Weekend concert to benefit Bear River Young Life in Craig

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Musician Andrew Ripp will perform a concert benefiting Bear River Young Life at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the Craig Daily Press, KRAI and Wolf Mountain Pizza in Hayden.

Musician Andrew Ripp doesn’t describe his music as Christian.

“It’s soulful-rock, singer/songwriter stuff,” he said.

Nonetheless, Ripp said his music intersects with Christianity in the stories he tells.

“I write a lot about my personal experiences — life, what I’ve been through, where I want to be and where I think God wants me to go,” he said.

This weekend, Ripp will share those stories with Craig audiences during four separate engagements.

At 4 p.m. Friday, he will play a few songs during the 28th Annual KRAI Spring Expo at Centennial Mall, 1111 W. Victory Way. The performance will be broadcast live on 93.7 FM KRAI.

At 7 p.m. Saturday, Ripp will play a full-length concert benefiting Bear River Young life at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion. Musician Henry Howard, of Steamboat Springs, along with Craig musicians Brian Ivy and Ben Winslow, will open the show.

Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the Craig Daily Press, KRAI and Wolf Mountain Pizza in Hayden.

On Sunday, Ripp will perform during services at The Journey at First Baptist. Later, at 7 p.m., he will be on hand for Bear River Young Life’s annual Dessert Banquet at the Pavilion.

The banquet is an opportunity to learn more about Young Life’s presence and mission within the community. The event is free, but attendees must reserve a seat by contacting Caroline Dotson at rainwings05@hotmail.com or 620-0659.

Ripp will perform a solo acoustic set at each event. Acoustic performances allow for greater intimacy with the audience, Ripp said.

“When I go out acoustic, I like to talk about the songs, so people really understand what the lyrics are and where they’re coming from,” he said.

Ripp, a Nashville resident, is an independent artist with two albums and a third on the way. He has toured the country, and one of his songs has appeared on the television show American Idol.

Although this will be Ripp’s first visit to Craig, the musician is familiar with Young Life.

“Last summer, I received a random phone call,” he said.

The call was from David Pressgrove, director of Bear River Young Life. Pressgrove was in Sacremento, where he served as entertainment organizer at a camp retreat for Young Life members.

The musical act Pressgrove had booked for the retreat departed unexpectedly.

“We were left scrambling,” Pressgrove said.

After a series of calls, Pressgrove got a number for Ripp and dialed.

“The next day, Andrew was on a plane out to California,” he said.

Ripp said the call was fortuitous.

“That was my first experience with Young Life,” he said of the retreat. “I walked onto the stage at Woodleaf Camp and 460 kids came screaming into the room, amped up like the Backstreet Boys just showed up.

“It was awesome, man.”

Since then, Ripp has played at several Young Life events throughout the country.

Pressgrove said Young Life is an international organization that reaches more than one million adolescents in more than 3,400 communities.

The Bear River group serves about 40 teens in Craig and 20 to 30 in Hayden, Pressgrove said.

The money raised during the Saturday concert will help send Bear River members to summer camp in Detroit Lakes, Minn.

Pressgrove said Young Life’s approach is similar to Ripp’s music — their works intersect with Christianity, but not overtly.

“Our approach is to let kids be kids,” Pressgrove said. “(Young Life) leaders believe in Jesus. We hope kids see that through our lives.”

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