Grand Ole Hopry

by Matt Hopper & The Roman Candles

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about

MATT HOPPER TO RELEASE 11th ALBUM “GRAND OLE HOPRY” ON 11/11/2015

Wasilla, Alaska - Matt Hopper had a pretty clear idea of what he wanted for his 11th album, where he wanted to do it, how he wanted to do it, he even knew the name of the album before laying down the first note. But as the saying goes, “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”.
“Grand Ole Hopry” had a clear focus - it was supposed to be Hopper’s quintessential country album - but as a musician with a foot firmly planted in rock and roll, blues, and folk music - the finished product outgrew it’s tidy mission and now sits in that bigger catch-all known as “Americana” music. Some of these songs simply couldn’t help jumping out of the speakers. Despite flourishes of pedal steel and violin, quite a few of the jams rock a little too hard to be considered country music.
Hopper began the process of gathering the 12 songs for the album in 2012 after recording a Kris Kristofferson song with Boise based bluegrass band Reilly Coyote for a tribute album that was released on PIAPTK Records. When he presented to the group his idea for the ambitious album project, which included a tour to Nashville to record the album, the somewhat established local musicians wouldn’t commit, forcing Hopper to put the entire project on hold. It would be two years before he revisited the idea, instead recording and releasing two more rock based albums “Husky” and “High Hopes” in 2013.
In the winter of 2014, he assembled a band that would make Grand Ole Hopry a reality, featuring Bryan Daste on pedal steel, Jon Fust on drums, and Bryan Garfinkel on bass. The goal was to perform the songs on the album every night on a tour from Boise, ID to Nashville, TN and then cut the album live to tape in an all analog studio. They arrived in Nashville in early March 2014 to record; but many issues arose with the studio where they were supposed to cut the album and after spending only three hours there, the group decided to pull out.
With a 10 day block of time set aside to record the album in the middle of the tour and nowhere to record it, the album seemed heading for another crash and burn. But as luck would have it, Garfinkel had packed all his home recording gear in a trailer he was hauling across the country and their gracious host, fashion consultant and blogger Milton White, agreed to let them take over his entire house in Germantown to cut the tracks.
Soon there was a pedal steel in the kitchen, a drum kit in the living room, and amps in the bathrooms and the “Exile on Main Street” style sessions began. Over the course of the next week the basic tracks were laid down and special guests Jamie Timm (guitar), Tim Easton (harmonica, mandolin, vocals and organ), Angela Oudean (violin), and Nelson Kempf & Keely Boyle (vocals) shuffled through laying down parts and hanging out. Garfinkel, who had engineered Hopper’s “Husky” took control in the middle of the house recording the album with assistance from Daste, also a skilled engineer from Portland, OR.
As a fan of hip-hop culture’s willingness to showcase homies on each others’ records, Hopper reached out to a bevy of his favorite singers and Samantha Crain, Freddie Stevenson, Julia Haltigan, Jaime Wyatt, Leslie Stevens, Jodi James, Steven Wilson, Tracey Holland and Riana Riggs all sang on it along with Easton, Daste, Kempf and Boyle.
Upon their return to Boise, the album was showcased live at Treefort Music Festival and then Hopper left the U.S.A. for an extended three month solo tour of Europe, six weeks on the east coast and a six week Alaskan tour. He began digging in on mixing over the winter of 2014-15 with trips to Tiny Telephone in San Francisco with Rob Shelton mixing a couple songs, and a trip to Flying Blanket in Mesa, AZ where Bob Hoag mixed a few. The rest of the mixing was handled by Garfinkel, Hopper and Daste in Portland, OR. The mastering was performed by Chris Parks at Tonic Room in Boise, ID.
While reading “Shakey” an autobiography on Neil Young and simultaneously listening to his entire catalog as he moved through the years, Hopper found it amusing how Young would decide on artwork for his records. While he was in Portland in singer Rianna Riggs’ bathroom he looked over and noticed a wood cut on the wall that her father had done in 1979 and immediately felt the artwork fit the vibe of the record. A few weeks later, driving down Grand Ave in Phoenix, he noticed a large mural that said “Ain’t Life Grand” and he knew that this was THEE photo opportunity for the album and immediately pulled over and had his friend Josh Hart snap the shot that you see on the back cover.
If you count some early works, pre-Roman Candles, this is Matt Hopper’s 11th release and will come out on 11/11/2015 after years and years of false starts, let downs and best laid plans gone awry. It features some of his favorite up and coming singers, pedal steel and fiddle in a grand attempt at making a Nashville-style album...ladies and gentlemen, we present to you, Grand Ole Hopry.

