Get to know Ripe, the funky, 7-piece Boston band that will be rockin’ the ‘Boat
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — At a time when most college students at the Berklee College of Music were grappling with their identities and exploring a world of opportunity, seven musicians decidedly took a U-turn of sorts.
For them, the timing was particularly “ripe.”
As one of Boston’s rising funk bands, Ripe is a group known for siphoning elements of funk, rock, R&B, jazz and pop through a kaleidoscope of unpredictable melodies and improvisation.
They evoke an unstoppable groove, described as dance music at its finest, by band member Robbie Wulfsohn, and that music will make its way to the Yampa Valley as Ripe headlines Steamboat Resort’s Rock the Boat Free Concert Series show starting at 3:30 p.m. Saturday on the Steamboat Stage in Gondola Square.
With a bit of planning and some chaos thrown in, the band formed in 2011 before its members even had a handle on what college was.
“When you’re a freshman in college and identity is this thing that lies in patterns at your feet, and all of a sudden, six people you’re friends with want to make music together and build a world based around that, it was just a crazy thing how easily that happened for all of us,” Wulfsohn said.
These seven musical soulmates — Wulfsohn on vocals, Tory Geismar on guitar, Jon Becker on guitar, Sampson Hellerman on drums, Josh Shpak on trumpet, Calvin Barthel on trombone and Nadav Shapira on bass — will soon be dropping their full-length debut, “Joy In The Wild Unknown,” on April 6 in the middle of their upcoming tour that starts in Colorado.
“We’re hoping to bring in an aspect to our recorded music that takes it to the same level as a live show, with that element of danger, of excitement, of the visceral nature of a show that you can never really lock in to an EP,” Wulfsohn said.
Ripe’s new album includes 12 songs featuring funked-up guitar strumming and swooning refrains.
Averaging more than 100,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, Ripe has also been on stage at festivals such as SweetWater, Levitate, The Rock Boat, High Sierra, LaureLive, Brooklyn Comes Alive, Audiotree and Summer Camp.
“If I can be a way for people to meet and have connection moments with people they otherwise wouldn’t have come in to contact with, that’s exciting because that’s what music is and does for me,” Wulfsohn said. “Music is what defines us. It’s what we get to put out into the world. I want to share this deep excitement and happiness.”
Wulfsohn said he and his bandmates are looking forward to being back in Colorado and plan on elevating the show in Steamboat with a few surprises.
“If you’ve never seen us, I want you to feel like you’ve stumbled on a real family upon introduction,” he said. “Expect the unexpected. I hope you leave exhausted from dancing and feel excited to be a part of something. If you feel that way after seeing us, we’ve done our jobs.”
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