The musical career of John Driskell Hopkins spans more than 30 years. As a member of several rock bands, Hopkins first rooted himself in the Atlanta music scene in 1995 and 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 the original 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 in 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.
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 Avis. Hopkins plays the role of guitarist/singer “Spider,” alongside Tommy Flannagan (“Sons of Anarchy”) as a member of The Bloody Wolves of Venice — a rock band Hopkins created for the film. 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 held 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 special guests such as the Indigo Girls, Balsam Range, and actress/singer extraordinaire Laura Bell Bundy.
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, was released in
November 2019 — this time he collaborated with ATL Collective and special guests such as Trombone Shorty, Ruby Velle, Dionne Farris, David Ryan Harris, Jason Eskridge and Maureen Murphy. His latest holiday album released in 2023, Let’s Get Frosty!, features Yacht Rock Revue with special guests Debby Boone, Amos Lee and his daughter Lily Faith Hopkins, who was nine years old at the time of recording.
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 seven-piece band, The John Driskell Hopkins Band, which includes: Mike Rizzi on drums/vocals; Sean McIntyre onbass/vocals; Leah Calvert on fiddle/vocals; Greg Earnest on banjo; Brian Bisky on keyboard/vocals and Michael Westbrook on guitar. In February 2021, the John Driskell Hopkins Band released the long awaited and celebrated album “Lonesome High”.
In December 2021, Hopkins was diagnosed with ALS. In May 2022, John announced his diagnosis to the public and he and his wife, Jennifer, launched Hop On A Cure Foundation. Hop On A Cure is committed to supporting research to prevent, reverse, and cure ALS while raising awareness, building a compassionate community, and unleashing the healing power of hope.
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 band mates and fellow tour mates. New episodes are coming early 2024.
Hopkins shares his life, on and off the road, with his amazing wife and three