Andrew Ripp, Brendan James, Dan Rodriguez
1308 4th Street SE
Minneapolis, MN, 55414
Doors 6:00 PM / Show 7:00 PM
This event is 16 and over
It's that familiar warmth that washes over you in the first 20 seconds of your favorite song. That little reminder in your ears letting you know today is going to be a good day. Once the hook of Andy Grammer's "Keep Your Head Up" hits, you're already halfway there. It's that kind of infectious groove that sets the tone for his groundbreaking debut EP, and the kind of talent that turns a regular tune into an honest feeling that stays with you all day.
There's something wonderfully original about Andy Grammer. Beautifully blending classic and modern styles into a catchy cocktail of genuine pop, Andy's music is one part John Legend, one part Maroon 5 with a splash of Lauryn Hill. He carries a moving spark to his sound that's unique in every sense of the word, while wielding a confidence that is reminiscent of rock n' roll's glory days. His songs are a throwback to the greats that have come before, and a path that paves the way for what's to come next.
Establishing himself as a Road Dog, Andy hasn't stopped stacking up the gigs. He's played over 100 colleges to date across the country, from Duke to UCLA, and opened for some of the industry's brightest stars, including Plain White T's and Josh Kelley. The demand continues to grow from his thousands of loyal followers coast to coast.
Hard work comes naturally to the New York native. After moving to Los Angeles at 20, he put in time tirelessly sculpting his signature sound and building a fan base on the legendary 3rd Street Promenade. A few short years later, Andy was hailed as one of the top-selling artists to come out of the scene, and now packs out LA's most historic music venues, like the Roxy, and House of Blues on a regular basis. That kind of journey is a testament to relentless perseverance, working hand in hand with natural talent.
This life experience shines through in Andy's songs. "I want listeners to walk away feeling like just heard something real," he says. While some of the songs that make up his EP bounce along like a sunny afternoon, Andy doesn't want his listeners to forget about the deeper side of life that gives way to the night. "In any song I write, the first thing I ask myself is if I'm being honest," he says. "Not every track is designed to make you feel better, but every track is honest."
The hardest working artist in the City of Angels has shown that his songs have stood the test of time, and his fans are proof that the world is ready for something sincere. "It's the difference between walking into a party at a swanky club and walking into a backyard barbeque," he says about the experience of listening to his songs. "It just feels good to be real."
Andrew Ripp creates music that pushes the boundaries of genre stereotypes, blending the energetic beats of pop music into a soul culture and adding the depth and groove of soul music into a pop culture. Since beginning his career in 2005, Ripp's songs and records have successfully impacted a diverse and growing audience including true music lovers: fans that appreciate the nuances of a well crafted album, and easy listeners: fans who simply want to hear a catchy tune.
Having an awe-inspiring voice is one thing, but knowing how to use that voice to share lyrics and emotion in a way that moves those who hear the songs is quite another. Ripp has grown in this over the years as a respected songwriter with the voice of an artist. With his first two albums, Fifty Miles to Chicago in 2008 and She Remains The Same in 2010, debuting at #1 on the Singer/Songwriter chart on iTunes, Andrew proved that he could create a song and share it with emotion and instrumentation.
He began as a songwriter- with a song on the Billboard 100 charts recorded by Ryan Cabrera, and other songs featured on American Idol, One Tree Hill, and Live To Dance, but grew comfortable in the place where his strong and powerful voice was the driving force behind each single. "The good ones," Andrew says, speaking of excellent artists, "they leave space in the songs." And over the last few years, Andrew has learned that skill. Having moved to Nashville with his wife at the encouragement of fellow musician and mentor Dave Barnes, Andrew settled into the songwriting town and began to hone his talents and grow as an artist, musician, and songwriter.
Won't Let Go, his most recent full-band album released in 2013, blends the work of Andrew in all his roles with many other award-winning musicians, songwriters, as well as award-winning producer Charlie Peacock (Civil Wars, Switchfoot) and engineer/mixer Richie Biggs.
On the heels of the success of Won't Let Go, which debuted at #3 on the Singer-Songwriter chart when it was released early last year to rave reviews, Ripp has made a stripped down acoustic album entitled Simple on Be Music & Entertainment. Simple features acoustic versions of ten tracks from Won't Let Go as well as a cover of Justin Timberlake's "Mirrors," which has become a crowd favorite out on the road. It is clear with every stripped down note on Simple that Andrew Ripp is an incredible talent worthy of all the buzz around him as an up and coming artist to watch in 2014.
