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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