by Michael Isom
Photos by Greg Styer
The Nashville based musician Andrew Ripp played at World Café Live on February 20th. Starting the night off was Dan Orlando, a Philadelphia native. A highlight of this set was Orlando’s cover of U2’s “Beautiful Day”. It was smooth and soft as a summer breeze. All the passion and pop of the original song was evident in his performance.
The other opening band, Judah and The Lion, gave me a new found respect and love for the country/bluegrass sound. They transported me through time to my adolescence when I would stay up late, talking to my dad while his favorite Hank Williams songs played in the background. I was particularly fond of “Sweet Tennessee”. The upbeat tune made me wish I was from the south.
In the dimly lit room, blinding was the shine from the talent. The music I heard made me wish I was from Nashville, where Ripp has been for four years. His music simply makes you feel great. His songs denote a sense of familiarity as if you’ve know him for years while still evoking enough mystique to make him uniquely appealing. Among the many great songs of the night, “Wont let Go” had wonderful lyrics matched with a catchy melody.
Music is a celebration of life. This I was told by my father. Judah and the Lion pulled on my heart strings, inspiring the audience and myself to celebrate life together. At one point, Ripp asked Judah and the Lion to come back on stage and help him finish some songs to close the show, and what a great moment it was. The band and the audience had come together, as if we were at a family reunion. And for me, it was exactly that moment when the memories of my father flooded my mind. I didn’t want this music to end.
The music of the night came straight from the heart and exploded into the minds and bodies of all of us who were there to witness such a passionate bands do what they and their audience love. I can’t begin to thank the performers who played that night enough for giving me a chance to bask in beautiful memories with them, and for all the truly original music that was played that night.
Music is the great friend that is left when there are no others around. Dan Orlando, Judah and the Lion, and Andrew Ripp have introduced me to my newest friends. Next, Ripp and friends are headed to north to Pittsburgh. So if you want to hear music from true musicians that is sure to move your soul, keep an eye out for a stop near you.