credits

released November 11, 2015

Matt Hopper - acoustic guitar, electric guitar, vocals
Jamie Timm - electric guitar
Jon Fust - drums
Bryan Garfinkel - bass, keyboards
Bryan Daste - pedal steel

with

Angela Oudean - violin
Tim Easton - harmonica, organ, vocals, mandolin
Jaime Wyatt - vocals
Samantha Crain - vocals
Jodi James - vocals
Freddie Stevenson - vocals
Julia Haltigan - vocals
Nelson & Keely Boyle - vocals
Steven Wilson - vocals
Tracey Holland - vocals
Leslie Stevens - vocals
Riana Riggs - vocals
Daniel Blumenfeld - piano, accordion
Dave Dembroski - piano

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about

Matt Hopper & The Roman Candles

Hopper; a musical misfit/jack of all trades, student of hard blues, pop rock, jazz-jam, noise & loops, a folk songwriter and lover of music from around the world. Guess the name says it all.

Book Matt Hopper by writing to: booking@hatcherpass.org
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Track Name: Fools Gold
Fools Gold
Key of C

C Dreams turned cold in the F winter C time
The F wind blew C hard, we G lost all F rhyme
Down in the months of the dead and bleak
We walked along towards Bleeker Street

Taxi cabs swim like sharks towards Central Park’s cold dark heart
I’m haunted by the ghosts of yore that swam the lakes and walked the shores

G All I F know is G what I C see and C staying F here is G fools Am gold

Found myself on a sunny shore, Pacific Highway number one
Late at night we came alive somewhere between Sunset and Vine
Wearing masks of fleeting fame, I lost my way inside a flame
Oh the waves of bitter hopes and the hangin’ thread of final ropes

All I know if what I see and staying here is fools gold

Where I grew up all the roads were long, with twists and turns, but we had our songs
It’s colder than it was before, and the sun don’t shine, most all the time
So take me from these gravel roads, cause the city lights they shine so bright
Reminding you you’re in the dark and there are things that you can’t be

All I know if what I see and staying here is fools gold
Track Name: Dangerous
Two Dollar Whiskey
Key of D in dropped D tuning

D I cracked a smile cause you A didn't get my joke
It's been G three years since I'd heard it
I guess Em I don't remember
Nothing much has changed except you and I older
And I'm still trying to love you but you're just getting colder

Some say I'm friendly and I try to be a good boy
But trouble always finds me and sometimes it bites me
I want to drown in a two dollar whiskey but I get so hung over
Where did my day go?

A If you think I'm missing you well I D am
A If you want to go drinking I'm your Em man

D You are dangerous, you're dangerous
Every time I come around you I Em bleed
You're dangerous, you're dangerous
Beat down, broken hearted and cryin' all the time

I'm going to the bar cause it isn't all that far
and a friend that likes my band has got a cash heavy hand
Sometimes when I go out on a Tuesday night
I see a girl I like but she never will come over...

Pre-chorus / Chorus

And D nothing A feels as Em good
As the G promise of A spending D all night Em wrecking
All my G dreams on your A shores

D You're dangerous, you're dangerous
Every time I get around you I Em bleed
You're dangerous, you're dangerous
Beat down, broken hearted and cryin' all the time

X2
Track Name: Casino Lights
CASINO LIGHTS
Key of D / Dropped D tuning


D (riff)
SAW HER FACE IN A CASINO SHE WAS THERE TO SEE A FRIEND
DIDN'T HAVE NO RHYME OR REASON JUST A SMILE AND OFF SHE WENT
Bm - D - Em

