#Fulla5 Adam Hood

Tuscaloosa 2015

Tuscaloosa 2015

I’ve known Adam for close to 30 years, and I’m proud to call him a close, personal friend. I was a senior at Opelika High School when he was a freshman. We  have had a lot of good times together. He even came to stay with me in Washington State while I was stationed there and he was on a west coast tour back in 2005. After that, he often crashed with us when I lived in Shreveport and he was making frequent trips to Texas. I think I last saw him in Tuscaloosa last year. He came to my show with the GIs of Comedy and then we went to eat BBQ the next day.

With a John Denver grin and mind full of Alabama attitude, Adam Hood knows the beautiful mess of blue-collar love and everyone on Music Row wants in. Tracks from his critically acclaimed 2011 album The Shape of Things have been cut by Little Big Town, David Nail, Josh Abbott Band, Brian Keane and John Corbett. The legendary Willie Nelson and Leon Russell have each picked Hood for respective national tours. 

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For more on Adam, please visit his website at adamhood.com.

“Bar Band is one of my favorite Adam Hood songs.

 

1) You’ve come a long way since I used to see you play at the Breezeway in Downtown Opelika? How has your music changed over the years, other than no longer playing Margarittaville, Brown Eyed Girl, and Sweet Home Alabama?

Well, I appreciate it. I’m pretty fortunate to be able to say I’ve been doing this for 25 years and I’m glad you can see some progress. The main thing that’s changed, as you mentioned, is that I write my music now.  The cover songs got me the gigs and gave me an outline for what a good song “feels” like (Margaritaville is a pretty well written song), but once I started writing and got the nerve to PLAY those songs in front of folks, everything changed. It got real. After turning that corner, I just started doing it, refusing to regress. I’ve found my own style through all the years of working at it and listening to folks that know more than I do. BUT, at the end of the day, it still sounds like me. Always has. I won’t ever be able to shake that.

2) I’ve seen you play in Shreveport, which is more like Texas than Louisiana, but please tell us about Texas music and how it differs from elsewhere?

Man, Texas is its own thing. All the way around. The music, culture, food, etc are self-sufficient and that’s the way they want it.  Coming into that music scene from the outside was extremely intimidating for a while, but I fell into it after a while and I think it suites me. Most of my heroes and influences were Texas writers, so my style fits in Texas, but the Alabama influence is what makes me sound a little different. And there are TONS of bands out there, so different is good!!

This is Adam's latest. In my opinion, it's his best work yet.

This is Adam’s latest. In my opinion, it’s his best work yet.

3) Congratulations on being a new dad. Talk a little bit about Drue and how have things changed from your first go around as a dad? Are changing diapers like riding a bike?

Adam and the newest member of the Hood family, Drue.

Adam and the newest member of the Hood family, Drue.

Saying I wasn’t a little “scared” about having a baby would be a lie. Honestly, anyone that says they’re fully prepared for children is telling a lie. The feeling wasn’t out of lack of love, but more my own mortality. Haha. I want to be able to keep up, you know.  But children just change everything for the better and we’re enjoying every minute of it.  All the folks in my camp and I work hard to keep a “balanced” schedule so that when I’m home, I’m home with no distractions. Ashlyn is at an age where she’s mature enough to handle being a helpful big sister without it cramping her style.  I feel totally confident in saying all of us are good!  As for diapers, what can I say…The mechanics are the same, but the package keeps you on your toes!

4) How’s the garden going this year? Any advice for first time gardeners like, oh, I don’t know…me?

I downsized the garden this year. We went nuts last year and planted too much with too little time to manage and most of the garden flopped.  This year we’re keeping it simple… A few tomatoes and peppers and that’s it. Growing things is a great pastime if you’re thinking about it. Planting one tomato plant in a clay pot can be really fun and sort of calming (sorry to sound Zen).  Hell, I don’t even like tomatoes. I just like to get up in the morning, walk outside and see what happened while we were sleeping… And something always does.

*I guarantee you I planted way too much this year.

5) This is like “Free Day Friday” in elementary school. Whatever you want to say, say it here.

I want to thank you, Jody, for asking me to do this and for your friendship.  I’ve enjoyed watching you work to develop your career as well.  And you’ve earned every rung you’ve climbed.  We have a common denominator when it comes to our line of work. We have different ways of entertaining people, but we do the same thing and we both know that the distance between “man, you’re funny enough to be a comedian” at OHS and being a touring entertainer is pretty vast; it’s a hard row to hoe, but being able to look back and see all the ground you’ve covered makes the effort worthwhile. I’m proud to know you, my friend. Go dawgs!

*I did not pay him to say any of that nice stuff, but I do appreciate it.

Like Adam’s page on Facebook by clicking here.

