Music

JC Hopkins Grabs His "Walking Cane" with Garth Hudson and Levon Helm (premiere)

Justin Cober-Lake
Photo: Grayson Dantzik

JC Hopkins takes a look through American music past while revisiting a more recent difficult era on "Walking Cane".

"Walking Cane"
JC Hopkins

With the video for "Walking Cane", from new album It's a Sad and Beautiful World, multi-instrumentalist and producer JC Hopkins returns not just to an earlier period in his life, but to a community he pulled together in the wake of 9/11. Recorded in the early 2000s, the track, like the rest of the disc, offers relief from the tensions of tragedy, not just by its easy feel, but through the assemblage of friends involved in the recording, including Martha Wainwright, Teddy Thompson, and the Band's Garth Hudson and Levon Helm (who was particularly hard to track down).

The Band's influence is worth noting; Hopkins uses the breadth of 20th-century America for his sound, blending jazz, folk, and rock in a way that fans of Hudson and Helm would recognize. The video for "Walking Cane" captures this sensibility, using various filters and old footage to create nostalgic shifts in time while continually centering not the present, the 2000s, or the farther past, but on the connections between the musicians.

"It was a sad time for this country, similar in many ways to this moment," Hopkins has said. "But it was beautiful, making music with talented friends."

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