Growing up in the heart of the Ottawa Valley, it is no surprise that singer/songwriter Kent Hodgin found his niche in Country Music. Born in Pembroke, Ontario, Hodgin was a late bloomer, musically. He remembers being one of the worst students in his grade seven music class, and quitting guitar lessons after only a month of playing. Some of his early memories of music were at a family holiday taken every year at a campground, near Calabogie, Ontario. “Late night campfires and marshmallow roasts were always accompanied by friends playing and singing country tunes”, Hodgin remembers.
Hodgin first began singing country music much like the rest of die hard country fans – by chiming in along to the radio. Kent found that he was able to hit the harmonies and melodies of many of his favorite Clint Black and Alan Jackson songs during long drives to work. During his time at Lakehead University, in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Hodgin began singing at a local church, and at open stage nights on campus. Encouraged by friends, he began learning to play the guitar after requesting one for his 16’th birthday.
Hodgin was a fast learner – eagerly taking any opportunity to play and sing, and began playing at provincial park campfires, family functions, and at church. Hodgin fondly remembers singing at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium during a city wide Easter service. “I sang a solo country gospel tune with a full choir and orchestra backup. There must have been over three thousand people there…I was nervous, but everything went off without a hitch. The crowd even had me back for an encore at the end of the service! It was one of the best musical events I have ever taken part in”.
After University, Kents’ music opportunities were hit and miss – but his songwriting ability began to grow, starting with a song he wrote for his wife Allison, “Forever More”- which is featured on his new CD, Wood and Stone. Hodgin began writing more songs, and continued to work at his guitar playing, and also started learning to play the mandolin.
Working for the Ministry of Natural Resources gave Kent opportunity to travel and work in some of Ontario’s most beautiful parks and natural areas. He continued to play and sing at park events, at church, and various private functions.
Eventually, Kent secured employment as a Conservation Officer and settled down with his wife and two children in Bancroft, Ontario. At this time in his life, Hodgin never thought that his music career would take a new jump forward. Things began to take off after one of his songs gained a spot on a local Radio Station charity CD (The Moose FM, CHMS 97.7) played regularly on the air. Opportunities to sing at local community events and churches began to grow, and with encouragement and help from friends and family, Kent took many of his songs and put them together on a professional CD titled “Wood and Stone”.
In the fall of 2005, Kent was selected from many applicants across Canada to play live at the Canadian Country Music Week’s Songwriters Showcase in Calgary, AB. Kent’s original songs won him a spot on stage next to Johnny Reid and Aaron Pritchett, playing to a packed out crowd.
Kent has also performed live at several formal law –enforcement ceremonies, including the OPP Auxiliary’s 45’th Anniversary (Eastern Ontario District), and the Ontario Conservation Officers Provincial Enforcement Conference.
Kent’s music is lyrically rich in meaning and purpose, and will grab the attention of both modern country and country gospel fans. His sound is clean and traditional, with strong vocals and is all from the heart. Growing up with Alan Jackson, Clint Black and Randy Travis playing on his radio, Kent’s musical influences show in his own songs.
For the past decade, Kent has turned from music to focus on raising his children with his wife, and launching a new career as a Professor at Fleming College. He's ready to jump back into performing again, now that life allows him to return.
Hodgin credits his music and abilities as gifts from God. “I really believe that with God in your life, you can accomplish anything. Every single dream I have given to Him has come true. I really believe nothing in life is by chance – we all have the opportunity to live an amazing life, and I’m looking forward to see what dream will come true next!”