A unique brand of Alaska-brewed rock will make its debut at Whiskey Jacques’ in Ketchum on Friday, Sept. 29, at 10 p.m.
Matt Hopper & The Roman Candles are a rock ’n’ roll band formed in 1999 in Anchorage, Alaska, fueled by the long winters. The band originally played only in Anchorage, opening for bands like Young Dubliners and Starflyer 59. Eventually, they began touring all corners of Alaska. Later, they relocated to Portland, Ore.
The group currently comprises Hopper on lead guitar and vocals, Bryan Garfinkel on drums, Phillipe Bronchstein on multiple instruments, John Fauller on bass and Ryan Bohac on keyboard.
Hopper has released 11 independent albums. He also has written music for indie band The Head & The Heart and has produced music with Richard Swift, who worked with The Black Keys and The Shins.
Hopper’s music has been reviewed favorably by Performing Songwriter Magazine and Rolling Stone, and he also won an Alaska Public Radio Network award for best rock song.
The band’s name comes from a famous passage in Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road,” in which Kerouac writes that the only people for him are the ones who “burn like fabulous yellow roman candles …”
Just recently, Hopper has relocated to Boise.
“Although this songwriter recently relocated to Idaho, Matt Hopper cut his teeth in our most northern state, which would lead to the wiry, blues-flavored tracks,” according to an article from Paste Magazine.
Hopper compares his band’s sound to a combination of Wilco, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers and My Morning Jacket.