James Linden Hogg has a full calendar. The 15-year-old manages to keep himself busy with his love for music and history.
Just recently, he finished recording “College Fund Vol. 1.” He’s already begun planning a follow-up, to be recorded in Nashville this fall.
Last weekend, he had a performance in Gonzales for the Cajun Country Jam. There, he held the stage alongside the likes of country singers Joe Diffie and Clay Walker.
In just a few weeks, Hogg will be a judge at the 2016 Louisiana State Fiddle Championship, an event he won last year.
James even has a trip planned with his family to Scotland and Ireland, where he and his father will put on a few shows.
In the midst of all these events, James has his eyes set on his CD release party on Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Hartley/Vey Studio Theatre. Tickets are $12, plus fees.
“I think the album’s name speaks for itself,” Hogg said, grinning.
When asked how to explain the album to a friend, he said he would tell them it’s natural, organic music.
“It’s not electronically generated,” Hogg said. “I’d say there are elements of folk, Americana, and Celtic music. This is music from an age that’s passed, but people still enjoy it.”
“College Fund Vol. 1” consists of 11 tracks, a mix of both original songs and classic folk songs. Almost all of the instruments are played by Hogg, and you can tell there’s a love for this type of music. After all, Hogg has been surrounded by music his entire life.
“My dad, he’s played music forever,” Hogg said. “When I was a young kid, I would always get up on stage and bang around on the instruments.”
However, things became serious for Hogg about seven years ago, when he began taking a few piano and violin lessons. According to his father, Jim, the interest was sparked by their family trip to Thomas Jefferson’s plantation.
“Years ago, we went to Monticello, which was home to one of history’s best violin players,” Jim said. “After that, James started to get so caught up in the history. He loved it so much that he eventually wanted to play their music, too.”
Ever since then, Hogg has acquired and learned quite an assortment of instruments — banjo, piano, bagpipes, fife and the pennywhistle.
Learning to play this many instruments at such a young age can seem overwhelming, but Hogg and his father said it was worth it.
“We do it because we enjoy doing it,” Jim said. “I think he’s got a really bright future ahead of him.”
When discussing the future, Hogg starts to smile.
“Let’s just say this — I never see myself not playing music, and I never see myself not pursuing history,” he said. “So what do I want to be when I grow up? Happy. Content.”