Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 10/1 – 10/14

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
It’s a Colorful Fall Music Season!
by Pam Baumgardner

Lee KochCongratulations to Plan B Wine Cellars as they celebrate their 2-year anniversary with good food, wine and of course live music! You can “Toast the train” while listening to Cuppa Joe; dancing shoes and lounge chairs are encouraged.

Speaking of local wineries and music, Squashed Grapes welcomes back The Doug Web Group with Danny Carey of TOOL on drums. This one is guaranteed to sell out once again; it’s highly recommended you get your tickets sooner than later.

Bombay Bar and Grill has a number of events to look out for this month. Ones to Watch Productions present the Lee Koch Band, Derek Jennings & Zeke Berkley on Friday, October 3. There will be a fundraiser to benefit Notes for Notes and the Boys and Girls Clubs of greater Ventura featuring a performance by Sgt. Pepper on Sunday, October 12, 4-7 pm. And if you are a fan of reggae, you won’t want to miss Junior Marvin & Nappy Ridden on Friday, October 10. Marvin joined Bob Marley & the Wailers in ’77 and over the past few decades has played with Soja and O.A.R. His latest collaboration with Nappy Ridden joins the two forces for Foundation to Creation supporting the creation of a new American reggae sound, steeped in funk, soul and rock.

One of my favorite annual fundraisers is Pier Under the Stars where local restaurants, breweries and wineries offer very nice samplings. The event is down next to the pier on Saturday, October 4 with music from Caliente. This one always sells out so get your tickets while they last at

I’m pleased as punch that Monday, September 29, Ventura’s City Council unanimously approved the pilot concert series license agreement with Fitzgerald-Hartley Company and Nederlander Concerts for 2015.  As Councilman Tracy put it, “The proof will be in the pudding”, which is true, but the potential is so exciting!

The Majestic Ventura Theater has been busy booking shows for October: Jimmy Eat World on 10/2; The Aquabats on 10/4; The Dirty Heads on 10/10; Belanova on 10/11; Joey Bada$$ on 10/16; Matisyahu on 10/21; Ab-Soul, Simply Ty & Geezus on 10/24 and Erasure on 10/26.

If you’re a fan of Buffalo Springfield, Poco and Loggins & Messina, you won’t want to miss out on a special performance called, “An Evening with Jim Messina with Rusty Young ‘Sittin’ In’” on Saturday, October 11 at Ojai’s Libbey Bowl. A former resident of Ojai, Messina will be back treating fans with their hit songs while fundraising for Community Memorial Health System construction projects in Ojai.

And finally, Ventura Rocks will be amongst the vendors 4-6 pm on Sunday, October 4, hoping to raise funds for Strides Against Cancer at Amigos. Local artists, Karen Eden and Joe Hamilton, will be donating their time and The Tossers will perform afterwards at 6 with British cover tunes.

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

Album Review: Mother of Dissension

Mother of Dissension
Review by Pam Baumgardner

Mother of DissensionI smile when I listen to this one for many reasons:

1.  My parents would hate this.
2.  My daughter would think I’m crazy.
3.  And though I’m not one to mosh, this one certainly helps to work out pent up frustrations.

There is no doubt about it, the genre is PUNK, so if you don’t like punk, you ain’t gonna like much about this, but if punk is your proverbial cup of tea, then this will fit you like a freakin’ glove.

Old friends from former cool bands getting together to have fun and work on new music, the guys click both live and recorded which is no easy feat.  Both Tony Cortez and Carl Valdez were original members of Ill Repute, Randy Miller comes from Mayors of Garratt & Global Warning and Michael Jones from Jackass.  All the guys have played in and out of several bands the past few decades and are solid members of Ventura’s music scene which pretty much guarantees an instant fan base.

The songs are fast, tight and reminiscent of early Clash or the Dickies.  I’m digging on Room to Improve, Downed and Mr. Mogul.  You can get your copy via Bandcamp or at any of their live shows.

