American singer-songwriter Ron Pope rocks through his back catalogue of songs accompanied by his new band The Nighthawks.

The Georgia born, New-York based musician took Belfast’s ‘The Empire Musical Hall’ by storm this January, bringing his rock, country and blues sound to the Northern Irish shores. Ron Pope has released an impressive twelve albums since 2007, with his latest effort ‘Ron Pope and The Nighthawks’ seeming the most ambitious yet. The ‘Nighthawks’ portion of the records title is one of the biggest differences from what’s come before; Pope is now accompanied by six other band members who drive the energy of his live performance to another level.

Chatting with Ron before the gig it’s apparent how personal and family orientated his career is. With his wife Blair as his manager, Ron has achieved what any other band dreams of, the ability to release records without being chained to a record label. For Ron Pope his career is of upmost importance, and his only desire is to partner with people who work hard and care about the content that they are creating. He also spoke of some of his most memorable moments of years gone by; including brining his proud grandmother to his sold out show in New York.

The gig kicks off with one of the new albums most popular tracks, ‘Hell or High Water’, which instantly proves the necessity of the new band members. The mix of brass, guitars and Pope on keyboard produces an energetic instrumental onslaught. After this lively beginning, Pope and his Nighthawks continue their way through the best of Pope’s diverse discography, displaying Pope’s wonderful vocals on tracks such as ‘One Grain of Sand’ and ‘Bad Intentions’. The night ends with his most popular track ‘A Drop In The Ocean’, which has ranked up over 100 million streaming plays since its release in 2005.

Ron Pope is an example of something different in the Music Industry; his image, his sound and his musical journey is all self directed by Ron and his close knit team. Pope shows that through hard work, passion and patience that anything is possible, from sold out shows in New York to a world tour across Europe and beyond. The future’s bright for this passionate singer-songwriter, and luckily for Ron, that future is completely in his own hands.

Below is my full interview with Ron prior to his gig in The Empire on January 18th:


Corey McKinney

Corey McKinney

Corey McKinney; our resident film buff, presenter of the Film Frequency and Sonic Sessions shows on QR and of course, our Head of Music. Usually found behind the camera lens or in a cinema.
Corey McKinney

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