John Driskell Hopkins, perhaps best known from his participation with Zac Brown Band, was born in May of 1971 in San Antonio, Texas. Hopkins was then raised in Gainesville, Georgia, where he was first involved in music, like many other country artists, when he began singing in the church choir. Throughout elementary school and high school, Hopkins was heavily involved in music and the theatre, and he later graduated from Florida State University with a degree in General Theatre. During college, he played with a band called The Woodpeckers as the lead singer. After graduation, he moved to Atlanta and began focusing on producing and writing music. During that time, he met up with Zac Brown. In 2003, the two released together Zac’s Home Grown album.
Hopkins has worked with Brown over the years of the latter’s successful career, but he is also currently working on his personal material. Currently, Hopkins is backed by the award-winning bluegrass band called Balsam Range. Balsam Range is made up of Buddy Melton on the fiddle, Darren Nicholson on the mandolin, Marc Pruett on the banjo, Caleb Baxter Smith on the guitar and Tim Surrett on the bass and the dobro. All of the band members also contribute vocals alongside Hopkins.
Artists including Zac Brown have been featured in some of Hopkins and Balsam Range’s songs. Brown performed vocals and the guitar on the song “I Will Lay Me Down.” Other artists have been featured in songs like “Runaway Train,” “Bye Baby Goodbye,” “Daylight,” “The Devil Lives in a Mason Jar” and “How Could I?” These artists include Jerry Douglas, Joey + Rory, Levi Lowrey, Tony Trischka and Richard Foulk.
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