Follow Adam on Twitter by clicking here.

Jody Fuller is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier with three tours of duty in Iraq. He is also a lifetime stutterer. He can be reached at jody@jodyfuller.com. For more information, please visit http://www.jodyfuller.com.

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“The best things in life are free”

In last week’s column, I was fired up after a parent filed an official bullying complaint against a Texas high school football team for beating his son’s team 91-0. I vowed to come back for part two this week on how the anti-bullying campaign has gotten out of hand; however, I’ve had a change of heart and see no need in another rant. Life is too full of blessings for me to focus on things that have the tendency to spike my blood pressure.

In addition to the ranting and raving in my column, last Friday was significant for more pertinent reasons.

Early last week, I was asked to speak briefly to the Campus Life students at Opelika High School. I was all in, even after learning they met at 7:07 a.m. Yes, that’s 7:07 a.m. in the morning.

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I am not a morning person. In fact, one of the reasons I left Active Duty Army is because I had to wake up early every single day. I often say that I left the Army for three reasons: I hate waking up early. I hate shaving, and I hate running. Well, those were the first three things I did every single day, so change was in order. Rest assured, I didn’t shave last Friday morning and since I wasn’t being chased by a pack of wolves, I sure as heck didn’t run.

The students were raising money for a worthy cause, so it was the least I could do. They had the option of supporting any cause they so desired and they chose to support the Wounded Warrior Foundation. By God’s Grace, in spite multiple tours to Iraq, I am not a wounded warrior but have many close friends who are.

Most of the students in attendance had loved ones who’d served in the military. One of the girls wasn’t sure which branch in which her granddad served, but, according to her, he was “one of the water people.” I assume he was in the Navy.

These kids touched my heart.

They also touched my wallet.

They were selling handmade bracelets, so I walked out of there with three of them…and I don’t even wear bracelets. I’m such a sucker for kids supporting a great cause.

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After leaving these impressive young people, I proceeded toward the Birmingham VA Medical Center by way of US Highway 280 passing the sign for the Bill Nichols State Veterans Home in Alex City en route, which got me to thinking.

I entertained a group of female Veterans at the Breast Cancer Survivor’s Luncheon at the Birmingham VA. To my credit, I made them laugh but I was overwhelmed by the love and kindness they showed me.

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Because of the audience, I waived my fee, but as I told them, nothing in life is free. I expected to be paid in hugs before they left and boy was I ever. I’d never been hugged and kissed so many times in my life.

Notice the scarf, my new favorite accessory.

Notice the scarf, my new favorite accessory.

They stated that they were blessed to have me there but it was I who was truly blessed on this particular day.

It’s an old cliché, but the best things in life really are free: love, hugs, and extra gravy. I used to include air on that list, but it now costs 50 cents at some places.

As I was driving home, it dawned upon me to contact my cousin who works at the Bill Nichols State Veterans Home to see if there was anything I could do for them. She stated that many of the residents were in need of shoes.

The Campus Life kids and the breast cancer survivors inspired me to take action; therefore, I did, but I couldn’t and didn’t do it alone.

It was just an idea, but with the incredible and overwhelming support of my friends, new and old, local and afar, we raised enough money in just three days to send 115 pairs of men’s Reebok Velcro-strapped walking shoes to the residents of the Bill Nichols State Veterans Home.

As you can imagine, it takes a while to gather 115 pairs of Velcro shoes but our hope is that they get there by Veterans Day.

There are also two females residing at the home, but only one can wear shoes. We didn’t forget about them. A friend from North Carolina ordered a pair of New Balance Velcro-strapped sneakers for one, while a friend from Florida bought a pair of slippers for the other.

My friend from NC sent these my way to give to the lone shoe wearing female at the Veterans Home.

My friend from NC sent these my way to give to the lone shoe wearing female at the Veterans Home.

I received donations ranging from $5 to $337.50. Every dollar was just as important as the next and every cent will go to the home.

I was asked to speak to those kids for a reason and now we know why.

Oh, I gave my three bracelets to members of the Midfield High School JROTC who were also in attendance at the survivor’s luncheon. I didn’t need the bracelets, because I now have a pink one, along with a scarf, given to me by Evelyn, one of the survivors. She, of course, gave them to me for free.

Every one of these kids said they planned on going into the military after high school. I'm proud of each of them.

Every one of these kids said they planned on going into the military after high school. I’m proud of each of them.

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I will always cherish my gifts and memories of this wonderful day, which is proof that the best things in life really are free.

Jody Fuller is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier with three tours of duty in Iraq. He is also a lifetime stutterer. Jody can be reached at jody@jodyfuller.com. For more information, please visit http://www.jodyfuller.com.

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