Joel Romirre is the front man and patriarch of the band that blends distinctive flows, acoustics, dense piano and tranquil melodies to paint a Rembrandt with his rhymes. Gavin MacDonald, the guitarist from the windy city, brings a unique edge and component to the group. Tommy Hart aka DJ Hartbreak is the man in the middle and is a major ingredient playing many types of instruments, including saxophone, guitar and drums. Rounding out the group is Brandon (Bronze) Mcleod, the percussion specialist who brings a pulsating thump to the band.
Why did you start making music?
We wanted to do something to change and impact the world. Our ultimate goal is to start non-profits around the world and use our music as a tool to inspire others to help people in need.
Who was your inspiration?
We are all inspired by different people. Our parents, family, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Dalai Lama.
Where is your favorite place to perform?
Apache and Metro Fusion. The managers have always welcomed us with open arms. Our favorite place by far was the Savannah Music Festival back in April of this year.
Who are your influences?
We are all influenced by different artists, which I think contributes to our unique sound; N.E.R.D, The Roots, Kurt Cobain, John Mayer, Gym Class Heroes, Pharrell, Janelle Monáe and more.
How do you feel about bootlegging?
I think in order to gain exposure sometimes you have to give away your music. If it’s that good, bootlegging or not it will sell and you will still be able to make a profit. Bootlegging is part of the new evolution of music, everybody just needs to realize that and accept it.
Are you the best at what you do in your opinion?
Our front man Joel is one of the best underground MCs in Atlanta. He is more than a rapper but is a true artist. The talent we have is unquestionable. We write our own lyrics, compose our own music, which makes others feel good and uplifted. Our music brings a positive vibe to the masses.
What artists in hip-hop do you like? Why?
Kendrick Lamar and Childish Gambino are both putting a unique stamp on modern hip-hop and they are coming out with great stuff. Also Outkast, A Tribe Called Quest, Public Enemy, Beastie Boys are always going to be some of our favorites. Their music is timeless.
Where do you think the hip-hop is going?
I think hip-hop is going to go back to its original roots. You know, the ’90s. The stuff you are listening to now is pretty much the same. Cars, clothes, jewelry, girls, etc. You can only rap so much about material items until people get tired. It has to change and become more knowledge-based to bring change to others.
Why did you pick your band name?
Our front man, Joel, was told that he often dresses like Michael J Fox’s character in the ’80s movie Teen Wolf. (I’m glad he doesn’t dress like anyone from Gremlins lol)
Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration?
Our songs are about everyday life, so our songwriting comes from our life experiences and things that are going on in our lives.
Do you think that online presence is important for fans to find you and critics to find your music to write about?
It is important to have a strong online presence so fans can find your music, but for us we want people to come out and see us perform. Our live shows are where we hit our stride. We perform for the crowds and their energy feeds us.
What artist or artists would you like to collaborate with?
We’ve played several shows in Atlanta with Vintage Nation, which is a local artist here in Atlanta. As far as major artists, we would love to work with the Gym Class Heroes, Janelle Monee, B.O.B and any artist that would find us appealing.
The #SangersRoom was created by Deanna Dixon and Mitch Moffett early November 2013 after their lack of enthusiasm regarding the Atlanta Open Mic scenes. They decided to create something different that could bring some of the most skilled vocalists all under one roof, sharing in their gifts through campfire style sing-a-longs. This vision was fueled mostly from their love for impromptu singing sessions with their closest friends in the city. They figured, if they could bring all of these SANGers together under one roof, the response and attention could be massive. As they imagined, this concept has taken on a life of its own, and attracted some of the BEST singers to the #SangersRoom.
The purpose behind this concept was not only to unite artist together, but also to cross-market talent through social media. Using instagram, facebook, twitter, and Youtube as a platform to showcase these electrifying sessions have proven to be game-changing. As they continue to develop this movement, their ultimate plan is to use the #SangersRoom as a platform to market the hottest talent and create a networking vehicle to open doors that might’ve taken years to cross through without the #SangersRoom as their driving force. Dixon and Mitch are working diligently to impact the Atlanta music scene in a way that has never been done before, through togetherness, networking, and showcasing vocals that can only be defined in one way………………as SANGing!
What inspired you to create “The Sangers Room”?
