You better watch out for John Driskell Hopkins!
He’s a founding member of the Zac Brown Band, and he is back with his second Christmas album, which he recorded with the Joe Gransden Big Band. It’s called “You Better Watch Out!” and focuses on songs about Santa Claus.
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The album was recorded in Hopkins’ home studio, Brighter Shade.
“[The Joe Gransden Big Band] were actually the first band to record anything in my new studio,” Hopkins tells “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes. “So they kind of broke the ice with that.”
The new album opens with tape of the singer as a young boy in 1977 singing “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.” So obviously this obsession with Christmas music goes back a long way.
“I love magic,” he says. “I think as a kid we really embraced it, and I want to continue to embrace it with my kids and be able to enjoy Santa Claus and all the giving that we’re focused on this time of year.”
“And it’s really a great opportunity to reset your clock before you start a new year,” Hopkins says, “with a very positive vibe and a giving sentiment.”
In addition to Gransden, who sings a duet of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” with Hopkins, a number of other guests appear on the album, including famed banjo player Bela Fleck, who plays on a samba arrangement of “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer.”
“You Better Watch Out!” is out now, and Hopkins performs Thursday at Smith’s Olde Bar with Carly Burruss.