"...lush backgrounds, rocking solos, funky bass lines, and solid drum beats." - Josh Klemons, Jambase.com With the recent release of their debut album Under the Microscope (2006), Ripplegroove has begun to create a name for themselves in the underground jam and jazz scene. In the summer of 2006 Under the Microscope reached #14 on the CMJ Jazz Chart and #9 on Jambands.com's Radio Top 40, starting off a buzz that is helping to create a growing nationwide audience. While fans have compared their music to Medeski Martin and Wood, Soulive, and the Benevento Russo Duo, Josh Klemons of Jambase.com put it best when he described Ripplegroove as a band "that is already comfortable enough with its sound to not only think outside the box, but to open it up and take a walk around, all the while remembering where they are coming from and what they are trying to say, both to each other, and to those of us who have chosen to tap in." Having first met in Boston while attending Berklee College of Music, Joe Hanley (keys), Tom Burda (guitar), and Jed Devine (drums) began jamming and experimenting with the wealth of musical ideas borne to them through their rich musical environment. Upon finding their way out to San Diego, they met an unfortunate obstacle when they lost their bass player, Dana Baccino. Though discouraged to lose such a talented musician, they decided to forge ahead and allowed Joe's left hand to take over bass duties on the keys. This turned out to be just what the band needed, freeing everyone up creatively and allowing the band to change directions on a dime. Indeed, the most common comment after every show is about how HUGE their sound is despite their small 3 piece stature. Ripplegroove has shared the stage with such talents as Vinyl, Gabby La La, Al Howard and the K23 Orchestra, and Brothers Past. But despite their San Diego success the band has changed homes and moved to New York City, where they feel their music will be a little more at home, and they'll be closer to their Midwest and East Coast roots. The effect of their exponentially growing fan base, effective grassroots promotion, and successful new album, indicate that Ripplegroove is poised to begin a life in the nationwide spotlight.
RippleGroove has a way of making sense. In listening to their first album, Under the Microscope, you would never notice that their songs are often in unique time signatures. They simply work. You would never question their intent, as they seamlessly move in and out of musical styles. They clearly have their own sound. And you would never guess it, but these guys are a trio. That's right; despite the fact that they could easily pass for a quintet, if not a very talented quartet, it is actually only three, very exceptional Berklee grads, working in perfect harmony to create these lush backgrounds, rocking solos, funky bass lines, and solid drum beats. Their music could call up visions of Phish or Medeski Martin & Wood as easily as Yes, John Scofield, or Wes Montgomery. This CD would be just as comfortable in the rock section of your local record store as it would be if it were placed alongside the jazz and funk greats. These guys seem like they could tackle an AC/DC song just as comfortably as something from Frank Zappa's catalogue. In the second track, "Jessie's Bullet," Tom Burda's shredding guitar comes through almost immediately. But equally impressive as his ingenuity on the fret board and the speed in his often blistering, but always impressively tasteful solos is the way that the band is always on top of him, filling in the sound and pushing him like any great rhythm section should, all the while giving him the room he needs to breath. The album ends with the aptly titled "No Cuddle." I say "apt" because it completely sums up the experience of Under the Microscope. To me, this song is an analogy for the entire album, if not the band. What starts as a simple Pink Floyd-ish heartbeat rhythm quickly builds under heavy, swirling leads and rocking back-beats, which constantly propel this song forward. It lifts and grows until the point when you start to wonder how three men can move so fast, get down so hard, and constantly find new ways to push themselves and their audience. The song crescendos and peaks, and then instead of relaxing and giving you a chance to regroup, it starts back in immediately and lets you know that it is not d --Josh Klemons, Jambase.com