Musical Match-Making: Six St. Louis Musician Couples Share Their Experiences

Jerry Rabushka and Isaac Cherry of Ragged Blade Band


Couple: Jerry Rabushka and Isaac Cherry
Romance cred: domestic partnership, and together for six years
Rabushka's role in the band: piano, vocals, trumpet
Cherry's role in the band: drums and percussion

Best part about working together
Rabushka: We like spending time together doing something we enjoy. I like having a feeling of someone to lean on during rehearsals and shows. I also like someone to bounce ideas off of, someone to respond with "That's great" or even "Really, how do you expect to manage that?" We support each other's endeavors in the band and out. I write the original songs we do and I arrange the others; Cherry develops the drum parts, and I like how he spends a lot of time trying to bring my tunes to life with the drums. Plus sometimes we rehearse with just the two of us, and it's a great feeling to woodshed a song and get it really tight!

Worst part about working together
Rabushka: If you have a disagreement about something in the band, it can make for a rough evening, since you can't just leave the person after a rehearsal or a show. The other issue is over-talking about the band. We both are guilty! Sometimes Cherry says, "Let's stop talking about the band and just be partners!"

A funny thing about performing together is...
Rabushka: Early on, just a small group of us were going to play a set in Nashville. That was pretty exciting -- i was Nashville, after all! The night before, due to some other folks cancelling, we found out we would be the only ones going. We had to tool up a show that we could do just with the two of us, so we stayed up until the wee hours to put together a set. It included drums set, buckets, hand drums and a couple keyboards, and we moved around from one instrument to the other all night. Plus on the way down, we stopped off at a Save-A-Lot, where they had a sale on T-shirts, so matching Save-A-Lot shirts became our costumes for the night.

Advice to other lovebirds starting a band together
Rabushka: LISTEN to them! Don't try to make them feel a certain way about playing in the group or try to make them feel like you do. On the other side, don't belittle your partner's commitment if they are more "into it" than you are. Separate the band from the relationship. If you have a disagreement, try to ask yourself if you are mad at your partner outside of the context of the band, or if are you just mad at the musician that happens to be your partner.
Also, enjoy each other because that's probably why you play music together. I don't think it's wrong to show some affection at a rehearsal, for example, as long as it's not ridiculous. Otherwise, people start to think, "I've seen them together for a year, and they never so much as touch each other." On the other side, I think it would make other people uncomfortable for a couple to have a good-sized fight, right before (or during) a gig (We don't do that!).

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