It’s mid June and I’m sure we’re all looking for new music to get by those calm, chill summer vacation days. Songs that we can play when we just want to sit back, relax and enjoy the sun as we sway away in a hammock. If you’re looking for that sort of vibe, one musician whose music does just that is Stephen Chopek.

Stephen Chopek is a Memphis based musician. He’s spent years performing songs in New York City subways and studying under legendary jazz percussionist Leon Parker. Chopek has even gone on tour all across the United States with artists like Charlie Hunter, John Mayer, The Alternate Routes and many, many more. Now, after years of hard work, Chopek is traveling across the states on his own summer tour.

Chopek has recently released a 45 RPM vinyl (and digital) single with two songs, “Radio Caroline” and “The Ballad of Cash & Dean.” Personally, I wasn’t entirely sure how to categorize Chopek’s songs but to me, they give off a very unique and nice blend of folk and rock. Chopek’s song “Radio Caroline” reminds me of a cheerful ballad that would be played in the background of some sort of film montage. It’s upbeat and has a catchy rhythm– making it nice and easy to follow along and enjoy the song. Meanwhile, “The Ballad of Cash & Dean” it’s a much different tone, one that follows a story about a dream of two iconic Americans. In a way, the songs give off a sentimental vibe toward these two beloved and well known late celebrities.  

As for the craft itself, both “Radio Caroline” and “The Ballad of Cash & Dean” give off strong historical vibes through the lyrics and, of course, overall meanings. “Radio Caroline” telling the tale of a British pirate radio of the same name founded in 1964 while “The Ballad of Cash & Dean” was based off of a dream Chopek had. The historic connotation behind these songs flow pleasantly and quite well with the overall melody of the pieces. His songs giving an almost rustic, old timey and classic good kind of sensation.

The rhythm and vibe of each song is very distinct and really convey the skill Chopek has developed over his years of learning, understanding and practicing his music. One can really tell, hear and understand the hard work Chopek has put in to every song he’s performed and created. Not to mention, the emotion he conveys in each piece, which really allows someone who’s listening to connect better with his pieces.

So, if you like that folk, rock, kind of Americana vibe, then you should check more of Chopek out. If you really enjoyed “Radio Caroline” and “Ballad of Cash & Dean”, Chopek has many more original songs located on his youtube channel.

If you wish to hear Chopek live, you still have a chance. Chopek’s June tour is ongoing, but ends June 30 in Cincinnati, OH. Try to check him out as he makes his way to our very own state of Connecticut where Chopek will be performing at the Rough Draft (formerly The Space) on Saturday June 23– located in Hamden. If you’re not too far from the the area and want a night of relaxing and skillful music, it’ll be worth a shot to go!

About The Author

-- Emeritus Executive Editor -- English Creative Writing

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