The Death Whisperer Series

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Shaun Hopper and Santa Lucia Vineyards Pinot Noir

Shaun Hopper was born and raised in Adel, Georgia. He picked up the guitar at the age of 12 after hearing a street musician fingerpick a Nirvana song outside a local arcade. He studied with a series of excellent teachers, learning music theory and classical methods, but probably his most influential teacher was the great Sam Pachetti  (previously reviewed here)who taught him Celtic and fingerstyle arrangements.

Shaun started his professional career in 2002 playing bass and touring with several rock and country bands, but even after a late night gig, he’d return to his hotel room and pull out his acoustic guitar. Eventually the call to solo fingerstyle guitar was too strong and, after honing his craft, he competed in the 2007 Winfield National Fingerpicking Championships where he won “Best Instrumental song for his composition, “Autumn Of Any Year.” That same year he won 2nd place in the singer-songwriter competition in Eddie’s Attic’s Shootout held in Atlanta each year. The Atlanta Constitution awarded him the title of “Best Musician on the Rise (2007).

Since then he has opened for The John Jorgenson Quintet, Pierre Bensusan, The California guitar Trio, Muriel Anderson, and Switchfoot and has co-written songs with Tommy Emmanuel. Most recently, he signed with Steve Vai’s Most Favored Nations Label and produced his 2010 latest CD, “Lower Case Letters.”  So, “Come Together” and enjoy a master guitarist plying his craft.  

I’m going to pair Shaun with a 2009 Siduri Santa Lucia Vineyards Pinot Noir ($24.00). This is a big Pinot, dark ruby colored, with a bouquet of cherries and cinnamon. It’s full of the flavors of delicious tart cherry, vanilla, and allspice, sweetening a bit on the finish. It’s medium bodied, well balanced, and overall just stunning. So get a fire in the fireplace, pour yourself a glass of this wonderful Pinot Noir, and give a listen to the music of Shaun Hopper.


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