various Media Outlets and is currently touring 10 states throughout the midwest.
With God given talent and natural musical inclination, Noah’s old soul, deep thinking, and love for lyrics led him to an aggressive path of writing songs, everyday simple prose and melody immediately found their way into storytelling at its best, songwriting.