Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze – 5/28 – 6/10

Keb Mo

Ventura Breeze logoVentura Music Scene
So Very Ventura!
by Pam Baumgardner

It was incredible hearing Keb Mo up close and personal as he dropped in for a four-song set at Salzer’s Records on May 13.  He hung around before and after signing memorabilia and CDs and chatting with fans for quite some time.  One of my old school rock heroes, Vinny Appice, held a drum clinic for Pulse Drumming on Saturday, May 17; I swung by for the meet and greet but hung out for awhile as he started the clinic and Q&A.  The best answer of the day was when he was asked by the mother of a drum student if it would be good for a beginning student to learn genres other than rock or metal, to which Appice replied, “There is no other genre.”  It was loud to be sure, but oh so incredibly good!  And of course, we had to catch Eric Burdon at the Libby Bowl in Ojai.  Yes, he hadn’t been touring so much, and yes it was his 73rd birthday, but the man still has it!  What a great night with such a rock and roll icon!

Ventura Music Week runs June 6th through the 15th with a special Kick-Off Party on Thursday, June 5 in Figueroa Plaza at the Knights of Columbus Hall, featuring local favorites Rey Fresco, Ragging Arb and the Redheads along with guest performances by many of the area’s top talent.  It’s free and open to the public beginning at 7:00 pm.  The next day begins ten days packed full of events including drum clinics at Pulse Drumming; an open house at Parsons Guitars; a June 9 screening of the Academy Award winning documentary, “20 Feet From Stardom” at the Century 10 Downtown theater; a tribute to those who capture music on film and video with a Visual Music event June 10 at Ventura City Hall; a wine and beer tasting fundraiser in the gardens at the historic Mission San Buenaventura; plus the Global Guitar Greats tour stops at the W Gallery on June7.   Of course the big culminating event will be the Roadshow Revival: a Tribute to the Music of Johnny Cash on Saturday, June 14 with headliners Los Lobos.

And finally, we found yet another opportunity to help our local music scene here in Ventura with a Local Music Listening Station at the brand new store called Very Ventura at 79 California Street.  Michael Mendelson and Angela Rosales recently opened their doors offering local artists and vendors a place to showcase and sell their art, t-shirts, jewelry, knick knacks and now music!  Currently you can listen then buy CD’s from Dirty Rice, Shaky Feelin’, Charles Law and Jagged, Donna Deussen and Paul Weitz Trio, 50 Sticks of Dynamite, The Rubberneck Lions, and the brand new one from Bloody Mary Morning.

Do you have any music related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Send all information short or long to

Album Review: Donna Deussen & The Paul Weitz Trio

On the Street Where You Live
by Pam Baumgardner

Paul WeitzI was given a copy of Donna Deussen & the Paul Weitz Trio’s new CD by our good friends at Squashed Grapes where one of the band’s CD release parties was scheduled. I popped in the CD and “California Dreamin'” came on. The first thing that caught my attention was Donna’s amazing voice; it’s smooth as silk and sexy as hell.

I’ve spent a lot of time with this one cruising around and while working on the computer and though I have no chance at hitting those notes, I find myself singing, trying to imitate Deussen in the privacy of my own home (or with the windows rolled up); well there’s always my next lifetime.

The musicianship is top notch and Weitz’s guitar work is fluid, skilled and unpretentious as the band compliments each other so very well.  Bringing into the mix some horn work from Nudell and Wayne was brilliant as well.  So very well produced.

That bass line on “Do Wrong Shoes” and the smooth jazz guitar coupled with extraordinary vocals is completely seductive. I’m also loving the Joni Mitchell classic, “Both Sides Now,” “The Very Thought of You,” but if I were pressed for a favorite, I’d have to go with the mash up of “Black Coffee” / “A Night in Tunsia.”  The pace is picked up slightly and intensely as the sax work closes the deal for me.

I always know new music strikes a chord with me when I can envision listening to it on a hot summer day cruising the coastline in a convertible as I do with this one; but I can also envision orchestrating the perfect intimate candlelight dinner for two with this as the backdrop. “On the Street Where You Live” from Donna Deussen & the Paul Weitz Trio will fit in quite nicely to your music collection.

