A member of the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe of Martha's Vineyard, Thea Hopkins describes her music as Red Roots Americana. Her album "Love Come Down," was nominated for a 2019 Indigenous Music Award in the folk category, an international competition. In June of 2019, Thea was selected by the Western Arts Alliance as a 2019 Native Launchpad Artist, an award which includes a major grant and a three-year artist development program. To cap off 2019, was selected for the Banff Centre For The Arts, Wichoie Ahiya Indigenous Singer Songwriter Intensive Program.
Her 2019 performances included the Summertyne Americana Festival Newcastle, (UK) the Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts in Washington, DC and the Banff Centre For The Arts, Alberta, Canada.
Thea first came to wider public notice in 2004, when Peter, Paul & Mary recorded her song "Jesus Is On The Wire. Then again in 2010 with the Prague Symphony Orchestra. It is considered one of their later signature songs.
"Love Come Down" is her 4th album, but the first helmed by a producer (Mike Davidson of Boston's Plaid Dog Studios). Even while in the recording stages there was support for the production. First, her fans pitched in with Indiegogo crowd-funding. Then, Thea received a generous fellowship from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation.
With 'Love Come Down', Hopkins has achieved an elegance of sound that lives up to her poetic prowess. A talent the Washington Post called a standout writer, she has created, in just six tunes, a seamless song journey that begins with a gentle invocation, 'Love Come Down', ends with a lullaby, 'Until Then' and gracefully travels to a few dark American landscapes in between. From love ballad to social history, every song is personal.
The Paris Move raved, "Our amazement is total. Thea Hopkins'CD 'Love Come Down' should come with a warning: To be opened with care "risk of love at first sight!" -- Patrick Dallongeville https://www.paris-move.com/reviews/thea-hopkins-love-come-down/
The scope of the EP can be seen by the choice of musicians. Jazz trumpeter Tom Halter (Either Orchestra) explores haunting new directions on four songs. 'Mississippi River', Mississippi Town features the electric ebow guitar of Dave Minehan (The Neighborhoods, The Replacements.) He also coproduced the song. On 'The Ghost of Emmett Till', Noel Paul Stookey (of Peter, Paul & Mary) adds his quietly dramatic guitar and harmony vocals. The pianist Tim Ray (formerly with Lyle Lovett) is prominent, and plaintive, on 'Almost Upon a Time'. 'Tamson Weeks' is sparked by violinist Mimi Rabson of the Really Esoteric String Quartet. It tells the story of Hopkins' great-great aunt, a medicine woman of the Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe, renowned throughout New England for her remedies and cures.
In June 2021, Thea was selected for Global Music Match 2021. She is one of seven artists chosen by Folk Alliance International for the USA team.
Global Music Match is a world first collaboration between founding partners Sounds Australia, Showcase Scotland Expo and East Coast Music Association (ECMA), along with export organizations and showcase events from around the world. Global Music Match is a returning initiative created to continue raising the profile of local artists in international music markets within the challenging parameters of the COVID 19 pandemic.
The program is a unique response to the limitations imposed on the music industry, that makes use of the only available platform – social media and peer-to-peer collaboration – to increase networks and exposure for export-ready artists internationally.
She is also currently doing pre-production for a new album, scheduled to be released in January 2022.
In addition to Aquinnah Wampanoag, Hopkins' ancestry includes Nottoway (Iroquois), African-American, Irish and Portuguese. In other words, Red Roots Americana.