What’s coming up for country singer J.T. Hodges?
—Heather Harper, Austin, Texas
J.T. Hodges, 34, just released a holiday single, “Joy to the World,” that he sings in the Hallmark Channel TV movie, “Finding Christmas,” that also marks his acting debut.
“After reading the script and getting the vibe from the character, I chose ‘Joy to the World’ for my character to perform,” says the Fort Worth native, who now resides in Nashville. “I wanted to bring my own contemporary feel and vibe to the song. While I was shooting the film in Toronto, they gave me a day in the studio up there, so I went in and worked it up.”
“Finding Christmas” is the story of a single mom (Tricia Helfer) who finds Christmas romance when her brother Owen (Hodges) exchanges his North Carolina home with an ad exec (Mark Lutz) from New York City. But love is definitely in the air, as Owen also meets the girl of his dreams while in the Big Apple.
And while they make beautiful music together, Owen and Mia (Cristina Rosato) never sing a duet, so Hodges wasn’t able to perform “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” which is No. 1 on his list of Christmas carols.
“It just goes back and forth like a round between the female and male vocalist,” he says, by way of explaining why it’s his favorite. “He’s trying to get her to stay, drink some more wine, hear more records and maybe make a little love, and she keeps thinking she needs to go home.”
Hodges, who admits to having taken an acting class or two during a previous stay in Los Angeles, took the role because he is always open to new challenges. But he admits, “For the most part, I was flying by the seat of my pants. I was being myself as the character. I was able to put in my own holiday memories.”
After the first of the year, the “Hunt You Down” singer/songwriter, who has previously opened for Toby Keith, Eric Church and Miranda Lambert, is headed out for tour dates in Colorado, Florida and Connecticut.
“It’s a great experience being around all that and becoming friends with them,” Hodges says. “Seeing them night after night as you play and they respect what you do, and vice versa.”