Photos from Squashed Grapes show on Saturday, May 17, 2014:

Jazz Pop

“California Dreamin'” (Michele Gillam, John Phillips)
“Do Wrong Shoes” (Donald Fagen, Hirth Martinez)
“On the Street Where You Live” (Alan Jay Lerner, Frederick Loewe)
“Both Sides Now” (Joni Mitchell)
“Black Coffee” / “A Night In Tunisia” (J. Francis Burke and Paul Francis Webster / John Gillespie and Frank Paparelli)
“Fly Me to the Moon” (Bart Howard)
“The Very Thought of You” (Ray Noble)
“Sister Sadie” (Horace Silver)
“If I Only Had a Brain” (Harold Arlen, E.Y. Harburg)
“Waltz for Debby” (Gene Lees, Bill Evans)

Donna Deussen, vocals
Paul Weitz, guitar
Matt Vanbenschoten, bass
Gus Duffy, drums
various tracks:
Geoff Nudell, clarinet and flute
Wayne Wayne

On the Street Where You Live was produced by Paul Weitz & Donna Deussen recorded at DBW Studio, Woodland Hills, CA.

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze – 5/14 – 5/27


Ventura Breeze logoVentura Music Scene
Ventura Rocks!
by Pam Baumgardner

W20 at the top of The Watermark played host Thursday, May 8, for a special invite only Rixton concert.  About 30 lucky 105.5 radio contest winners attended the intimate noon time show.  The British pop rock R&B band have been getting traction with their first single, “Me and My Broken Heart.”  You may have caught them performing it in the past month on both the Voice and the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

How cool is it that Nathan McEuen can be found playing at Amigos for Happy Hour on Tuesdays; and how cool is it that his Nitty Gritty Dirt Band dad, John McEuen, stopped by to sit in for a few songs on Tuesday, May 6?   VERY COOL.

The headliner for the Roadshow Revival:  a Tribute to the Music of Johnny Cash will be Grammy Award Winners, Los Lobos.  Other acts on the bill for the all day festival June 14 at the Fairgrounds will be The Paladins, Dale Watson, James Intveld, and much more.  See

It’s out with the old and in with the new as The Chaotic Knights retire their name as they welcome their new lead singer, David Cunningham on board. They’re renaming the band Whiskey Stone.

By the way, Martha Davis of the Motels never sounded better when she headlined the Ventura Beach Festival May 3; the Surfaris kicked some serious butt as well.

Hi-Hat Entertainment welcomes Kim Wilson (Fabulous Thunderbirds) to Yolie’s on Friday, May 16; Reverend Horton Heat will be at the Majestic Ventura Theater on May 23, the Green on the 26th and Against Me! on the 27th.  And not only is the restaurant back, but the Hong Kong Inn is offering late night music on most weekends again.

Discovery has been ramping up getting ready to offer music on a more consistent basis.  Look for Wailing Souls and Prezident Brown on May 23, and Hollywood U2 (tribute band) on May 25.  Ticket information can be found on their website   They’re also looking for local bands to showcase throughout the summer, just so you know.

Special guest, Doug Webb, will join Tico Trio later this month at Squashed Grapes on Saturday, May 31.  Webb has been featured on over 500 recordings for hundreds of artists including Quincy Jones, Freddie Hubbard, and Stanley Clarke; he also has recorded for hundreds of movies and television shows including The Family Guy orchestra.

And finally, work continues for Ventura Music Week; mark it on your calendar now for June 6 – June 15th with the official kickoff party on Thursday, June 5; details coming soon.

Do you have any music related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing?  Send all information short or long to

Do You Contribute to the Motion?

Rubberneck Lions at The Tavern
Let’s make sure we all understand what it means to contribute to the motion.
First we will define what we mean by contribute. We’ll use the Random House Dictionary definition.

#1. CONTRIBUTE: verb (used with object), con•trib•ut•ed, con•trib•ut•ing.1. To give (money, time, knowledge, assistance, etc.) to a common supply, fund, etc., as for charitable purposes.

