Some artists radiate an energy that will have you thinking they are a seasoned veteran of the music circuit. These artists have had the opportunity to savor their musical heroes long enough to know just what type of music they want to make. They possess an instinct for the precise amount of fiddle that needs to be present in order for them to feel confident that they are representing country in all her glory. It’s all part of becoming a seasoned performer and creative talent and one particular artist by the name of John Hord, is well on his way. This guy blew me away back in March and I haven’t been able to get enough of him since.
Recalling back to when I heard The Home You Made For Me for the first time, I nearly fell over when I read John Hord was just getting his feet when in the professional music arena. When you listen to many newer artists there is a noticeable lack of refinement on their tracks. It doesn’t hinder them by any means, but it can point to a certain stage of their career.
Not Hord’s. It feels well executed and confident right from the start.
The Home You Made For Me is a true honky tonk, road traveling, love song that builds with such steam at the :42 mark. Out of no where, he cranks it up and throws it back to the glory day sounds of George Strait, Garth Brooks, and Alan Jackson. Might not be all that hard to believe though, seeing as they are some of his biggest influences.
While I am an obvious sucker for the high octane boot stompers, the slower more intimate songs are what go on to stand the test of time. They are the songs that people turn to in time of need or heartbreak. That is not to say that sonically they have to be basic and sometimes boring melodies. Sometimes mainstream songs are taken for as being deeper as they are in reality as there is a surface level subject that is simply glorified with some sort of catchy melody.
Watch my initial thoughts from back in March and 98.3 KORA's Parking lot session with John Hord performing Cowboy Angel
John Hord has crafted a masterpiece with Cowboy Angel by pouring out his heart into this song. You just can’t make up a song that is this personal and I respect the hell out of an artist that so eloquently pays tribute to a loved one. The cowboy is seen as an iconic figure that is nearly unstoppable in life. Legends that are able to overcome just about damn near anything. Just the title alone foreshadows that one of these legends lost their life too soon.
Unfortunately with some research into the meaning of this song, I learned that John’s step father passed away from brain cancer. As horrific as that is, losing someone who means the world to you at such a young age (57) is cruel. Sadly, we can never quite understand what that feels like until it happens to someone we care about. Hord sings with such a raw, real passion and channeled energy as he pleas to understand why his step father was taken so soon.
The orchestration is so effective on this track, which my favorite being the steel guitar creating a tone of reflection. The light picking of the acoustic guitar contributes by almost matches the thought process of our singer. Remember what I said about being far beyond a beginning professional artist? Cowboy Angel will be a standout track for this year in my music listening. The love of his father is shared in such a way that I don’t know how anyone can’t feel something from it. It would be a song an artist of the reputation and talent Cody Johnson, Jon Pardi, or William Michael Morgan would record. It’s an honest one-on-one to God from an emotionally tormented cowboy. We hear the questioning to God, despite remaining faithful, no matter how hard that may be. People of faith always have their belief tested and it’s how they handle those times that defines them and shows their true strength.
So I guess you could say that I’m pretty impressed with John Hord right now. My prediction is if he continues to release music of this caliber, his name is going to start coming up in conversations that include Watson, Wolfe and Johnson soon enough. Never underestimate a cowboy.
Just a Massachusetts guy supporting Texas and other independent country/Americana artists.
Check out my spotify for good tunes!