As a founding member of Zac Brown Band, John Driskell Hopkins spends most of his year touring and recording with the Grammy-winning country hitmakers behind number-ones like “Homegrown.” But when he’s not on the road with his band mates — and sometimes even when he is — John’s been pursuing one of his passions: a holiday album.
“I love to croon. I’ve got a musical theatre background,” he says of the motivation behind his new project. “I love the traditional orchestra arrangements that Christmas music brings. I love classic singers, and I’ve just always thought that I would fit in that world…”
Even though John ended up recording his project with the Atlanta Pops, In the Spirit: A Celebration of the Holidays wasn’t always such a grandiose affair.
“It started off small, you know,” he recalls, “with me sitting in the dressing room, on the road, and you know, one of the guys will walk in and say, ‘What are you doing?’ I’m like, ‘I’m playing this Charlie Brown song, leave me alone!’” he laughs.
John also enlisted actress and singer Laura Bell Bundy to help him put a new twist on a classic winter duet.
“I had met [her] in passing at a few awards shows,” he remembers. “And when I thought about doing ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ with the roles reversed, which I felt like was funny at least and more appropriate than a lot of the versions are gonna be these days, she just popped into my head… She’s got a classic voice that just really, really was awesome for it.”
In the Spirit: A Celebration of the Holidays is available at both JohnDriskellHopkins.com and ZacBrownBand.com. It comes as a download, a deluxe double vinyl album or a CD.
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