From Pucks to Picks: Trevor Henderson’s Nashville Dream



When Trevor Henderson isn’t playing hockey for the Vikings, he’s dreaming about performing country music in Nashville.

“I’ve had positive feedback from complete strangers, and it’s definitely been a great influence to make me pursue this as a career down south,” said Henderson. The criminal justice major is currently looking into music schools in the Nashville area to attend after he leaves Hudson Valley.

Last year, Henderson won first place at the Franklin County Fair YMCA Talent Show in Malone, N.Y., for his covers of “Friends in Low Places,” by Garth Brooks, and “Like Jesus Does,” by Eric Church, in front about 4,000 people.

Church’s music also helped Henderson win the Mar. 22 Hudson Valley Talent Show: there, he performed Church’s “Talledega.”

Eric Church has been Henderson’s idol since he started playing country music. “He definitely has really good sense for lyrics and getting to the person he’s writing to,” Henderson said.

Henderson said, “I’ve always tried to fit music into my schedule.” He frequently participated in talent shows at Franklin Academy High School in Malone, from which he graduated in 2014. His act there was different from the Nashville-sounding country act he performs now.

Henderson’s transition to country music was gradual. He recalled his first song was “All the Small Things,” Blink-182’s 2000 pop punk hit. “Last year I played a lot of pop punk stuff like Blink-182 and Sum 41, but I never really learned country until last June,” he said.

He said that growing closer to country music changed his perception of music. “A lot of people can relate to country songs because of how relatable and true they are. There’s not really a fake country song that I’ve ever heard.”

Henderson said he tries to spend about two hours per day playing the guitar and writes songs whenever there’s time available. “I try to perform the same amount that I write,” he added.

Before Henderson took stage playing country music, his goals were mostly shot into a net. “I was always playing hockey if I wasn’t playing a guitar,” Henderson said. Since the age of three, he has been dedicated to the sport, appearing on the rink for Hudson Valley athletics despite the different climate playing in Capital Region.

“Back up in [Franklin County] we always hit rough. We’re definitely a lot more physical. It wasn’t as physical as I thought it was going to be,” Henderson said, comparing playing hockey in this area to playing against teams in the North Country.

Henderson said that hockey was part of his decision to come to Hudson Valley. He checked out the college further during the week of Nationals hosted at Hudson Valley last year. “It was a definite point for coming because there’s a very experienced person coaching the team,” Henderson said, referring to Hudson Valley hockey coach Matt Alvey.

Henderson’s father, a Department of Environmental Conservation mechanic, trained at Hudson Valley for the DEC through the automotive program and persuaded him to look into Hudson Valley before he checked out nationals last year. After being impressed by what his father saw while training, Henderson’s father advised him to look into the other programs at the college.

With hockey season over and his availability increasing, Henderson plans to perform locally at local bars on the weekends. He said, “I do have a lot of time on my hands while I’m down here. Besides studying, I don’t really have a lot to pursue on my own.”

Henderson said he he has considered starting a country music club at Hudson Valley. “There’s not a lot of people around here who are passionate about playing country, so I’ve wanted to reach out to people at Hudson Valley who like playing country [music] and play with them, but it hasn’t really been my top priority.”

If country music doesn’t work out as a career for Henderson, he hopes to work for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation as an environmental conservation officer, in the same field as his father. He said, “I’ve always been an outdoors person. I always loved hiking, hunting and fishing. There’s not a lot do where I’m from, so those are the things to do in the the summertime.”

Henderson grew up in South Bombay and Malone in the North Country until coming to Troy last fall. Currently, he resides on Cottage Street, near Hudson Valley. “A lot of people are very down-to-earth here. They’re not like the stereotypical city people,” said Henderson.

Henderson regularly commutes back and forth between Franklin and Rensselaer Counties on weekends. “Our relationship is definitely strong. It works out pretty well. I’m away for what I need and I’m home for what I need,” he said about his relationship with his family.

When he’s not at school or playing music, he spends his time with his brother, one of his only family members residing in the Capital Region. “We have a really stable relationship. He loves coming up to watch me play [hockey] and loves country music in [and] of itself, so he loves watching me play country music,” said Henderson.

Henderson said he has had similar support from the rest of his family. “They’ve always been to all my games no matter what the situation was, and I’m always grateful for that.”

His parents were unable to attend the Mar. 22 Hudson Valley Talent Show but visited the following weekend and have supported his musical prospects as Henderson’s Nashville vision builds. “They’ve always bought me what I needed to further my music. They’ve spent as much time supporting me in music as they have for hockey,” Henderson said.

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