Room to Improve

I Want Out

Randy Miller
Michael Jones
Carl Valdez
Tony Cortez

All songs recorded, engineered and mastered by Mike D. at Oak Street Studios, Ventura, CA.

Mother of Dissension Mother of Dissension Mother of Dissension

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 9/17 – 9/30

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
Suds, Music and Rockin’ History
by Pam Baumgardner

Calire's Hammand B3I seriously can’t remember a year with more music bursting at the seams than this past year, and we’re only about two thirds done! Coming events, and starting on the water, the Ventura Harbor is capitalizing on all this great weather by bringing back the popular Rock on the Dock series every Saturday in September. Still to come on the 20th is Smokey and Friends and the 27th The Hard Times Band.

The 2014 California Beer Festival is finally upon us. I’m looking forward to learning all about craft beer on Saturday the 20 while chillin’ to Petty Theft, Dr. M and Rey Fresco; and then on Sunday, the 21, it’s the Blues & BBQ Festival with Tab Benoit, Trampled Under Foot, Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds, Michael John & the Bottom Line as well as Jonathon Boogie Long. I’ll be out selling Ventura Rocks t-shirts on Sunday, so be sure to swing by and hang a spell.

A free family-friendly night of music featuring music from popular radio and Broadway will be held at the Ventura Theater on September 19 and 21 featuring Loanne Wullaert with vocal support from some of the county’s best vocalists including Aaron Orbit and Marcella Tambouris. Look for numbers from Les Miserables, A Star is Born, Frozen, Dreamgirls and more. In between the two nights being called “September Song” will be The White Buffalo on the 20th. See for times.

The good folks from Zoey’s have officially kicked off their new music venture in the form of Ones to Watch Productions. Steve and Polly Hoganson continue their support of up and coming artists as they produce local showcases. The next one will be Friday, October 3, at Bombay Bar and Grill with The Lee Koch Band, Derek Jennings and Zeke Berkley. For more information see

One of my favorite blues singers with some serious spunk is Kelly Zirbes who has this never ending contagious energy about her. She’s always there when a helping hand is needed and it’s always a treat to see Kelly along with her husband Perry Robertson and their band Kelly’s Lot perform. She’s sure to make you laugh, but more than that, the band will get you up off your tush jamming to their special brand of rockin’ blues. Kelly’s Lot CD release party for their latest CD, “Don’t Give My Blues Away” will be held on Friday, September 19, at Yolies with a $10 cover. If you’re not able to make it, you’ll want to add this one to your collection for sure. Visit to pick one up today.

And finally, just a quick little anecdote: While hanging out with Jimmy Calire the other night at Squashed Grapes, I knew the Hammond B3 organ he had brought in for the show that evening with Karl Hunter had some stories behind it, but none could be cooler than the one he share with me that evening where he would be jamming on it with his band, Raven at The Session in the Theater District in New York City and Jimi Hendrix would jump up on stage and join in the action. Seriously, how cool is that? This town has such an abundance of talent and history reinforcing what I’ve always said, Ventura Rocks!

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

Polly Interviews The White Buffalo

banner_001White BuffaloThe White Buffalo a.k.a. Jake Smith has had a very good year. A successful tour with Chuck Ragan and Jonny Two Bags, playing summer festivals and the ever increasing legion of fans due to successful song placements (TV show Sons of Anarchy) he was in a great mood. So, on a recent phone conversation with the upbeat, talented singer/songwriter he was multi- tasking as usual. Pounding away on his handmade leather WB coasters in this humor filled chat we discussed his music, his crazy loyal fan base, playing the big room (Majestic Ventura Theater) and his college baseball career.

Polly: Hey Jake, how’s it going? You’ve been busy.

Jake: Pretty busy, yeah, been a pretty cool summer…

Polly: Your last record came out in 2013 (Shadows, Greys and Evil Ways) and it actually charted on Billboard how did that make you feel to get more people to recognize your music?

Jake: I don’t know if that’s entirely true. I guess it did chart huh? Ha-ha, I don’t really keep track.

Polly:   Ha-ha, it was number 164.

