Saturday night at Darwin’s, Jake Holliday rounded up Donna Hopkins and some other friends and called the show, appropriately enough, “Jake Holliday and Friends feat. Donna Hopkins.” That’s an irresistible title to anyone familiar with Jake’s fantastic bass playing and Donna’s talents as a singer, guitar player and songwriter, so off we went. There were lots of festivals going on, so the place wasn’t packed but it was a decent crowd and everybody was relaxed and in the mood for good food, drink, music and fun, and that is what they got.
As usual, we could only stay for one set, so for our set the lineup was Donna Hopkins on guitar and vocals, Brad Bauman on harmonica, Richey Jones on drums,and Jake on bass. Jake hosted in his usual style, good-natured and funny and telling sometimes nonsensical jokes and stories. Donna sang and played perfectly, while Jones did an excellent job on drums and Bauman played a mean harp. Jake, as always, proved why he is my favorite bass player by being both an amazing musician and entertaining to watch as he never stopped moving. They performed mostly Donna’s original songs. She is a fabulous songwriter, with many of her songs based on her experiences growing up in rural Alabama,s , like “Dirty Alabama Road” which lets her to show off that rocking electric guitar , the touching “Heart Full Of Love,” and my favorite, “Everything Money Can’t Buy.” At one point, Donna coaxed Jake into singing a rocking blues number, something he rarely does even though he should. He has a very good voice, and when she joined him on the chorus of the song, they sounded great together.
The show provided plenty of opportunity for each band member to shine and some great jams. We thoroughly enjoyed the first set, and since the second set included other friends like Tennessee John, Barry Richman, and Jason Albright sitting it, it had to be a blast!
Kudos to Darwin’s and the band for another fun night!