Dayton blues artist delivers natural approach to new album



After two studio albums, acoustic blues artist Chris Yakopcic took a different approach on his third full-length, getting its official release at Yellow Cab Tavern in Dayton on Friday, Sept. 22.

The material on “Live at the Hidden Gem” was recorded at Centerville’s Hidden Gem Music Club in March. The Dayton-based musician was inspired to shake things up while preparing for his appearance at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in late January.

“I was practicing a lot,” Yakopcic said. “Going through live tracks, I realized it was 25 minutes, and I just needed a few more songs for an album. I’ve been playing live for a while so I felt like I could get through them with a good effective performance in the time crunch of a night. It was time to try that out. I practiced the songs a lot, but I don’t really play them the same way twice, so I try to focus on the best way to play the songs every time. I’m glad I got all the things right I really wanted to get right, at least once.”

Watch Chris Yakopcic perform the song, “I Gotta Get Goodbye Somehow” at the Bluebird Café in Nashville:

Gary King, who engineered and mixed Yakopcic’s 2015 album, “The Next Place I Leave,” at Refraze Studio, also recorded the live session.

“It went great,” King said. “We didn’t think there’d be too much to do with just one guy live with a guitar and vocal, but we really got into the details and it was worth it. Chris was smart enough to come here and experiment before we recorded live. He forced himself to get through the songs and his arrangements while singing and playing together. It also gave me a chance to experiment with microphones and preamps.”

Yakopcic was encouraged by the experience.

“It was nice to have this experience and learn from it,” he said. “Doing it on stage made it more natural than if I had tried to do that by myself in a studio. Performance-wise, I think it’s my best one so far just because my playing is more natural. It’s an accurate representation of what I can do on stage.”

Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or


Who: Chris Yakopcic with solo sets from Noah Wotherspoon and Achilles Tenderloin

Where: Yellow Cab Tavern, 700 E. Fourth St., Dayton

When: Friday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m.

Cost: $7 in advance, $10 day of show

More info: 937-424-3870 or

Artist info:

About the Author