J.P. HOPFELT ROCKS OUT
J.P. Hopfelt was born in Laurel Canyon, a magical enclave where musicians, artists and bohemians have lived for decades. It’s a mystical place that has influenced many of rock’s premier artists, such as Frank Zappa, The Doors, and Buffalo Springfield. It’s even been immortalized in songs and been the subject for scores of books reveling in its history.
It was in this setting that world-renowned photographer Jimmy Steinfeldt and award winning songwriter and performer Pete Hopkins started hanging out and listening to old vinyl records, which caused them to question: “Why don’t we hear music like that today?” The answer involved long talks about art, musical trends, and pop culture. That conversation led to this project.
They set their sights on producing a record that would capture the attitude, energy and sound they loved. In doing so, they created a new genre called “Vintage Rock,” a timeless form of music that’s missing from the charts.
J.P. Hopfelt then searched for the perfect place to record their vision. Swing House Studios in Hollywood is called the home of rock & roll. Everyone from Ry Cooder and Queens of the Stone Age to Tom Petty and Ziggy Marley, has recorded there. It was such a perfect fit they laid down the tracks for six songs in less than 24 hours.
For the recording session they enlisted the help of famous friends: Gary Mallaber who has played with Steve Miller, Van Morrison, Bonnie Raitt and Bruce Springsteen would helm the drums. Bassist Chad Watson, who has supported a slew of superstars from Charlie Rich, Janis Ian, Little Feat and Albert Lee, would fill out the rhythm section. Jimmy would handle rhythm guitar while Pete would pull double duty as lead guitarist and vocalist.
The result is remarkable. The songs have passion and grit and even a bit of danger. As co-producers, Pete and Jimmy shunned the cut and paste approach used so often by complacent artists, and managed to achieve a raw, blistering reality that modern rock has polished into extinction.
For those who long for good ol’ rock & roll, J.P. Hopfelt will fill the bill… in more ways than one. They represent the heart of rock, that beating, compelling feeling you get when a song stirs your soul and makes you glad to be alive.
Editor, Music Connection Magazine
Educator, Musicians Institute