JOHN DRISKELL HOPKINS
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. Hopkins met Zac Brown in 1998 at an open mic hosted by Hopkins. Over the next several years, they remained friends and with Hopkins lending a production hand, they released the first Zac Brown record, Home Grown, in 2004.
Hopkins became a founding member of the Zac Brown Band in 2005 and has enjoyed engineering and songwriting credits on hit songs such as “Toes,” “It’s Not OK,” and “Sic Em On A Chicken,” from the triple-platinum selling record The Foundation, as well as “Nothing,” “I Play The Road,” and “Settle Me Down,” from the platinum selling record, You Get What You Give. Hopkins also co-wrote the second single from the Zac Brown Band’s third platinum album, Uncaged, entitled “Goodbye in Her Eyes” which was the group’s ninth Billboard number one single.
As the ZBB continue to garner critical and public success through numerous awards, including 3 Grammy Awards, Hopkins continues to share the spotlight on stage with his band of fellow songwriters and friends. He has added the title of multi-instrumentalist to his ZBB resume, playing Banjo on the single “Homegrown,’’ which became their 11th number one on Billboard Country charts in March, 2015, from their album Jekyll and Hyde. Hopkins is also a contributing writer on that album’s second single, “Heavy Is The Head” featuring Chris Cornell, which debuted at No. 37 on Billboard Mainstream Rock chart, marking their first appearance on that chart. The band played both singles as musical guest on Saturday Night Live on March 7, 2015.
Hopkins can be seen and heard in the 2015 internationally-released film Careful What You Wish For featuring Nick Jonas, Paul Sorvino, & Dermot Mulroney, produced by Elizabeth Allen. And in 2016, he provided original music for and appears in the upcoming film, Adolescence featuring Tommy Flanagan, directed by Ashley Avis.
When off the road, Hopkins works in his brand new Brighter Shade Studio, songwriting and producing a growing crop of regional talent; he often shares these tracks with BMG/Chrysalis Nashville, whom he’s partnered with in an administrative deal since 2011. He continues to perform at music festivals and venues across the country with his original 6-piece band that includes Greg Earnest on banjo and Leah Calvert on fiddle, and also collaborates with other musicians as often as possible.
In 2015, Hopkins was elected as an advisor to the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Atlanta Chapter, and was subsequently voted in to a Governor Seat for the 2015-2017 term. In late summer, 2015, Hopkins fulfilled a dream when he collaborated with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra on a Christmas album, titled In The Spirit: A Celebration of the Holidays, recording 12 tracks of timeless holiday tunes with soaring arrangements and wonderful special guests such as the Indigo Girls, Balsam Range, and actress/singer extraordinaire, Laura Bell Bundy. The album was released in November, 2015, and Hopkins now joins the APO for holiday shows around the southeast each holiday season, and in 2016, released In The Spirit as a double vinyl LP with bonus tracks.
In November 2017, John released his second holiday album, You Better Watch Out, a collaboration with the Joe Gransden Big Band, featuring special guests Aoife O’Donovan, Bela Fleck, and Clay Cook and Daniel de los Reyes of the Zac Brown Band. He’s spent December 2017 playing shows with both the APO and the Big Band, celebrating the holidays and his brief down time with the ZBB before they head out again late January, 2018.
You can catch 11 episodes of Hopkins’ ongoing podcast, Under The Influence with John Driskell Hopkins, on iTunes, most of which were recorded while on the road with other band-mates or fellow tour-mates. Another favorite activity during any touring downtime is taking his Harley out for a lap of the city du jour. He shares his life on and off the road with his amazing wife and three beautiful daughters.
DANIEL DE LOS REYES
Daniel de los Reyes was born into a family that for three generations has been making a living playing music. His grandfather, Walfredo de los Reyes II, laid the family musical foundation by co-founding the famous Cuban orchestra Casino de la Playa. His father, Walfredo de los Reyes III, went on to become one of Cuba’s most successful drummers/percussionists before moving on to Puerto Rico and then the United States.
As one of the first drummers to incorporate the drum set with congas and other percussion, he blazed a wide path that many would follow. He continues to wow crowds with his drumming and percussion ability, extensive musical history, and incredible enthusiasm at the ripe young age of 79. And now Daniel and his brothers, Walfredo Reyes Jr. and Kamar de los Reyes, keep the torch burning brighter than ever as they consistently stamp the de los Reyes name all over the percussion and entertainment landscape.
In addition to his current schedule with the Zac Brown Band, Daniel has performed on tour, record, TV, movie and video over the years with a virtual who’s who of music giants including Chicago, Don Henley, Earth, Wind & Fire, Sting, The Killers, Sheryl Crow, Patti LaBelle, Peter Frampton, Jennifer Lopez, Don Omar, Stevie Nicks, Louie Vega, Ricky Martin, Shakira, Lionel Richie, Kenny Ortega, Steve Winwood, and many others.
Hailing from the music hotbed of West Georgia, Brian’s hardworking nature has landed him opening slots for many reputable artists in nearly every genre. His debut single “Never Really Left” led Brian to be named an ‘Artist to Watch’ by CMA, Billboard and CMT.
Brian claimed the title of highest independent charting artist on the MusicRow Country Breakout Chart with his uplifting sophomore Top 10 single “Shine A Little Love” which celebrated national media recognition and went No. 1 on CMT’s Pure 12-Pack Countdown for seven weeks in a row! Brian commemorated this success by launching his very own music festival, Shine A Little Love Fest, in 30A, Florida.
All the accolades that Brian has accumulated in only a short period of time, has already allowed him to participate in the 49th and 50th Annual CMA Awards. Brian has performed his latest Top 20 single, “Healing Highway” on many affiliate TV stations across the country, and also made a cartoon cameo on FX Networks’ Archer.