Ethan Hampton


Ethan Hampton believes in the power of music. Having seen its influence on the masses first hand, he recognizes its ability to affect the mind and begin movements.

His musical journey began with the gift of guitar at 14 by his father–a constant source of encouragement and inspiration–while his childhood play in being a ninja took on more serious roots later in life, two seemingly disparate things that may not make sense until you see Ethan performing onstage with his brother, Justin.

Their album “Everybody” is a throwback to soul and blues, Brooklyn songs in the key of life. The Hampton Brothers is his extension, which you can see for yourself on May 16th, at the Rockwood Music Hall.  In the meantime, lets see what’s in his bag!

What type of trip is it? To do martial arts training and geek out with the masters, play live music at The Wanchai and get some “me” time!

Destination? Hong Kong

How many days? Twenty days.

Any travel buddies? Sifu Alex Richter.

Local weather is like… mostly grey, some sun, warm & humid.

What’s the packing strategy? Roll it up and keep it simple.

How many bags and suitcases? One backpack and guitar.


Everything photographed below was in that backpack. No joke.

Are you checking in or carrying on? On the way to Hong Kong I carried everything on, but on the way back the guitar had to be checked in.

What’s in your carry-on? Everything!


Belt, book, chambray shirt, casual dress pants in khaki & black deodorant, graphic tees (2 of 3 pictured), guitar picks, iPhone, iPad (in Dodo case) with chargers, mouth guard, open front placket tees for practice and off-duty, shades, shoe brush, socks (3 pairs), Tanks (2 for day and sleep), toothbrush & wallet for notes.

When you’re in the airport, what do you do:

Going security: Try not to get arrested!

At the terminal: With the extra time after checking in, I start looking for food.  One salad, a drink and an energy bar later, I’ve realized that I’ve just spent $30 on food.

Before getting on the flight, you use the restroom.

Do you use any travels aids? Pillow.

What’s your travel splurge? During the trip, sifu Alex’s high school friend treated us to a room in Macao in The Venetian with a city view. We showed up at the harbor where a driver was waiting for us with a sign. We drove to a restaurant to the beach and watched people gamble afterwards.

Do you use any travel apps or checklists? WhatsApp is awesome!

The book you’re bringing is Tolkien’s The Children of Hurin, for when all the technology dies on me.

Are you a prep packer or last-minute type? Last-minute all the way.

Never leave home without…my guitar.

Is there any type of resource you’d wish was out there to make traveling easier? Mandatory travel for all citizens, because they would find commonalities in people and hopefully gain some perspective.

Any rituals, guilty pleasure, or good luck charms (things to stay sane):  That’s what the blues are for!

Have you ever missed a flight? Yes, I brought a pair of practice nunchuks through security thinking it was OK since it wasn’t real, and got stopped. I had to interview with TSA and boarded another flight four hours later. Definitely missed that flight and received a letter several weeks later determining I wasn’t a threat.

Any tips for fellow travelers you find helpful? Make as many friends as possible and say yes everything (within reason)!


Casual denim kicks for roaming, denim jacket, guitar & strap, slip-ons for training, travel pillow. What’s not pictured: Flannel shirt, jock strap to protect the boys from errant kicks in training, member’s only jacket (wrapped around the guitar inside soft case to cushion and save space).

Catch Ethan tonight and his band, The Hampton Brothers at Friends & Lovers if you’re in the neighborhood. They will also be performing on May 16th at Rockwood Music Hall. Their album “Everybody” is on ITunes and Spotify.

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