John Driskell Hopkins – Bio

The musical career of John Driskell Hopkins spans more than 20 years. As a member of several rock bands, Hopkins first rooted himself in the Atlanta music scene in 1995 — but he is most well-known as a founding member, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter of the GRAMMY Award-winning Zac Brown Band.

Hopkins became a founding member of the Zac Brown Band (ZBB) in 2005 as a bass player and has enjoyed engineering and songwriting credits on hit songs including “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 No. 1  single. Hopkins met Zac Brown while hosting an open mic night at the Atlanta. Over the next several years, they remained friends and with Hopkins lending a production hand, they released the first Zac Brown album, Home Grown, in 2004. 

As ZBB continues to garner critical and public success through numerous awards — including three 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 No. 1 hit on the Billboard country charts in March 2015, from the 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 guests on “Saturday Night Live” on March 7, 2015.

In 2019, the film “Adolescence” was released, directed by Ashley Avi. Hopkins plays the role of guitarist/sing “Spider,” alongside Tommy Flannagan (“Sons of Anarchy”) as a member of The Bloody Wolves of Venice — a rock band created for the film which plays original music created and sung by Hopkins. A hard rock EP of this music was released in January 2019.  Hopkins can also be seen and heard in the 2015 internationally-released film “Careful What You Wish For,” featuring Nick Jonas, Paul Sorvin and Dermot Mulroney, produced by Elizabeth Allen. Having always been heavily involved in theatre throughout high school, he graduated from Florida State University with a degree in General Theatre.  

In 2015, Hopkins was elected as an advisor to the Recording Academy, Atlanta Chapter, and was subsequently voted in to a Governor Seat for two consecutive terms from 2015-2019. In 2019, he  became a National Trustee for The Recording Academy and will hold that office until 2021.

In late summer, 2015, Hopkins fulfilled a dream when he collaborated with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra on a Christmas album entitled, In The Spirit: A Celebration of the Holidays. Featuring 12 tracks of timeless holiday tunes, the album features 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 a vinyl edition was released in 2016.

In 2017, Hopkins released his second holiday album, You Better Watch Out, a collaboration with The Joe Gransden Big Band featuring special guests including: Aoife O’Donovan, Bela Fleck, and Clay Cook and Daniel de los Reyes (of the Zac Brown Band). His third holiday album, entitled Our Finest Gifts, will be released in November 2019 — this time he collaborated with ATL Collective, and it features special guests such as: Trombone Shorty, Ruby Velle, Dionne Farris, David Ryan Harris, Jason Eskridge and Maureen Murphy. 

When he’s not touring, Hopkins works out of his Brighter Shade Studios songwriting and producing a growing crop of talent. Hop continues to perform at music festivals and venues across the country with his original six-piece band, The John Driskell Hopkins Band, which includes: Mike Rizzi on drums/vocals; Sean McIntyre on bass/vocals; Leah Calvert on fiddle/vocals; Greg Earnest on banjo; and Brian Bisky on keyboard/vocals. There are 11 episodes available of Hopkins’ ongoing Podcast, “Under The Influence with John Driskell Hopkins” on iTunes — most of which were recorded while on the road with other bandmates or fellow tourmates. Another favorite activity is taking his Harley out for a lap of the city du jour. 

Hopkins shares his life, on and off the road, with his amazing wife and three beautiful daughters.

They raised $85,000 for charity the night of the I-85 collapse

By: Jennifer Brett

“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 ReynoldsNew 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

Full Article:

MerleFest 2017 to spotlight new talent


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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John Driskell Hopkins, Atlanta Pops Release Deluxe Christmas Album


By GABBIE WATTS NOV 29, 2016 City Lights with Lois Reitzes

Last year, the Atlanta Pops Orchestra and the Zac Brown Band’s John Driskell Hopkins teamed up to make a Christmas album. JOLIE LAUREN PHOTOGRAPHY

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.

Full Article: HERE

John Driskell Hopkins of the Zac Brown Band talks Atlanta Pops Orchestra, new record, The Vista Room

John Driskell Hopkins with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra

Phil W. Hudson Staff Writer Atlanta Business Chronicle


On Nov. 28, Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Phil W. Hudson sat down with John Driskell Hopkins of the Zac Brown Band for a wide-ranging discussion.

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.

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Outside Projects Make Zac Brown Band More Creative Together

The Zac Brown Band

By Riane Konc March 28, 2016 4:30 PM

Joe Scarnici, Getty Images


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.”

Read More: Outside Projects Make Zac Brown Band More Creative Together |

John Driskell Hopkins Takes Role in New Independent Film

John Driskell Hopkins of the Zac Brown Band
john driskell hopkins movie adolesence
Dave Kotinsky, Getty Images

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.”

Excerpt, Read More: John Driskell Hopkins Takes Role in New Independent Film |

Zac Brown Band’s John Driskell Hopkins on Unusual Inspirations

Zac Brown Band will play the first show at Coors Field on Friday night.

“I ran [the open mike] on Tuesdays for probably two or three years,” says former ZBB bass player and current multi-instrumentalist and singer John Driskell Hopkins. “My main gig at that time was in the studio. For me, it was a great opportunity to find new talent in need of recordings. I would often offer a free song to the winner of the open mike. Sometimes those winners would record with me, or they would go on to other things. But it was a great way to meet a lot of the new writers in the Atlanta area.”


Zac Brown Band interview: John Driskell Hopkins

The Zac Brown Band

By Wade Tatangelo , Herald-Tribune
/ Wednesday, May 28, 2014

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.”



Grammy winner appointed artist-in-residence at Kennesaw State University

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.

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By Billy Dukes

Zac Brown Band
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

(Continued From Part 1)

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.’

Read More: Zac Brown Band Interview Part 2: John Driskell Hopkins Says Band Will Always Break the Rules and Push the Limits |