The Ripsters was established in May 2013 with the release of the classic record "Live Music is Dead", a 14 track juggernaut featuring the pounding drums of Eric Domagall (Downtread) and the massive talents of guitarist/bassist Jeremy Tappero (Soul Asylum) who also mixed, mastered, and produced the record. The song "It's Rainin' Outside" features a melodic and heavy guitar solo by John Domagall (Hoodlum Johnny and owner of ARM Entertainment, St. Paul, MN). "Karen's Song" explores Karen's death caused by the horrible disease that is cancer; "Double Chicken Dinner" explores a triangular affair of pleasure, pain, and partying; "The Buzz Ain't Worth the Fight" addresses sobriety or lack thereof; "Pavement" addresses a yearning desire towards an object of affection; and "Both Their Spouses Burned in Houses" describes the "perfect crime". All songs tell a story, so enjoy the adventure.
180 Proof" is the six song EP follow up to "Live Music is Dead". This record explores teen suicide ("A Son's Apology"), Death caused by a police officer ("The Pipe"), a raunchy work place "romance" ("Naughty Secretary"), Sex ("Skin on Skin"), a ditty about life, kids, and death ("Northern California") and the afterlife ("180 Proof"). "180 Proof" was mixed, mastered, and produced by Jeremy Tappero, and it too, features the massive talent of Eric Domagall on drums.
"Cautionary Tales" is the 2018 release by Bjerke & The Ripsters featuring a journey through life, starting with "Rock-N-Roll Dreams" (the beginning); "Six String" (the marriage and the children); "Ask Yourself" (the desire to get your loved one back); "Death & Misery" (maybe you do not want your loved one back); "Divorce" (the final break up); "Happy" (rejoice in your new life); "Fear for Your Life" (experience a world fraught with danger); "Welcome" (create your own heaven and hell and addiction); "Slap in the Face" (what one goes through pursuing his "Rock-N-Roll Dream"); and "The Pipe (an acoustic remake of the original).
"Divorce" and "Fear for Your Life" feature world famous drummer Vinny Appice (Dio, Black Sabbath, Last in Line). "Fear for Your Life" features bassist Phil Sousan (Ozzy Osborne, Last In Line). "Rock-N-Roll Dreams" and "The Pipe" feature the very talented vocalist Lisa Ryan. John Domagall plays the killer solo on "Happy". "Rock-N-Roll Dreams" also features keyboards and background vocals by the very talented Amanda Gibson. Chris Johnson (Quamba, Wirefire, Drivin' Wheels) plays guitar solos on "Ask Yourself" and "Divorce", and he plays acoustic guitar on "Six String" and "The Pipe". Erich Richter (Sons of Promise) is the mastermind behind the beautiful artwork, and also plays the mandolin on "Divorce". My boy, Brock Bjerke handles the snare drum on "The Pipe". Mike Bjerke, Eric Domagall, and Jeremy Tappero handle the rest of "Cautionary Tales".
In December of 2020, Bjerke recorded "Covid Death", a timely nugget, and "Porno Star", a truthful nugget.
Enjoy the records, enjoy life, and support local live music, or "LIVE MUSIC IS DEAD".
The Ripsters also cover AC/DC, Kid Rock, Skynyrd, Neil Young, Volbeat, The Rolling Stones, Metallica, STP, Alice in Chains, Guns n' Roses, ZZ Top, Johnny Cash, Bryan Adams, Cheap Trick, KISS, Georgia Satellites, and many more.
The current line up: Mike Bjerke, lead vocals/guitar; Chris Johnson, lead guitar/vocals; Steve Teisberg, bass/vocals; and Jake Hageman, drums.