Steve Hopper has been trockin’ the hills of Tennessee for over 20 years sharing his blended style of music referred to as mid-south. Living near Wolf Creek where a part of the creek separates for a brief moment turning a small piece of land into an island was the inspiration for the bands name “Steve Hopper and The Wolf Island Band.” Steve’s first CD “Tropics of Tennessee” was titled perfectly describing this artist and his style of music. Steve is not only in tune with his guitar, he also plays steel drums giving him a real soft balance to his Tennessee Tropics reverberation.
When Steve and I discussed his new project months ago about a tki bar and some tropical songs that he had been working on for awhile, I had a vision of a tourist CD. I had no idea that the final project would form into such an entertaining collection of songs. This CD is filled with sounds of the Southern cultural roots from Elvis’ Memphis groove to our Gulf Coast favorite genre Trop Rock.
A light comedy in “Going Coastal” pulls in a reality check for the need of some vacation time. Steve adds lyrics from everyday annoyances and played them out to be resolved if you just go beach relaxing. A funny song he pieced together on the road home from Rendezvous in Panama City, FL after listening to a local commercial. Steve recalls the commercial went something like “this month at ____ we’re going coastal.” According to Steve, the phrase ‘going coastal’ was “just too clever not to put words into a song as my wheels were spinning on the highway.”
Steve explains how he came up with the first song and title track of the album “I was trying to think of an album title. A title that would spark the imagination.” He reveals “I was amazed how it all came together, exactly as I imagined it. This song is about my favorite thing, escaping to ‘Anywhere There’s A Beach.'”
How many times can an artist write an island song? Steve proves you can write many island songs and keep them different. On Steve’s first album he gave us the fun song “Island Down Below” and this CD brings you “Island Life” a song that carries you into a tropical style anthem song. The catchy tune will have you singing “Living it up, down on the Island” with a sassy swing in your step. This song tells short stories in each verse, the bridge and you may find yourself relating to them all. Steve takes a collective touch of real peoples lives and shares these perspectives in his verses.
Steve jumps right into a memorable song for most car lovers and that teenage enthusiasm of owning for your first car that happens to be a 57’ Chevy called “The Kid.” Steve and “The Kid” share adventures together running the roads. The amazing feeling of just cruising when your 17 years old and holding the keys to freedom. Hot summer evenings of driving with the windows down just to feel a cool country breeze.
Hopper hops into a saxy jazzy infused blend for his “Down South In New Orleans” original. Piano keys tingling as a sax jumps in and out for a creative drive south to Dixie Land. Steve’s vocals signaling your body to bebop to this number. The electric guitar reminds you that rock -n- roll is here to stay.
Steve Hopper’s “Anywhere There’s A Beach” is a blend of creativity from Steve’s original songwriting, Tuff Duck Music production, cover art by Tommy Scott (Art4Living) and the back cover photo taken by yours truly in Key West.
This new CD is just ready for a chance to entertain you with so much going on in the lyrics and techniques. Diversity to cover your listening experience all in one package. Written on the CD insert it says “So grab a hammock between some palm trees on a special beach, lay back and enjoy.” I say let the music of this CD take you on a journey through your own utopia.