“Our whole goal was, how can we make an impact?” Patrick Gahan said.
The March 30 fundraiser was just one example of the organization’s work, and the impressive turnout exemplifies its supporters’ dedication.
As the event was held right near the affected portion of the highway, some folks actually abandoned their cars and walked or hailed rides to make it.
Erin Alvey O’Sullivan and Kelsey Wingert at the Enduring Hearts fundraiser. Photos provided to the AJC
The evening featured performances from John Driskell Hopkins and Erin Alvey O’Sullivan and live and silent auctions. Celebrity guests included former Atlanta Falcons offensive lineman Garrett Reynolds, New York Giants wide receiver and University of Georgia alum Tavarres King and Kansas City Chiefs and UGA alum Chris Conley (who also gave an acoustic guitar performance).
For details on the research Enduring Hearts helps fund, its resources for families and its impressive roster of medical and scientific advisers see enduringhearts.org.
John Driskell Hopkins is best known as a founding member, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter for the Grammy-winning Zac Brown Band. He has been performing since the ‘90s with Brighter Shade, a rock band he founded. Later, he began songwriting and performing with Zac Brown. Hopkins co-wrote the chart-topping single “Toes” and won a Grammy for Best Country Album with the band for 2013’s “Uncaged.” He also co-wrote “It’s Not OK,” “I Play the Road” and “Nothing” among others. On tour with the Zac Brown Band, Hopkins began as the bass player but now plays the guitar and banjo.
In 2012, he released an original record called “Daylight,” a collaboration with Balsam Range. In 2015, Hopkins released a holiday album, “In the Spirit – A Celebration of the Holidays,” collaborating with the legendary Atlanta Pops Orchestra and featuring guests such as Indigo Girls, Balsam Range, and Laura Bell Bundy. This year, Hopkins brings his band, John Driskell Hopkins Band, for its first MerleFest appearance.
John Driskell Hopkins is also an actor, who graduated from Florida State University with a degree in general theatre in 1993. His first film, “Careful What You Wish For” (2015), starred Nick Jonas, Isabel Lucas, and Paul Sorvino. He was also in the feature film “Adolescence.”
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Zac Brown Band founding member John Driskell Hopkins has added his voice to the Christmas canon. Last year, he teamed up with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra for “In The Spirit: A Celebration of the Holidays.”
That album also features collaborations with the Indigo Girls, Laura Bell Bundy and Balsam Range. This year, the Atlanta Pops and Hopkins are releasing a deluxe edition of the album, featuring several new songs on a bright blue vinyl.
“I always wanted to have a Christmas record, and now I think want five of them,” said Hopkins, who is already thinking about his next Christmas album.
And the Atlanta Pops Orchestra has always been well-versed in collaboration.
In addition to his work with the multi-platinum selling, three-time Grammy Award-winning Zac Brown Band, Hopkins recently partnered with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra to reissue “In The Spirit: A Celebration of the Holidays,” which features guest appearances from the Indigo Girls, Balsam Range and Laura Bell Bundy, as a double vinyl LP.
Full Article: http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/news/2016/11/29/q-a-john-driskell-hopkins-of-the-zac-brown-band.html
Adds John Driskell Hopkins, “I’ve always maintained that everybody in Zac Brown Band is a band leader. Coy [Bowles] and Clay [Cook] and I all have our own records and had them before we joined the band. Jimmy used to be one of the main driving forces of the Dave Matthews Cover Band, and they were playing 1,200-seat theaters. All the guys in the band have been music directors and very influential in their own careers before joining this band. So, basically, we’ve continued to live the way that we would normally live but also make our main focus Zac Brown Band.”
As Hopkins explains, their continuing outside projects fulfill a basic need to be independently creative.
“It’s a little tricky in terms of the schedule, but we’re a group of guys that have to create,” he says. “And I’ve been a band leader since I was, you know, 20, so it’s something that I don’t know how not to do it. I have to write my own songs. I have to sing them. And I have to be in front of the mic once in a while.”
John Driskell Hopkins is best known as a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist in Zac Brown Band, but when he’s not touring and recording with the group, he sometimes spends his days on movie sets. Hopkins has a General Theatre degree from Florida State University, took a role in 2015’s Careful What You Wish For and is now working on a second independent film, tentatively titled Adolescence.
“I’m a biker and a lead singer in a rock band, so it’s a big stretch for me,” Hopkins jokes with The Boot. “I’m looking forward to it. I’m getting to write some of the music for the movie as well; [I’m] excited for that.”
The artist began acting in high school and, after trying out “a bunch of unhappy majors that I just kept filtering through,” realized that theater was the right path for him.
“Theater was the most encompassing of my pursuits, because it had acting, it had singing,” Hopkins explains. “Sometimes I would play an instrument onstage or even in the pit once in a while.”
John Driskell Hopkins is pictured third from the right, next to Zac Brown, in this photo of the Zac Brown Band / Photo Credit: Cole Cassell/Southern Reel
The Grammy-winning Zac Brown Band, an Atlanta-based group that plays a roots-y brand of country which genre-hops enough to appeal to the neo-hippies of the jam band scene, embarked last week on its “Great American Road Trip Tour.” It includes dates Thursday and Friday at the MidFlorida Amphitheatre on the Florida State Fairgrounds. It’s the first time in recent memory an act has played back-to-back dates at the 20,000-capacity shed in Tampa. The Zac Brown Band already sold out two shows next month at Fenway Park in Boston.
“It’s flattering and it’s amazing but it’s funny, too,” says Hopkins, a multi-instrumentalist most often seen wielding a guitar on stage. “We sold out Fenway two nights in a row but we can’t sell out Atlanta. We have lots of hometown friends here but there’s not, say, the same excitement as in Tampa and other places.”
Georgia (Feb 13, 2013) — Zac Brown bassist John Driskell Hopkins will work with students in the University’s Joel A. Katz Music & Entertainment Business Program
KENNESAW, Ga (Feb. 13, 2013) ― John Driskell Hopkins, bassist and songwriter for the Zac Brown band, has joined Kennesaw State University’s Joel A. Katz Music & Entertainment Business Program as an artist in residence.
Hopkins, the programs’ first artist in residence, is conducting lectures on songwriting, publishing, copyright, and recording. Students in the spring 2013 MEBUS classes will also work with Hopkins to promote his new solo record, Daylight, featuring Zac Brown and Jerry Douglas.
When you’re putting together new albums like ‘Uncaged,’ do you make a conscious effort to include songs that are going to appeal to fans that are a little more mainstream?
Yeah, we certainly know where we eat. We wanna keep it clean where we eat. If we find that we have songs that lend themselves to a certain radio sound, than we’ll nurture those for country radio a little bit. The great thing about this band is that it doesn’t matter what we play, it always sounds like us. I feel like our personality really comes through even if we’re doing ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb.’