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JD NEWS
J.D. Hopkins Press |
PRESS - Reviews, Previews, Advance Articles, Endorsments

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January, 2005 - WeNoSpeak.com MUSIC FROM ANOTHER PLANET CD Review
Fall, 2004 - musicSUBMIT.com SMOKE SHADOWS and IMAGINATION DOCTORS Press Advance
October, 2004 - Origivation.com IMAGINATION DOCTORS CD Review
September 2, 2004 - BRAVO! Meadville Tribune Advance Article
August, 2004 - Kirk Nesset, WARC FM Unsolicited Endorsnemt
July, 2004 - art'efakt magazine Advance Article
June 11, 2004 - Buck/Hopkins Art and Music Weekend Advance
June 10, 2004 - Buck/Hopkins Art and Music Showcase Advance
Spring, 2004 - Professor Don Huber Unsolicited Endorsement
January 31, 2003 - Live at Forward Hall PlayErie Review
2003 - PlayErie.com FAMILY VALUES CD Review

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>>Music From Another Planet CD Review Article from www.wenospeak.com

Music From Another Planet

WeNoSpeak.com CD Review
J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm

WeNoSpeak.com Review:

“On the spot improvising,” “Floating Polyrhythmic concept,” and “Images that are colorful, complex, and flowing” almost say it all. I can think of another way to say it: “The Miles Davis electric period didn’t end in 1975.” Now THAT’S saying something.

J.D. Hopkins and the Sons of Rhythm set themselves apart because they make no effort whatsoever to play “songs”; therefore, they have complete freedom to really improvise “on the spot.” ... They work so well together it’s hard to imagine that everything they do is a jam. ...the ensemble gathered here is all ears and full of respect. They listen to each other and don’t step on each other’s toes.

This is the real deal, total improvisation with a groove. I personally give J.D. a lot of credit for gathering such high caliber musicians together and playing music that’s so full of risks that many musicians either won’t go near it or can’t even play it.

One of my favorite quotes from Miles Davis comes to mind when I hear this great music. Miles was being heavily criticized for the music from “On The Corner” and his paraphrased response was: “Let’s see you do it”

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>>Smoke Shadows and Imagination Doctors Press Advance Article from www.musicsubmit.com

Smoke Shadows & Imagination Doctors

musicSUBMIT.com Press Advance
J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm

musicSUBMIT.com Advance:

PA's J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm -
Maybe it's something in the water...

…maybe it's just the creative imperative, but Erie, PA's J.D. and the Sons Of Rhythm keep up their prolific ways with the release of two more double CDs Smoke Shadows and Imagination Doctors. This extends the band's catalog to six double CD's in half as many years.

The group is fiercely loyal to their home base on the shores of Lake Erie, recording in a local studio and using local vendors for every element of production, from the printing of back trays to the reproduction of the discs themselves. They're dedicated to reaching a broader audience, though, with a national print advertising program in magazines including Downbeat, Relix and Modern Drummer.

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>>Imagination Doctors CD Review Article from www.origivation.com

Imagination Doctors

Origivation.com CD Review
J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm

Origivation.com Review:

4 Stars

Finally. Finally. After countless rounds of singer-songwriters, pop-punks, hard rockers and who knows what else...something different arrives to listen to and review...

...draws on myriad influences, from free jazz, to world beat to jam band.

...in a landscape dominated by college jam bands who seem to want nothing more than to be the next Phish, J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm's eclectic experimentalism and improvisation set them into their own category.

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>>J.D. Hopkins / September 4 Advance - September 2, 2004 Article from Meadville Tribune BRAVO! Section

J.D. Hopkins

Meadville Tribune
Hopkins reflects on four decades of making music

Pete Chiodo BRAVO! article:

Musicians bring a lot of things to gigs - their gear, possibly a groupie or two, maybe some choice pharmaceuticals. Few, however, probably carry the same kind as local drumming legend J.D. Hopkins.

"I have to take my nitroglycerin with me," said Hopkins, referring to the medicine that treats someone having a heart attack.

Well, that's what happens when you have two of them - heart attacks, that is - while you're on stage playing. And that's what happened to Hopkins at a concert in Pittsburgh in 1996, and then again last year when he and his band, J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm, were playing at the Frontier Park Jazz Festival in Erie.

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>>Kirk Nesset WARC FM unsolicited endorsment - August, 2004 Letter from Kirk Nesset, WARC FM

Music like this makes even celestial bodies lean in and listen

J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm

Letter excerpts:

"...space jazz at its most exquisite..."

"Music like this makes even celestial bodies lean in and listen"

  - Kirk Nesset, WARC FM

Full Text...

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>>art'efakt magazine Advance - June, 2004 Article from July art'efakt magazine

J.D. Hopkins

art'efakt magazine Advance
J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm
Finding Complete Freedom In Experimental Jazz

Jeanine Zimmer Article:

J.D. Hopkins and the Sons of Rhythm: Finding Complete Freedom in Experimental Jazz

"We didn't plan on making it", says a nonchalant J.D. Hopkins, "but after hearing (our music) so many people said we had to get our stuff out there". Now J.D. Hopkins and The Sons of Rhythm are gracing the pages of such national music magazines as Relix and Modern Drummer. Their improvisational World Beat/Jazz style reminds you much of the Grateful Dead's unplanned jams but their music is much more classical and earthy, leaving much of the rock behind and focusing more on melodic harmony.

