The Warner E. Hodges Band
The Warner E. Hodges Band
World-renowned six-string pioneer, Warner E. Hodges continues to blaze trails with his signature brand of guitar driven rock. It’s an undisputed, stone cold fact that Warner E. Hodges is one of the most instantly recognizable guitarists playing today. Born in Würzburg, Germany, Warner cut his teeth on the music of his father, Edger, a serving US Army officer, and his mother, Blanche, who both fronted a USO country music outfit. His mother and father both had a passion for country music and the young Warner was soon to join their band, playing drums. In 1970, his older brother gave him the debut albums by Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. His father heard that there was an up-and-coming band featuring a hot shot guitarist coming to town and bought tickets for himself and Warner. The band were Deep Purple, the guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. The bolt of lightning that compelled him to switch to guitar hit at an AC/DC concert in 1973. Two discoveries would prove to be the main lasting influences on Warner’s developing style, first he discovered and fell in love with AC/DC, secondly the Sex Pistols hit America, their influence not being limited to the high energy style of Steve Jones, but also their DIY punk ethic. By the end of the 70’s, the punk movement had invaded Music City USA and Hodges’ high-octane approach to life and the guitar were a perfect match for the burgeoning DIY scene. These early sparks were about to catch, and Warner’s legacy was about to begin.
Fast forward to 1981, Warner had played with a succession of local Nashville punk bands and then he and two school friends - Perry Baggs and Jeff Johnson - met a singer who had moved to Nashville looking for musicians who were prepared to join him in fusing the styles of Hank Williams with the Ramones. The singer was Jason Ringenberg, together with Warner, Jeff and Perry’s influences Jason & The Scorchers were born. They signed with Praxis Management and have played a major role in creating what we now call Alt Country or Americana. “Help Me Warner Go!” both words of warning and a battle cry all in one, signaling the spur wearing, spinning, raucous Hodges to action in front of rabid fans of Jason & the Scorchers, the mold-breaking, original wild child of rock n roll aggression and country music roots. The WEH sound is the perfect volatile mixture of these juxtaposed musical brothers. Part Jimmy Page, part Don Rich, Warner blends the two like no other player in history, period! Their reputation as live performers eventually led to the Americana Music Association awarding them the first “Lifetime Achievement Award For Lifetime Performance” in 2008.
In 2007, Warner joined Dan Baird and Mauro Magellan (both ex Georgia Satellites) in a new band, Dan Baird & Homemade Sin, touring relentlessly internationally. The band recorded five studio albums, the biggest selling of the five being Rollercoaster which was produced by Warner.
Always searching for new creative roads to explore, Warner, Baird, Joe Blanton and Brad Pemberton formed The Bluefields in 2011, an American rock group from Nashville, where he could stretch his imagination on instruments ranging from Les Pauls to ukuleles! The band recorded 4 well received studio albums, including 2015’s A Day in the Sun.
From 2010 onwards, Warner also began a parallel solo career, recorded four solo albums including Right Back Where I Started - featuring a backing band made up of members of Cheap Trick, The Mavericks and Steve Earle & The Dukes. The idea was always to find a core of permanent musicians, and with Warner spending more and more time in Europe it made sense that he would settle on a lineup of musicians from that side of the pond. Ben Marsden on guitar, Jason Knight on bass and John Powney on drums may all be new names to most people, but that is set to change and with them behind him, Warner now has a band capable of running Black Sabbath into Merle Haggard and back out into AC/DC. Their debut album Just Feels Right was released in May 2020 - word is that it’s the most Jason & The Scorchers sounding record of Warner’s solo career. The Warner E. Hodges Band will be touring anywhere and everywhere that as Warner puts it “has the electricity to stage the show and the money to pay the band.” Celebrating the first fifteen years of Warner’s solo career and cementing The Warner E. Hodges Band as Warner’s permanent vehicle going forward, April ’22 saw the release of Boots Up...The Story So Far. 2022 sees them back to their natural habitat, playing live everywhere from the US to Sweden, Gulf of Mexico to the UK and most European and Scandinavian points in between.
“If aliens were to land on Earth (assuming that they’re not stupid enough to land here now) and instructed you to take them to a rock and roll show, whatever you do, find where Warner Hodges is playing. There is no finer example of what rock and roll is, should be, has been, and will continue to be.” Raul Malo - The Mavericks
“Warner Hodges is a world class rock guitar player with a solid gold hillbilly heart.” Steve Earle
“I first became aware of Warner when I was 16. I bought a Scorchers cassette, and it blew a hole through me. Since that day I’ve believed that if there was ever a human that was put on this earth specifically to play the absolute shit out of the guitar, it’s Warner E. Hodges.” Charlie Starr - Blackberry Smoke