Philly born folk rock band Hopscotch Jefferson is Rock On Philly’s October Artist of the Month. This four-piece band mixes an insane rhythmic guitar with bluesy melody. Known for his Dylan-esque voice, Hank Brady sings of love, life, and everything rock and roll. Drawing inspiration from 60’s idols such as The Beatles and Creedence Clearwater Revival and from more modern music like The Black Keys, Hopscotch Jefferson has a foolproof guide to musical genius. Mix this with their talent and passion and you have music no person can deny. Hopscotch Jefferson’s EP is expected out early next year, so be on the look out! They will be playing Friday October 11th at the Grape Room— don’t miss it! Hopscotch Jefferson answered a few questions we had, check them out below!
ROP: How did Hopscotch Jefferson come about?
HJ: It all began a while back with Hank and Walz jamming at a few open mics. Deciding to join forces to produce an EP, they needed only a drummer and bass player. Anthony was a mutual friend/former band-mate of Walz and the incapacitated former drummer, and he agreed to join. Just a week before our first gig, still without a bassist, good buddy Shire agreed to help us and wound up fitting the band like J in a governor’s office.
ROP: What’s the story behind your name?
HJ: Having experienced difficulty in finding a good name that sticks, we began to simply make up silly names to make each other laugh during peak black out hours. Amongst them: “Hopscotch Stevens and the Studs”, “Pancake Jefferson and the Sausage Links”, and “Chili Davis and the All-Night Diners”, to name a few. Then we got booked for our first gig at the Grape Room and needed a name, we basically just blended two of them together and Hopscotch Jefferson was born.
ROP: Tell us about your latest record that you’re currently finishing up. How has that process been?
HJ: It’s been a learning experience, to say the least, but we definitely enjoy our time recording and lately have had very productive sessions. We’ve started to really learn how to develop our songs further than just four instruments and vocals, certainly not without the help of our associate producer (Ass. Pro.) Matt Carlin at Ivory Productions. The date of our EP release is TBD, but we’re expecting to release it early next year.
ROP: What do you love the most about the Philly music scene?
HJ: The beauty of the Philly music scene is, first and foremost, the diversity in music and musical styles even within the same genre. In almost any part of the city, you can find a venue featuring a unique band with a loyal following. The way the city’s bands and musicians support one another is tremendous; the DIY scene.
ROP: How can the scene be better?
HJ: If there’s something that could be improved, it would be the number of music venues available for original music, especially in the greater Northeast. We know that there are certainly enough hungry artists to fill the whole city. For example, the “Make Music Philly” movement was great, although it was just the first step in that direction. We see room for improvement– only time will tell.
ROP: Who are some other bands on the Philly scene you dig?
HJ: We’ve been fortunate enough to play with some really talented artists in our short time on the scene and have enjoyed meeting all of them. A few favorites are The Funky T, Viv and the Revival, Greg Sover, Toy Soldiers, Penrose, the Matt Gauss Band and too many more to name.
ROP: Do you have any favorite venues in the city?
HJ: The first place we played at as Hopscotch Jefferson was the Grape Room in Manayunk, and it remains our favorite venue. We also enjoyed playing at Volage Lounge, the Blockley, and of course The Legendary Dobbs. All of these places have their charm and are great opportunities for any bands out there.