I met with J.D. last month in the Mikdtown Recording Studios at Forward Hall of Erie, Pennsylvania. This studio was but another one of J.D.'s creative ventures and was just recently completely turned over to recording maestro and (St. Bonaventure?) grad, Randy Hetherington. Among the other J.D. undertakings he has stacked up booking agent, publisher and artist to his list, all which have brought him success.

J.D. was raised in Meadville, PA where he recognized his interest in music by the age of eleven under the guidance of his mentor Cootie Harris...

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>>Buck/Hopkins Review - June 13, 2004 Article from June 11 Erie Times-News Weekend Section

Buck/Hopkins Art and Music Review

Erie Art Museum Annex
J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm
Joseph Allen Popp's Weirdo Theatre

Dave Richards ETN Weekend Advance:

At some point in life it happens to many of us: The need to vegetate supercedes the need to create.

We become watchers, not doers. Or, as Kurt Cobain dryly sang, "Here we are now: Entertain us."

So I admire those who never let their creative drives stall. I cheer those who still pick up a guitar and write a melody, who grab a pen and write a poem, who pick up a paintbrush and turn a blank, white canvas into something breathtaking.

I especially respect those who let their creativity flow in a free way that's unaffected by commercial calculation. ...

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>>Buck/Hopkins Review - June 13, 2004 Article from June 10 Erie Times-News Showcase Section

Buck/Hopkins Art and Music Review

Erie Art Museum Annex
J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm
Joseph Allen Popp's Weirdo Theatre

Dave Richards ETN Showcase Advance:

Meadville-area musician J.D. Hopkins isn't sure how much longer he'll be around. He's got a bad heart, the result of separate heart attacks which occured on stage. Last winter, a medication problem briefly left him in a coma.

He could try to get on a transplant list, but past legal problems would make that difficult. He figures he's "only got a couple years anyway" so why deal with that cumbersome process?

You'd think he has every reason to throw up his hands. Instead, he's cheerfully thrown himself into music, his life-long passion, making every moment count. He leads J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm, a loose consortium of top-flight musicians, which includes his drummer-percussionist sons Jayson and Rickie. J.D. also plays percussion.

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>>Unsolicited Endorsement - Spring, 2004 Letter from Professor Don Huber

Cutting-edge muzak from God

Primate Gestures, Music From Another Planet
J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm

Letter excerpts:

"I'm getting a lot of work done in the studio while listening to the two CDs I have ( Primate Gestures and Music From Another Planet). Every time I listen I hear something new."

"If your music was pumped through public sound systems all over, people would go around a lot healthier, happier, and with energy."

"It's cutting-edge muzak from God - SEND ME MORE! - please."

  - Professor Don Huber

Full Text...

Professor Huber recently retired from Pensacola College in Florida where he taught Art, Drawing and Painting. He was Visiting Artist in Residence in Japan in 2001. Professor Huber is a Painter, Photographer and Author whose works are held in numerous private collections.

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>>Live at Forward Hall - January 31, 2003 Article from www.playerie.com

Collective Improvisation

Live at Forward Hall
J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm

PlayErie.com Review:

Once again JD Hopkins commandeered Forward Hall to bring spontaneous improvised music to the Erie area. Operating under the heading of JD & the Sons of Rhythm, Hopkins and sons Ricky & Jason form a foundation of acoustic drums and electronic percussion. Over this is a unique and ever changing collection of many of Erie's finest players. Tonight the band blossomed into a nine piece unit featuring four percussionists, two bass players and three guitarists.

The all star line up this evening consisted of JD and Jayson Hopkins on electronic percussion, Ricky Hopkins on acoustic drums, Joel Polacci on congas, Tony Stefanelli and Ken Cornelius on bass and guitarists Scott Cravener, Frank Singer and Mike Ohm. Ricky Hopkins and Polacci also play in Mambo, Jayson Hopkins works with Skudd, Stefanelli and Singer play in Cat's A Bear, Cravener and Cornelius are in Starfish and Ohm works with Potato Battery. OK... now that we are straight on who's who lets get down to the music.

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>>Family Values CD Review Article from www.playerie.com

Family Values

PlayErie.com CD Review
J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm

PlayErie.com Review:

Long time drummer and entrepreneur JD Hopkins has put together his own all-star collection of local Erie musicians for this 2CD release. It seems that JD is out to prove that musical talent can be passed on genetically, as two of his sons (Jayson and Rickie) play drums on Family Values and his son-in-law (Keith Homerski) plays electric drums and co-engineered this release. Homerski also co-produced along with JD.

The music is jam based, somewhat funky and often jazzy in flavor. A couple of the tunes have a Spanish or Latin feel, while other pieces give a nod to Reggae. This release is the newest in a series of JD's jamming experiments at Midtown Recording. Every so often JD calls up all of the musicians he knows and invites them down to record. Later JD and engineer Randy Hetherington sift through the improvs and put together a cohesive whole.

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