Monday, August 8, 2011

CD Release Party!

Our CD Release party is Sept 3 at Stone Spiral, 2500 Sutton in Maplewood, MO. so if you've been thinking of coming to hear us, that would be a good time. no one wants to party with an empty house... so we'd love some support. You're not obligated to buy a CD but it can't hurt. We'll start around 6ish and play the music on the CD a couple times. plus who knows what else?

Stone Spiral has some fun eats/drinks... little pizzas and scones and wraps and coffee and some local artist stuff for sale. They've been really supportive of us over the last couple years which is why we wanted to have the release there. only a couple songs to lay down and we're ready to mass produce and sell millions of CDs! Or hundreds, or dozens... or... or...

Friday, August 5, 2011

Who we are

I haven't used this blog to mention who's playing. Part of me figures it's listed in a lot of places, but we wouldn't have a band without the players.

Blue, vocals
Lee Borrine, saxes (soprano, alto, tenor, baritone)
Tiffany Borrine, bass
Isaac Cherry, drums
Jerry Rabushka, keys and vocals, sometimes trumpet
Berrell Spade, guitar
Scott Splater, clarinet (Bb and A)
Shawn Telkamp, vocals

thanks to all current and former members for their time and talent!

If you're reading this and have any questions, feel free to ask.

Here's the songs recently recorded by the band

Thursday, July 28, 2011

We're on TV!

We were excited (and a bit nervous) to perform live on the Tim Ezell show on Fox 2, KTVI Channel 2 St. Louis. We got to do a section of Good Times Comin' Round to help promote "Cheers To The Troops," a USO Benefit on July 30 at the S. Broadway Athletic club at 6 pm, where we are one of about 6 rotating acts.

Band on TV!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Keeping myself up to date, and you, too...

We've been busy; we played a show at The Soundpony in Tulsa, which is mainly a rock venue, and has some great acoustics! The day before there was a 12 hour rock festival, so many of their crowd was too tired out to come back, but we still had a great time! Also some of us visited the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, which is a wealth of information about jazz musicians and composers from the state. We talked to some of the folks in charge and it's likely we'll be able to play a concert in their venue, which is a pretty nice place downtown, in what looks like an old train depot. Perfect place for jazz...

We've recorded a few songs now: Letter From Liberia, To Feel Your Touch, Grave Injustices, Buck Street Blues, and Good Times Comin' Round. If you want the full experience, click up here

and there ya go! all the songs will play one after the other...

also check out some new videos at

We're excited to be playing at The Stone Spiral this Saturday, July 16, plus on July 30 a benefit for the USO in south city. This will feature lots of performers and we'll be the house band, pulling out some 40s tunes and our own originals. Well ok some of our 40s tunes are 30s tunes, but they may have been played in the 40s so we're good. Shhhh!

After that, August 6 at Llwellyn's in the Central West End.

So Letter From Liberia is one of the few songs out there written about e-mail fraud. Certainly you've got the email from someone who wants you to help them bring in millions of dollars... just give them all your personal information and you'll get 10% of the thirty million they're trying to squirrel out of the county. Easy! And a great topic for a tune every now and then.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

We're on Youtube!

Our first recordings for the new CD are online at the above link! We're really proud of how it came out, so far reaction's been pretty good, so take a listen and enjoy! If you like there's options to purchase the songs online and even get your own ring-tone. Plus if you can recommend a venue that might be good for that kind of music please drop a line, comment, etc.

Our last show at The Blue Agave was awesome! Great place & great people.

One of my pet projects is to put together a set of W.C. Handy songs. We've already got St. Louis Blues, Memphis Blues/Mr. Crump, Yellow Dog Blues (which we premiered at Blue Agave), and I hope to add Beale Street to that mix in the next month or three. We're also trying to put together an old Chris Smith song (well all Chris Smith songs are old by now) called "Good Bye I'll See You Some More." It's from 1905. Smith is most famous for "Ballin' the Jack" but he's got several others that were hits in the day. There are a lot of orchestral rag arrangements from back in the day, and I've taken some of those and arranged them for our group.

If you like the songs & video, please repost, spread the word, and of course, BUY BUY BUY! (everyone tells me not to be shy about saying BUY!)

Next shows:
Jerry plays solo at Gypsy Coffee House in Tulsa in May 20 at about 9:30
Band plays at North City Farmer's Market in St. Louis, June 4 at 10:00 a.m. If we can get up, so can you.

thanks as always for your support!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Cherry, Blue and I played at Cherry's sister's wedding at the "Old School' on Kingland, GA. It's a historic one room school house build for black students in 1921. With unbelievably great acoustics! We played a few originals and a few songs that would have been "hot" back then, St. Louis Blues, Ballin' the Jack, etc. Long trip, but very satisfying show & congrats to the bride and groom!

Read about the old school here

they were historic... well NOW they're historic, but there aren't many examples of this particular type of school-building left, so it's cool to be in it.