Inspiration for the #SangersRoom sparked from Mitch and My love for impromptu, unplugged jam sessions with our friends. We wanted to create a platform to bring all of our “sanging” friends together to meet and network. The event that sparked the fire in us to finally plan our first jam session was a singing engagementat Studio 630. Mitch was asked to perform at this new venue, and to our surprise, little to no one showed up for this event. In spite of the sparse attendance, this venue inspired us to start the #SangersRoom in hopes to eventually move our event to this new space.We knew that if we started telling our friends about these jam sessions, we could easily pack out that venue.
What do you hope to accomplish?
The #SangersRoom wants to break the stereotypical barriers that have been created by the competitive nature of the industry, and show the world that artists can come together to uplift, inspire, and push each other’s artistry to the next level through displaying the highest level of professionalism and skill.
Who are your influences as a singer/songwriter/ musician?
Mitch and I may answer this question differently, considering his musical background has been heavily influenced by his classical and musical training at Morehouse College. However, my influence came directly from my deep church roots. I have learned most of what I know from singing and watching my mother in the church. In addition to this, Brandy Norwood has made a major impact on the way that i finesse lyrics, melodies, and my tonality in songs.
What do you think are the most important skills in succeeding as a singer/songwriter/ musician?
The most important skills to be successful, is preparation and professionalism. In a city like
Atlanta, a lot of the people here are musically talented, but not all put in the time and effort
to perfect their skills. In addition, to this, you have to work hard and be professional at all
How long have you all known each other? How did you meet?
Mitch and I met earlier this year at a performance at Acoustix Jazz. He knew of me through Youtube, and we immediately connected through the music that night, we exchanged phone numbers and became fast friends.
How did you come up with the name?
It’s funny, because we started planning our first vocal jam session, and I (Deanna) started throwing out names, and the one that Mitch liked the most was ”the Singersroom,” however he said we should modify it the SANGersRoom to reflect the caliber of talent that would be displayed at these jam sessions. The rest is history.
What are your immediate music career goals?
Deanna: I would love to become a well-respected songwriter and vocal producer, turn the #SangersRoom concept into a nationally syndicated television show.
What are your long-term career goals?
Deanna: My long-term career goals include acting, singing/writing internationally, and creating avenues for other artists to be heard by the world. That is something I am truly passionate about.
How would you define the word “success”?
Success is defined by your ability to leave behind a legacy that you and your family can be proud of. Mitch and I are working hard to use our musical influence to make an impact here in Atlanta.
What singing techniques are used during your meetings?
The whole concept behind our jam sessions is to develop our songwriting skills, improvisational skills, and preparation when faced with outside disruptions. So we have created games and freestyles that allow us and the other vocalists to put their skills to the test.
What type of vocalist do you encourage to attend the sessions? Why?
We do not discourage any singers to come, but the true concept behind our sessions is bringing the “cream of the crop” to come together and showcase their skills. We are looking for the SANGERS!! Hence the name…
What advice would you give to up and coming vocalists?
Don’t be afraid to be scrutinized, challenged, and sing in front of others that you might be intimidated by. All of your experiences help to prepare you and grow as an artist. WE are all developing, no matter how great you may think someone might be; they are still working to perfect and improve their craft.
How have your skills as a vocalist evolved since you first began singing?
Personally, I have learned how to overcome my nervousness when performing. I used to shake like a leaf prior to and during my vocal performances. I now have breathing exercises that help to calm my nerves prior to my performances.
What’s next for you all?
The next big thing for the #SangersRoom would be to turn this idea into a nationally syndicated television show, and create workshops that will help to develop other artists that might not feel as confident in their skills. The sky is truly the limit!
Join the movement @thesangersroom on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook
King Khan & The Shrines have just released Idle No More after penning a new deal with Merge Records, and are returning to the States to tour beginning this month. This is the first new music with The Shrines in at least four years, even though Arish Ahmad Khan (King Khan himself) has been involved in several side projects during that time.
Khan had some soul-searching experiences that led to the ideas for the new album, including the death of long-time musician friends, Memphis’s alternative star Jay Reatard, as well as Atlanta guitarist Bobby Ubanji, who died in 2009.
The end product of this rough period in his life resulted in the current change in musical direction, both lyrically and texturally. Khan awakened with a sense of what is important in life and a forward-thinking social consciousness regarding different races and cultures and their needs.
