“I Have Been Writing My Rear End Off”http://www.cmt.com/” CMT

Jake Hoot, the latest winner of The Voice, is on the verge of releasing his first official country album.

So cue the sound of 18,300 Twitter followers, 63,500 Instagram followers and 43,644 Facebook followers virtually applauding that highly anticipated news.

And Hoot knows that he is blessed to have a lot of people waiting on his new music, so when I caught up with him in Nashville shortly after his win, he told me he is just as ready as they are.

“Right now, I’m in that in-between phase — with labels and managers — and all those kinds of things that you have to line up after the show is over,” Hoot told me. “I just had a meeting about touring here and playing there and visiting here, and I told everyone that that all sounds great. But at the end of the day, I am ready to make music. I have been writing my rear end off. So I am ready to get people listening to what we’ve been working on.

“Because people ask me every day, multiple times, ’When’s the album coming out?’ I tell them I’m ready. I’m beyond ready to get in the studio and get going,” he said. “Hopefully I’ll have a single out in next couple months.”

One of the new songs Hoot is most excited about, he admitted, is one that the Tennessee singer/songwriter did not write. It came from the pen of Nashville songwriter and producer Dave Pahanish.

“Out of everybody I’ve written with, Dave is probably one of my favorite guys that I’ve ever written with. He’s just on a different level. The way he writes lyrics, the way he writes melodies, the way he sings: I love all of that.”

Frederick Breedon

And Hoot and Pahanish have been working on the new music for a while.

“Dave and I had a mutual friend, and so I went to see his show right before my own show. When I met him, he was just a super nice guy. Then he stayed to hear my show, and from what he told me, after seeing me perform, he thought, ’I’d really like to write with this guy.’ The first song we wrote together was ’Better Off Without You.’ We wrote that probably about a year before I was on The Voice.

“The first time we wrote together, I remember pulling up to his home studio in Nashville, and he was burning incense outside and he was listening to native American flute music and I was like, ’What in the world?’ But being able to sit down with him, and see the way his brain works and how he just comes up with stuff that’s just golden, that worked for me. And now we’ve written a ton of songs together, and I’m so grateful.”

This 2011 Keith Urban gem is just one of the many country songs Pahanish has written. He co-wrote “Without You” with Joe West.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She’s based in Chicago, but she’s always leaving her heart in Nashville.


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