And then let’s define what we mean by motion. Merriam-Webster has a great definition.
#1. MOTION: noun 1. an active or functioning state or condition. (set the divorce proceedings in motion)

So now let’s be specific about what kind of motion. With, we focus on Ventura’s music scene; so the motion would be any activity having to do with this subject’s state of existence (our music scene).

1. Create music
2. Play music for others to hear
3. Record music
4. Collaborate with other artists on projects
5. Go out on tour
6. Create videos
7. Promote music

1. Create an environment for people to enjoy music
2. Create music related events
3. Participate in music related events (Ventura Music Week, Fundraisers, etc…)
4. Promote music in their venues (social media, print advertising, radio, etc…)

THE MUSIC APPRECIATOR (or hereafter known as a fan)
1. Goes to venue to hear music
2. Pays entry fee for venue (cover charge or prepaid concert tickets)
3. Buys beverage/food at venue to support their efforts
4. Buys merchandise from artists (CDs, t-shirts, etc…)
5. Tells others about music event
6. Brings others to music events
7. Take photos and share them (websites, social media)
8. Come up with a bright idea to help the music scene like creating a website called

That’s how got started. I know we’re contributing to the motion, but we want you to know that you are too. Can you help more? Do we want a better scene? Every single time someone goes to a venue, or buys a CD, or shares a photo, this all contributes to the motion and keeps our music scene alive. And while we’re at it, every time you LIKE a photo having to do with music on Facebook, or you share it, or comment, that too contributes to the motion. You are furthering the motion. You are doing something to help!

With our talented artists who continue to create new music, and our many venues who appreciate live music and us audience members supporting it, collectively we contribute to the motion and together we make Ventura Rock.

Good Job!

Ventura Rocks

Ventura Music Photos: May 2014

Music in Ventura
Amigos – May 25, 2014
Cougar Estrada – The Lounge Trio
The Lounge Trio

Squashed Grapes – May 24, 2014
Tom Buckner & the Ventura Connection w/ special guest Theo Saunders
Tom Buckner and the Ventura Connection

Squashed Grapes – May 24, 2014

Discovery Ventura – May 23, 2014
Wailing Souls
Wailing Souls

Squashed Grapes – May 21, 2014
Skip Spiro’s Little BIG Band

Cafe Fiore – May 21, 2014
Big Adventure

Private Home – May 19, 2014

Squashed Grapes – May 17, 2014
Donna Deussen & the Paul Weitz Trio
Donna Deussen & Paul Weitz Trio

Pulse Drumming Drum Clinic – May 17, 2014
Vinny Appice
Vinny Appice

Yolie’s – May 16, 2014
Kim Wilson
Kim Wilson

Gone West Cellars – May 16, 2014
National Cat
National Cat

W20 at the Watermark – May 15, 2014
Ventura Social Club
Ventura Social Club

Surf Brewery – May 13, 2014
Swing Cheese
Swing Cheese

Salzer’s Records – May 13, 2014
Keb Mo
Keb Mo

Squashed Grapes – May 10, 2014
Ventura Jazz Collective:  Pablo Plasencia, Trey O’Toole, Patrick Martin, Bill Bannister
Ventura Jazz Collective

Golden China – May 9, 2014
Angie’s Curse
Angie's Curse

Bombay Bar and Grill – May 9, 2014

Bombay Bar and Grill – May 9, 2014
Taylor Rae
Taylor Rae

Green Art People – May 6, 2014
Jonathan and Nathan McEuen
Jonathan and Nathan McEuen

Amigo’s Surf Cantina – May 5, 2014
Los Dudes
Los Dudes

Ventura Beach Festival – May 3, 2014
Martha Davis and The Motels
Martha Davis and the Motels

Ventura Beach Festival – May 3, 2014
The Surfaris
The Surfaris

Ventura Beach Festival – May 3, 2014
Rey Fresco
Rey FrescoRey Fresco

Ventura Beach Festival – May 3, 2014
Spencer the Gardener
Spencer the Gardener

Ventura Beach Festival – May 3, 2014
Dirty Rice
Dirty Rice

Squashed Grapes – May 1, 2014
Emmy Award Winner Chieli Minucci and Special EFX
Chieli Minucci and Special EFX