A short time ago fellow Phantom Sway contributor Kris Nigh turned me on to this band out of Boston called Ripe and I have since been digging their videos on YouTube and their tracks on Spotify. After I spotted a Winchester, VA tour date on their website we naturally had to go check them out live. When you’ve only heard a band’s recordings, you’re not sure how they will measure up in a live setting but these guys are legit.
The show was at Blue Fox Billiards, a pool hall/ bar and grille with a pretty nice stage setup in the bar area. One wouldn’t think of Winchester as a live music mecca but Shenandoah University—formerly Shenandoah Conservatory—is nearby so there is a musical element in the community. Most students are probably on summer break so Blue Fox was not exactly packed, but it didn’t matter for Ripe who put on the kind of show you would expect for a huge audience. .
When a band still gives it their all in front of a small crowd that’s a sign of professionalism and class. At one point the band’s frontman singled out a woman near the stage who had been singing along with all their originals and thanked her. I thought that was a pretty gracious move. Appreciate the fans.
Musically, these guys tight. From some of their social media I suspect that some if not all of the members are out of Berklee College of Music, so the chops are to be expected. The lead singer could easily be singing any style of music he wanted to and the same probably applies to the rest of the band with their respective instruments. They’re playing what they want to play so they play it well.
Their web site describes them like this:
Ripe is a Funk/Pop band out of Boston, MA that was born as a result of its seven members’ uniting over one belief: with enough passion and honesty, music can still make the earth shake. With one eye looking back to the inception of both funk and psychedelic music, and the other looking forward with a modern concept of what makes people move, Ripe seeks both to honor musical history as well as to make it. The perfect fruit is equal parts past and present, and this is the approach of the Ripe sound.
That really captures them well. As someone who seldom finds new music I really like, the fact that they’ve got one foot in the past is probably why their sound appeals to me. That and I’m a sucker for any good band with horns. The Instagram clips below don’t do them justice.