NEXT NIGHT AT A VEGAS PARTY SHE WAS THERE TO PLAY THE KEYS
SADDLED UP TO A GREAT PIANO, OH NO PLAY US MORE PRETTY PLEASE

IF YOU Bm SAW HER STANDING THERE WITH THAT D SMILE AND THOSE EYES WELL YOU Em JUST MIGHT BE ALARMED
CAUSE YOUR FEET WILL FEEL LIKE DANCING YOUR HEART WILL GO ON PRANCING THROUGH THE YARD

I SAID GIRL WHERE YOU GOING SHE SAID DOWN TO THE POOL
WHERE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE SHE JUST LAUGHED BEEN CHASING FOOLS


OH NO I THINK I'M DEAD SHE'S GOT ME IN HER SIGHTS
SHE JUST MIGHT PULL THE TRIGGER SHOOT OUT ALL THE GODDAMN LIGHTS

IF YOU SAW HER STANDING THERE WITH THAT SMILE AND THOSE EYES
WELL YOU JUST MIGHT BE ALARMED CAUSE YOUR FEET WILL FEEL LIKE DANCING YOUR HEART WILL GO ON PRANCING THROUGH THE YARD

D-Em CASINO LIGHTS A DON'T SHINE AS Bm BRIGHT AT THE D MEMORY OF THAT Em NIGHT (x2)
Track Name: Wild Horse
Wild Horse Wild Town (Key of D)
D Spent a little time in the 208
G Growing my hair stayin’ up late
A Maximized all of my time and space
With new Em ideas
A coastal line ain’t lost on me
And skiing your slopes, never felt freer
But all I have now are simple tools
And all my fingers
I get G high A on Bm you
From your Bm south end A to your G north
Playing in your wild towns
I ride you like a wild horse
They’re a hell of a band but nobody’s dancing
With hearts made of stone sinking in water
I ain’t got much of anything to keep you from drowning
Except a trip to where the craters are
Like the ones up on the moon
But how would I know I ain’t ever been
Guess we can pretend
I get high on you
From your south end to your north
Playing in your wild towns
I ride you like a wild horse
Ride you like a wild horse
Ride you like a wild horse
Take a trip down fifty-five
And dive into a lucky peak
If I end up in a dive
Will I land on my own two D feet?

solo / repeat chorus quietly once then build into full chorus and done
Track Name: Wedding Ring
Wedding Ring
Key of C

C Sit in your truck by the light of the moon
the wind’s gonna howl that you’re out too soon
G Cause love’s gone by you and now you’re all alone
Caught down sight from a fleeting sparrow
Ripped through your heart like a sharpened arrow
Cause love’s gone by you and now you’re all alone
Spoke too soon your words were unkind a glass of truth the wine was so fine
Now love’s gone by you and now you’re all alone

C D G F# C {walk up with guitar and bassline)
D Am
So, who are you?
D C walk
Bone or marrow see through?
Save your wedding ring

Lost your bet on a 1 to 2 chance caught up hard in a two bit romance
Now love’s gone by you and now you’re all alone
Sunlight hurts and your bed is so cold waiting for another day to unfold
Cause love’s gone by you and now you’re all alone
Photographs taunt like a pale reflection ripped in half by harsh conditions
But love’s gone by you and now you’re all alone

So, who are you?
Bone, or marrow see through?
Save your wedding ring
Save your wedding ring
Save your wedding ring
Save your wedding ring
Save your wedding ring
Track Name: Niagara Falls
NIAGARA FALLS
Key of C

C I’m jumping off Dm cliffs like Niagara G Falls just trying to C reach B you with my calls
Am7 but you won’t even G answer your telephone C
I feel like a creep for stalking your house, I know that I’m never allowed
to climb through your window’s once again F

Honey I’m G sorry F honey I’m Am sorry G please hear me F now
I am so sorry just let me in

I know that I’ve said all the wrong stuff, maybe those comments were too rough
And I am so sorry I can prove it now
I saw that you threw out all of my things, I got your letter with the rings
A little heartbroken to say the least

Honey I’m G sorry F honey I’m Am sorry G please hear me F out
I am so sorry just let me in
Track Name: Curse
Curse
Key: F#

