Camisha Ruffins, Bassist

venting

Music therapy

What was a typical thanksgiving day for many was an atypical one for me to say the least. Wednesday night my father in law was rushed to the hospital and we witnessed his life diminish over the course of the American turkey day. Words, turkey nor dressing couldn’t soften the devastating blow I was experiencing…I guess it’s an inevitable first for me.

Today as I let tears flow I managed to pull out some axes and went shedding for relief. I gotta praise Him anyhow, right? So a 2 nonstop turned into an hour of praise and worship in the company of one. It was necessary. Anyways, some concepts have developed from this brief musical moment and eventually will be shared in a more polished package.


Jack Freeman at the M-Lounge

A nightmare of a case where my team brought our A game and the venue was nowhere near the stadium…two tumultuous hours of endurance. Battling the elements of
•faulty equipment
•incompetent employees/promoters (that widely displayed)
•inept business etiquette

Sound check’s at 8pm but the previous segment “poetry night” gladly ran over their allotted time. I believe soundcheck’s time was adjusted to 8:45 for a 9-11 set…and the poetry host tried to charge us up with “please respect the mic” as we were bringing in our gear BUUUUUUT

•there was no mic (faulty equipment prevails…once again)
•we’re on time for our segment

As we exhausted the condensed time for sound check the “breaker” tripped in our area…3 times if I recall. And the manager just said “too much power is being used”…well if this is a high maintenance establishment in terms of electricity usage that should NEVER be the problem eh? Well, it’s definitely a first.

In the middle of our quick set a manager and an underling comes on stage and the manager directs the underling where to place something. Of course that poor chap was misguided to have intruded the entertainment’s territory [ON STAGE] whilest performing (YES IN FRONT OF THE CROWD) to plug in two on stage fans BUT also careless enough as he unplugged me and Jack in the middle of a SONG [‘doing the butt’]! (this falls under work environment elements 2 & 3). When he was asked a few times in English then Spanish he just said that he was doing his job. Well he sure did NOT do such a good job!

Well, the deejay setup was MacGuyver’d to where the mic preamp toggle button was enabled…and had to be dealt with accordingly after every unplugging mishap and breaker trip. But as it was on the mic was going through what looked to be a decent setup YET some phantom limiter wouldn’t allow the volume knob to work on the mixer AND it sounded like he was singing an order at MacDonald’s….

Yes it was a brief nightmare but we did have a standing crowd through it all. I guess that’s all that counts. I’m not trying to send would be customers elsewhere because the party still went on throughout the expansive space.

axe: Fender Deluxe 24
Rig: Ampeg BA115


When playing well can get you hurt!

Have you ever played so good that it yielded a violent response? Like shoes and such similar objects being thrown at you in the name of God? Well that just happened to me at an undisclosed IME church off 288South…yeah they were so happy and praising God that they gladly abused the organist and I with some delightful objects to our bodies but I’m glad that they were mindful of light non sharp objects were thrown…all thanks to my pedal that spiced up the mundane musical environment (lol well not really) with laser distortion guitar and out of this world sounds…yeah I made my part more interesting thanks to quick thinking. #Pedalmania

Weapons of choice: condensed set with the best sound called for the gig.
•Ampeg 100 watt BA-15 combo
•MTD KZ6-mod
•LM strap
•Monster cable
•BossGT10-B pedal


Bandtastic4 LIVE in New Orleans

the ride up was so much fun.  we started the trip around 9:30-ish and pandora/youtube were our best companions along with our creative minds to dig up old 90s/early 2000s urban and pop classics to recite rhymes to lol…by far the best road trip in a minute!  the moon was my guide along boring i10 but my riding partner was awesome in keeping me awake and alert.  below is a BRIEF account of our NOLA IN ONE DAY experience

3:45am: arrived to the sleep shack where the computers denied access thus we couldn’t exactly get our rooms…we were to be stuck out for an hour or so…the consensus? spend our waiting time wisely

4:45am: strolling on canal st. Bought two wooden Jesus head pieces for $10…why?

5am: At sneaky Pete’s at 135 Chartres st enjoying an Abita’s Covington strawberry beer with my carmate.