The record is named after a North American indigenous movement that started in Khan’s homeland of Canada and is unifying different tribes into a coalition striving to return to its roots, and who speak out about the indignities suffered through colonization.
It’s been seven years since the last new music from King Khan & The Shrines. How long did the album take to record?
Actually, it took five. Getting together was a challenge. It was all the same members of The Shrines that I have worked with for the past twelve years.
The theme and music are different than anything you have done before. It was kind of introspective and moody, like something Alex Chilton did on Big Star’s Third.
Well, I guess it came from my two years in the break. During [that time] it was pretty rough. That was like the first song expressing the ‘absence of’ – it was kind of like the theme of life.
Is there more introspection on the new album?
I guess so. There were a lot of things that happened, a combination of emotions. It was also like growing up. But, all in all, I do want to say it is a classic ‘Shrines’ record.
Does it have something to do with the death of Jay Reatard? Is that part of the story?
Once I hashed it out for a while, I did ‘Darkness’ as a requiem for him.
Was the album recorded in [your new hometown] of Berlin?
Yeah, actually, part of it was recorded in Berlin and part of it was done in Hamburg in this studio that [doubles as] an art gallery.
So what kind of mood is Idle No More conveying?
I guess I’d like to think in some ways that this album is a part of a healing process. I think that it is going to be new music from the aspect that we are trying to, in some ways, better the world.
What is your writing process? Do you sit down with a guitar or get together with the band?
That is something where sometimes someone will bring in a song or I work with our guitar player and trumpet player, Simon Says.
So you sit around and work out your ideas, then?
It can really build by the fact that sometimes they write a song, and they just bring it in and play it to everyone to show them what to do.
When you started back with the neo-soul, there really wasn’t a scene like The Daptones out of Brooklyn or the Nashville GED Soul scene.
Not really, we started in 1999 and were some of the first ones who were trying to do that, but at the same time, we didn’t try to take a purist approach. Like, I love a lot of punk music and I grew up listening to that and basic rock and roll and psychedelic music; I then tried to incorporate all of those things into [our sound].
I guess you’ve had a chance to meet Roky Erickson and some of the people who’ve influenced you.
Yeah, that was amazing. I met Roky Erickson twice and the last time we opened up for him. He is one of the big influences; I also think the 13th Floor Elevators are one of the best rock and roll bands ever.
With the new songs, are you seeing different fans that you didn’t see several years ago?
We have always found the more shows we play, the younger and newer the audience. So, I feel like the message is properly being conveyed. I’m having a lot of people come out [who] really appreciate the whole live show. They leave feeling like they’ve seen something [worthwhile], so I feel like I am doing a service to the world.
The We Fun documentary showed your relationship with Black Lips in Atlanta. How did you end up in Atlanta?
Actually, I started touring with Black Lips, I guess almost ten years ago, and it became like a second home. Bobby Ubanji was one of my best friends and he passed away a few years ago of cancer; we just kind of got adopted by the whole scene there, and it grew into a second home for me. Yeah, I love Atlanta.
Do you stay in Atlanta when you are in the States?
I used to a lot, but then Bobby passed away; it’s a bit different now. Black Lips are touring around and they are rarely home.
What are a couple of clubs or spots that you are really looking forward to playing in the States?
I love touring all over the States. One thing I like about The Shrines is that we have a lot of fun touring. Everyone is really excited about playing and the U.S. is a great place to play.
You have one of the greatest shows out right now.
It’s kind of like Zappa in that he had a comedic edge about him, but at the same time he had a serious musical force that he could take in a lot of different directions.
Thank you. Yeah, I think that it is important to do a lot of ‘not taking yourself seriously.’ I have always believed that and I guess it’s kind of what people think about the image and how we actually write the songs.
The album title, Idle No More. I wouldn’t describe The Shrines as ‘idle.’ Where did that come from?
The title of the album comes from this Native American group. It’s called Idle No More. The same thing as ‘I’m covered.’ Anyways, it is really amazing. It is one of the best things that has happened; the fact that in North America the newspapers don’t want to cover it is interesting.
I’ll look into it.
That would be cool. They are doing great things, especially in Canada. The Native Americans are finally getting together and they are trying to renegotiate treaties and I think that stuff is going on all over America. So, I actually asked permission from the organization if I could put their name on my album, in tribute to them and also to spread the word.
