When someone thinks of the term “jam band,” most of the time, you think of something like: “They did the eighty-five minute version of ‘Truckin’; it was awesome.” And while long, extended versions of songs is one way of describing the art of “jamming,” there is another way of looking at it. “Jamming” can also be a way of describing the feel of a band that gets on stage and just lets the feeling of the music take over.
The second description of “jamming” is a good way of looking at the feel of the music that is produced by Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based band, Ripe. Ripe is a band that has just released their debut, self-titled release. And while the band does not consider itself a jam band, the feeling is definitely present on the album and in the music contained on it.
Ripe is a six-piece rock outfit that has been described as “like Shooter Jennings tried to ghostwrite a new Sublime album, but was kidnapped halfway through tracking by all 83 members of Rusted Root”. Listening to the CD, you can most certainly hear all of those elements in the band’s music. And due to the fact that Ripe even includes several Sublime songs in their stage set, the Sublime reference is most than just coincidental.
Ripe was originally a solo concept for frontman Adam Mentzer. The lead vocalist/guitarist is joined in the band by guitarist Sam Kornhauser; bassist/violinist Osman Chaudhary; vocalist/percussionist/melodica/bells player Jen Powell; keyboard player Chelsea Killian; and drummer Dave Donahue. The members of the group take their unusual blend of instruments to create music. Together, the band creates a tight-sounding unit that has created a sound and style all it’s own. With influences as diverse as Jack Johnson, Kings of Leon, Incubus and many people, many different things have shaped the band’s sound. With the different influences and styles that go into the band’s sound, they have a wide range of songs that make up their playlist. And with the wide variety in Ripe’s playlist, the self-titled CD by the band features as many different styles in the songs that have been recorded to create the album. Some of the strongest tracks on the CD include: Little Bit of Living, So Long Candy Mountain, and With.
If you like rock bands that know how to jam, then Lancaster, Pennsylvania’s Ripe is a band to check out, and their new album is something you need to hear. To check out this band of talented musicians, go to their MySpace account at www.myspace.com/ripelancaster. Also visit their website @ www.ripemusic.org. Right now, the band’s website is under construction, so visit their MySpace first.