Hometown: Chicago, IL
In a world of frighteningly rapid change, some things never go out of style. In a time when we're all so savvy with the newest electronic gadget and so at ease with music being reduced to a computer science problem to be solved, some things are just plainly good. The Riptones' brand of roadhouse rowdiness is just such a thing—a welcome ice-cold longneck in a world of designer martinis.
A mainstay on the Chicago roots scene for well over a decade. They put out two records themselves before joining our odd little family in 1997 (both are worth seeking out), and still crank out an utterly unaffected blend of country, rockabilly, blues, surf, and whatever else sounds good through a couple of Telecasters at roadhouses and dingy bars in the Chicagoland area. They are virtual encyclopedias of American roots music in all its forms. Lead Riptone Jeb Bonansinga sets the table with his cool demeanor, rhythm guitar and suave vocals. Bassist Earl Carter is the band's rodeo clown, what with that hair and the antics he performs on his poor, defenseless bass.
The Riptones are that bar band extraordinaire that every town should have. Good times would always be just around the corner if they did.
Video for "Rebel Rock Armageddon" on the DVD Bloodied But Unbowed: Bloodshot Records' Life In The Trenches.
"Suburbia" on For a Life of Sin
"World Renowned" on Hell-Bent
"Hucklebuck" on Straight Outta Boone County
"It's Too Late" on Down to the Promised Land