Is there anybody you are connecting with in particular with that movement?
Actually, I grew up with a lot of Mohawk Indian friends, so I’ve always had a place for the American Indian in my heart. I used to go to the Indian reservation and stay sometimes when I was growing up. It’s just great to see the Native American people coming together and finally tackling problems that they face. I mean, if you have to go and live on the reservation, it’s worse than Third World countries and it’s within our own homeland. So, it’s great to see people get together and unite. The newspapers are not covering the stuff, so I thought it would be a good way to spread the good word.
Maybe through this new release this will increase some understanding…
Exactly. I think it’s always a good time to spread the good word.
Good luck on that. I guess the album is introspective on different levels. You’ve got some serious subjects on Idle No More.
One of the greatest things happened a few months ago. A friend of mine was talking about the Black Power movement. Prichard Thomas Smith did a whole documentary about them called The Invaders. It’s about a black power movement from Memphis in the ’70s that was about to start working with Martin Luther King shortly before he got shot. He heard my music and wanted me to do the soundtrack for the film, so that was a big honor for me.
“One-man band crafts LP like Cage the Elephant’s garage tunes”
This album is going to make it a long way, especially with these tracks sounding the way they do. The songs are versatile, featuring multiple sounds and layers. Why is this so interesting? Thunderbird is a one-man band!
Jonathan Vance began Thunderbird about a year ago and has been producing music ever since. Thunderbird is his first full-length album, and it’s not something to be missed. It’s a messy rock sound that features some fantastic guitar and drums and appeals to anyone who likes Cage the Elephant or remembers the good ol’ days of bands rocking out in their garage. It’s a fun album that was put out in time for the warmer months ahead and sets the perfect tone for anybody looking to jam with their own bands this summer.
Thunderbird is abrasive, loud, and gets you in the mood to party and jam in the heat. Don’t pass up this album, and if you’re in the Southern states this summer, look out for Jonathan Vance, currently on tour.
(Self-released) Engineered by Jeff Bakos in Atlanta, GA Mastered by Alex Lowe at Red Tuxedo, Atlanta thunderbirdatlanta.bandcamp.com
Atlanta native Nate Currin brought his Southern roots to his new home in San Francisco to create an acclaimed concept record based on the 1678 book The Pilgrim’s Progress by English writer and preacher John Bunyan.
The Pilgrim, his sophomore effort on Archaic Cannon, is a beautiful interpretation of the story Currin hoped to deliver about the book and its magic historical significance.
Songs such as “Footsteps At My Back” and “A Beautiful House” are just a few standouts in this collection of 18 gloriously written songs, full of wit, poetic charm, wisdom, sadness, darkness and triumph. Truly, Currin weaves his present day life as a songwriter and storyteller into the story told by Bunyan, interpreting the concepts, characters and places that reside within.
The music is striking; the guitar, percussion and background vocals are stirring, the lyrics emotionally grabbing. The production and mastering bring to the album crystal clear sound and truly accentuate the piano, acoustic guitars and harmonies well.
“The Traveler’s Road” is a favorite, a folksy hymn that is soft and soothing, depicting the adventures of traveling pilgrims, mixed in with Currin’s own life on the road.
The Pilgrim is a feel-good album most of the way through, relaxing and romantic to the soul and ears. A joy to discover, perhaps one of its main overall themes is to “hold on fast and don’t give in” on life, and “when you’re tired, carry on.” That’s certainly a great bit of advice to give to songwriters following in Currin’s footsteps.
The Black Lips are noted for provocative theatrics – including vomiting, urination, nudity, electric R.C. car races, fireworks, a chicken, and flaming guitars. Most of these antics, which are the center of attention in media coverage of the band, occurred in the band’s early days, a time when the group had not yet learned how to play their instruments. The frequency of their outrageous stage theatrics has declined significantly, as they claim to have matured “a little bit.” Bassist Jared Swilley says, “It doesn’t seem all that crazy to me. It’s not like we have ever done a human sacrifice on stage or anything like that.”
Well…yet. One thing is for sure, these kids are definately not anywhere close to boring as revealed in my recent interview with Mr. Swilley himself (after the video).
I’m curious as to the story behind your logo? If you’re referring to the Arabic style one, it was kind of a theme for the last record. And we had been planning a Middle Eastern tour for a while so I guess it made sense. And we thought it looked cool.
