Charlie Rippe to host release party at HUB


News editor

By the time she was 11 years old, Charlie Rippe was certain she had wasted her time taking piano lessons for five years. She begged her parents to let her quit and was relieved when they gave in.

But she comes from a musical family and before long she was asking for guitar lessons. Her mother and a brother both were self-taught and Charlie was drawn to the instrument as she watched them play.

Her mother said that if Charlie was interested in learning another instrument she would have to do it on her own.

"She told me to go out to the wood shed, practice 'til my fingers bled, and then come tell her what I learned," said the 17-year-old. "She said that's what she did and I could learn the same way. So I did it.

"I love playing. The guitar has been my passion for the past five years. I love performing," she added.

Top billing at the HUB

Rippe will debut as the headline artist Saturday night at the HUB. She has performed at the HUB before, opening for Federated Crush and Scott Knost, but she has not yet had top billing.

The performance will celebrate the release of her first CD called "Charlie Rippe" which also comes out Saturday.

Rippe writes her own songs and says they usually reflect a real life event that either has occurred to her or to someone close to her. She also performs some cover songs.

Big influences on her music are Cat Stevens, Alison Krause, Jim Croce, Alanis Morissette, and Martina McBride. She performs only on an acoustic guitar. Her songs reflect blues and alternative style with a little old- fashioned '60s and '70s rock tossed into the mix.

Just go for it

When she performs Saturday night, Rippe will have the backing of several studio musicians from McPherson who work with Raindrop Marketing to record and promote musicians from this area.

Randy Pauls and Eddy Purcell discovered Rippe's online MySpace music page when they were browsing for Kansas talent in close proximity to their McPherson studio.

"My dad was kind of cautious after they contacted me," said Rippe. "But they checked out and he said, 'just go for it.' So I did!"

Rippe worked with their musicians and eventually they spent a weekend getting the recording done.

"We started on a Friday night and worked until the early morning. Then we hit it again early Saturday, recorded all day, and finished on Sunday," she said. "The strangest part is hearing the songs with additional instruments. It sounds so full. But I like it."

Rippe is hoping for a good crowd at the HUB; hoping she can share her music with the community as well as the younger crowd that usually attends such events.

"If I could say one thing to the general public it would be that I would love it if people would realize that places like the HUB can do so much to promote new young artists," Rippe said. "It has given me a venue for performing and opportunities that I wouldn't have had in another town.

"Every community should have a place like it. I have included the HUB and (owner) Doe Ann (Hague) in the acknowledgments of support on my CD," she added.

Pretty exciting

Rippe obviously hopes to make a career in the music world, but she has a practical plan as well. Following her senior year at Peabody-Burns High School she intends to go to cosmetology school in Manhattan.

"Everyone needs something to fall back on," she said. "My family is very musical on my mom's side, but my mom is the one who is the most cautious about this.

"She said she thinks I will get bored so she told me not to depend on it for my future. But I don't know — seems pretty exciting to me."

Seems exciting to be a headline performer, to be releasing a CD, to be young and looking at a future doing what one loves.

Seems pretty exciting to the rest of us as well.