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MP3 The Tripps - Branch Out

A creatively and tastefully woven all-seasons sweater that will fit anyone.

7 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Modern Rock, POP: Today''s Top 40

Woven together using, for a lack of a better term, artistically contradicting musicians, The Tripps (Sam Barrett, David Cuffee, & Greg Meekins) have discovered a new sense and style in the realm of up and coming artists, gaining a firm foothold in the local music scene and beyond.

Coming from musically diverse backgrounds, the guys fused together a sound ranging from pop and jazz/latin, to even blues and melodic rock. Sam Barrett (vocals, guitar, piano) is the voice and composition behind the band. "Song structure is not about outdoing the guy across the street. It''s merely a balance between the simple and the intricate. You always want to impress as a musician, but you want to tastefully piece it together. If you have off-the-wall notes, the listener will get lost in the background, missing the heart and soul (lyrics) in the foreground", said Barrett (21). The band as a whole has over 10 years of big band, jazz, fusion, and latin studies under their belt, and it seeps forth in the structure of the songs for their debut album, "Branch Out", to be released Nov. 21.

David Cuffee III (21), saxophone/piano, has a similar take on the trio. "When we first came together, it was just easy. We had more ideas than we knew what to do with. We rarely got to practice do to our living situations, but we were always a conference call away, and before we knew it, another song was finished, and another, and another. The last couple of times in the studio, we literally pieced together the songs as we recorded the individual parts. It makes the music so much more real, and there is more pride that follows. Be it hip hop, or jazz, or even a rock feel to it, it was almost like being on autopilot."

Drummer Greg Meekins came from a slightly different end of the musical spectrum. Playing and writing with the indie rock band SFN, Greg (21) was used to creating a harder, experimental rock sound while on stage. After 4 years of playing and touring with SFN, Meekins met up with his former high school mates Barrett, and later Cuffee, thus forming The Tripps. "These guys are the most talented musicians I''ve ever played with. I feel like a spectator most of the time, and I think I get more out of it that way, being able to experience both sides of it. In one aspect, writing songs and then performing them for people who dig the sound is the best feeling. Yet, I get to see Sam or Dave break off into their own little worlds during live sets, and it''s impressive. I try to predict where they''re going with the next few notes, and they always throw me off. It''s really a learning experience."

Collectively, these gentlemen have been able to share the stage with certain artists and celebrities alike such as hip-hop phenom Common, Myspace indie rockers Elefant, Virginia Coalition, Emery, Sanctus Real, Nick Fury, Carbon Leaf, and even former First Lady Barbara Bush, as well as their friends in Graffiti Gray, The Dave Dunn Band, and Fox Trot Rio.

With their debut album due out in November, The Tripps have a long road ahead of them, but some good mileage behind. Look for upcoming dates in and out of Hampton Roads, as well as college shows at Liberty University, William & Mary, Randolf Macon, Virginia Tech, the University of Virginia, Longwood, and others planned for Fall 2006.

The Tripps are:

Sam Barrett – Guitar/Piano/Vocals
David Cuffee III(DC3) – Saxaphone/Keyboard
Greg Meekins - Drums

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