Rita & the Rhythm Assassins

Rita & the Rhythm Assassins

 Boulder, Colorado, USA

Our style embraces old school roots reggae but incorporates the powerful and rich vocals of Rita Batiste & the many influences of each member.


The Rhythm Assassins formed in the summer of 2008 as a reggae jam band. In Aug 2008, they added Rita Batiste to the band as the primary vocalist. The Rhythm Assassins popularity continues to grow highlighting this summer by playing at the Poudre River Reggae Festival IV at the Mishawaka Amphitheatre in July and the Fox Theater last summer. Our style embraces old school roots reggae with rich powerful lyrics and vocals.

Rita Batiste - Vocalist Rita was born in Honolulu, HI. and spent her earliest years growing up in Japan. Rita has sung in many bands with the genres ranging from Pop, Jazz, Funk and R&B. Rita moved to New Orleans in 2007 where she married world-renowned drummer Russell Batiste. Rita was performing with Russell Batiste & Friends and her band TRIM. Rita had the opportunity to perform at the House of Blues New Orleans, the Maple Leaf, Howlin' Wolfe, Sugar Mill, Bank St. Bar, the VooDoo festival and the famous Tipitina's where she was teaching songwriting for children. Last summer Rita moved back to Boulder, CO.

Mike O’Brien – Bass Born & raised in Boulder, CO. He met Kit Slater in high school. Kit and Mike formed a punk & ska band that toured the country in the late eighties playing with Green Day, Alice in Chains, NOFX, 7 Seconds & Filth. Kit & Mike then went on to form Roots Revolt with the current members of Heavy Weight Dub Champion. Roots Revolt toured with Burning Spear, Michael Franti & Spearhead as well as opening for Jimmy Cliff, Stephen & Julian Marley, Culture, Pato Banton, Dread Ashanti, Itals, Eek a Mouse, The Meditations, Israel Vibration, Lee Scratch Perry, Mighty Diamonds, Hazel Miller & The Roots. Roots Revolt also was awarded best reggae band in Westword Magazine’s Music Showcase 1996.

Kit Slater - Guitar Kit was born in Boulder, CO and grew up in Lyons, CO. He has been playing, touring and recording with bands since the late '80's. He was a founding member of Roots Revolt and Wailer B and Axiom.

Leon Arguello - Drums

Darren Roebuck - Guitar Born and raised in Southern California, Darren started playing music at 5 years old, and began playing professionally at 16. He moved to Boulder, Colorado in 1988, and has lived there ever since playing guitar and bass in many bands including Hazard with Andy Sheldon of the Samples, Swindl, Djate', and with Dana Kyle Stokes. Although known as a "hired gun," Darren has written, recorded, and produced many of his own compositions.

Ryan Spinharney - Keyboards


What's It Like

Written By: Rita Batiste

©2008 Rita Batiste

Oooooh, yeah, yeah,whoa (2x)
Oh, what’s it like?
I often wonder
As the rain
hits the pavement
hits my windshield
I imagine one of my past lives

my hands getting colder
my breathe getting shorter
my nerves getting wired
oh, what’s it like?

Back in the day
When I was a slave
When I towed the line
When I ran for my life
When I worked for a dime

Back in the day
When I begged for food
When I had no shoes
No place to call my own
Oh, what was it like?

And we prayed
And we prayed, and we prayed
that the storm would bring us rain

and we rejoiced
we rejoiced,we rejoiced
Away from the misery and pain

Ooooooh, yeah, yeah whoa
Ooooooh, yeah, yeah whoa



Western Is the Sky

Written By: Rita Batiste

Western Is the Sky
©2008 Rita Batiste

(Guitar Riff)

Western is the Sky
And to the east the eagle flies
Eagle soars, quick to observe, the patterns of his life
Carrying a message of peace to the people
he presents the power of recognizing

And in the days of old
This totem animal could have told
Of Global destruction
reconstruction of the systems that didn’t work
They represent the synchronicity of mother earth

Take the turtle for example his shell fits like a glove
Be aware of the way you give, the way you shove
Make sure you remember you know how to love
Hey, hey don’t you give your power away
But we still do it everyday
Have the courage to engage and say when its not okay, not okay
Have the courage to engage and say when its not okay, not okay
say when its not okay, not okay
say when its not okay, not okay



Mo' Town

Written By: Rita Batiste, Gregg Freeman and Darren Roebuck

©2008 Rita Batiste, Gregg Freeman Darren Roebuck

(Guitar Riff)

Feelin’ alright gonna take me
Higher, higher, higher
Momma always said
Don’t you play with
Fire, fire, fire

Slow slow way on down
Slow slow way on down

Keepin’ it safe, keepin’ it
Tighter, tighter, tighter
Baby’s gonna break
He’s not a
Fighter, fighter, fighter


Fm E b m
Feelin’ alright
yeah take me higher
Shout it on out
Yeah take me higher
Feelin’ alright Take me higher
Feeling alright, take me higher
Feelin alright,take me higher
Gonna feel
Fire, Fire Fire

(Guitar Riff)

Drink it on down feel your
desire, ire, ire
Wakin’ it up, wade through
the mire,ire,ire


Struggle on in you, you lonely
Cryer, cryer, cryer
Always throwin rocks at the man on the high
Wire, wire, wire




KGNU (88.5)
Greenlight Radio (95.3) Internet Radio

Released "What's It Like" in May 2009

Set List

One Way Street
Struggle Toil Turmoil
Momma Said
Go Your Own Way
Mo’ Town
What’s It Like
Dwindle-In Time
Conscious Evolution

Western is the Sky
Run Little Sister
Pacification of a Nation
Consider When
Day in the Life
What they Say

Make Sure
Il a Fama
She's Goin' Down
Groove of the Vulture
Show Me