Call it good timing or call it a shot in the dark. But local country musician Brendan Hodgson calls it Coming Home. The 27-year-old was happy to share the 11 tracks from his newly released CD with family, friends and fans Thursday night at The Tech.
However, recording an album was never really on his radar, he told SooToday prior to the celebratory performance, even though he’s been penning his own music for the better part of seven years.
“I didn’t start writing songs with the intention of having an album. It just kind of fell into place.”
After building a loyal local following over the past decade fronting the popular bar band Summer Thunder, Hodgson looked back at his catalogue of originals and decided to make some of them permanent. And although he played a number of the instruments on the album himself, he would not label himself a multi-instrumentalist.
“I’m not a master of anything, but I can play a little bit of everything good enough to get by,” he joked.
“I kind of wanted to tackle the project myself to challenge myself,” he explained.
Hodgson chose Mission Control Studio for the recording of Coming Home, and Dustin Jones shares a co-producing credit on the album. Jones also produced the music video (directed by Brendan Garlick) for Hodgson’s first single, Kiss Me Slow, which can be viewed below.
“There’s a lot of different guys in town that are capable (of recording an album), but when I met with Dustin, he had a lot of the background that I was looking for. He’s played with the Jaaskelainens and done a lot of stuff that’s closer to country,” he said. “This is not a side project for him. This is his business – he does it for real. He puts that extra effort in and really focuses on your project.”
With enough original material in the bank and Coming Home barely off the press, Hodgson is already looking ahead to a second release.
“As soon as I can get squared around, I’d love to do a second album, and I would go with Dustin again 100 per cent.”
For the time being, at least, the full-time employee with Parks Canada plans to stay put. Sault Ste. Marie is where home, family and work are, but minor touring is not out of the question.
“Right now, it’s an expensive hobby. I have a passion for it, but I also have a day job,” he said.
“As this album release happens, I want to gauge the reception and see how people react to it,” Hodgson continued. “If there’s enough interest in it locally, I would love to take it a little bit further – start branching out into smaller communities and festivals, even across northern Ontario.”
Currently, hard copies of Coming Home are available by messaging Hodgson through his Facebook page or website. The album is also available for listening on Google Play, Apple Music, Spotify and other streaming services.
Joining Hodgson on stage Thursday evening for the album release performance were his sister Leah Hodgson (bass), Len Legacy (drums), Adam Fahrer (guitar), and Benoit Schryer (fiddle). The Barnboard Trio warmed up the audience with an opening set.