How did the Squidbillies opportunity happen? Cartoon Network is based in Atlanta so we know people there, and have worked with them in the past. And my ex-girlfirend works there so I think she may have helped with that.
Who would you say you are musically? I am the white Elvis. We are Elvis from the waist down. The part they couldn’t show on TV.
Tell me a little bit about the documentary you filmed? Our documentary, Kids Like You and Me, depicts our journey through the Middle East. Playing shows and hanging out with people. We’re the first Western band to ever do a tour in that region, so I guess that makes it interesting. I hope people like it.
Do you think that online presence is important for fans to find you and critics to find your music to write about?
Yeah, I think it’s pretty important these days. I’m not that good at it though because it’s not really a thing in my life. I didn’t grow up with the Internet, or even have a phone until five years ago. I know the Internet is important, but I’m not that great at [it]. I like playing outside more.
What do you think about online music sharing? Do you ever give your music away for free? Why? It kinda sucks that people aren’t buying as many records anymore, but you can’t fight change. It’s all out there and anyone can get it for free (even me sometimes) so what’s the point in trying to stop it or complaining about it? If someone downloads our record for free at least they heard it, and might come to our show. I encourage people to steal our music. You can’t replace vinyl records though. That’s for keeps.
What or where was the best show you ever played? Your favorite place to play and why? That’s hard to say. We just played Mexico City and that was amazing as always. Tokyo is great, New Orleans, Melbourne, Sardinia, pretty much everywhere has something great to offer. Japan might be the funnest though, it’s kind of a tie between Japan and Mexico right now.
Do you have a crazy fan story? We have a few pretty harmless stalker types. They follow us around to different countries and continents. They have nicknames. One is called “the nightmare” and another is called “the ghost.” I won’t go into the details, but our tour managers know who they are and we don’t let them come backstage. There’s also Richard, who is cool, he’s an older gentleman that does his own guerilla promotion for us. We first read about him in the New York Post because he was arrested for climbing on top of the globe in front of the Trump Tower in rollerblades and throwing Black Lips flyers and oranges off of the top. I also received a suicide note from a fan, and I have no idea how they got my address. I actually wrote back and tried to cheer the person up. I never heard back. I hope that person isn’t dead. A lot of our fans are pretty crazy, but almost all of them are A-OK in my book.
Since everyone was a startup once, can you give any smaller or local bands looking to get gigs and airplay some tips?
It sounds pretty simple, write good songs and tour a lot. If you really want to do it you have to give 120% at least, because 100% doesn’t cut it. Embrace poverty, forget about relationships and completely dedicate your entire life to it. There is no happiness without suffering. Also luck. And you have to find people equally as dedicated. Egos – you can’t have those if you want it to work. We run everything like a military outfit that is completely equal no matter what. It’s actually kinda hard. You just have to love it, and we love it.
Playing Atlanta’s Music Midtown is a HUGE deal…how do you feel about being on the bill with some of music’s rock and roll greats?
It’s really an honor. I can’t believe we’re actually doing it. I went every year as a kid and we always snuck in. That was almost the funnest part. I think I’m gonna try and sneak in this year just for old time’s sake. Great lineup too. I’m glad it’s back. I saw Iggy Pop and got arrested for underage drinking, Cole snuck into Courtney Love’s backstage, saw Willie Nelson, Toots and the Maytals, Patti Smith, Outkast, Joan Jett, George Thorogood, and now we get to play. Killer.
Who are you looking forward to seeing at the festival?
2 Chainz should be cool, I guess Weezer because I loved them in high school. We’re buds with Yeah Yeah Yeahs so it’ll be nice to see them, too. I’m getting excited already.
What new music are you listening to these days?
Not too much. Most of the musicians I like are dead. King Khan and the Shrines are amazing [editor's note - look for our cover story on them the first week of October], and have a new record out. The Spits are great, the Nightbeats, Natural Child, Those Darlins, Oblivians, actually I do listen to a lot of new stuff. There are a lot of good bands out there right now.
Name three Atlanta bands that you would take a friend to see…
Subsonics, Deerhunter, Goodie Mob.
Name three Atlanta bands from the past that you miss…
Not really bands, but Little Richard, James Brown, and Otis Redding (they aren’t technically from Atlanta, but they all called Atlanta home).
