Tuesday, July 12, 2011


 The Rippingtons’ latest Peak Records recording Cote D’Azur - inspired by Freeman’s passion for the French people and the storied region of the French Riviera is more than simply the latest stamp on Freeman’s well traveled passport. Beyond simple wanderlust or a gathering of “musical postcards” from the Southern region of France, it taps into a spirit that’s deeper and more transcendent than any other group project to date. All of the songs on Cote D’Azur tell stories of Freeman’s extensive travels in France with his wife Yaredt Leon, a hit songwriter in her own right who contributed tracks to the Ripps Latin-themed Wild Card (2005) and Modern Art (2009). Cote D’Azur is bookended with songs they wrote together, the high energy title track and the beautiful “Mesmerized.” Yaredt has been Freeman’s consummate travel partner these past years. For a time, he couldn’t get enough of Italy, but the minute Leon (whose mixed heritage is Colombian-French) introduced him to her father’s homeland of France, Freeman was hooked.

“This is the best album I’ve ever written,” he says, “and unlike on any other Rippingtons recording, the music is a pristine crystallization of the way I first heard it in my head. I think the incredible cultural connection between France and America hit me one night in Nice when I was watching a show on the history of St. Tropez. Brigitte Bardot was so well known as a model and film actress, but in the 60s she also did hundreds of music videos of French remakes of songs that were big hits in America. Remakes of everything from Elvis to the Beatles were huge. Johnny Hallyday is a French music superstar who patterned himself after Elvis. All of this taught me how close our cultures really are. They also were big into American surf music in the early 60s, and that inspired the new song ‘Le Calypso.’ All of this, combined with Yaredt’s French heritage, really made me fall in love with the country.”

Cote D'Azur Track List:
1. Cote D'Azur 4:21
2. Le Calypso 3:32
3. Bandol 3:50
4. Sainte Maxime 4:15
5. Postcard From Cannes 4:22
6. Passage To Marseilles 3:40
7. Provence 4:25
8. Riviera Jam 3:25
9. Rue Paradis 4:34
10. Mesmerized 3:24

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