Hoppie Vaughan, a native South Carolinian, grew up playing through the club circuit all over the Southeast and later spent time honing his craft in Nashville. After making his way to Roanoke and playing with Kerry Hurley’s Fat Daddy Blues Band where he earned the nickname “The Minister of Soul,” Hoppie decided to form his own band. The Minister’s musical style could be described as “rhythm & blue-eyed soul,” and also features players Jeff Hofmann, Jamiel Allen, and Rob Vaughan. The Ministers easily mix original songs with classics by Al Green, Bill Withers, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles and others. Going over a decade strong, the group plays soul, classic R&B, blues, funk, and even the occasional Johnny Cash number.
“Hoppie and the Ministers have such a passionate mix of soul, blues and jazz, when they come out, they really bare their souls and their interpretation of some of the great artists,” says Matt Cothran, vice president of The Ellington Fellowship Playhouse’s Board of Directors in Lynchburg, VA. “They really play with such a finesse and range, it’s hard not to jump up on your feet and dance when they’re onstage.”