Live and Up Close: Ryan Hopkins

HAILS FROM: Born and raised in Davie; lives in Sailboat Bend, Fort Lauderdale

FIRST GUITAR: “Music was always playing around the house. My dad was a total audiophile. My parents gave me a guitar for my seventh birthday and basically told me I was going to take lessons until I was out of high school. The guitar became like an extra limb. My dad started playing guitar when he was 23 but never followed through so when he started me, I think he was saying, ‘Don’t give it up like I did.’”

THE SOUND: Americana. “Not quite country, not quite rock and roll …”

FAVORITE VENUES: “Crazy Uncle Mike’s in Boca Raton is really fun. They have a good scene. I think it helps that Oteil (Burbridge, the bassist for The Allman Brothers Band) pops in there from time to time. That venue is a great in-between spot for us. Right now, it’s Tin Roof in Fort Lauderdale. (It) brings out a really big crowd and people are so excited to be there for the music.”

SOURCE OF PRIDE: “In about 2019 or 2020 I really started writing music and the record I have out right now is called ‘Twenties.’ I recorded it when I was 30 — so last year. It is a collection of songs written in my 20s in the order they were written. They were songs I always found myself coming back to. We are about to record another EP called ‘Artemis’ at Rain Cat in Jensen Beach, the same place as the first one.”

DAY JOB: “I was playing out about four or five times a week right before COVID hit. And, so, in 2019, I was at a point where I probably could have done music full time. Then 2020 came around and it kind of knocked that back. I’m working in yacht management and focusing on better gigs. I did the bar and restaurant circuit so long it kind of led me out of why I loved playing music; it was becoming a grind. I play out maybe four or five times a month and every gig is fun because of that.”

Ryan Hopkins Lifestyle

SET LIST MUST: “Velvet Underground’s ‘Rock & Roll.’ It’s just such an f’in good song and we play it really big.”

BAND SOULMATE: “Drummer David Nordstrom. We are just so connected and coordinated as a duo.”

PRE-PERFORMANCE RITUAL: “Maybe I’ll go for a run or workout to get my brain right. And then I do a vocal warmup because the vocal thing came so much later than guitar for me so I’m still just trying to learn how to build my voice out properly. Maybe a shot of tequila before we go on.”

THE LAST WORD: “I hope that when people see me perform they realize how much my heart is in it. I’ll put on the same show whether I’m playing to five people or 300. I just want to keep plugging away at my music, to keep writing new stuff and keep recording new music.”

CATCH HIM LIVE: Tin Roof, Fort Lauderdale, Saturday, March 9 and Saturday, March 30. “We’re hoping to go out on tour before the end of the year to promote both ‘Twenties’ and ‘Artemis.’”

FOLLOW: Instagram: @RyanHopkinsMusic

WATCH FOR: “Artemis” out this summer.

LISTEN: On Apple Music, Spotify, iTunes, Pandora

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