The Pitch: Why did you guys start making music and how would you classify the music you play?
Dennis White: Well, what Rock Paper Scissors does is cover tunes we've loved all our lives, but we've rearranged them for our trio - focusing on three-part harmony and using violin as the solo instrument. We've all been playing for years, and RPS is a real labor of love. We're in our fifth year together. Initially we formed this group to work on weeknights so it wouldn't interfere with our other bands, but it has become more of a priority because it's just so much fun.
Who are the members, and have you guys always had the same members?
John Anderson - bass, Janet Jameson - violin, Dennis White - guitar (and kick drum). Of course we all sing. Yes, it's always been the three of us from the beginning. Janet and I were talking about putting together a vocal trio, and she suggested her long-time friend, John. The first time we got together, it just clicked. Our voices blend well, and we're all pretty much on the same page, musically. We enjoy our rehearsals almost as much as our shows.
You're one of the few bands the RecordBar books every month, and your show is always all-ages. Any reason for that, or is that just how it works out?
Steve Tulipana, at the RecordBar, is one of the best club owners we've ever worked with - his venue is a real "music room," and I think he sees that we have a unique niche. We wanted to keep it a free show, and he was agreeable to any way we wanted to handle it. We do material that is very recognizable to a bit of an older crowd, but we hope to introduce these tunes, and our arrangements, to a younger audience, too.
You have been a part of the local music community for a while now.
Yes, we've all been playing all our lives - each of us have made our living playing, off and on over the years. Many of our fans remember Janet from regional favorites Morningstar and Cole Tuckey. John had a very popular group for years called Poppin' Fresh and was also in Colt 45. I have been in numerous bands as well, including the Camerata Band, Alchemy, and They Only Look Dead, to name a few. We are all currently playing in other bands, which can make it tricky when booking shows for RPS. John is currently playing with Revelation (a tribute to Journey) and the Rick Bacus Blues Band. Janet is currently playing with Shooting Star and Monsters Inc. I am currently playing with Charlie and the Stingrays as well as doing the occasional solo show to showcase some of my original material. John is an experienced woodworker and is currently working at KC Strings. Janet has had her own studio for years and is currently the audio engineer for Garmin International. How do we balance it all ... ? Well, you've got to love it or you wouldn't do it - it's a lot of work, and the schedule can get crazy - but playing music has always been the most important thing in all of our lives, and we really love singing together, so we just make it work. We feel really fortunate to live in a city in which we can play consistently with a minimum of travel.
What other local acts do you like to play with and admire? Any new up-and-comers people should watch out for?
Kansas City really does have a pretty great music scene. I wish I could get out more often and hear other bands. Bob Walkenhorst does a great show on Wednesdays at the RecordBar. We've been fortunate to get to do some shows with Bob and his band. Also, Howard Iceberg and Danny Cox. We're going to be playing a benefit at Knuckleheads (for the Pilgrim Chapel Performing Arts season kick-off) on September 18 with Bob Walkenhorst and Jeff Porter, and the Nace Brothers, so we're really looking forward to that.
Rock Paper Scissors plays at RecordBar tonight at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. for the free all-ages show.