Saturday, December 4, 2004

A mighty fine collection between pals

Mighty Fine Wine's fourth CD offers its best work to date

December 3, 2004

SCRANTON - Mighty Fine Wine has found its groove. Three years after the release of its first CD, the hard-playing, hard-drinking rock 'n' roll blues band seems to be hitting on all cylinders. The live shows cook. The songs jell. The vibe is evident.

“Everybody has their own individual job, and everybody does their part in making one great sound,”' says bassist and vocalist Timmy Hopkins. “That's what we do. We try to find ways to make it all blend together by understanding who's in the limelight at one particular time. There's no egotistical behavior. There's no ‘It's about me.' It's about us, and it's about the song, and you put the song first.”

The band's fourth CD,  “Vino Vidi Vici,” is its best work to date. It will be released Saturday at a special CD-release party in Scranton. It also will be available at Gallery of Sound stores Tuesday. The 13-song collection was recorded at Sound Investment studios in Scranton, with additional mixing and mastering in New York City and Florida. Tracks include “Junk,'”  “I Am Somebody,”  “Dedicated,''  “Two of a Kind” and “Skult.''

Hopkins says the band, which also includes John “Fud” Zavacki, Jay Noble, Bill Orner and Bob Schappert, has been blessed with the support it's received from the local music community. He adds that people might connect with the band simply because they see the connection between its members.

“When we're on stage, there's definitely a chemistry between us,” he says. “That's why we play music together. And obviously that chemistry that we have transcends.”

Hopkins says he has no problem with the band's hard-living reputation. If anything, he embraces it.

“I have four brothers that I'm stuck with, and we have fun together on stage and off stage,” he says. “That's who we are. We work hard, and we (expletive) play hard. When we play music, we play as hard as we possibly can, and when we let loose, we let loose.”

 Hopkins gives props to bands such as Breaking Benjamin and The Badlees, who have taken their careers and their music to  “another level.” He hopes Mighty Fine Wine will do the same.

“It took us a while to get that groove and that sound that we wanted,”  he says. “But now that we've got it, we're trying to build on it even more.”


WHO: Mighty Fine Wine, with Okay Paddy
WHERE: Moonshine Theater, 335 Adams Ave., Scranton
WHEN: Doors at 8:30 p.m., music at 9 p.m.
TICKETS: $10 in advance, $12 at the door
ON THE RADIO: Mighty Fine Wine will appear Sunday on `Music On The Menu Live.' Showtime is 9 p.m. on WDMT-FM, 102.3 - The Mountain.

 (This story was first published in The Times Leader on December 3, 2004. Tim Hopkins passed away five months later.)