The Soft-Spoken Todd Hobin

I was looking forward to meeting Todd and discuss his career. It’s not often when you can sit down one on one with well know song writer, rocker, teacher, producer etc.

The Invite

I emailed Todd Hobin for a chance to interview him before the upcoming Christmas show and benefit, at Sharkeys Bar and Grill, Saturday. He emails back with the time and address. “Enter quietly there might be a recording session going on.” He adds in the email.

Wow, I get to interview Todd Hobin and at his Studio! I couldn’t wait. I arrive at the address and was told it is the barn next to the house. I enter slowly to insure my silence. They were finished recording, well you can’t always get what you want, but if we try sometimes you get what we need. (and sometimes more.) to quote the Stones.

Doug Moncrief and Todd designed the studio that we were sitting in for this interview. It was an honor for me especially to be invited in and meet Todd Hobin, as he restrung his guitar and tuned it he started telling me about his life.

What a life

I ask the old standard question, “What got you started in your career?” Did not expect the answer I received.  “My Mom was an artist, my father was an opera singer and teacher, they were my heroes, teachers, and idols. I just naturally fell in to that” Todd said.  “I do have a certain talent for both those things, I don’t know if it’s hereditary or not or just growing up in that environment”.

“So here we are, in the studio I built.” Todd stops and corrects himself. “we built this I ‘m talking about my band, my family. We built it to practice and record our music. “I never wanted to be an engineer, I just like music. There is a lot of stuff we do out of necessity for the love of the arts. “What is weird is, I just like music and art. I will pause and watch a beautiful sunset or the moon and enjoy. I hear a melody, I hear music, I listen.” Todd tells me. That’s his nature. If he hears a great hip hop rap song he gets sucked into it. He feels the same exact way about all genres of music. Todd tells me “I think I listen with a huge volume of information to draw on, so I really get inside the music and I don’t care what type of music it is I naturally get sucked in. The same is true with art.”

Todd Started in 1962 and played with a lot of people, and started the Todd Hobin Band in 1974, with the only change to members is his son who became the bass player about 20 years ago. This is the core band, The Family. I asked him if he had any favorite places or people he played with? The beauty of after playing 3000 shows I have so many memories. It’s the fans that remind me of shows. They tell me about the time they saw the Todd Hobin Band. The fans tell him about the night thy saw the Todd Hobin band and what was going on in their life at that moment, such as times when they played somebody’s prom or the night they met their wife. He loves being part of his fans lives which also carries to the students he teaches. Even recently when a student told him his mother was excited to hear that Todd was his professor.

Lots of wonderful memories, when he hears a song on the radio from people he played with, like The Beach Boys, Allman Brothers and especially Orleans. We Just did a show last year with Orleans. “And when we played together, We played together, you know we jammed and hung out and played softball together.” He tells me with a big smile.

When he first started playing The Beach Boys were big and he got to be the warm up act for them. It wasn’t for 3 or 4 shows before he met any of the Beach Boys. He met Carl Wilson and became great friends. Bruce Johnston asked them to come out for the encore with the Beach Boys. I can’t put it any better than Todd did so here is his quote

He tells me about the loss of Gregg Allman, and why the memories become very important. This is why he loves teaching the history of Rock N Roll. It’s very important that their legacies don’t get lost.

“I love sharing my stories with my students.” Todd Hobin.

Hope For Heather and The Christmas Show

Hope For Heather is an awareness organization founded by Frieda and Gary Weeks. Frieda and Gary‘s oldest daughter was a dancer named Heather and was taken from them by ovarian cancer. The Week’s family has taken their cause to the world to raise awareness and funds for Cancer research. “This one is very close to us, I lost my sister when I was young to cancer and her name was Heather.” Todd tells me and with a pause he finishes “So there is a lot of reasons for us to be raising funds for Heather”. We’re not just raising money but informing and bring awareness to people about cancer, all cancers and for people to get tested. Hope for Heather will have a booth at the show to answer questions and help people to better understand the importance of fight and prevent of cancer. Proceeds from the CD and ticket sales from the Christmas Show at Sharkeys will go to Hope for Heather.

Todd Hobin Band and Joe Whiting

“Joe and I are really great friends and have only done a few shows together in our careers” Todd explains, I wanted Joe to play with my band and I am going to back Joe up on stage instead of being the Front Man. In years future he looks forward to having many local artists who have written Christmas songs to join them on stage.  There is a treasure trove of local music and Todd wants to bring them out and let other people enjoy their music too.

Music was once more local then it is now, Local radio would play music from local artists. But not anymore.  “Anything I can do to promote people to listening to their friends and neighbors. I’m in, and one thing I’ve learned is, every single superstar was a local artist to start.” Todd Hobin.

“If you have a passion, go do it, make it part of your life, because then you’ll be happy.” Todd Hobin.

Todd has a million and a half stories and loves to educate people with his experiences.

There was a lot more to this interview and maybe someday I will edit my voice from the recording and play just Todd’s. He is a person that can open doors of thought and creativity that might have been locked. Ha can show you that there is no one path made for everybody but a path we can all make ourselves and the people and experiences on our paths are the best part of life. Well that’s what I got from it anyways. Thank you, Todd, for the time and the interview. I look forward to telling people about when I saw the Todd Hobin Band and when I interviewed Todd Hobin.

By the why, if you can’t make the show, you can still buy a ticket and support “Hope For Heather”.
http://hopeforheather.org

Todd Hobin’s CD “A Gift Of Song” Todd Hobin and Friends Todd Hobin Web Site

Happy Holidays to All!
Fred Reed

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