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Valley Love Release Party

This Guitar on Friday

Valley Love Does "Somethin Is Better Than Nothin."
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Valley Love will be at Joe's Grotto Friday night.
Supporting The Glendale Reggae Outfit At Joe’s Grotto Will Be The Black Bottom Lighters, The Hourglass Cats, The Rootrees, and Pride Through Strife


By Jeff Moses
Modern Times Magazine

Oct. 25, 2012 — For the past year and half, Glendale reggae act Valley Love has played Joe’s Grotto every Tuesday night, so it’s only fitting that come Oct. 26, they will host their first album release party at the venue which boasts “the best sound system in Phoenix.”

Paul Ruppel lead singer and rhythm guitar, Jason Sessler lead guitar, Jordan Hall vocals, Daniel Ybarra bass, and Mike Easy Ellis drums make up the feel good reggae five piece.

Valley Love’s first CD, This Guitar was recorded independently at Villain Recording Studios.

“Reggae is definitely pretty prevalent, it’s mostly reggae rock we don’t have as much hip-hop in there, it’s more of our roots songs. There are a couple songs with hip-hop, but this album is going to touch more of our roots, and our next album will have the newer us,” said Ruppel.

The EP is meant to leave its listeners feeling “happy as fuck,” according to Sessler, and though the album isn’t out yet, Joe Grotto, owner of Joe’s Grotto, is already feeling the love.

“I love the music, just their feel. Paul’s got a great voice, it’s very unique, his voice. It isn’t like everybody else’s out there and just the feel in the club when they play is just outstanding. Kind of took me back to the 60’s a bit,” said Grotto.

Grotto has had been watching Valley Love grow and mature for quite some time, and has seen them at many different stages.

“After about six months of them being here, they were popping and stuff, and then after a year I believe is when they added Jordan to do the little hip-hop things and that’s when they became the band they are now. They had a nice, round sound but then when they added Jordan it became a whole different band again,” he said. “He gives a solid hip-hop sound to them when he does his thing up there and he’s got more of a game show host type approach to talking to the people he’s right up in their faces in a professional manner, that way, Paul’s very professional too, but a lot more laid back.”

Grotto’s critique of the band goes deeper than just as a venue owner, as he is also a musician in the band Drunk Otis.

“I don’t bullshit for people,” he said. “Their writing ability has come along way, their musical ability. You get up on stage, you know what you're doing wrong, you go home and you practice.”

The love from Joe to the band is reciprocal as Grotto allowed Valley Love to create their own reggae night at Joe’s and really hone their craft as musicians.

“We figured it was just time to put something out there,” said Sessler.

Besides becoming more well rounded musicians Valley Love also became known for attracting “hot young women,” to Joe’s Grotto according to Grotto and for the release party he expects, “more of the same. These girls I go to them and say ‘you’re really hot is your mom single?”

Valley love frontman Paul Ruppel expects a lot more than beautiful young women to be at the Oct. 26 shindig, saying he expect “500 plus” people to the event.

Valley Love will obviously headline the event, with The Black Bottom Lighters, The Hourglass Cats, The Rootrees and Pride Through Strife playing as well.

“They’ve got the camaraderie of brothers but that goes throughout the entire reggae community,” said Grotto.

Valley Love is hoping the Oct. 26 show will bring with it the Halloween vibes, “feel free to wear your costumes, we are probably going to have a costume contest if everybody decides to wear it, tickets are only five bucks, the CD is only five bucks and it’s good deal, a good show, and a good time,” said Ruppel.

To add to the island vibe of the reggae party Joe’s Grotto will be having a Cabo Wabo promo all night and having tequila drinks on special.

To buy tickets visit Valley Love on or go to, music starts at 6 p.m.

Jeff Moses is a freelance writer and photographer from Teaneck, N.J. and is currently living in Mesa, Ariz. He has been published in The Mesa Legend, and The Highway Herald. Contact him by calling 727-385-0624.
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