John Driskell Hopkins teams up with Balsam Range,
to Independently Release Daylight on January 22, 2013
“...what a great sound for John! I’m excited for people to hear him in this raw and broken-down format, his unique voice front and center!”
—Oliver Wood (of the Wood Brothers)
“John Hopkins’ new album, Daylight, has rich vocals and excellent pickers that are wrapped around well-crafted songs. What’s not to love?” —Jim Lauderdale
“A voice huskier than Charlie Daniels after a hard night.”
—Jim Farber, New York Daily News, #5 in Top 10 picks in music for this week
John Driskell Hopkins has walked the musical path for the last 20 years. As a bass player, guitar player, singer and songwriter for several bands of the rock variety, Hopkins rooted himself in the Atlanta, GA music scene in 1995, producing records and touring with his band Brighter Shade and later becoming a founding member of the Zac Brown Band to this day. Now he has teamed up with North Carolina-based band and Mountain Home Recording artists, Balsam Range, to record and independently produce a new album, Daylight, set for national release on January 22nd.
John is thrilled to have included several special guests on the album, including Zac Brown on “I Will Lay Me Down,” a sweet and sacred song; Levi Lowrey on “How Could I?” a song co-written by the two, and the heavenly Joey Feek of Joey + Rory on the autobiographical “Bye Baby Goodbye.” And of the musicians featured on Daylight, John could not have done better: the unmatched Jerry Douglas opens the record with dobro on “Runaway Train,” and Tony Trischka brings his banjo mastery to the title-track, “Daylight,” a longtime song in Hopkins’ repertoire about breaking through life’s troubles into brighter times.
Of performing with with BR, John says “Being on stage with Balsam Range is like body-surfing in warm butter-cream icing with hillbilly cherubs. Smooth…” Balsam Range is Buddy Melton (fiddle, vocals), Darren Nicholson (Mandolin, vocals), Marc Pruett (Banjo, Vocals), Caleb Smith (guitar, vocals), and Tim Surrett (bass, dobro, vocals).
Balsam Range’s Marc Pruett says, “John Hopkins is a serious student of all kinds of music, and I think it comes through well in the songs he writes. He really runs the gambit from soft, Gospel-sounding acoustic, to hard, driving rock-swing things. John is a ‘power singer,’ and man he can deliver.”
If you’re a Zac Brown Band fan, you’ll hear a couple familiar songs, though most tracks are newly penned with BR’s talent and magic in mind, and a couple songs are some of John’s oldest tunes, written with his band of many years, Brighter Shade, and beautifully reworked for this special new project.
“… in a song like ‘I Will Lay Me Down,’ Hopkins’ raw vocals turn to sweet honey with the picking beneath and the soft, high harmony of Zac Brown lifting him up. But no track rocks harder than ‘Runaway Train,’ as Jerry Douglas blazes on the dobro and Hopkins howls over the top like an old-time tent revival.” –Devon Leger, Hearth Music, No Depression First Spin
For more about John Driskell Hopkins and Daylight, visit www.JohnDriskellHopkins.com.