Camisha Ruffins, Bassist

Archive for December, 2011

the workings of ministry: The Dirty Truth About Honoraria

As a musician active in ministry, along with a handful of college friends that have worked up the holy ranks out of seminary I wonder, where’s the respect for God’s work amongst His people???

Count up all of those hours: is that what we really think our preachers are worth?

via The Dirty Truth About Honoraria.


[a snapshot of the screen….worth the read-TRUST ME! if you make money PERIOD you can relate or else crawl back under your rock]

When to become ill of ill-preparation?

Yesterday. 12-25-2011. Yep, Christmas according to the modern western world. To me-a reduced work day [6:30a-11:30a]. What kind of work you might ask? Let’s just say that I’m a musician in a religious setting. So a poorly constructed list of songs for Sunday was sent to the musicians for yesterday’s services….we didn’t play according to the list but “watch the worship leader”…but the worship leader isn’t showing hand signals in proper timing for a smooth transition to songs that we have no idea that we’re gonna play…yep. Unclear signals to random songs. What a test to my mental musical Rolodex in front of a bellowing crowd?!? Another issue is the mysterious fill-in musicians or Sunday. Those fill-ins couldn’t be aggressive on the set as well as play with the band; instead they strayed away on the keyboard and forced us [me and the organist] to atop and listen to his low volumes playing for a couple of seconds…during church? Because they failed to prepare thoroughly I will fail to be so hard on myself hen orchid in a situation such as this. Merry Christmas right? What a gift.

Mark your calendars!!! Bandtastic4 will be at it again! with Julia on da set!!!

as we were thinking about taking it slow as we focus in on studio rather than stage, we’re gonna give the fans what they want…yep, another show

if you missed our last set at Dan Electros you missed a treat!  but hey we’re giving you another chance, but there wont be many more…

Bandjuliatastic4 tearing the club down

january 26

The Mink [on Main]

3718 Main St  Houston, TX 77002
(713) 522-9985

time: TBA

entry fee: i hope not Image


.:live long and prosper hard:.

My Music Therapy

doctors need doctors to care for them. pastors need prayer warriors to pray for them. musicians need therapy. of course i can do my research and listen to other amazing musicians but this time i needed to chat with 1 of 2 of my big brothers. one bro is big ken [bassist @ wheeler ave baptist houston,TX] and the other is phil moore [REAL audio engineer/keys for new mt. calvary baptist church].

on some random thursday nights i find myself in trinity gardens/5th ward jamming it out for my pleasure with a group of awesome ppl at new mt. calvary baptist church off kelley st. [new barbara jordan high school]. as i recall, i’ve wandered to this side of town past nightfall in the quest for solace and a much needed chat with my big bro afterwards. playing in their rehearsal

  • allows me to shed in btwn gigs
  • expand my church repertoire bc some church is eventually gonna play these songs again
  • be in an environment of peace…it’s the praise team so these 5-7 ppl seem to always welcome me
  • when I make that transition to their church i’ve already made such an impression
  • make meaningful small talk with God’s people

accompanying the praise team is me, phil on keys and jerrin on drums. yet another great musical threesome. and after each great rehearsal we end in prayer which i appreciate even more. it just feels genuine. i can’t describe it but God must be steering me over here.

after it’s over i chill with my big bro and we chat til 11pm at times. regardless the initial topic the conversation always manages to realign my perspective on this music game and i always walk away being better than i was. everytime. we get on topics like the pimp game that the church house bestows on the music ministry, the prevalence of homosexuality in the black church [i’m quite open-minded so i’m not up to judge, we just ‘dissect’ this phenomena], the corruptive stance of the music industry, not losing yourself to succeed in this music game, and so on creativity develops these questions….

so i found myself in fifth ward on yet another thursday night. leaving better than i arrived

This Wednesday past’s jam at The Big Easy

me on bass [was signed in to play by someone else-GO FIGURE]! this bluesy soulful guitarist named tony.  he’s a looker too.  kevin berry on the set. all i need to say is that ‘this has been the best threesome i’ve been in YET!  and i’m not looking forward to future threesome fun but this menage a musical trois was the perfect blend that could put on yet another crowd pleasing set after a second line new orleans brass band came in and brought the house down.  no mics needed nor any energy drinks as they brought it all.  vids will be posted later.  stay tuned.

back to my set.  it was str8 impromptu, thus giving me carte blanche to be optimistic of my performance without the angst of judging myself of the faults and mess ups that MAY arise.  it’s a jam session, and the fact that these cats gave me clear direction before and throughout the songs made the jam experience even more pleasant.  we gel’d on the basis of professionalism.  kevin and tony are interested in me joining them for recording a few projects and traveling as a band in 2012 so such expectations of my musicianship was set and based on kevin’s word that i can carry the load tony didn’t doubt [if you know kevin you wouldn’t doubt his word either].    

kevin’s the one who describe the jam experience ideally: it’s a hit or miss.  thus i shouldn’t feel ashamed or bat myself up when the guitarists arent leading me to the next leg of the song or if the drummer can keep a consistent tempo!  it’s a jam session.


This friday past I had the ultimate pleasure to grace the Avani Lounge stage with Holly Charles and Bandtastic4 in celebration of the first annual CONVO-PALOOZA: CELEBRATION OF THE ARTS & MAMF SILENT AUCTION FUNDRAISER for the Make-A-Mark Foundation.  From 5p-10p people congregated and appreciated art from talented visual artists [SEAN D. BLANCO & co], fashion accessory artists, culinary artists [MYFIT FOODS and REGAR MARLEY’S JAMAICAN CUISINE-trust it’s good], and music artists.

First up was Holly Charles.  Sultry tunes to calm the tones of the room.  I played along with some fellow TCWW musicians [Todd Harrison, Chuckii Taylor, and Charles Johnson]…three familiar songs [He loves me by Jill Scott, Brown Skin by Indie.Arie and This Christmas by Donny Hathaway] caught the attention of the crowd.

The next music artist to hit the stage was Tamar Davis.  Not backed by a band but still managed to move the crowd (which is definitely possible).

Bandtastic4 went on stage with a fill-in drummer Dale Meadows.  Nice mustard trap set.  We did well.



Holly Charles  []

Tamar Davis []

Make-A-Mark Foundation []

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Bandtastic4’s voyage at Dan Electro’s

Bandtastic4 at Dan Electros

Bandtastic4 at Dan Electros

Bandtastic4 at Dan Electros

Friday night past. Running late a little. Frigid cold outside. Club’s pretty vacant at the moment I stepped in. A groupie/original invisible girl bought me a dos equis with lime (ok-2 thumbs up). Perfect pairing to the vitamin C I overdosed in battling this cold or whatever.

It’s time for me to put my gigging amps in the shop so i acquiesced to bring the 150lb Big Bertha of all of my amp inventory-behringer 4500h head and cab; 450 watts of thumping sexy subtones (yikes!).

Thanks to the band’s pre-show chat with each other and the fans that beer infused charge enabled and equipped me to play beyond the internal battles. Though I didn’t move much (the spotlights were unusually close to us on stage) I still jammed a bit; even for the bartender to give me and the drummer beers on her. Awesome night.

Each group brought an refreshing facet that colored the show. After a great acoustic set by a great duo Cadence, it was our time to perform…we’re doing a dynamic set based on the first tracks of Fullmetal F Dot’s album [downloadable here].  After our awesome performance the premier band for the night headed to the stage and put on an awesome show.  Dani Vargas Band is a spanish instrumental band with a cool sound.



Cadence []

Dani Vargas Band []

Fullmetal F Dot’s album [downloadable here]