Tom Riopelle

Tom Riopelle is a talented veteran musician whose passion for singing, songwriting and playing the guitar has taken him on an amazing life-long musical journey. From founding the band Fairchild, a successful regional and national recording act on Gold Mountain/A&M Records, to recording the international hit “Funkytown” with Lipps, Inc, to working as a manager for national and regional recording artists, to now playing with RyvrWud, the driver for Tom has always been the music.

"I really love playing in RyvrWud. I can now focus on my passion for acoustic music in new and innovative ways, and perform in intimate settings that allow for a real connection between the music and the fans. The real power comes from sharing my creativity with an audience. I do love to play!"

History: Tom’s love for guitar and songwriting led him to form the Minneapolis rock band Fairchild that performed 200-300 nights a year and released two regional albums - Fairchild and Shadowland - each of which enjoyed regional success with Tom’s songs "Do You Hear The Call" and “Shadowland."  The radio airplay on these songs - in full rotation on local and regional radio, as well as the inclusion of "Shadowland" in the pilot for the  MTV's "Basement Tapes" - attracted the interest of national record labels to Fairchild’s on-stage performance and Tom’s songwriting. In the mid 80’s, the group was signed to Gold Mountain/A&M Records and recorded their third album, Fairchild, in New York with veteran producers Richie Cordell and Glenn Koladkin. The first single, written by Tom, was “All About Love.” Also at that time, the Minnesota Music Awards nominated Tom for “Musician of the Year,” beside Prince and Jessie Johnson. 

In addition, Tom was one of the original members of Lipps, Inc., a Minneapolis based group that achieved international fame with their Platinum hit record, “Funkytown.” Lipps Inc. received three Billboard Music Awards, and was honored in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland Ohio and the Minnesota Rock & Country Hall of Fame. “Funkytown” is a classic and Tom’s guitar work is often heard in movie soundtracks, TV shows, video games, commercials and even greeting cards. The song was featured in Shrek 2, Everybody Hates Chris, the 2006 Winter Olympics, and Konami’s Beatmania. 

In Martin Keller’s Minnesota music retrospective, "Music Legends: a Rewind of the Minnesota Music Scene," Tom is featured as the leader of Fairchild and member of Lipps, Inc. Tom felt honored to be even mentioned in the company of  Prince, Bob Dylan, The Replacements and many other great acts from the Midwest.