Jake: Really? Well that’s pretty cool ha-ha. I don’t think it changed my life very much but, that’s cool. I mean it’s cool… to be 164th Ha-ha.

Polly: I’m a fan of your music and I see when stuff pops up on facebook and I’m so excited for you. Like Jimmy Kimmell! How cool was that?

Jake: Yeah, that’s super cool. It’s great to get these little things that do get some recognition. I think a lot of it kind of legitimizes what I do in some people’s eyes. For me, I feel like I’m kinda doing the same thing.

Polly: But on a broader platform which is so cool.

Jake: Yeah, it’s cool. I think it’s great that we’re reaching a few more people and that’s kind of the goal, to get it quicker rather than slower.

Polly: It took you about ten years to be an overnight success…

Jake: Hahaha, that’s great.

Polly: What do you think the key is? What did you do different last year and the year before? Just more records coming out?

Jake: I think so. I think it’s a matter of just building it and keep building up the fan base. I think the majority of it is touring and getting the occasional licensing… all the Sons of Anarchy stuff and all the other licenses I think help hugely. It’s great that people don’t stop at those songs. They go deeper into the catalog, not everybody does obviously, but some people do and you actually get fans out of that.

Polly: Sure.

Jake: So it’s just a matter of staying at it and not doing anything stupid ha-ha.

Polly: Ha-ha.

Jake: I don’t know it’s just staying true and writing and trying to write good songs and playing hard and performing with passion.

Polly: Right, definitely, because you know when your first EP came out, gosh that was like 8 or 9 years ago and it didn’t seem like there was anything out for 4 or 5 years after and then all of sudden boom we get EP’s and records almost every year. I think a key to your success has been doing something new and fresh every year.

Jake: Yeah, and we’re going to start recording again shortly.

Polly: Wow.

Jake: Yeah, I always had a bunch of songs I just didn’t have the means to record stuff. You know what I mean? And it wasn’t necessarily a lack of material it was a lack of focus, ha-ha…

Polly: And resources.

Jake: Yeah, resources and funds. My first couple of records I made from nothing you know, it was friends who helped, but I don’t think those records are worse or better or anything less than the current albums. It was a different schedule we had to work with and it was a different time but you know?

Polly: And on a shoe string.

White Buffalo

Jake: Yeah, but in a way it makes you dig a little deeper.

Polly: It keeps you humble.

Jake: Yeah, as far as being on a different label that’s probably been the biggest luxury and you know, there’s still not any of them telling me what to do. Like I’ll tell say, I’m going to make a concept album of this fucking crazy story, and they’re like alright, let’s do it. Ha-ha.

Polly: That’s nice. So who influences you these days? Is there somebody out there new or old that kind of grabs you these days?

Jake: Umm, musically? I don’t know. Not really.

Polly: OK, that’s fair.

Jake: I don’t know. I don’t think inspire is the right word. A lot of times people ask who inspires you, and rarely… because I try not to be derivative of or inspired by… but as far as people I like… I like the last Jason Isbell record called Southeastern. I thought that was fucking pretty great. Super emotional and I just got part of that new (Jeff) Tweedy album pretty cool so far. You know there are lots of great people that I like. I really like Dr. Dogg… I like Deer Tick.

Polly: What’s been your favorite show experience so far?

Jake: My favorite show experience?

Polly:  Was it Kimmell? Was it when you went out with Jonny Two Bags and Chuck (Ragan)?

Jake: That was cool. I don’t know if I have one thing. I mean there are places I like to play, cities I like to visit. I think people you know, are pretty spirited and we always seem to have good people come out to our shows.

Polly: Yeah you do.

Jake: I don’t know why. I guess we’re just lucky in that respect that we have pretty nice fans that are respectful of other people. Other than those couple of fights at Zoey’s ha-ha!

Polly: Ha-ha holy cow! I was hoping you weren’t going to bring that up.

Jake: Ha-ha. Right? I mean have you had many fights at solo acoustic shows?