F# - D#m - B - C#

This is a curse, I don’t want to believe you
Feels like a bust, feels like you’re messin’ with my head


A# - B - C# - F#
A# - (B - C# - D#m x2)

Baby’s got her Daddy’s eyes, baby’s got her Daddy’s smile
Little girl’s gonna be just fine cause she’s not mine x2

This is a curse, I feel it in my bones
This is a cheap shot, ten spot, liquor and motel to ease my pain
I just wanna be alone

Baby’s got her Daddy’s eyes, baby’s got her Daddy’s smile
Little girl’s gonna be just fine cause she’s not mine x4
Track Name: Elko
Elko
Key of D

It's D cold in California Bm but there ain't no snow in G Elko A tonight
Sitting round a campfire playing my guitar with my friends
We've been travel G ing A
We've been travel G ing on Bm - A - G

full band kicks in here, maybe one pass through with lead guitar or pedal steel

City lights are fading, past distant memories, can't you see
the starry night and the moons eye is looking down on me pulling me to sleep
We've been traveling
We've been traveling on...

There's an Em evening light, casting D shadows in the Am dark
Highway Cm7 80, Bm you always did me Am7 right
Highway 80, calling through the night...

Written by Matt Hopper & Evan Phillips
Track Name: Summer Holiday
Summer Holiday
Key of G

G I’ll send a message to you my darling
I’ve gotta wrestle with the G thought that I’m Gf living Em alone
It’s been the easiest winter, at least, easy till I met her
C Once I saw her smile my D world turned upside down

Won’t you Em meet me for a Bm summer holiday C
Cause It’s so Em hard to hear you when you’re Bm so so far C away

I’ll keep in touch cause I’m working as a mail clerk
I spend my days wondering how we’re going to make this work
I’ll make another invitation, you can visit without any hesitation
Cause I want to see you again and again and again

Won’t you meet me for a summer holiday
Cause It’s so hard to hear you when you’re so so far away x2

And I wish we D lived closer so I wouldn’t Em add9 have to call
I could just come C on over and we could B7 have a ball
I wish I lived closer so you could be my dancing queen
We’d make our own little world we could do D anything

Won’t you meet me for a summer holiday
Cause It’s so hard to hear you when you’re so so far away
Track Name: Words Are Cheap
Words Are Cheap
D

[D] OUTSIDE NEAR THE BRICK HOUSE
[D add E] KILLING TIME ON TUESDAY THINKING ABOUT THE [D add B] ONE I LOVE
LOOKING FOR A REASON TO CELEBRATE HER MEMORY AND JOIN THE LONELY HEARTS CLUB
SEE I'M FAR ACROSS THE OCEAN, WRITING IN SLOW MOTION, WISHING SHE WAS NEXT TO ME
CALLING UP MY BEST FRIEND TO SEE HOW SHE IS DOING BUT SHE DON'T WANT TO TALK TO ME
AND IF YOU [Em] SEE HER COMING ROUND WON'T YOU [D] TELL HER WHERE TO FIND ME
OUT ON [C] I-5, SOUTH DAKOTA OR THE [G] MOON
CAUSE IF SHE COMES AND FINDS ME I COULD SHOW HER HOW I MISS HER
WITHOUT WORDS, LETTERS OR GUITARS
TAKE ME FROM THIS CITY CAUSE I'M READY FOR THE COUNTRY AND ALL THE STARRY NIGHTS
I'M FLYING HOME ON FRIDAY HOPING MAYBE I COULD SEE YOU IF THAT WOULD BE ALRIGHT
IT'D BE NICE TO HEAR YOUR VOICE IT'D BE NICE TO TALK AWHILE IT'S BE NICE TO GET IT RIGHT
BUT I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE THINKING BEST TO GET ME STARTED DRINKING CAUSE I KNOW I'LL BE ALONE
AND IF YOU SEE HER COMING ROUND WON'T YOU TELL HER WHERE TO FIND ME
OUT ON I-5, SOUTH DAKOTA OR THE MOON
CAUSE IF SHE COMES AND FINDS ME I COULD SHOW HER HOW I MISS HER
WITHOUT WORDS, LETTERS OR GUITARS
[A] I RECKON I'LL [Bm] STAY UP [G] LATE
RIDING THAT GIN REMINSINCING OF OUR VERY FIRST DATE
WHERE YOU WERE ROCKING MY WORLD, YOU DIDN'T EVEN HAVE TO TALK
TIME WAS SHORT, WORDS WERE CHEAP AND I WAS [G] A LOT LIKE [A] YOU
Track Name: Gravel Slide
Gravel Slide
Open D tuning

