Boston-based Ripe wants to honor its influences
Local neo-soul/funk group Ripe just wants to be heard. Drawing from an eclectic mix of inspirations old and new, the band honors and respects the sounds of its soulful ancestors, while striving to set the bar higher. “One day, we want to make people feel like they’re witnessing history when we play,” says guitarist Jon Becker . “For example, when people go to a Grateful Dead show, they’re entranced. Everyone is completely immersed in every detail of their performance. That’s how we want to make people feel.” Since graduating from Berklee College of Music recently, the band has been working nonstop, releasing an EP, “Produce the Juice,” developing a strong following on Facebook and Bandcamp, and playing show after show across Massachusetts — with a stop at Cafe 939 coming up on July 25. “We’ve been pushing this show for a while,” says Becker. “We’re really excited about it, and the turnout is going to be great.” Since Ripe’s music ranges widely, a query about five dream collaborators earned a suitably varied response.
1. The Grateful Dead“They’re just awesome, they’re constantly changing history. Who wouldn’t want to work with them?”
2. Jerry Garcia“When he played, everyone was consumed by him. People were convinced every time he played that every performance was the greatest performance he gave — then at the next show he’d set the bar even higher. This is what we want to eventually accomplish with our music.”
3. Miles Davis“He’s just a figure that reinvented a genre. His emotion and ingenuity is incredibly inspiring. We model our sound after him all the time. He was a genius.”
4. Donny Hathaway “He just has the most soulful voice we’ve ever heard. His melody and the ideas behind his music were moving. Working with him would bring a crazy type of emotion to our sound.”
5. Lettuce“These guys are just so smart. Their business plan combined with their raw talent makes them such an incredible band. We were blessed to be able to work with some of the same teachers at Berklee that they had, and as a result their sound definitely rubbed off on us. They’re just awesome, and they have gotten to a level that I hope we as a band can achieve one day.”
Ripe performs in the Red Room at Cafe 939, 939 Boylston St., on July 25 at 8 p.m. Free. www.cafe939.com