Don Hopkins Biography

After performing originals and covers in bands and playing in folk clubs through his high school years Don played in the jug band, Cosmo Hamfat Entertainers that performed at festivals and venues in the early 1970s.

From 1974 he led the
Don Hopkins R&B Four who appeared on an EP and performed live on 2JJ (now 2JJJ). During this period Don studied art at the National Art School and musically directed for ABC education and drama radio programs.

Don continued performing through the 1980s in various lineups and began teaching piano. In the 1990s Don led the successful band
Donny Hop & The Kings Of Bop. Out of this grew Gumbo Fever a duo with Mal Green drummer formerly with Split Enz. The CD “Live At The Schuss Bar” was recorded. Don also promoted and organised live music for the Empire Of Annandale Hotel turning it into Sydney’s leading blues venue during the 1990s.

After 2000 Don teamed up with drummer
Rob Grosser (The Aliens, Tim Gaze, Jon Lord) forming Dr. Don’s Double Dose to continue the piano and drums format. Their CD “Conjure Bag” was released in 2004.

Don has been an integral part of
Jim Conway’s Big Wheel since it’s inception in 2002 with 2 CDs “Little Story” and “Share This Life” that feature many tracks with Don’s songwriting, singing and playing.


Festivals and Recordings

Some of the festivals and venues that Don Hopkins has performed at one or more times and other notable appearances:

International Blues Challenge Beal St Memphis, USA
World Body Painting Festival
Seeboden, Austria
Woodford Folk Festival, QLD
Thredbo Jazz Festival - Thredbo NSW
National Folk Festival - Canberra, ACT
Port Fairy Folk Festival - Port Fairy, Victoria
Byron Bay Blues Festival - Byron Bay, NSW
ABCTV - Live At The Basement - as part of Jim Conway’s Big Wheel
ABC Radio National “The Planet” with Lucky Oceans - as featured artist
Backed legendary sax honker,
Big Jay McNeely
and Chicago blues harmonica great,
Carey Bell(USA) - The Basement, Sydney
Beau Jocque & his Zydeco High Rollers (USA)-The Basement, Sydney
Backed and supported
Kenny Blue Ray/Don Griffin(USA)-NSW tour
Tamworth Country Music Festival - Tamworth, NSW
Australian Blues Music Festival - Goulburn, NSW
Manly Jazz Festival -Manly, Sydney
Great Southern Blues and Rockabilly Festival - Narooma NSW
Brigetown Blues Festival -Brigetown, Western Australia
Thredbo Blues Festival - Thredbo NSW
Bellingen Jazz Festival - Bellingen, NSW
Taranaki Arts Festival - New Zealand
Bay of Islands Festival - New Zealand
Sweetwaters Festival - New Zealand
Queenstown Winter Festival - New Zealand
Happy Valley Racecourse - Hong Kong
Midday Show Channel NINE with Kerry-Anne Kennerley
Doug Mulray’s 2WS FM Drive-time and Webcast Show

Some CDs Don Hopkins has appeared on:
Mad Love - Big Top Blues Band - 1995
Lovers Highway -
Dave Debs - 1995
Fine Company -
Clelia Adams - 1995
Leaving The Island -
Al Ward - 1996
You Gotta Reap -
The Mighty Reapers - 1996
Room Service -
The Bellhops - 1997
Live At The Schuss Bar - Gumbo Fever -Duo with
Mal Green (Split Enz) - 1998
Sippin’ and Slidin’ -
JR & the Bar Kings - 1998 - Keys and Vocals.- Chain Award
Baby Blue -
Kerrie Sweeney- 1999 - Keys/Piano/Organ; Vocal Duet with Kerrie on ‘Since I Met You Baby’
As Long As I’ve Sung The Blues -
Kate Meehan- 2000 - Keys/Piano/Organ;
Vocal Duet with Kate on ‘Let’s Go Back’-Words & Music: Don Hopkins
Live and Too Loud -
Kenny Blue Ray(USA) and Gumbo Fever 2001 Full Moon Records
Wire Fire -
Wards Express 2001-Full Moon Records
Soul Shaker-
Kate Meehan 2002 Keys/Piano/Organ/Piano Accordion;
Vocal Duet with Kate on ‘Soul Shake’
Sydney Basin Blues Live - Vocals/Piano on three tracks - with
Tim Gaze and Rob Grosser - 2003
Little Story -
Jim Conway’s Big Wheel 2003 - Vocals/Piano/Organ/Piano Accordion
- includes five Don Hopkins compositions. -
ARIA Award Nomination 2004
Women In Blues -
Margret RoadNight, Sally King, Wendy Saddington, Kate Dunbar, Jeannie Lewis
- 2003- Piano/Organ Backing Vocals - Full House Records
Six Lane Highway -
Dameon Coen -2004 - Piano - Black MarketMusic
Conjure Bag - Dr. Don’s Double Dose - 2005 - Piano/Vocals with
Rob Grosser - Drums