We're working up for two or three gigs here, plus we're going to be the band that kick off "North City Farmer's Market" on June 4. Should be a fun event, with a cook-off, local vendors, and of course... us! I'm working on writing some new originals, and getting the band up on four old WC Handy Songs... we have three in the hopper—St. Louis Blues, Memphis Blues, and Yellow Dog Blues—and Beale Street Blues will round out the quartet.

Folks at the wedding of all ages really got into some of the old tunes.

Friday, April 8, 2011

We've got everyone on the recordings now, but a couple vocal parts, so we're on our way. Sounds pretty good!

I've been fortunate over my life to be able to absorb and squeeze out several styles of music, so come to one of our shows and you're likely to hear jazz, blues, country, rock, ragtime, ballads, showtunes, with classical and Bollywood influences. Our players come from all different backgrounds too, people have played in the St. Louis Philharmonic, various jazz, dance and show bands, punk rock, neo-soul, so we can put a lot of cool stuff together.

I love learning new songs, writing new songs, and when you do all that you want to get them "out" as soon as possible, but you do run the risk of too much too soon. So I've declared May "backup vocal month." We're going to take all our songs and put in the backup vocals we've been saving for "later," and bolster up everything we have.

As a friend of mine just said "It's amazing how many people think they can do a show without have to rehearse." Even the symphony has to put in some practice.

One song that's taken a lot of practice is "Miss Brown To You," it's a song from the 30s sung originally, I think, by Billie Holliday. It's got bizarre jazz chords aplenty, and a melody that doesn't have a lot to do with the music underneath it. So it's taken awhile, but it's songs like these that are often most rewarding when you have them good to go, because you know what you did to get there.

We're off to play an out-of-state wedding soon. Then back here for Jake's Steaks and Blue Agave.
want more info? drop me a line at

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Jake's Steaks!

We'll be playing at Jakes Steaks on Laclede's Landing from 8-11 PM on Saturday, April 23. It's our first time there, so we're excited at the opportunity. At the moment we're laying some tracks for "Good Times Comin' 'Round." Bass player Tiffany Borrine put down the bass part over the weekend.... I put down an organ track & our guitarist Berrell Spade is laying his track. It's a gospel-tinged good timin' number so the organ seems like the right choice, with a little bit of piano in there as well. I'm old enough that I'll say we're "taping" but there really isn't any tape involved anymore.

Many of the songs we're recording/playing are from a musical I'm slowly working on called Kansas Cabana. It's set in a club, with a manipulative owner named Zeke who uses and abuses the folks that perform for him. The music will be ragtime, jazz, blues, even a bit of folk. Sort of an old-style feel. I wrote the songs to be challenging - but it's a cool sense of accomplishment when we learn them.

Anyway perhaps we'll see you at Jake's!

Friday, March 25, 2011

In the studio

We're excited, we've taking the direction to make some pro-sounding recordings of some original tunes! First on the docket are "Buck Street Blues" and "Good Times Comin' 'Round." We're going to keep this CD jazzy-bluesy-R&B.

Our "Release party" is scheduled for April 30, where the "Buck Street" single will be out. Look like we'll be playing two shows, at the Handle Bar on Manchester at about 5 PM and Blue Agave in Belleville at 9:30 or 10 pm.

We recently played a show at Urban Eats... you can find a live version of "Good Times" at

Also happy to announce we've booked a show in Duluth, Minnesota on August 12, and plan to build a tour around that.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A bit about us

Thought I'd just talk a bit about what we do... first we have three shows coming up, you can find out about that at

We'll play at Urban Eats on March 20th, it's an art-brunch at 11 am. So we'll try to keep it kinda laid back.
Then at Queen of Sheba on March 26th, in U. City, then April 30 at The Blue Agave in Belleville. So maybe something will come up in between.

I guess right now what sets us apart: we do music that folks don't normally do. I write a lot of our material, so I'm pretty sure no one's doing that. It covers a lot of, blues, rock, jazz, ballads, showtunes, funk, etc. I listen to a variety of styles and try to funnel them in and out through my brain and add a personal touch to them.

Also we have started playing music from the rag era: we do a few standards like St. Louis Blues and Ballin' the Jack, and some lesser known songs of the day, plus rags such as Maple Leaf, St. Louis, and a few obscure rags like Fontella and Hurricane. Mostly the reaction has been pretty positive, people like hearing that stuff, and it's a rare opportunity to hear someone do it live.

So anyway I'll get to practicin' for the next show.

Friday, February 25, 2011

First post (an original title!)

Hey there and welcome!

I plan to use this blog for a couple things: first we'll keep you posted on what's up at Ragged Blade; our band, theater, and useful stuff about people involved.

Second, I used to have a music review column and I'll revive it & write about some artists that cross my path. It won't be my practice to trash anyone's music so much as introduce you to sounds that are worth checking out.

You can find us on facebook at "The Ragged Blade Band" as well as "Jerry Rabushka, Playwright."

I'm usually pretty informal, but I've got a backlog of music & stuff to write about, so I'll try to get started on it pretty soon.

Jerry Rabushka
Artistic-director, co-founder of Ragged Blade, St. Louis, MO
playwright, actor, director, composer/songwriter, arranger, pianist, trumpeter, singer, magazine editor.

Well that explains why I don't have a business card.