Andrew Ripp
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Andrew Ripp

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"Album Review"

"His claim to fame may be co-penning Ryan Cabrera’s pop hit 'Shine On,' but don’t hold that against Andrew Ripp. Throughout 'Fifty Miles To Chicago', he evokes the sophisticated styles of Ray LaMontagne or Paddy Casey and even hints of Jeff Buckley across the quivering 'Tim’s Song.'"
- Andy Argyrakis - Illinois Entertainer

"Album Review"

"He has a strong voice that can still invoke vulnerability and he's good at establishing a hook. You know, that part of the song that smacks you up side the noggin and demands you listen. It's one of those things you know when you hear it. I am not a fan of "pop" music, but I love a good hook and Andrew has them."

For the full review click here:
- cursedmonkeypaw

"Album Review"

"He’s harder than Mraz, looser than Mayer and edgier than Maroon 5, and I wouldn’t like to be the one who bets against him becoming just as popular as any of the aforementioned. One to watch out for." - Power of Pop

"Palatine Native to Debut New Album at Christmas Show"

The third annual Christmas show on Saturday at Durty Nellie's in Palatine will offer a rare opportunity for rock music fans to hear cuts from an album before it's released.

At 10 p.m. Saturday, Palatine native Andrew Ripp returns to headline Durty Nellie's, as he's done for the last two years on the weekend before Christmas. The 2000 Palatine High School graduate now living and working in Los Angeles returns this year amid much excitement, as his long-awaited first album is due to be released early next year.

"It took three tries and nearly four years, but it's finally done," says Ripp, who arrived back in the area last week.

Between the writing process, on which he collaborated with singer/songwriter Randy Coleman, and finding different producers, he ultimately went with producer Dan Lavery, who now plays bass for The Fray.

The recording process wrapped up just last week, Ripp adds, and he's finally satisfied with the product and proud to see his name attached to it.

"It took a while, but I wanted to tell my story, and figure out what it was I wanted to say," says Ripp, 25, who describes the album as featuring acoustic rock, "but very melodic and soulful."

He says he didn't discover music until his sophomore year at Palatine High School, when his mother signed him up for some voice lessons at their church, Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington.

About the same time, Ripp picked up the guitar; he found himself jotting down lyrics and notes during his high school classes.

Within six months of graduation, he tossed caution to the wind and headed to Los Angeles to follow his dream of making it in the music industry. Within months he attended a concert performed by Coleman, who is the son of actor Dabney Coleman. He was determined to work with the recording artist.

One of the first songs they had planned for Ripp's album ended up drawing the interest of pop rock musician Ryan Cabrera. He recorded Ripp's song, "Shine On," for his album, and wound up taking it to a Top 40 Billboard hit.

Despite having to return to the drawing board, Ripp says, working with Cabrera gave him much needed legitimacy.

Since then, Ripp has opened for other singers in Los Angeles, including Tom Morello, at a Hotel Cafe appearance, as well as Jason Mraz, Ben Harper, Jon Foreman of Switchfoot and B-Real and his hip-hop group, Cypress Hill. - Daily Herald


If Tom Morello says he sounds like Ray LaMontagne, then by all that’s
good and Rage-filled, this delightfully twangy, Palatine-based folkster
sings like the best of them. Andrew Ripp headlines his annual Durty
Nellie’s Christmas show with Todd Carey.

- Get Busy in the 'Burbs

"Feature: Andrew Ripp"

An intimate and lively crowd got more than a taste of just waffles at Funk'n'Waffles Tuesday night. Andrew Ripp, a singer/songwriter from the windy city of Chicago, brought some of his soulful sounds to campus...Once on stage, Andrew's raspy voice and acoustic guitar filled the underground venue as the lights dimmed and the audience sat close together.

Even though he was supposed to have a day off in between tour dates, Andrew seemed excited to play an extra show and talked with people in the crowd in between songs. After his performance, the Chicago native stuck around to jam with the local band Sophistafunk and to mingle with students. "I thought he had a good voice, and the atmosphere was funky," says Rebecca Kheel, a freshman at SU. - 20 Watts Blog

"Summerfest Should Get Their Smile On with Andrew Ripp"

With winter coming on strong, it’s time to think of that eleven-day, incredible run of music in the sun on the Milwaukee shore of Lake Michigan: Summerfest. If Summerfest hasn’t already chosen a slogan for 2009 or designed their commercial campaign, Andrew Ripp should be their pick.

