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it’s no our fault

It’s not our fault.

It’s not our fault that you decided to go,

not up to us, for we truly didn’t know

what demons were beating you down day in and out

or even if we’d seen your pain, unable to really help

help came not from the VA, they just let you go-

if mad at anyone it’s them, that I know,

a final and violent end hurts us so,

but together we lean together and we’ll move to acceptance

accepting you’re gone pains my heart, I know you see

but I’m comforted the struggle is over

your struggle is over.


I pray I never forget how silly you are, Dana, nor that my playing made you giggle,

our days lived “one day at a time,” together I’ll not regret.

you showed me in my early sobriety I could entertain and not get drunk or high

I’ll miss you dearly and the world is crying, but we’ve many recordings of your songbird soaring, we love you, Dana, and we’ll see you again

at that big band in the sky

I dry my eye,

it’s not our fault.

Mark your calendars, call your friends, get a sitter, and come on through for my release party at Ovations on Sunday, March 29th, 2015.

My group will be Dennis Dotson, Ed Lowe, Seth Paynter, Glen Ackerman, Richard Cholakian plus special guests Melissa Ragsdale Darragh and Erin Wright.

Ovations Night Club
2536 Times Blvd. Ste B
Houston, TX 77005-3225
Phone: (713) 522-9801

Sets at 7pm and 8:45pm, doors at 6:15pm

$10 for students with i.d. (includes a digital download of the CD)

$15 for general entrance

$23 for entrance + a cd

advance tickets at


Too Much Monday

Here is the first track from my upcoming CD Too Much Mondaywhich will be released in March. Glen Ackerman (the bassist on the track) arranged this Standard for me and wrote it with Richard Cholakian’s drumming in mind. It’s the one track on the CD that I play trombone on. I am the first trombone to solo, as I trade 4’s with Seth Paynter on tenor… I wasn’t about to go after Andre Hayward, ha! Andre trades with Dennis Dotson (trumpet).

The release concert will be at Ovations in Rice Village on Sunday, March 29th. Sets at 7pm and 8:45pm

Also, here is my new logo: concept art by Melissa Darragh, graphic design by Tianna Hall

original drawing by Melissa Darragh, digitized by Tianna Hall

Stay tuned!


Caffeine free

I learned something yesterday. After going 6 weeks with no caffeine, I drifted back into use and had a rather large 1/2 caff in the morning. Bad idea. I was mildly manic and eventually wasn’t able to sleep well at all and, the tremors which had all but been gone during the caffeine fast returned. And the blurting out.

So I’m back to caffeine-free Henry. This was confirmation that I have no business messing with caffeine. I gave up alcohol and drugs, then I gave up smoking, and now… caffeine.

Kickstarter Campaign

I just launched a Kickstarter campaign to back my 2nd CD project, Too Much Monday. It is made up of originals, Standards, and a few other covers. There are lots of audio clips from the live recording we did back in November at Ovations and a fun video telling about the project. Please consider checking it out!

My daughter made some beautiful posters for an anti-bullying campaign at her high school


The campaign is part of something Houston Rockets player Dwight Howard started called “Block Out Violence.” One can, if so inclined tweet using #BOVRayburn to support her schools raising awareness for this issue.

The idea of these being posted in the halls of the school I too went to high school gives me goosebumps. I hope a bully or someone intolerant to LGBT teens doesn’t deface her hard work.

I’m a very proud papa.

Chinese New Year (party)

I’m playing at a private party tonight celebrating the new year on the Chinese calendar. This is my second time to play for this event.

I’ll try and snag a few pics, the house is incredible, as is the piano!

Update: I’m also singing so I get a vocal workout tonight! I love getting paid to practice 🙂








I probably didn’t have to do a complete chord analysis of the theme and first variations but that’s what I’m accustomed to doing with analyzing a pieces harmony. Now for my assignment, I need to cone up with more of a Shenkerian graph and analyze the differences in the variations from the theme… which after playing this for hours yesterday I cannot get it out if my head.

Back to school

Spring 2014

It’s the third week of classes and I’m starting to get my new rhythm down. This will likely be the most intense semester I’ve had in years as far as coursework goes. I am taking Classical and Romantic Performance Practice, Doctoral Theory Seminar, Italian for non-majors II, and rehearsals for the Moores School of Music Jazz Orchestra (we have four concerts)

Although I had the typical first few weeks of anxiety, crying was at a minimum this time around. Rather than looking at the various syllabi and freaking out about all the papers and assignments due this semester, I’ve tried to break it down week-to-week, day by day, of scheduling what needs to be done. This is my last full-time semester as a student.

Although I will miss my Tuesday night steady gig with the Bryan Anthony quartet, having that night off will be great. I also made the decision not to teach private piano at Writers in the Round this Spring.

If I had a complaint, it would be that I have a lot to read this semester! If that’s the worst oft problems, life isn’t all that bad.

As far as a mental Heath check-in goes, I’ve had multiple weeks of being in the middle. I’m so very grateful not to currently be depressed. I had some signs of manic yesterday and am being sure to take care of that side of me and do the typical protocol.

So in all, life is swell. Melissa is loving working at the mayor’s office and Hailey is shining at her high school. She found out last week she’s ranked 36 out of 700 freshman! What a hard she is. All that while keeping up with band and cheerleading.

I’m impressed.