Niagara Gazette

April 2, 2013

A different kind of Grammer lesson at NU

By Thom Jennings
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — This Saturday three of popular music’s rising stars, Andy Grammer, Parachute, and Andrew Ripp, will be performing at Niagara University. At just over $20 per ticket (which includes the fees), it is a rare live music bargain in an era of inflated ticket prices, and likely a chance to catch rising stars early in their career.

Andy Grammer headlines the show and rose to prominence in 2011 with the single “Keep Your Head Up.” Grammer’s music is a unique blend of many different styles, including rock, reggae, pop and hip-hop.

Grammer is the son of popular children’s singer Red Grammer, and began his music career singing on the streets of Santa Monica California before being “discovered” by Ben Singer.

“The ‘discovering’ thing is so funny to me. People think when a musician gets ‘discovered,’ it’s like finding gold and they are ready to go. What my manager (Ben Singer) did was he worked hard with me for a year and a half. I was out there on the streets for three years working on songs and testing things out, and he worked with me to get better and carve out a set. Many people before him had given me their card and told me they were going to make me famous, but he really came through.” Grammer said during a recent telephone interview.

The song “Keep Your Head Up” grew out of Grammer’s years as a street performer. It’s optimistic message created during stressful times for the young singer.

“It was amazing because there were days with beautiful weather and people didn’t know they were going to hear music that was going to make them happy. It’s a wonderful exchange. Then there is the whole hustle, and maybe it rains on a Saturday and you needed the money, so there’s a stress there and “Keep Your Head Up” is born out of that,” Grammer said.

Grammer uses social media to connect with his fans and has already built a loyal following, Through his website he offers fans to become part of his shows, by assisting with selling of merchandise or helping promote shows. The lucky fans chosen to be part of his “tour crew” get an opportunity to meet Grammer.

“I remember being young and being a fan of certain people that I wanted everyone to know. I liked being the guy that shred new music with my friends and helping the artist out, and I wanted to give my fans that opportunity.” Grammer said.

.Grammer will be performing new songs that are slated to appear on the follow up to his self-titled debut. Also on the bill is Parachute, a rock band from Charlottesville, Virginia that has two albums out, 2009’s “Losing Sleep” and 2011’s “The Way it Was.” They have appeared on numerous television shows, and their most notable performance was a guest spot on Daryl Hall’s “Live from Daryl’s House.”

Getting the night started will be Andrew Ripp who will be performing songs from his forthcoming album, “Won’t Let Go,” which is scheduled to be released on April 16. Ripp’s publicist sent me an advance copy and it’s fantastic. The album features the single “Cool Ya( Nobody Loves You Like I Do)” which is incredibly catchy. There is also a song that features Vince Gill. Ripp’s live appearances have been getting universally good reviews, so you will not want to show up late and miss your chance to catch his opening set.

IF YOU GO • WHAT: Andy Grammer • WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday • WHERE: Niagara University's Gallagher Center • TICKETS: $15 at TIcketmaster

Thom Jennings covers the local music scene for Night & Day.