Ripp’s album, Fifty Miles to Chicago, is appropriate enough for Summerfest in its title encouraging you to make the short drive from Chicago to what is billed as the “World’s Largest Music Festival.”

Yet, more than that, Ripp starts off the album with “Get Your Smile On,” an intoxicating, Jason Mraz-like, shuffle groove jam, jazzed out, souled out, hand-wagging attitude son making a perfect play on the Summerfest smile logo (which is inspired by the name of festival founder Don Smiley).

I can see the commercials now: pictures flashing of Summerfest crowds, rocking out to 11 days of music, while Ripp’s “Get Your Smile On” provides the marketing soundtrack. That groove jam exemplifies what you experience on the Summerfest grounds—music around every corner, plenty to soak in all day every day, swaying-rocking-grooving-shouting-singing with the crowd.

And after such a marketing campaign, it will, of course, only make sense that Andrew Ripp would be artist-in-residence for Summerfest 2009, a position they’ll create for him. He’ll play on various stages with full band or acoustic solo sets.

As an album, Ripp falls a little bit into the same trap I see for Jason Mraz. The grooved up, jamming, up tempo tracks are great, but especially with Fifty Miles to Chicago starting off with “Get Your Smile On,” it sets up a false expectation. Ripp is an incredibly soulful singer/songwriter, laid back ballads soaring on a Motown-dipped folk pop. Songs like “Tim’s Song” and “It’s All Good” surely grow out of Ripp’s solo, coffeehouse-type days. “The Privileged Life” lurches on a New Orleans piano as it swaggers around a jazz standard stage.

Yet, I’m pushing through the album hoping to get my smile on again. I’m enjoying what Ripp can do with a laid back groove, but I find myself asking, “When are you picking it up again, throwing it all to the wind, and getting us jamming again?”

Track 10. “But You Saved My Life.” Soul on an acoustic guitar. Soul rock on electric guitar syncopated struts. Jam Band acoustic guitar solos and Motown organ thrown in. Here’s what I wanted Ripp to be between tracks 1 and 10.

That said, I still imagine Ripp being right for Summerfest artist-in-residence. On acoustic sets, he’ll lead soulful swaying crowds from his smoky, jazzy stage. When playing with his band on the big stages, he’ll crank it up, bring it up, push it up, and rock it up until everyone truly has their smile on. Just what Summerfest is all about. - Music Spectrum Blog by Benjamin Squires

"Tom Morello Quote"

“He sounded a mix between Ray LaMontagne and someone else I can’t quite put my finger on. He was excellent...” - Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave) - blog

"Daily Herald - Chicago"

"You could say you knew him when." - Saturday Soapbox


Fifty Miles to Chicago



In today’s music market, it takes a truly unique voice to command the attention of listeners. Chicago-native Andrew Ripp combines a voice that invokes both vulnerability and soul with a talent for undeniable hooks, setting the stage for him to be a name you will recognize for years to come.

Operating independently of a label, Ripp focuses on touring and has shared the stage with Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Fiction Family (Jon Foreman of Switchfoot and Sean Watkins of Nickel Creek) and The Nightwatchman (Tom Morello), among others.

On his debut album 'Fifty Miles to Chicago', Ripp aimed to create an organic album reminiscent of those made in the 70’s and by artists like Otis Redding, Bob Dylan, and Hank Williams. Musicians Pete Maloney (Dishwalla, Tonic), keyboard player Will Hollis (Eagles), and steel guitar player Eric Heywood (Ray LaMontagne) were brought in to help create a timeless record based around Ripp’s rhythmic guitar playing and soulful voice. From the electricity of the full-band backed, organ-driven groove of “Get Your Smile On”, to the solo acoustic guitar and vocals of “It’s All Good”, and the heart-wrenching rock ballad of “Dresden Wine”, Ripp does just that.

“I wanted to make the record on my own,” Ripp states. “All the recordings I had done in the past hadn’t really represented me in the way that I wanted to be represented.”

Ripp co-wrote and co-produced 'Fifty Miles to Chicago' with songwriter Randy Coleman and brought on Dan Lavery, former bass player of the rock band Tonic, as producer. Funded by Andrew himself, the majority of the album was recorded in Lavery’s back-house studio in Los Angeles.

“This record really portrays who I am not only as an artist but as a person,” Andrew says of writing the album. “Honesty goes a long way because you can see right through it when somebody is slopping words on a page. And I feel like we took the time that was necessary to really work through every word.”