John Driskell Hopkins, who has earned fame as a guitarist and vocalist with the Zac Brown Band, was diagnosed with ALS in Dec. 2021. Since Mar. 2022, he has been raising money for his own “Hop On A Cure” nonprofit to help find a cure for the dreaded disease. Hopkins and his trio will play a fund raising show at Treble Makers Dueling Piano Bar & Restaurant on Nov. 4. (Photo: Dave Kotinski, Getty)

Now that Halloween is ending, if you’re looking for something fun to do that also will help support a great cause, you should get your tickets now to the “Hop On A Cure” fund raiser to find a cure for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” that will be held this Saturday, November 4, beginning at 1:30 p.m., at Treble Makers Dueling Piano Restaurant & Bar at The Grove. 

John Driskell Hopkins, affectionately know as “Hop” by his bandmates in the Zac Brown Band and his other friends (including Treble Makers owner Jamie Hess), was diagnosed with ALS in December of 2021 and started his “Hop On A Cure” 501(c)(3) nonprofit in March of 2022 to raise money to help find a cure for this dreaded nervous system disease, which currently has no cure. 

I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Jamie and Hop and although he admits that his guitar playing, speech and ability to walk have definitely slowed since being diagnosed, he feels fortunate that his ALS is a slow-moving version of the illness. 

“I have a friend who was diagnosed in his 20s who lived almost 30 years with it, but other people die within just a couple of years,” says Hopkins. “It affects everyone a little differently.” 

Although his profile calls Hopkins the bass player in the Zac Brown Band, he says he only played bass on the first three albums. He was the band’s co-founder with Brown and its deep harmony voice for the last 18 years. He also has writing credits on some of the band’s top hits. 

Hopkins will be bringing his John Driskell Hopkins Trio — which includes drummer Mike Rizzi, who also is a close friend of Jamie’s from high school — to play some of the band’s original compositions, rock and country covers and some Zac Brown favorites, like (maybe) “Toes,” on which he earned a writing credit. 

“Hop On A Cure raised over $1 million our first year,” Hopkins says. “Our goal is to raise $2 million in our second full year.” 

Hopkins, who got his start in Tallahassee in the early ‘90s, still plays guitar, sings and tours with the Zac Brown Band (which is famous for hits like “Chicken Fried” and its four platinum albums), as well as with his trio, and says he plans to keep playing and touring for as long as he can. “My strength and agility aren’t what they once were,” Hop told me. “But I plan to keep working at this until we find a cure for ALS.” 

Hopkins was one of more than 20,000 people in the U.S. living with ALS, which usually afflicts people ages 40-70. 

Tickets for the fund-raising event at Treble Makers on Nov. 4 cost $40 per person and include a buffet meal, Angels & Outlaws Live (2 p.m.-3:30 p.m.), and Hop and his trio (4 p.m.-5 p.m.). 

“We’re only going to sell 300 tickets and every dollar raised will be donated to Hop On A Cure,” Hess says. “Hop is a great guy and I just want to help him find a cure.” 

For tickets, visit or call (813) 406-4371. To make a donation, scan the QR code above or visit

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