rebecca rippy

rebecca rippy


Rebecca Rippy is the kind of songwriter that evokes emotions from a wide range of styles -- from traditional folk/rock to raw in your face swampy blues, to moody ambient ballads.


In her song “Trying to Make a Living,” Rebecca Rippy coyly sings, “Is this specific enough?” The line addresses songwriting in general, but for Rebecca and her fans, the question is an inside joke. Anyone listening to Rebecca knows she writes very specifically—and provocatively— about her experiences, her relationships, and what matters most in her life.

On Telling Stories, her second album, Rebecca opens her heart in the most intimate ways, spinning tales built around those who mean the most to her. The emotional connection to her songs are obvious, but just as importantly is how she uses personal revelations to explore universal truths. Writing acoustic music that elevates souls with uplifting rhythms or hushes a crowd with quiet power, Rebecca proves just how entertaining and inspiring music can be in the hands of a talented singer-songwriter who has lived every word she sings.

“I wrote these songs initially for my family members, and when my co-producer/engineer, Jamie Hoover, heard them, he strongly encouraged me to record them. I was hesitant at first, because they reveal so much of me. But now that they’re out there, I’m finding that people are relating to them more than anything I have written to date. In our live performances, the audience seems to respond in a very deep, emotional way. I think these songs hit home with some of their own family life experiences and people really connect with them because of that.”

The inspiration originated with “It’s October,” the first song written for the album, and its opening cut. As the lyrics make obvious, it’s an open-hearted tribute to her father, who died too young at age 49. The CD booklet includes a note that looks pinned to it that reads “Thanks Dad, for everything…,” indicating how important a role Rippy’s father played in her life. Amid photos of her as a young girl, and with her father as a young man, she writes, “He was, to me, an overpowering influence. I’ve spent the last eight years running, hiding, fighting, drinking, working and anything else just to avoid accepting the reality of his absence in my life.”

From that point, instead of avoidance, Rippy’s songs deal directly with trying to accept and embrace what others mean to her: She writes of her husband, her children, her mother, her grandmother, and what is likely one of the most loving and heart-felt songs (“O Brother”) written about her sister and two brothers.

Through it all, Rebecca presents these sentiments with an in-your-face candidness that is reflected in the energetic arrangements of the songs. More acoustic than her first album, Telling Stories nonetheless abounds in movement and rhythm. Rippy attributes that energy to the joy of playing with her outstanding band, a collection of well-regarded musical veterans who have been drawn to Rippy for her fresh perspective and undeniable talent.

At the helm is co-producer Jamie Hoover, who also plays bass and offers background vocals. A legendary figure among power-pop fans for his work in the acclaimed band, the Spongetones, Hoover brings studio smarts and arrangement skills to Rippy’s work. He also introduced her to other high-profile friends, including producer-artist Don Dixon, who sings a duet with Rebecca on Telling Stories. Don has produced such icons as REM, Hootie and the Blowfish, The Smithereens, Marshall Crenshaw and a host of other major label talent.

Joining them is the band Rebecca Rippy & Co., her touring ensemble. It features guitarist Douglas Barnhill, leader of the North Carolina-based band Barnhill and the 12 Tribes, and whose harmonies work so well with Rippy that he invited her to join him when he performed at Nashville’s famed Bluebird Café. On drums and percussion, Scott McLaughlin’s work provides the music’s propulsive vigor, his experience as one of North Carolina’s most respected musicians evident in the grooves. Victoria McLaughlin, a classically trained cellist from Colombia, provides the rich bottom and unusual flavor running under Rippy’s stream-of-consciousness lyrics, showing the same sensitivity and luxurious tone she’s displayed with the Charlotte Philarmonic Orchestra and the Vivace Quartet. On stage they’re joined by bassist Brian Doell and acoustic guitarist Terry Wheeler, multi-instrumentalists, band leaders and recording artists in their own rights. Terry Wheeler, also adds background vocals.

“I feel incredibly lucky to be playing with such talented musicians so early in my career,” Rippy said. “They’ve added so much to my music. It’s a true collaboration, and we’ve come up with our own sound because of what each member brings to it. It inspires me every time I play with them.”

It’s easy to understand why these valued musicians devote themselves to Rippy’s music: As a vocalist, she has a vulnerable yet strong presence that can race with jazzy glee, whisper with quiet revelation, or soar with stunning spirit and beauty. Her voice brings each tune alive, as if wel


Secrets(2008) - Dae Van Music
Telling Stories (2009) - Dae Van Music
Rebecca’s stellar songwriting shines as never before against an eclectic Americana Folk Rock backdrop of acoustic guitars, cello, hand and kit drum percussion, bass, high lonesome guitars, and mandotars. Her latest album project titled “Telling Stories” set for November 2009 release was produced by Rebecca Rippy and engineered by longtime friend and musician Jamie Hoover (Spongetones, Don Dixon). It is her most personal recording to date, with a stunning range of material, from stories about family, those that have gone before and follow after, of lives lived and roads traveled. A compelling collection of songs which resonate with everyday life and the trials of walking the sod of this earth, all the while inhaling the joys, sorrows, disappointments and gentle graces that shape our paths…

Set List

I Told You So
Make a Living
The River

75 - 90 minute show (depending on the booking)