People often ask us who's behind The Mod Cabin's bluegrass, metal and clawhammer ditties. The answer is Chris Rippey; our talented audio/video engineer.


When he's not making catchy tunes and videos for The Mod Cabin, Chris teaches music lessons from his home in Old Town Lafayette, Colorado. But his main passion is his fantasy audio series Tales of the Boatman, which he writes, records and produces himself. Chris has always loved music. When he was old enough to have his own cassette tape collection, he would lose himself in his headphones whenever possible. But he wasn't sure he wanted to devote his life to music until he heard Beethoven's ninth symphony. According to Chris "It was the only thing man-made that had ever truly captivated me. From then on I thought, “I am a composer!”, which was of course ridiculous, because I was 9. But it set the tone for my life."

After long years on a quest for musical meaning, which included learning all kinds of instruments and styles from around the world, both classical and folk, Chris Rippey's main interest now lies in music that could be termed “folk” in the sense that it comes from regular people in an organic way, not from institutions. It's a fine line, because Chris considers Beethoven to be in this vein, because he fought for truth in his music, and gave his life to make it.

Tales of the Boatman is the culmination of all of Chris's study and composition thus far, integrating story, music, and natural sounds into a kind of listening experience that hearkens back to the days of oral storytelling. "It is what I wished I had in my tape collection as a kid, what I conceived of as the ultimate escape into my headphones."

Check out his latest work The Serpent - for 2 nyckelharpas and cello...

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What sets Tales of the Boatman apart from other fantasy audio book series is that its not simply an audio book with music, or music with a story, or a story with sound effects, but is more than the sum of its parts in that each part was composed together as a whole. As the listener you can wrap yourself in the story, float along the river of music, and perceive each individual sound effect in such a way that you're taken on a journey of imagination that's rare to experience in an age of overabundant sensory input.
For more of Chris Rippey's music and videos check out his bandcamp profile and the Tales of the Boatman youtube site.