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John Driskell Hopkins Spreads Christmas Cheer With New R&B Album, ‘Our Finest Gifts’


John Driskell Hopkins wears many hats. He’s the co-founder, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist of the Zac Brown Band. Around this time of year, he likes to wear a red hat with a fuzzy white ball.

Hopkins stopped by last week to tell “City Lights” about his third holiday album, “Our Finest Gifts.”

“This album is a compilation of R&B hits from 1950 to 1985. There is such a colorful history during that time musically that it started with Louis Jordan and the blues/R&B sound,” Hopkins said. “As the genre grew over the decades, I just wanted to highlight how we’re all growing and what a gift it is to share our talents as musicians.”

He, along with ATL Collective, worked together to create the album. The nonprofit organization is an Atlanta-based, album-cover, live music group. They cover classic albums featuring top Atlanta music makers.

“I was pretty excited to know that they had never recorded anything before, so this is the first album that anyone has ever done with ATL Collective,” Hopkins said.

Other featured artists of the album include Trombone Shorty, Atlanta soul artist Ruby Velle, singer-songwriter David Ryan Harris, contemporary R&B singer Dionne Farris, Jason Eskridge, and Maureen Murphy.