(PRWEB) February 27, 2003
For Immediate Release
For Information Contact:
Ron Currens, Artist Manager
Phone: (770) 457-7505
Fax: (253) 540-0554
Photos available on request
Atlanta's "Best Blues Act" To Release Debut Album Feb. 28
Recently named by Atlanta Magazine as Atlanta's Best Blues Act, Donna Hopkins will release her debut CD, titled Free To Go, on February 28, 2003. This impressive debut album features Donna with her own band, the Donna Hopkins Band.
The Donna Hopkins Band is Cindy Adler on bass, Kevin Thomas on Hammond B-3 and Wurlitzer, and guest artist Yonrico Scott of the Derek Trucks Band on drums and percussion. A cello player for 16 years, Cindy's melodic bass lines are an integral part of Donna's sound and she has been playing with Donna since August of 1999. There was an immediate connection between the two women who not only shared the love of music, but who were also raising young children. ÂDonna is like the sister that I never had. WeÂve shared laughs, tears, disagreements and music. ItÂs a very strong bond.Â
Kevin Thomas has been involved in the Southeastern music scene for nearly a decade, playing with numerous bands including the Count MÂButu Orchestra, the Urban Shakedancers, Bluestring, and many other local and regional acts. He joined the Donna Hopkins Band in May 2002 providing an immediate impact on the development of DonnaÂs material. ÂThe Hammond organ and Wurlitzer give DonnaÂs songs a true ÂMuscle ShoalsÂ sound with warm, soulful tones and expressive, dynamic accompaniment.Â
Thought by many to be one of the very best drummers in the business, Yonrico Scott is familiar to any fan of jam band music. A long-time member of the Derek Trucks Band, Yonrico is no stranger to fine guitar playing Â he is appearing on this CD solely because he loves Donna's music. "Donna Hopkins is a fresh, bright new talent with an old soul, inspiring new listeners as well as old fans. She is a guitar player's player and a singer's singer. It is a great honor to play with her."
Free To Go is an exhilarating tour-de-force of Donna's music, providing a showcase of her gutsy vocals, her amazing guitar playing, and her formidable song-writing skills. Donna aims for a raw, old-school approach to the blues, armed only with an old Gibson Les Paul Custom and a vintage Ampeg tube amp. Her current axe was acquired earlier this year and named Beulah May after her grandmother who taught her to sing "I'll Fly Away." Donna learned that spiritual on her grandmother's knee when she was three years old, and it is included on the album in a special arrangement by Donna in her honor Â she passed away unexpectedly just three days after Donna named her guitar, and Donna played the song at her funeral.
The first eight songs on Free To Go are Donna Hopkins originals. The opener, the hard rocking "Don't Ask Why" grabs the listener's attention and sets the tone for album. Next up is the autobiographical "Dirty Alabama Road" Â featuring Donna on both acoustic and electric slide Â followed by the acoustic "Everything Money Can't Buy" with Steve Cunningham on Dobro and Barry Thasher on mandolin. The next song is the powerful and ethereal title track, "Free To Go."
Another song inspired by her grandmother, "Thunderin' in the Thickets," follows with its strong, vibrant guitar leads. "U-Haul You Back" is purely a fun country-blues love song, co-written by Diane Durrett, who also provides backup vocals. "Anything" is another love song in the form of a blues ballad and features a horn section. "Little India" is an eastern-flavored instrumental with Steve Cunningham's Dobro in the lead and Yonrico on tablas.
Wrapping up this impressive album are three bonus tracks. Donna's 83-year old grandfather Tip Barbee plays acoustic guitar and sings the Hank Williams classic, "Long Gone Lonesome Blues," accompanied by Donna on guitar, Mark Van Allen on pedal steel and Vassar Clements on fiddle. The next track is an alternate take of "Everything Money Can't Buy" with Donna's daughter India Â at age seven already a veteran performer Â on lead vocal along with Donna. The final cut is a 57-second reprise of "Little India" followed by a hidden track Â a live recording of Donna performing the blues classic "Time To Travel" at Fuzzy's in Atlanta, with some of the sweetest slide on record.
Donna is a third generation musician and has been performing professionally since age 14. From her humble beginnings in the small town of Arab, Alabama, she has willed her way to the top of her craft. Strongly influenced by the Allman Brothers Band, Donna has blossomed since she began playing lead electric guitar. She has a very clear idea of what she wants her sound to be, and she has managed to create a unique identity for herself. In a field crowded with guitar-slingers, her style stands out Â she has the very rare ability to play with her heart.
From Alabama/country/rhythm & blues to gospel to mystical slide/conga/percussions inspired by the Derek Trucks Band, this CD is authentic Southern roots music Â from a woman's point of view. King Curtis said, "Soul is best said through music." Donna is living proof of that statement. As with all great artists, you can feel her soul within each note.
This is a beautiful woman with a beautiful soul Â to hear her is to love her. Fans everywhere will now be able to find out for themselves why everyone is talking about Donna Hopkins.
For more information about Donna Hopkins contact Ron Currens: 4603 Holliston Road, Atlanta, GA. 30360-2033; call: (770) 457-7505; fax: (253) 540-0554; or visit http://www.donnahopkins.com.
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