The Sand Rubies evolved from an Arizona group called the Sidewinders, an outfit that had already put out three albums with Rich Hopkins on guitar and David Slutes as vocalist. The name change came about because of legal difficulties, but they went on to ink a deal with Mammoth Records in 1988. A showcase followed in New York, resulting in a deal with RCA. Due to little promotional backing from RCA, the Sand Rubies moved on to Ensign/Chrysalis during the early 1990s. Unfortunately, when EMI took over Chrysalis, the band was left out in the cold. Soon the Sand Rubies again had a new deal, this time with Atlas/PolyGram. At one time, Pearl Jam was the band’s opening act.

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The Sidewinders formed in the spring of 1985 by guitarist Rich Hopkins and vocalist David Slutes. The group released its first record, Cuacha!, in 1988, and subsequently signed to RCA/Mammoth Records, where they released two full-length albums, 1989’s Witchdoctor and 1990’s Auntie Ramos’ Pool Hall. Witchdoctor cracked the lower echelons of the Billboard 200 at No. 169, on the strength of two modern rock radio hits; the band scored exposure on MTV and VH1 and embarked on a worldwide tour, but the band’s career was soon sidelined due to legal problems. In 1991, a North Carolina cover band known as Sidewinder sued the group over the use of its name, and it took two years to sort out the proceedings and secure the release of their next album, now under the name Sand Rubies.

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Producer, writer, guitarist, singer, humanitarian…

Rich Hopkins recently recorded his 14th album BURIED TREASURES with his band THE LUMINARIOS in both his home town Tucson, Az and in Austin, Texas.  The album was released in 2012 on San Jacinto Records and Blue Rose Records.  Rich started the Luminarios in 1991 as a side project with his first album PERSONALITY CRISIS that was released on Germany’s EFA Records.  After the Rubies initially broke up in 1993, Rich decided to keep going with his ever changing cast of Luminarios band members and in 1993 recorded DIRT TOWN and DUMPSTER OF LOVE in 1995 for ENEMT RECORDS in Germany/USA.

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Lisa Novak

The Luminarios

Rich Hopkins

The SideWinders

Lisa Novak grew up in Houston, TX, and came from a very musical family. Not only did mother play piano in a band, her grandfather rocked Shiner, TX back in his day. Her dads cousin, Red Novak was well known amongst Houston musicians for selling guitars to Elvis as well as the locals.  Novak picked up her first guitar in the eighth grade and wrote music in high school but kept music as a hobby and pursued a career as a hairstylist.  In 1995, under a friends suggestion, she recorded her first music and assembled a band to tour and promote the songs.

As a perennial nominee in the Houston Press, Best of Houston Awards, Novak won the 2004 Best Folk/Acoustic Act with singer/songwriter Melinda Mones, and in 2005 Novak has won the title of Best Female Vocalist. She has also garnered recognition from Musician Magazine in 1995 through the Best Unsigned Band Contest and Billboard Magazine Song Contest awarded a certificate of achievement in 1998 for her song Make Believe. She has played in Austin, TX at the annual SXSW Music Conference as the Houston Press nominated her band for Best Pop/Rock and Best Folk in 2000. Her song Perfect Mess was also nominated for Song of the Year in 2002.

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Rich Hopkins is in a heroic struggle against mediocrity and complacency. A prolific writer, singer, guitarist, producer and humanitarian, Hopkins is concerned for the well-being of his fellow man and wonders about the events that have shaped us as a nation and a race. Letting him into your life with his music and stories on “Tombstone,” just might help you make sense of it all in some small way.

Hopkins, who has been a part of the American music scene since 1985, is, amazingly, still an undiscovered talent to some. Founding the Tucson, Ariz. based Sidewinders(RCA 1989-91)/ Sand Rubies (Polygram 1993), Hopkins toured the U.S. and celebrated success with college/indie rock classics “Witchdoctor” and “We Don’t Do That Anymore” (both went to #5 on the CMJ charts). In 1991, Hopkins formed Rich Hopkins and The Luminarios as a side project; it soon became his full time band when the Sand Rubies stopped touring. He has consistently cranked out new records (26 in all) and tours yearly in Germany/Europe (25 tours) where, in 1996, he was one of the first artists signed to Germany’s Blue Rose Records.

A new member of the Tucson Musicians Museum (Class of 2013), Hopkins enters music history as the quintessential desert rocker, a constant in the bedrock of alternative music. Showcasing an ability to create unmistakable guitar tones that drive a hallmark sound, as the years pass, Hopkins continues to reinvent and motivate himself for yet another album and tour as evidenced on “Tombstone,” the latest release from Rich Hopkins & The Luminarios.

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The Sand Rubies

The Luminarios