Phyllis Hopkins
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Phyllis Hopkins

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"Indie Music review of CD You Don't Know"

Reviews: Phyllis Hopkins ~
You Don't Know
Posted on Saturday, May 03, 2008 @ 16:10:46 EDT
Topic: Reviews

Artist: Phyllis Hopkins

CD: You Don't Know

Home: Pennsylvania

Style: Blues/Rock

Quote: "Hopkins has given us a bluesy, jazzy, pop CD which is filled with her passionate playing and singing."

By Dan MacIntosh

The first thing that stands out about the CD credits is the fact that she wrote it, produced it, and played all the guitars. These factors bring the self-sufficient Bonnie Raitt to mind. And much like Raitt, Hopkins has given us a bluesy, jazzy, pop CD, which is filled with her passionate playing and singing.

“Day Dream” is the track that stands out most. It’s a gently swinging tune, which also includes rapping from Blitty. But this is by no means a rap song; instead, it’s a pop tune spiced with rap. Hopkins’ jazziest side shines through during “Stranger in this Land," which is highlighted by special guest guitarist Joe Libertucci’s hip six-string work. Hopkins also gets extra credit points for name-dropping Lady Day (AKA Billie Holiday) in the song's lyric.

Hopkins has a sultry voice.Lyrically, there is a political undercurrent to much of Hopkins’ music. “It Takes One," for instance, speaks about America and “all its corporate greed.” This track also points back to James Brown guitar-rhythm-funk -- albeit with a big 70s rock guitar solo added in.

There are moments when Hopkins peppy jazz seems like it’s going to break out in full-on funk. One such get-down place is “On this Rainy Day," as a clipped The Meters-like guitar groove simmers just beneath its surface and also features some of Hopkins most expressive singing. It comes off like a great starting point, which would have really rocketed with Hammond organ filling out its groove. In fact, more keyboards would have given all of You Don’t Know a much fuller sound.

You Don’t Know is a CD that reveals a vocalist with a lot of potential. With a top-notch producer to listen for her vocal enunciation, Hopkins might really blow us away next time.
- Indie Music

"Taxi Music Review of “STRANGER IN THIS LAND”"

STYLE: Jazz with a rock heartbeat and vocals.

MELODY: A healthy musical hook makes it’s way confidently through the track.

STRUCTURE: Good definition used to separate the verse/chorus sections

LYRICS: Good imagery brought in to help widen the narrators role and a good back story for the song’s theme.

TITLE: Great use of title to establish and maintain lyrical hook.

OVERALL COMMENTS: The musical hook comes in early on and secures its spot and role easily. I like how the bass line subtly picks up a part of the musical hook and supports it admirably, Phyllis. The title makes its presence felt in the lyrical content as well as bringing in a healthy lyrical hook. The smoky arrangement matches the assured tone of the vocals. The voice determination gives the title a different spin. The narrator is different but the listener gets the sense that distinction is a good thing, not an obstacle or limitation. That texture allows verses more literary form to have free reign ant to paint a wide picture with the great use of imagery ad scenarios. All the elements come together very nicely. The track could ideally be pitched fro both film/TV placement and artist categories.

- Taxi Music




VOCALS & ALL GUITARS: Phyllis Hopkins

Executive Producer on
Stranger in This Land &
Unforgiving - George Wesley
with the assistance of Ian MacDougall

Various Bass Players Include:
Tom Pritchard on Tracks 1, 2, 7 & 9
Al Curtis On Tracks 3 & 8
Otis Kush on Tracks 4, 5, & 6
Other Guests Include:
Joe Libertucci: Lead Guitar on Stranger in this land & Unforgiving
Blitty: Vocals on Daydream
George Wesley: Wood Instrument on Stranger

Recorded by Jodi Busch at
McCrindle Bldg. Studio,
Laurel Run, Pa
Stranger in this land
& Unforgiving tracked at
Pyramid Recording Studio
All Songs Mixed and Mastered by
Dave Hodorovic, Pyramid
Recording Studio, 700 York Ave.,
Avoca, Pa 18641

Song list:

You Don’t Know
Stranger In This Land
It Takes Just One
Carefree World
Throw Me A Line
On This Rainy Day


© 2008 All Rights Reserved



I didn’t start playing guitar seriously till the age of 24, by 27 I formed my first Blues band, influenced by Stevie Ray Vaughan, T-Bone Walker, Billie Holiday, etc. I performed on the local music scene for more than 10 years and became a fixture at the local blues & jazz clubs, where I performed with such blues greats as Shemeka Copeland, Debbie Davies, Sonny Rhodes, & Ronnie Earl (who was also a guest guitarist on my 1st CD “The Little Sister Band”). Although I loved blues I wanted to branch out more, influenced in my earlier years by Zeppelin, U2, Aerosmith, Heart, Santana to name just a few, I wanted to make a CD where all these influences combined came through. That’s how this CD came into play. I hope you enjoy my dedication to the Artists I love.