Aaron Lipp has “nothing to lose” | Musical features

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  • PHOTO BY RYAN WILLIAMSON
  • Aaron Lipp’s bluegrass, folk, country and rockabilly repertoire has propelled him to the forefront of the Finger Lakes roots music scene.

The road to the home of musician Aaron Lipp in Naples was already isolated and rural before turning to dirt and narrowing into a single lane under a thick canopy of trees.

His house, a two-story number he started building six years ago that also serves as a recording studio called the Temple Cabin, was hard to spot on its perch on a steep hill in the middle of a forest .

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Lipp plays his resonator guitar at his home in Temple Cabin Studios, where he records and produces music for himself and his friends.  - PHOTO BY RYAN WILLIAMSON

  • PHOTO BY RYAN WILLIAMSON
  • Lipp plays his resonator guitar at his home in Temple Cabin Studios, where he records and produces music for himself and his friends.

But there was Lipp to greet me, looking very much like an artist who lives in the woods, with his short beard and olive clothes topped with a rimless fleece cap. Nearby, there was wood waiting to be transformed into a larger studio.

“The setting has absolutely a lot to do with the sounds that come out of here,” Lipp said. “Because all music is emotion, vibe. When you listen to music, that’s all you get out of it.

Born in Prattsburgh to a carpenter-musician and a nurse, Lipp, 32, is one of the preeminent roots musicians of the Finger Lakes and has just released a new solo album, “Nothing to Lose”, a collection of relaxed rock and of folk which he called “probably the most original thing I have ever done”. It’s as close to a pop record as you’ll get from it.

“There are a lot of people who are going to listen to this, and it won’t be what they expected,” he said. “And that’s what I want.”

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PHOTO BY RYAN WILLIAMSON

Lipp made his debut as a teenager playing keyboards for Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, before carving out his own niche with jamgrass band The Cabin Killers by combining bluegrass-style licks with rock ‘n’ drums. roll.

Today he plays bluegrass and folk with Bobby and Douglas Henrie and Mount Pleasant String Band, rockabilly with his band The Slack Tones, and roots music with Ben Haravitch and Max Flansburg of Dirty Blanket in the Temple Cabin Band. .

On October 13, he is scheduled to perform at Bop Shop Records in Rochester with Southern singer-songwriter Ric Robertson.

Lipp is a multi-instrumentalist – he plays guitar, banjo, organ, violin, and drums – who doesn’t fit any conventional stereotype of a country musician and tries like hell to avoid being ranked. in a genre by playing with people’s expectations. .

“I don’t even like the word ‘kind’,” Lipp said.

Click to enlarge

  • PHOTO BY RYAN WILLIAMSON
  • “If you have good sound at the source and put a good microphone in it, you can’t go wrong,” Lipp told Temple Cabin Studios in Naples.

His studio is busy with 17 instruments and full drums, and sound gear that will make audiophiles jump for joy: high-fidelity boutique microphones from Schoeps and Stager, Tree Audio preamps and even an old Concertone tape recorder.

“If you have good sound at the source and put a good microphone on it, you can’t go wrong,” he said.

His goal with every recording, he said, is to capture everything as it is in the room – the emotion, the vibe – whether he produces for himself or for other musicians.

Haravitch, who met Lipp six years ago when he asked him for banjo lessons, recalled Lipp’s approach to teaching of avoiding mechanics and technique and focusing on l exploitation of the spirit of music.

“He’s kind of like the burner that moves energy through the stew, while the stew is cooking,” Haravitch said of Lipp’s place on the Finger Lakes music scene. “He’s like the flame beneath it all.”

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PHOTO BY RYAN WILLIAMSON

Next to a futon in a far corner of Temple Cabin Studios is a bookshelf filled with eclectic titles: “The World of Duke Ellington,” “The Art of Tim Burton, the Red Hot frontman’s autobiography” Scar Tissue. Chili Peppers Anthony Kiedis, Annie Leibovitz’s “American Music” photography book and “Stories of the Buddha”.

Considering his library, Lipp’s musical influences are not surprising.

Head of metal in his youth, he learned the guitar by accompanying songs from Rage Against the Machine, Nirvana and Green Day. He later turned to classic 60s rock and psychedelia thanks to Jimi Hendrix, Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia.

Eventually, he was bitten by the bluegrass bug and immersed himself in vintage country sounds and old school music.

Click to enlarge
"The setting has absolutely a lot to do with the sounds coming out of here," Lipp said. "Because all music is emotion, vibe." - PHOTO BY RYAN WILLIAMSON

  • PHOTO BY RYAN WILLIAMSON
  • “The setting has absolutely a lot to do with the sounds that come out of here,” Lipp said. “Because all music is emotion, vibe.”

“I really love breaking down the barriers between the two, especially being someone who was so obsessed with traditional styles for so long, but also making original music,” Lipp said.

“I mean, there is no end to making original music,” he continued. “There is no end, ever. We can only improve in ourselves.

Daniel J. Kushner is the artistic writer for CITY. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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