Anything you would like share, from new merch to upcoming shows/tours or songs/albums?
We are going to Nashville tomorrow to finish our new record with Patrick Carney from the Black Keys. Everyone should buy it. Or at least steal it. It’s free on the Internet.
With one month remaining, A3C reveals its 2013 Schedule of Events with more superstar veterans and oven-fresh up-and-comers to the roster http://www.a3cfestival.com/schedule. The new additions are headlined by The Best Block Party Ever featuring a Hall of Fame on the Wheels of Steel: Questlove, DJ Premier, DJ Scratch, Young Guru and Diamond D.
Other newly announced performers for the October 2 – 6 festival are Madlib, long-time collaboratorsProdigy X The Alchemist, as well as Edan and Paten Locke, Problem, Cannibal OX, Stalley and Young Dolph. It’s a potent lineup that already includes Ghostface, Pharoahe Monch, Jean Grae, Schoolboy Q, 9th Wonder, Aesop Rock and the East Coast premiere of the highly anticipated Stones Throw Records documentary, “Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton.”
The A3C Hip Hop Festival runs from October 2 – 6, 2013. Five-day passes are still available and include in-depth panels, product demos, workshops, competitions, key notes, mixers, showcases and a slew of networking opportunities with product and software manufactures, major recording artists, producers, studio owners and the media.
Drawing influences from almost everywhere in the DIY scene, Atlanta (sort of) based band The Wild is an act to watch. With influences ranging from Phil Ochs, to Bright Eyes, to Crass, The Wild’s unique folk/punk sound has earned them opening spots on tour with the likes of Against Me!, The Queers, and Joyce Manor. In addition, they’re also alumni of the Florida “Fest” family.
Their most recent album, Dreams Are Maps, was recorded over a week with engineer Laura Jane Grace (Against Me!). Although in the past The Wild has worked with producers, for their latest offering they found themselves with such a clear vision of what they wanted to accomplish, that they chose to self-produce the entire record. According to singer Witt Wisebram, the dynamic between The Wild and Laura Jane Grace came together naturally, “I have always really respected Against Me! and Laura’s ideas, so I was incredibly honored that she was willing to work with us on this record. She was very precise with the engineering of the album, and I think she was able to help us create the best sounding recordings we have ever done. It is a really cool and rare thing when someone else can understand your vision and creative process and help you to achieve it the best that you can.”
By spending more time on this album than past efforts, the band, who prides themselves on fewer overdubs and catching performances in a more natural setting, was able to capture the “big” sound that their live shows are known for.
To add complication to The Wild, its members live all across the country (Atlanta, Lexington, Denver, Brooklyn, San Francisco, and Massachusetts). A few years ago, when vocalist Dianna Settles got a scholarship to a San Francisco college, The Wild became more of a “touring” band. She explains, “For the first couple years that we were a band, we were playing shows in Atlanta almost once a week. After a while, the most shows we played were while we were on tour. While it’s sort of a bummer sometimes to see some great shows happening out in Atlanta that we can’t play because of the distance, I think we’ve navigated being spread out pretty well.”
Dreams Are Maps is currently available from Asian Man Records. Check them out on tour in the U.S. this summer, or this fall at The Fest 12 in Gainesville, Florida.
HOMETOWN: Atlanta, GA
ARTISTIC APPROACH: Punk influenced folk recorded au naturel.
The Swear Gold and Hymns and Hell
“They may not be hymns, but this EP is aggressive punk gold”
The Swear has long since been a staple in the Atlanta area and with the release of Gold and Hymns and Hell, three self-produced maxi-singles, it’s easy to see why. The new sound is raw and aggressive – and recorded mostly live, tying the group even closer to its punk roots.
From the first crunch of the guitars on the opening track “Sex and the Drugs” to the catchy pop-punk Continue reading →
John Driskell Hopkins & Balsam Range Daylight
“Songs of the South”
Stepping away from an incredibly successful band to release original solo material is no simple task. John Driskell Hopkins, a founding member of the Zac Brown Band, makes it look easy. On Daylight, he branched away from Nashville toward the hills of North Carolina to collaborate with the award-winning bluegrass band Balsam Range. Hopkins’ vocals complement the use of fiddle, mandolin, banjo, and Dobro played by BR to produce a Southern sound that is truly alive. Continue reading →