D I was caught back in G 1989 by a A girl who rode the bike without her hands E-F-G-F-D
She got bored so she took me for a ride and I won’t forget that painful gravel slide E-F-G-F-D
E I missed the way she closed her eyes when she was kissing me goodnight E-F-G-F-D
E I hopped a train and I left her there in the town of icy stares

Settled down on a bed beneath the stars trying hard to stop the fever on my mind
It’s been awhile since I’ve seen the country side with the mountains and the rivers oh so wide
I just hopped into my old truck, the same old stubborn clutch is stuck
Going for a ride downtown just to see if you’re around

B Honey G yes or A no, there’s no E gray F where I’m G living
You can not choose both better make a decision, you better make it right

Memories all the good ones do their part to remind me not to trust your wicked heart
But I won’t lie, guess I’ll love you till I die but I’ll never be the fish that you will fry
No one loves a heart of fear, guess it’s now or never dear
and I miss seeing you around but I’ll never miss your dirty town

Honey yes or no, there’s no gray where I’m living
You can not choose both better make a decision

D Back E off the F door and E let me G go, D you E made your F choice there E don’t you B know A-G
Back off the door and let me go, you made your choice there don’t you know...
B-A-G x3
Track Name: Son of a 49er
Son of a 49er
by Matt Hopper
Key of A

Well I started out as a desert rat swinging sticks for baseball bats
Got a dog to call our own and when you called she came home
Summer in the Phoenix heat made my dad move his feet and
Pack his bags to head up north where wolves would holler back and forth
Years rolled by one by one and I became an adopted son
Alaska called us to it’s roots where pioneers wore sheep skin boots
Killed the food by their own hands, dressed the kids, sowed the land
Drank all the beer left at Chilkoot Charlies

I am a son, I am a son of a 49er
It’s this feeling that we share it’s the clean air that we breathe
Makes us proud to be so bold

My brothers were good at games, sports and things we stayed up late
Racing our bikes, chopping trees and torching bees with fireworks
Once I caught a baseball hit to my left eye, blackened it
Bruised and blue well I must confess that I got pictures of this mess
The sun would shine all through the night, midnight sun is hella bright
and in the winter darkness fell to some it was heaven to others hell
But I was busy doing things I was good at school and drooling on girls
But my mom raised me right never once did I fistfight
Except one time my ass was about to get kicked and my little brother
Did all the fighting for me, we call him Big Ben

He is a son, he is a son of a 49er
It’s this feeling that we share it’s the clean air that we breathe
Makes us proud to be so bold

Well my mother, bless her heart, raised us up to healthy start
With homecooked meals and lots of love, never pushed when it came to shove
Taught us all that she did know then at 18 it was time to go
Taught me how to cook and clean, wash my clothes and pick up things
And open doors for pretty girls, notice when they had new colored curls
Thanks ma, girls seem to like me now

She is a daughter, she is a daughter of a 49er
It’s this feeling that we share it’s the clean air that we breathe
Makes us proud to be so bold

My Dad has a lot of scars from hunting things and fixing cars
On our walls two bear rugs, black and brown, looking smug
Once I went to Kodiak and fell into a bear attack
And I got this scar on my neck from a paw so big it hurt like a wreck
But my dad shot him in the heart, my was stopped but soon did start
and that bear went down on wounded knee and on our wall for all to see

(now I don’t like killing animals if I don’t have to, but sometimes you just gotta eat moose meat)

He is a son, he is a son of a 49er
It’s this feeling that we share it’s the clean air that we breathe
Makes us proud to be so bold

This song is dedicated in the loving memory of my friend Aaron Tanner, who lost his life during the making of this record. RIP.