It all starts with the funky groove laid down by drummer Sampson Hellerman and bassist Nadav Shapira, topped by the chug-chugga guitars of Jon Becker and Calvin Barthel’s blaring, joyous trombone to add that Earth, Wind & Fire kick. Frizzy-haired frontman Robbie Wulfsohn caps it all off with a voice as if Eddie Money could sing as sweetly as Darryl Hall—silky smooth, with just the right amount of grit. The band clearly worships at the altar of ‘70s Stevie Wonder (that’s a very good thing), but with a retro-modern sound that could sit comfortably alongside Allen Stone or St. Paul & The Broken Bones. Ripe has grooves for days and instrumental chops to spare, and with nearly a decade of performing under their belts, it’s probably a safe bet that they can recreate their lush sound live.
A recent run-in with COVID necessitated the band to shuffle some tour dates around, resulting in the band’s upcoming visit to St. Louis getting promoted to the opening show of the tour. Let’s hope the Old Rock House’s ample dancefloor proves ample enough. | Jason Green