Originally from Seattle, I spent most of my formative musical years based in Portland, OR as a sideman and saxophone player, touring up and down the I-5 corridor with regional acts like Big Time Rosie, Life After Liftoff and Jesus Presley.
I got to play for President Clinton, opened for and played with folks like Steve Miller and Bo Diddley, Pink Martini, and Tony Furtado. I also spent time chasing the dream in L.A., touring with national up and comer, Justin Hopkins and the Guilt and working on my solo career. Below is the best description I’ve heard on my approach and sound:
“Catchy melodies, heartfelt lyrics and his soulful saxophone blend with a penchant for funky beats and campfire sing-a-longs, giving Trevor Ras a unique style- one that lands him comfortably between Van Morrison and Jack Johnson, Ed Sheeren, and Crosby, Still, Nash and Young.
The music harkens back to a much simpler time, when digital gimmicks were no match for groove, melody, lyrics and a great hook. And while the recording and songwriting are strongly rooted in the present, the vibe suggests you’re listening to John Mellencamp’s “Jack and Diane” for the first time or watching the sunset, singing along to your favorite Van Morrison tune.”
What I Do
Mostly solo these days, using a loop pedal to infuse my saxophone playing into the mix. Originals and covers by: Ed Sheeren, Hall and Oates, Duran Duran, Jason Mraz, Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Band of Horses, U2, Jack Johnson, Jimmy Buffet, America, Dave Matthews Band, Paul Simon, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Doobie Brothers, Steve Miller, Gavin DeGraw, Bob Marley, Buffalo Springfield, James Taylor, Commodores, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Neil Young, Tom Petty, The Eagles, David Gray, Big Head Todd and many more.
Where I’ve Played
Venues this decade: Aladdin Theatre (Portland), The Roxy (L.A.), The Joint (L.A.), High Dive (Seattle), The Hotel Café (L.A.), Hotel Café (Hollywood, CA), Taylor’s (Eugene), Nectar (Seattle), High Dive (Seattle), Tractor Tavern (Seattle), The Sand Bar (Santa Barbara, CA), The Jet (Seattle), Buffalo Gap (Portland), Joxer Daly’s (Culver City, CA), Prince O Whales (Playa Del Rey, CA), Patrick Molloy’s (Hermosa Beach, CA), Skylark Café (West Seattle), McMenamin’s Pubs and properties throughout Oregon.
Latest Release – Blue Sky
My latest! Read below for the “official” scoop in this excerpt from the press release…
There is not a whole lot between the listener and the song on Trevor Ras’ sophomore solo effort Blue Sky. The spare acoustic arrangements and hushed vocals create a perfect home for the Seattle-based songwriter’s thoughtful exploration of life, death, love and relationships.
The release of Blue Sky has special meaning to Ras (short for Rasmussen), as it commemorates five years since his first solo album and more importantly- five years since he almost lost his life in a freak surfing accident in Huntington Beach, CA. After kicking off his solo career in 2006 with the release of Let It Roll, he had several tours planned and big musical dreams. The impact of his fall crushed his C5 cervical vertebrae and with it, his full-time music career. With his limbs damaged but intact, Ras took a hiatus from his music career to take stock of his direction and build back his life closer to family in Seattle, WA. He now spends his days in marketing, and moonlights as a singer songwriter, and saxophonist. He plays solo throughout Washington and Oregon and with Seattle funk-pop-soul outfit, Radio Raheem.
In many ways, Blue Sky, is a comeback album for Trevor Rasmussen. So it is no surprise it takes him back to his roots, where his passion for music began- around a campfire or living room with his best friends. Landing somewhere between Josh Rouse, early David Gray and CSN, the entire record was recorded with two guitars (a sweet mix of baritone and acoustic), homemade percussion, a little saxophone and two, sometimes three vocals. Tracked at Hideaway Studios in Auburn, WA, the warm feel of the recording finds its roots in the 36 hour session that gave life to the album.
“I basically sat down with my best friends, some arrangement ideas in one hand, some very personal songs in the other and recorded all nine tracks in a day and a half,” said Rasmussen. “It was a truly magical experience.”
The projects listed below are some of the stuff ongoing and in my past. Some of it is still for sale and some of it, sadly, out of print. Click on the album to find out where to purchase. Many of the faces you see on the latest album are part of where I’ve come from…its kind of a fun journey if you have a few minutes.
My first solo record, Let It Roll was released in May 2006. Thoughtful Rock n Roll that’s good for your soul: like Van Morrison meets and Jack Johnson. I still love this record. You can find it anywhere online, including Spotify, iTunes and CD Baby.
Deemed by some, including us, as “indie funk” or “pop fusion,” LAL played a soulful mix of energy-charged funk and rock music. This is a really fun live album featuring Dave Milne and Michael Herrman.
This was the beginning of the LAL project. This album featured Adam Gershon on drums. We were aiming for accessible pop melodies, funky, percussive guitar, dramatic lead and harmony vocals, and soul-dripping saxophone, of course. This sort of launched me back onto the NW scene after Big Time Rosie folded in 2001.
From 2008-20012 Boomerang Summer was my four piece. With rotating members in PDX & Seattle, they combined superb musicianship with a songwriter’s sensibility, rock, soul, latin, gospel and jazz. And while hints of artists like David Gray, Van Morrison, Stevie Wonder, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Dave Matthews abound, the band’s impeccable delivery, arrangements and songwriting kept audiences engaged while memorable melodies and funky grooves keep them singing and dancing. These guys were great.
Big Time Rosie
Big Time Rosie was my 5-piece rock band from Portland, OR. We were pretty much a Northwest staple from about 1996 to our demise in 2001. We started back at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA and evolved from a mediocre basement band to one of the Rose City’s favorite local live acts. To quote Bryan Adams, “….those were the best days of my life….” We still rock a reunion show now and then. Check out the facebook page!