2023 has been a lucky year for fans of Nashville songwriter Adam Hood. Since March, he’s released new renditions of four songs from his 2007 album, Different Groove, giving each one a “fresh coat of paint,” as he calls it. His latest reimagining, “Varnado,” arrived on July 14th and sounds decidedly different from its original version.
Recorded live in Austin, TX, the 2023 “Varnado” is driven by bluesy acoustic guitar riffs, kinetic rockabilly piano, and a booming, rolling drum beat. Like the original cut from Different Groove, which featured accordion and had more of a zydeco flair, the new rendition is infectiously catchy and a perfect sing-along.
Written about a now-defunct bar called Birdie’s Roadhouse in Varnado, LA, the song is sung from the perspective of Hood as he rushes to play a show at Birdie’s. Hood co-penned it with his long-time collaborator, Justin Johnson, about their early days on the road together.
“When I first started traveling, it was just the two of us,” Hood tells Raised Rowdy. “We would pretty much go anywhere that people said ‘yes.’ One time back in 2005, we had a week of shows in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and one at place called Birdie’s Roadhouse. So we’re driving up north through Slidell, kept on going past civilization. We passed through a couple of miles of nothing but pine trees, then all of a sudden there’s this flashing sign on the side of the road that said: ‘Tonight. Live Music. Adam Hood.’ We played that place twice and had a great time. It was worth the song.”
Listen to “Varnado” below. Fans can expect to hear more new versions of classic Hood songs, as well as a big announcement from him, very soon. Follow him here and stay tuned!
Photo credit Alysse Gafkjen