Patterson Hood (Photo courtesy of A. Tennille)
Time moves fast, and it doesn’t wait on anyone.
And for Patterson Hood, the timeframe since he was at a chaotic point in his life in 1992 has come and passed but hasn’t been forgotten.
With his third solo album, "Heat Lightning Rumbles in the Distance," Hood summons up this period where he was at a low, and pins it against the new stage that he is in now in life.
Hood’s new piece of work gathers familiar faces such as Mike Cooley, David Barbe, Brad Morgan and his dad, David Hood, a session bass player who played on several cuts from the Muscle Shoals era.
“Always great to have those gent in my corner. They all brought their A game on this one," Hood said about his accompaniment on the new album.
The album opens with “12:01,” a track that recounts an early morning alcohol stint while wondering and climbing back into bed when you know the relationship is soon ending.
While most tracks are all of equal note, songs like “Leaving Time,” “After the Damage,” and “Depression Era,” a song cut earlier for the film I Hate to See the Evening Sun Go Down are all standouts.
For Hood, he credits the title track as one that he is extremely favorable.
“I'm exceptionally proud of this album. I'm particularly proud of the title track, as that one was very difficult to write and put together and I think it turned out to be a real standout track to me. I'd like to think that several tracks on the album broke new ground for me as a writer,” Hood added.
With his writing, Hood can always hit close to home and strike some chord if you’re a child of the South.
His course of action is one that is mixed as he sometimes retells his own stories, takes from other people and fictional places and also just lets the writing concepts build from all of the above.
“It varies from song to song. A song like ‘Better Than The Truth’ begins with a story and a pathway into telling it. A song like ‘Heat Lightning Rumbles in the Distance’ began with lyrics that kind of revealed themselves to me as I was writing them. A song like ‘Disappear’ just happened all at once, like listening to a radio play the song and writing it down. The majority happen that way, but there are always exceptions,” Hood said about his writing process.
With years of writing songs that revolve around anecdotes of history, hard luck situations and vivid characters, he keeps each album fresh while embodying the spirit of Southern traditions.
“I hope I do. It's always hard to find new things to write about, but fortunately they do keep happening,” Hood said.
Hood is also a student of music as his father, David Hood, played bass on classics like The Staple Singers’ standard cut “I’ll Take You There” and also hits from Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Paul Simon, Bobby Womack, Bob Seger and many more.
The deep admiration that he holds for artists such as this was evident this past fall at the Americana Honors and Awards in Nashville.
Hood was a presenter for the lifetime achievement award for instrumentalist and the winner was Booker T. Jones of “Green Onions” fame. During his speech, the respect and honor was shining through in his words.
“Immeasurable,” Hood stated about the influence of others who have come before him.
“We worked with Booker on his 2009 album, 'Potato Hole,'" he said. "It was an incredible experience, and we all learned so much from it. I learned a lot about composing music. I've been writing songs for nearly 40 years and can still learn so much. I've had a chance to write with Booker again since making that album and learned a lot from that experience also.”
With the new album also comes a small tour, and touring is something he knows all too well as he spent the greater part of 2011 on the road.
Hood is set to play a two-night stand in Nashville at The High Watt, beginning Thursday, Dec. 13. Billed as Paterson Hood and the Downtown Rumblers, Hope for Agoldensummer will be opening in support.
Nashville is always a stop for Hood’s mainstay band, Drive-By Truckers, but for the band he has constructed for his solo tour, this will be his last show with this batch of musicians.
Composed of Jay Gonzalez and Brad Morgan from the DBTs, it also features Jacob Morris, Claire Campbell and Page Campbell, who are also the opening act Hope for Agoldensummer.
“It's one of the best bands I've ever played with, Hood said. It’s going to be a really great show.”
After the Nasvhille dates, Hood said there are a handful of DBT shows planned for New Year’s in Washington, D.C., and early January.
“I hope to do a little producing and some writing," he said about his plans for next year. "I'm writing for the next DBT album, which I hope we start next year. I plan to continue doing shows behind Heat Lightning Rumbles in the Distance into next year, some by myself and perhaps some with a stripped down version of the band I'm bringing to Nashville ... hopefully, a few other projects, but not a huge amount of touring."
For more information on the album and tour, visit www.pattersonhood.com.
Tickets are available via www.mercylounge.com.