J Hop's

My Biographical Musical History

Born James Lee Hopkins August 24th 1964 the son of Mary Ellen Sibole Hopkins & Charles Howard Hopkins in Martinsburg W.Va., I have one sister Donna Kay Hopkins (Deceased) and one brother Charles Lynn Hopkins. My mother was musically talented and played the Guitar as well as the Organ, She would always go to the local pubs and play with the late great Patsy Cline, My grandmother (Catherine Marie Saylor Sibole) played many instruments including the Harmonica, Accordian and the Organ and influenced me more than anyone could have in my family, I spent a great deal of time at her home.

The Guitar (My Early Years) - Influenced by many of my family members I began to pick up my mothers old 65 Red & White Fender Stratocasterand pluck away one string one fret at a time mostly on the string closest to the ground as I called it back then (High E) I learned my way through Wipeout on one string and eventually I moved on to learn some simple two finger chords. With this new found lesson I learned to play Smoke On The Water and so began my lifelong passion of the guitar. Today I own two really awesome six string Electric guitars (Gibson, Charvel) and one sweet 6 string Folk Acoustic (Yamaha) guitar, accompanied by the Yamaha and Fender Amplifiers with Boss Pedals.

The Drums (The Intermediatte Years) - As I had stated previously I spent a great deal of time with my grandmother becoming friends with the children in the local area I began to befriend one in particular more often and we became playmates in his backyard playing some days until the street lights came on. As we grew older we both became interested in music and we both played instruments so what better way to move on but to play together as friends he had recieved a set of drums as a gift and he also played the guitar as his family was also very musically talented and very very influential on us. One afternoon we were kind of messing around of sort with the gutars when I decided to sit behind the drums (Kit) and we began to make music together in those days it was more like noise but it was music to our ears. Thus began my interest in Percussion instruments, Growing up listening to the music of the time I was heavily influenced by many Recording Artist & Groups one such group was KISS more specifically Peter Criss (Drummer) I learned to play "Love Gun", "Detroit Rock City" and "God of Thunder" behind the kit. Years later I would own a set of classic Ludwig's that I had gathered in a horse trade so to speak after many years of playing these beloved Ludwig's, I opted to sell them and a great drummer from the Mel Mcquad band purchsed them from me I still remember the converstaion that day. Today I currently do not own a kit but see the need for an electronic kit to record in the studio.

The Keyboards (My 80's Years) - I quickly began to hone both my guitar and drum skills in doing so I remembered the little kid that would bang on his grandmothers classic Magnus organ and decided "You know what I am going to learn to play that darn thing" So I did as a result this peaked my interest in becoming a keyboard player. My early keyboards were Casio's picked up from the local Nichol's department store. With this added to my arsenal of instruments to play I slowly began moving forward towards the keyboards more & more. Eventually I began to hang with some really cool people that played music they made it to the big stage eventually with some really big hits ! I often sat and helped one of their members write and compose on the keyboard this led to me purchasing an Akai AX73, Akai AX60 and an Akai S-612 Digital Sampler complete with the Akai MD280 Sampler Disk Drive along with the Moog Rogue. Today the only two of the four that I still own are the Akai AX60 & the Akai S-612 Digital Sampler complete with the Akai MD280 Sampler Disk Drive and do they hold a lot of memories ! Todays current line up of keyboards include a Korg, Yamaha, Akai, Oberheim, Roland & Alesis. The Alesis is a 61 key Midi controller and the Oberheim is a software driven OB-Xa.

Recording Now & to the Future - Having been involved with some pretty major bands over the years of all genres I have picked up some pretty special habits of sound and video so naturally the next obvious gig would be to record. With the purchase of our new home in September of 2013 one of the things I was certain to include was room for a recording studio to finally begin this endeavor and so begin I have ! Slowly it is coming to fruition with the equipment to record not only personal audio but entire albums and videos as well. My desire to record began back in the 80's when a previously mentioned best friend was getting into recording of his own music, watching him while listening & learning the entire time while I was polishing my skills. In the middle to late 80's I became involved with some pretty special well known artist and had the privelidge to join them in Nashville. Tn when they were recording asking tons of questions about the mixing and mastering process. I purchased a Tascam 8 Track digital recorder in the 90's and began working on my own sessions. Like everything else at that time I quickly outgrew the room that was being used so everything went on the back burner. Today I incorporate some the newest technologies used in the studio's of today, I still have the Tascam 8 track and use it for a quick down & dirty session having the capabilities to plug & play directly into the Presonus Audio Interface and sending each track back as an individual for recording through the Studio One Live Mixer which has endless possibilities and unlimited tracks. I keep striving to move forward by adding new gear to the system as often as possible, In fact recently I have added a set of Alesis Studio Monitors for playback live as well as a set of Gear Pro headphones.


Copyright © 2009 - 2014. James Hopkins. All Rights Reserved.
Maintained by James Hopkins.