5:30am: spotted “harrah’s” casino

5:45am: watching a craps table go live

6:20am: cafe du monde flow #’sugary’ crack

7am: damanique’s aslp. I head back to the hotel

7:15am-….: nabbing extra breakfast for when we wake up

8am: in bed updating this blog…

9:45am: woke up in such a painful way [#teamnosleep]

11:30am: all cleaned and fed…preparing to leave the hotel until i chat it up with some kentucky and louisville official affiliates. they wanted my picture so i obliged lol 🙂

1pm: parked and settled downtown. heading to canal and bourbon street for food and fun

7pm: arrive back to the car safely with willie’s chicken shack in tow

8pm: meet up with band

9pm: arrive to the dragon’s den

9:45-10:15pm: heading to the car, realizing that it has vanished :-s

10:17-:18pm Damanique flags down cops and they shuttle us to the tow yard

10:40pm: $200 dropped and car was released -_-

11pm: arrived back to the dragon’s den safely, and parked in a more secured area -_-

12:45am: @bandtasticfour puts on its first ever non-TX performance

1:45am-back on the road doin’ bout 100MPH #YEP

 

check out official pics of the showcase at dragon’s den #NOLA http://www.flickr.com/photos/pookeymalibu/7096473467/in/set-72157629496169058/

Now peep some of my random travelings in downtown NOLA…pretty much everything up to bandtastic4’s performance…

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magic sparking at magik eye studios [houston, tx]

it’s raw yet enjoyable.  it’s unedited yet perfection in the nude.  mess-ups and all it’s still a euphoric moment to my ears…call it what you feel but i felt something so i’ll call it beautiful…the music’s tone was speaking to me, summoning a connection that i truly enjoyed.  these rare times where i may freak the heck out of frequency is what i strive to do everytime my fingers grace the fretboard…

*enjoy the track on this page which’ll process upon clicking*

Mystic [raw take]


update on my sanity: a relevant aside

tonight i’ve calmed down from my ‘kid in a candy store’ syndrome…nahhh, more like the ’10 black stiletto pairs just isn’t enough!’ syndrome.  i’ve calmed down because though i would love to invest in such a beautiful boutique bass i want to SURPASS my current position in life…yes i DESIRE MORE…of course i’ll improve but the working conditions must improve as well.  when i’m spending more time on the road i’ll consider those axes that makes my trigger finger quiver. i’ve acquiesced to my inner shoe addict the most logical decision…no tears were shed, just a sigh from my wallet.


when acquiring gear doesn’t feel good…

last night i stopped by windsor village to check out a couple of my friends during their organized band rehearsal.  and while i was there i managed to relive the anticipated moment I had initially at NAMM when I played on a Wyn bass [after so much  hearsay].  from my knowledge there are atleast three bassists employed here: as Pat and Jerry practiced on their 6/5 stringed Smiths, Craig whipped out his 6 string Wyn bass [his other prized musical possession is a 6 stringed performance bass].  Tuned low F# B E A D G and balanced with the perfect Comfort Strap, I fell in love all over again [the performance bass is yet another lovely axe but his model’s frets are too wide].  as i lusted after his axe I realized that that’s my next one for a while unless ‘a deal of a lifetime’ pops into existence…i see why he sold his MTD KZ6 for this baby

I started to ponder on my choice of actions…I have friends that boasts more than 20 snares and manages to play on all of them every once in a while, and so far I’ve done a decent job giving my playable axes an opportunity to shine in different venues, but am I starting to buy just to buy???  Lately i’ve started to feel that way, and like stuffing one’s self with food nonstop it doesn’t feel good.  i know PLENTY of purveyors of fine musical instruments without the talent and MANY talented musicians without  the fine instruments…what makes me different?  before shelling out $4Gs I just want to make certain that I have the world tours coming my way so these beautiful axes will be seen lol.

I know that like many women out there our closets aren’t ever ‘too filled’ with black stilettos; but another cute black pair with tasty sequence won’t hurt my collection…will it??? that’s how i started to feel, which is great and depressing; depressing that i’m stopping myself from leaping on the bandwagon of buying yet another sweeeeet axe but good because i get to sort out my ideas of desires..wants and needs.  at the end i’ve summed it up that after this MTD KZ6 [check 2nd recent post] i’m gonna invest in this beautiful wyn that craig’s sending me the info on…i just pray that i’ll garner more work to cover the longterm costs-feeling good about this majestic purchase.

 

 

…but honestly i’m thinking about satisfying my passive fix some way…maybe through another endorsement