Album: Tombstone

Artist: Rich Hopkins and Luminarios

Label: San Jacinto

Release Date: October 07, 2014

Rich Hopkins 10-8


“You’ve got everything you wanted, everything you need, what if everything doesn’t turn out perfectly?” If that lyric from Rich Hopkins and the Luminarios’ latest opus seems to ring with an air of satisfaction and content, it also belies the restless nature of their work, a turbulent blend of heartland rock and ringing, resilient anthems. Hopkins has been a fixture in the American Southwest for the better part of the past 30 years, beginning with the Sidewinders (later renamed the Sand Rubies), and continuing through his affiliation with his current backing ensemble, the Luminarios.

True to form, Hopkins and company convey their heartland sensibilities with the same drive and determination that’s been their stock and trade since the beginning, a sometimes sobering perspective that owes as much to Tom Petty as it does to Springsteen, Mellencamp and other tireless troubadours bearing a populist perspective. Songs such as “Don’t Worry,” “Home of the Brave” and “Top of the World” adhere to that edgy attitude, but in the moments of repose – the emotionally evocative “Everything,” the catchy “woo-woo” refrain of “No Regrets,” and the deadpan tale of bloodshed and brutality, “With Luke and Jimmy” – Hopkins’ everyman appeal comes clearly to the fore.

Given that sturdy and somber sound, Tombstone is not only affecting, but seemingly essential as well. The cover art though, depicting a grave marker with the band’s name engraved upon it, does seem mildly ominous. Is this the end for the long-running Arizona/New Mexico combo?

DOWNLOAD: “Don’t Worry,” “”Everything,” “No Regrets”

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