Dillon Hodges, DHR Music Endorser and Left Handed Spokesman
Since the time that Dillon Hodges first played a guitar at age 11, his musical journey has been on a fast track. Having already won two flat-picking national championships and released his debut CD by age 17, Dillon signed a five-year deal in 2009 to exclusively represent DHR Music. Although currently a student at the University of Alabama in Florence, Alabama, Dillon is an integral part in promoting DHR Music’s mission, as our endorser and left handed spokesman.
Dillon epitomizes DHR’s core character and passion. He is an outstanding guitarist with moral integrity who embodies a desire to share his love of music, to encourage the next generation of guitarists, and to seek equality among left handed players. We are proud to have Dillon as a team member at DHR Music and encourage you to get to know him personally as well as musically.
Dillon represents DHR Music exclusively by performing at DHR sponsored events such as guitar clinics, concerts, and various performances at a number of venues throughout the country. He exclusively represents and promotes Benedetto, Breedlove, Collings, and Hamer Guitars, as well as the other boutique manufacturers that we represent.
To learn more about Dillon, see his bio below, check out our latest news as we report on current events, and visit Dillon’s website at http://www.dillonhodges.com.
Less than two years after he first picked up a guitar, Dillon won a national championship as the best flat picking guitar player in the country for ages 12-and-under. In September of 2007, just one month past his 17th birthday, Dillon won the Flat Picking National Championship at the 36th Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas, besting a field of 40 of the nation’s top pickers. With the win he became the first guitar player ever to win the title of National Champion Country Music Beginner in Flat Top Guitar and the Flat Picking National Championship.
In winning the Walnut Valley Festival, Dillon became the first left-handed player in the 36 years of the event to win. He is also the first winner from the state of Alabama and is the second youngest winner ever – second only to Mark O’Connor.
The summer and fall of 2007 was a memorable time for Dillon. He released his debut CD, “Stormy Weather,” in July of 2007. He was a featured artist in the September/October issue of Flat Picking Guitar Magazine. He won first place in the Indiana State Championships in Guitar and teamed with friends Solly Burton and Olivia Smiley in the band Ol Dill to win both the Kentucky State and Indiana State Bluegrass Band championships.
Dillon, as a student at the University of North Alabama, sings and writes songs and performs regularly as a solo artist and with various bands. He has performed with Missy Raines and the New Hip, Ag’inst the Grain, the Smokin Strings Quartet and The Ray Brothers.
Missy Raines and the New Hip released its debut CD “Inside Out” in February of 2009 with Compass Records, which includes two of Dillon’s original songs – “The Duke of Paducah” and “In Over My Head.”
Rhett Butler, DHR Music Endorser
“Rhett Butler is one of those artists that has to be seen to be believed. 10 fingers, 2 guitars and a room full of jaws hitting the floor.” – The Austin Chronicle
Rhett Butler is one of DHR’s newest endorsers and we are thrilled to have him as part of our team. After meeting Rhett in Dallas the spring of 2009 we knew right then that we wanted to work with him. To meet Rhett is a true pleasure. To hear him play is an experience! In 1987 Rhett received his first guitar for Christmas. As his primary antidote against the pain and fear that he felt through his brother’s bouts with cancer, Rhett retreated into the instrument. What blossomed was a fiery work ethic that is reflected in his mastery of multiple styles and his passionate performances.
Rhett was admitted to the prestigious jazz program at the University of North Texas in 1993. During that time, he developed a trademark hammer-on style that allowed him to play two guitars at once by fingering each of their fret boards. (Don’t make the mistake of trying to classify him as a gimmick performer, he regularly features five or six different guitars during his performances). His most recent addition is his custom Collings CJ model that he acquired through DHR Music.
Rhett tours throughout the country and has recorded several outstanding CD’s that include, “The Kid from Kilkenny”. In addition, he has performed with several known guitarists including, Tommy Emmanuel, Al DiMeola and Eric Johnson. Simply said, Rhett is among the next generation of guitar heroes.
To learn more about Rhett, check out our latest news as we report on current events, and visit his website at http://www.rhettbutler.org/.
Joel Cross, DHR Music Endorser
Joel Cross is fresh and entertaining, like a pillow of folk on a bed of jazz funk. Poetic story telling combined with aggressive guitar playing transcends common musical ideals, encouraging you to reach for more. With an organic voice rooted in rhythm, groove, and imagination, his passion will reach out and touch you in your seat.
Joel’s approach to playing the guitar has always been guided by his ear. He uses disjunct melodies to create a rhythmic groove while singing a simple counter melody. Joel believes these disjunct melodies reflect the chaos and doubt in our minds, while the lyrical melody represent the simple truth that all you have to do is “just reach.
His Debut Album “Just Reach” is coming soon. It is a collection of all those things Joel has aspired to since his youth. This album is about realizing that there are no limits, only perceived walls. His title track “Just Reach” motivates you to reach for the stars and believe that you can grab them. His music shares a story of conquering your dreams by faith. The songs were written from an earthy part of the artist’s soul. They share stories of sadness that were changed to joy simply by faith. Joel says “Faith allows you to look past your current reality in search of a greater one. It encompasses all of me. All that I am and all that I do is rooted in faith.”
Joel Cross is a native of Cleburne Texas. He began playing guitar at the age of twelve. He started playing in church where his father was the pastor and later began to play in gospel groups with his older sisters and brothers. In 2003 he began college at the University of Houston where he studied jazz with Mike Wheeler, Noe Marmolejo and Woody Witt. While in Houston he played for the universities big band and had the pleasure of performing with Randy Brecker and Tim Hagans. He later transferred to the University of North Texas where he completed his degree in Jazz Studies in 2008.
To learn more about Joel, check out our latest news as we report on current events, and visit his website at http://www.joelcross.com.
Simon Martinez, DHR Music Endorser
Music is part of Simon’s family and heritage, but his talent on the guitar is an expression of a unique gift. Just fourteen-years-old, Simon has developed technically and artistically into an accomplished musician, though he’s been playing a mere three years. Please view his special skill on-line at www.youtube.com and search for Simon Martinez, or use this direct link: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=sastgr&view=videos.
Simon enjoys and plays a broad spectrum of music ranging from classical, traditional and fusion jazz to instrumental rock. His style has been influenced by the likes of Astor Piazzolla, Baden Powell de Aquino, Django Reinhardt, Wes Montgomery, Al Di Meola, Paco De Lucia, Chick Corea, Steve Vai, Greg Howe, Joe Satriani, and Jason Becker. He loves and interprets music from the heavy metal genre including music of the Children of Bodom, Pantera, Megadeth, Metallica, and Trivium to name a few.
Born and raised in Doylestown, Pa., Simon has been studying jazz under the direction of Bob Miles and instrumental rock with Chris Sheppard, Director School of Rock. Simon performs regularly as lead guitarist with the Lenape Middle School Jazz Ensemble. He has won multiple awards at jazz festivals across Southeastern Pennsylvania for his exceptional skill.
As a guest of Bob Miles on the “World of Guitar” on CBTV, he performed as a soloist. In the Summer of 2009, Simon made his debut playing with professional musicians in Cincinnati and New York. He also competed with musicians from all over the world and unanimously won a very exciting guitar “shredding” contest sponsored in the summer of 2009 by the National Guitar Workshop in Purchase, NY. Simon composes and arranges his own music and is looking forward to a bright recording and performance career.
To learn more about Simon, check out our latest news as we report on current events, and visit his website at http://simonmartinezguitar.com and at http://www.myspace.com/simonmartinezguitar.