The Ragged Few first started because of children. In 2011 Joe Davenport was a burnt-out singer/songwriter who had just stepped into a new role as a stay at home dad. Two years later he had recovered from his musical burn out and was looking for an outlet apart from his adorable kids. Starting a band made perfect sense.
He had met bassist Roger Strong a few years before and the two had been hanging out together on a weekly basis as fellow stay at home parents. So when Joe was ready to start pursuing music again, it only made sense to ask Roger if he wanted to play some music together. Roger also needed some adult time and was more than happy to jump on board.
Finding quality musicians who fit in the folk/Americana genre is challenging enough but finding artists who are also sensitive to a slower pace because of the rigors of life with kids makes it even harder. At the time Joe was working for a woman whose husband was an exceptional fiddle player who worked two jobs and also had young children. Scott Shaw was a perfect fit.
Josh Hungate joined the band next. As a national champion mandolin player, he kept the entire band on its toes with his stunning playing. The band picked up drummer Rick Long in 2014 through some mutual friends and for the next year, the five-piece played some stellar folk-Americana around the Kansas City area. Unfortunately, Josh’s time with The Ragged Few was cut short due to schooling and other interests, but his outstanding work can be heard on the band’s EP, They Say.
Finding a new mandolin player to fill the void led to an audition with Skinny Webb – which changed everything. The band had been pushing hard to develop its own unique Americana sound, and Skinny was the missing piece. With his unique skills and amazing talent, the quintet started pushing the songs further into the rock genre instead of just folk. And soon The Ragged Few became an acoustic Americana band that played both Americana and some straight up rock and roll.
In 2017 Rick Long sadly departed the band following a career change for his wife, and drummer Lisa McKenzie jumped in (literally) with both feet. Her extensive background in swing and jazz brought a unique dynamic to the band that continues to push the band’s musical boundaries.
Since then, The Ragged Few have stretched and challenged their instruments and their talent. They’ve worked hard to bring original music that is not only reminiscent of traditional American music but also brings a style of rock and roll that’s never been heard before.
Joe was born and raised in Livermore, California, where as most successful singer/songwriters do, he started playing guitar and writing songs early in life. By age sixteen, he had his first taste of live performance through his small hometown church, taking the stage to play one song. That moment set into motion what would become an absolute wildfire in his life.
Thirteen years later, after countless churches, bars, and coffee shops from L. A. to Nashville, Joe dropped out of the music scene for a time and thought he would never come back.
Joe found healing through marriage, fatherhood, and the strong music community found in Kansas City. With acoustic guitar in hand, he began writing songs again and formed a new band. The Ragged Few is proof that he is back and, as recent recordings indicate, roots music is the better for it.
Scott grew up in the Panhandle region of Texas. His mother started working with him at a very young age to teach him how to play the piano and sing. He began to formally study the violin at age five.
Since his mother started him out on piano and voice, Scott was able to take on the responsibility of doing worship leader work by the time he turned fifteen. The Guitar and bass were added during his college years. Scott has been playing music for anyone who would listen to him for as long as he can remember.
Over the years, Scott has played in numerous worship bands, original bands, and a few cover bands. The Ragged Few represents his first foray into the world of Folk and Americana music. Though his roots are in the Rock and Alternative genres, Scott is now happy to be giving his fiddle chops a serious workout.
When Roger isn't playing the upright bass in The Ragged Few, he's the stay-at-home father of three wonderful children. This challenging and extremely dynamic career move came after after two college degrees and time spent in the office world of architecture, engineering, and IT. Growing up with a dad in the Air Force, Roger had an opportunity to live in Japan as a young child and learned not to be alarmed at sudden, loud jet engine noise. He began learning the trumpet at age ten and was trained in both the classical and jazz styles. He switched to bass when his wife gave him a bass guitar as a wedding gift. Ten years later, he added the upright bass.
Prior to The Ragged Few, Roger played bass with the Kansas City folk darlings, “Oriole Post.” Before that band, he was in another Kansas City folk favorite, “Miller Howell.” He plays contemporary Christian music at Jacob's Well church and also also likes playing hand drums. He has a collection of Egyptian tablas as well as other Middle Eastern and African drums.
Lisa Mckenzie is a true Kansas City native. Her initial degree is in Music performance (and anthropology) from the University of Missouri KC. However, Lisa’s craft has taken her all over the world. She’s studied drumming and dance in Ghana, West Africa at the Dagbe Cultural Arts Center, and she let her passion take her across the globe to Ali Akbar school of music in San Rafael, California. Lisa is skilled on the drum set, African drums, tabla, and marimba. She’s also quite the washboard player. Proud of Kansas City's musical roots, she has kept her home local and has been a part of the traditional jazz/swing scene for many years. Cutting her teeth in touring acts and playing many styles in many venues throughout Kansas City, Lisa proves to be a stellar addition to The Ragged Few. She joined The Ragged Few in early 2017 and won’t hesitate to tell you that she’s loved every minute of it.