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|Also known as||Rockwell Ryan|
|Origin||Oklahoma, United States|
|Genres||Pop rock, acoustic rock, post-grunge, CCM|
|Labels||Rippley Records, Inc.|
|Associated acts||Dain Samuelson (percussion)|
|Members||Rockwell Ryan Ripperger|
Stephen Speaks is the band name through which American singer-songwriter Rockwell Ryan Ripperger releases his music.
Ripperger has invited hundreds of artists to be involved since the band's inception in 2000, and has overseen all production by way of his independent record company, Rippley Records, Inc. Stephen Speaks has released five albums, performed hundreds of shows around the world, and is certified platinum by Warner Music through a licensing deal with Warner Music Philippines in 2003. Among a career of internet-based success, Stephen Speaks' music has made the top 100 independent sellers on iTunes and the top 10 unsigned bands on Myspace.
Stephen Speaks first album No More Doubt was recorded in 2000. Speaks' music has been distributed through various online retailers, including Awarestore.com, CDbaby, and Tunecore, who offer them digital distribution through outlets such as iTunes, Amazon MP3, Rhapsody, and Napster. No More Doubt's two biggest singles, "Passenger Seat" and "Out of My League" both went No. 1 on Filipino radio stations. No More Doubt was released in the Philippines on February 4, 2003, through a licensing deal negotiated with Warner Music, in conjunction with Ripperger's label, Rippley Records Inc. The album was declared platinum ten days later by Warner Music, on February 14, 2003.
Speaks' second album was recorded in Ripperger's home studio and printed on CD in 2003. Its most popular tracks include "The Leaving Song", which features Grammy winning artist Ryan Tedder on vocals, "First Glance", and "On My Way". Ripperger digitally remixed and mastered "One More Day" for release on iTunes in 2006.
In 2006, Ripperger teamed up with producer Chad Copelin, the band's first effort outside of their own studio, Symptoms of Love. "Disappear" demo was released on Myspace in 2006, and gained over a million internet plays before the album was finished being recorded. In February 2007, Speaks made the top 100 artists for CDbaby due to their jump in iTunes sales. Symptoms of Heart was released on January 7, 2008.
In December 2010, Stephen Speaks released Christmas With Friends 2, which was available for free on the band's website. Christmas With Friends 2 features only acoustic guitars and vocals, with guest vocalists Lindsey Sandella, Ben Kilgore, Noelle Kilgore, Julia Frej and Jay Lashley. The guest guitar players featured on the album are Jesse Aycock, Jeff Coleman, Matt Cox and Ben Mosier.
Live performances vary from solo to a five piece band consisting of lead singer and acoustic player Rockwell Ryan Ripperger, with a rotating lineup of guitarists, drummers, bass players, and key players. Speaks is represented by two booking agents, Box Talent Agency and Event Resources Presents.
Stephen Speaks' first major studio album, Age of the Underdog, was recorded in the summer of 2010 with producer Brady Blade, who also played drums on the album. A documentary was also filmed about the making of the record. Both the DVD and record were released in 2011.
Notable former associated members
- TJ McCloud (vocals, guitar)
- Amber Sturges (vocals)
- Blake Howard (bass guitar)
- Blake Farmer (drums)
- Doubting Thomas (1999)
- No More Doubt (2000)
- One More Day (EP) (2003)
- Symptoms of Love (2008)
- Christmas With Friends (2009)
- Christmas With Friends 2 (2010)
- Age of the Underdog (2011)
- Christmas With Friends 3 (2011)
- Their music Speaks louder than words, Angela V. Ignacio, Asia Africa Intelligence Wire, February 12, 2003.