Nashville-based, independent artist, Ron Pope, has stood at a crossroads where so many musicians find themselves — at the intersection of record label and independence. In an ever- evolving industry filled with rejection and compromise, he has plotted a new course for his music to reach loyal listeners, taking the industry-road-less-traveled in exchange for the ultimate payback, a league of devoted fans the world over.
Ron Pope & The Nighthawks’ debut, self-titled album is now available on Brooklyn Basement Records. To celebrate the release, Pope and the band kick off their 31-city North American and European tour Saturday night at New York’s Irving Plaza.
Pope, who completed his fifth solo studio album in 2014, began writing new songs on the road that he brought to his favorite Brooklyn-based musicians – Paul Hammer, Alex Foote, Andrew Pertes, Alex Brumel, Alan Markley, & Michael Riddleberger. While recording, The Nighthawks were born.
The sessions began in Lake Blue Ridge, Georgia, followed by a loft in Louisville, Kentucky and finished up at The Magic Shop in New York. The final album was co-produced by Pope and Grammy award winner Ted Young (The Rolling Stones, Kurt Vile, Grace Potter) with The Nighthawks.
“This is me going back to the roots of what made me a songwriter…I was trying to blow my own mind with the last album (Calling Off The Dogs); this time I’m trying to soothe it,” said Pope. “I want to take those songs out on the road and get them dirty, sharing them with the fans while they are still fresh and brand new rather than incubating them in a sterile environment for a long time”
While recording, the band enlisted filmmaker Kelly Teacher (No Cameras Allowed, Austin To Boston) to create One Way Ticket, a feature-length documentary following the band as they record their debut album and tour the U.S. The film uses the story of Ron Pope & The Nighthawks as a backdrop to explain the state of the contemporary music industry and how to forge a career in the new digital age. “Here’s a guy who’s figured out how to do this basically by himself and is really proving the power of streaming music,” says Spotify’s D.A. Wallach in One Way Ticket. Watch the trailer
As a solo artist, Pope has sold over two million singles to date and averages 15 million spins a month on Pandora. His songs have been streamed over 126 million times via Spotify, with over 100 million YouTube views and over 14 million plays on SoundCloud. His music has been featured on NBC’s “The Voice,” CW’s “Vampire Diaries,” “90210” and multiple seasons of FOX’s “So You Think You Can Dance,” which sent two of his albums into the top 100 on iTunes simultaneously. Pope also guest stared on “Nashville” as himself last season.
Ron Pope + The Nighthawks will be at Nashville’s Mercy Lounge on February 19th – more details HERE.