Tim Stopulos, a Davenport Assumption High School graduate who attended college in Wake Forest (Winston Salem, North Carolina) after graduation, was in town on December 19th, playing at the Redstone Room of the River Music Experience.
His tightly knit combo played some covers of Billy Joel and Elton John (“Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”) on which Steven Kretschmer guested and sang harmony, but most of the songs were original compositions from Tim’s album “The Long Drive Home.”
Tim’s band consists of Justin Hooks on drums and percussion, Seville Lilly on keyboards and bass guitar, Michael Tahlier, lead guitar. Tim, himself, plays keyboards and guitar and sings lead vocals while composing many of the group’s songs. Born in 1983, the 25-year-old singer/songwriter says he has been influenced by everyone from Dave Matthews to John Mayer, Ben Folds, Coldplay, Billy Joel, Radiohead and Jeff Buckley. He began 15 years of piano instruction at the age of 6, and it has definitely paid off.
I spoke with Seville Lilly, the bass and keyboards player (and the thin guy wearing the hat) and he said, “Tim is the most complete musician I’ve met. He has it all. He sings, he composes, he can play all the instruments. I’ve been in 13 bands in and around Chicago. This CD is really well-produced. It was hearing this CD that convinced me to join the band.” Seville went on to note that he is not on the CD. He gave kudos to band organizer and “main man” Tim Stopulos, who seems very upbeat and energetic and dedicated to making it in the crazy and unpredictable music business.
I bought one of the CDs, in order to listen to: “Weak and Willing,” “Too Close,” “Pride and Prejudice,” “Love It or Leave It,” “Where I’m going,” “Loose Ends,” “Lie to Me” (I thought it was going to be Johnny Lang’s version; it wasn’t), “Wandering,” and “Wait it Out.”
What I liked best about the concert was that Stopulos is undeniably talented. I haven’t been as impressed with a keyboard player since I heard Joe Firstman open for Sheryl Crow and predicted a big career for the guy (who is now the house band on Carson Daley’s late night show). [22 years of piano instruction here, so there!]
The band’s members are mainly from the Chicago area, and they are playing in the Chicago area at the following places during the upcoming weeks:
December 20th – Bad Dog Tavern (solo) 9 p.m.
December 23rd – Nan’s Piano Bar (solo) 8:30 p.m.
December 27th – Reggie’s Music Joint
January 9, 2009 – 1:30 A, Bar Louise (solo)
January 16 – The Red Line Tap, 9 p.m.
January 31, Private party, 8 p.m.
Learn more about Tim Stopulos’ band, and vote for a name for the band, at his blog:www.timstopulos.com. It’s nice to hear a singer who can actually sing, for a change, and whose talent comes through loud and clear. Good luck to this Iowa native as he takes on the world of entertainment.