So, there has been good news and bad news on the Blacksburg music front over the past week or so. The bad news was that HopeHop has split up for good, with “EZ” Eddie McClain and the band parting ways. Though solo stuff from McClain is forthcoming, I always liked that project a lot — sort of like a Southwest Virginia version of The Roots.
But the good news is that most of the guys in that act are playing as Ripejive, which is closer in format to Lettuce and Soulive. Guitarist Chad Florstedt, keyboardist Aaron Noe, drummer George Penn Jr. and bassist Nick Kalen are well familiar with one another’s playing, so the band is sounding tight from jump.
Here for yourself, via live audio recorded at Blacksburg’s Sycamore Deli on Feb. 8. Will “Crossthreaded” Kesler, aka @StarCityTaper, gets credit for the recording.
Expect good things from these cats in the near future, including a free show March 14 at Martin’s Downtown. By the way, That1Guy plays the night before, and The Legendary JC’s play the night after, so Martin’s is likely the hang for a lot of folks that week.