"Simple is more to me than just the title of this record and tour," Ripp explains, "It's the filter I've been striving to live my entire life through. It's putting down the iPhone, closing the computer, turning off the TV and just sitting still. Distractions can be very convincing and they have a way of making me believe that they're more important than having a conversation with a human being. The process of making this record has really helped me to focus my time on the important things in life."
As a touring artist, Andrew's live performances continue to move the audience in just the right ways- quieting them at the most heart-felt moments and causing dance at just the right beat. Crowds don't want him to leave the stage when the show is over, and he's not sure he's ready to leave either. He has opened for and toured with the likes of with Jon Foreman, needtobreathe, Will Hoge and Robert Randolph. 2013 included tour stops with Andy Grammer, Sara Bareilles, Parachute, LeAnn Rimes and Plain White T's and Ripp continues to book dates around the country. "I've been touring for the last few years and a lot of my shows have been stripped down - solo style and simple," said Ripp. "After having a bunch of people ask me after shows when I was going to make an acoustic record I decided to do just that. This is my way of saying I HEAR YOU, I LOVE YOU and THANK YOU SO MUCH for supporting me over the years!"
"'Simplify' represents me finding a clarity I have been searching for for years," says critically acclaimed piano-based singer-songwriter BRENDAN JAMES of his new album "Simplify." His fifth album, it is also his most elegant and emotionally direct album to date.
An active supporter for all levels of equality (he has spoken out for Marriage Equality and is considered a "Straight Ally") and a supporter for the men and women in the military (he's performed for the USO and troops), his advocacy is well-known and widespread. Larry Flick, influential host of Sirius XM's "OUTQ," says of James, "The remarkable thing about Brendan is that he is an active, creative citizen of the world. His songs do more than reflect his experiences in typical singer/songwriter style. He weaves his views and stories into a musical framework that triggers empathy from a wide array of listeners. He's proof that, in the right hands, music can truly be universal."
James is a man who sings with conviction and isn't afraid to speak out, as is evidenced on his new album, "Simplify." For example, the plaintive ballad "The New Plan" tackles our violence-obsessed culture unflinchingly. "It's no secret that this country has an unhealthy obsessions with guns," he explains. "I wrote this song as a conversation piece, begging for an end to violence for the sake of violence. It's in our culture, and it's starting to 'backfire'. We're beginning to look ridiculous on the world stage, and I care enough to address it. Very few civilians I know NEED guns. They simply choose to have them around."
Tackling his personal history as a child of divorce, he wrote the song "He Loved", which actually had origins in the divorce of his musical heroes, Carly Simon and James Taylor. The song was written years ago at Simon's home in Martha's Vineyard where he was invited to a private mentor session that didn't go quite as planned -- Simon had to leave for a last minute engagement just as he arrived, leaving him with the keys to her mansion. When she returned six days later, he played this song for her and she gave him her stamp of approval. It took him a few years to be confident enough as a songwriter to release it, and the song appears on "Simplify." "Back then, I think Carly saw in me the ability to be a mature and credible songwriter, but I wasn't that guy until now. I finally grew to be the songwriter she believed me to be," James confides.
The album's title track and first single is a melodically driving jam that American Songwriter calls "a piano-fueled pop/rocker that feels like a mission statement for the entire record." "The process of evolution, especially technological evolution, is occurring at such blinding speeds these days that we must take collective moments to breathe together, find calm together," Brendan explains of the song, "or we will forever leave behind our real essence as animals in paradise."
The Derry, NH native has had his songs featured in television shows such as "Private Practice," "American Idol," "Bones," "So You Think You Can Dance," "Army Wives," and "One Tree Hill." His first three albums climbed the iTunes Top 10 pop charts -- James' sophomore album, "Brendan James," climbed to #1 on the iTunes singer-songwriter charts. He's toured the country nine times over and played alongside such diverse artists as John Mayer, Paula Cole, Keb Mo, Parachute, and Green River Ordinance. The Kickstarter campaign for "Simplify" netted nearly double its projected goal. And in May of 2013, James had the honor of giving a TED talk, in which he spoke of the importance of consciousness in his art.
Brendan James's new album "Simplify" was produced Matt Chiaravalle (Warren Zevon, Joe Bonamassa) by will be released on August 6, 2013 via Noble Steed Music.
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