Polly: Geez no! And it was during one of your freaking ballads that they started pounding each other. It was because one guy was really getting into it and he couldn’t hear and the other guy’s – well F you and fists started flying and I thought, well thank God you kept playing.

Jake: People are serious about it! I got it going on…

Polly:  Yup they love you.

Jake: Ha-ha. You know I probably had my eyes closed.

Polly: Yeah, there you go. Ha-ha. Has there, ever been, other than the fight at Zoey’s, a bad experience? Like you pulled up to some place and it was totally not what you thought?

Jake: Yeah, but I’ve been doing this for a long time. There have been times we’ll go to some place and nobody would be there. Now it’s a little different. Now we can go to a place where we’ve never played before and people will be there! We went to Des Moines and there wasn’t a whole lot of people but there was maybe 150 which five years ago it wouldn’t have been like that.

Polly: Well, that’s cool.

Jake: I’ve had some funny experiences and heckling and all kinds of stuff.

Polly: How dare they heckle you!

Jake: Right? It happens though people get drunk…

Polly: He must’ve been drunk ha-ha.

Jake: He was drunk Ha-ha. He was drunk as shit Ha-ha!

Polly: Ha-ha! So you’re writing. You’ve got that old-west sensibility in your music and your songs could be like the sound track to a Deadwood film…

Jake: Hmm…

Polly: Are you a fan of westerns? Is that a lifestyle that kind of intrigues you or that’s just where the music takes you?

Jake: Yeah, I mean, some of my songs have that kind of western feel and some are entirely different. I always just let the song dictate whatever it does. I don’t ever set out to- now I’m going to write a country song here. Or okay that song feels more folk or that one feels more bluesy you know? So the songs go where they may and I just let them. Just let it happen.

Polly: So tell us something we don’t know about you. This is the boxers or briefs question.

Jake: Boxers or briefs…

Polly: Ha-ha.

Jake: Boxers or briefs…um I don’t know. I’m fairly athletic I had a baseball scholarship…

Polly: Oh Really?

Jake: I got a full ride in college. Played Division 1 baseball. I still enjoy playing golf and tennis.

Polly: Oh that’s cool. Where did you go to school?

Jake: It’s St. Mary’s college in Moraga, in the East bay. Same league as Pepperdine and Santa Clara.

Polly: Sure, wow.

Jake: That’s a little known fact. There you go.

Polly: That’s a cool fact.

Jake: Sure.

Polly: Is there a card or something with your picture on it?

Jake: Oh you want some proof of it? No, there’s no proof anywhere. Ha-ha.

Polly: Ha-ha you burned the pictures right?

Jake: Ha-ha, that’s good. I’m sure my mom has something but I don’t know.

Polly: Oh I would love to see that. You know you should do a throwback Thursday with you in your uniform.

Jake: That’s pretty clever. Alright, I‘ll consider that Polly. And I’ll give you a shout out if that happens.

Polly: Oh that would be awesome. People are amazed that we are friends, like my brother, now thinks I’m cool.

Jake: Ha-ha. Nice, that’s funny.

Polly: What advice, and this is your generic interviewers question, would you give to somebody that’s looking to be in the music business other than find a second job or make sure you graduate from school?

Jake: Um, I think that’s important but at the same time I think the biggest thing is to play as much as you can. Play live as much as you can. At least that gives you a fighting chance. To really hone your craft, to really write good songs that mean something to you and feel it. I think that’s the only way to approach it and to just stay at it, you know? I think a lot of it is trying to write songs that touch people, at least for me, and try to write something that moves somebody in any way. Whether it be something nostalgic or happiness, love, fear, heartbreak or you know there’s so many things. And don’t limit yourself. And if you do something that’s pure I think in the end other people will relate to that.

Polly: That’s so true.

Jake: And I think you have to kind of be talented to start with ha-ha.

Polly: Ha-ha.

Jake: Not that I’m saying I am particularly, but that probably helps ha-ha. Yeah, for me it’s fucking keep it honest, keep it real. You know there’s so much bullshit out there these days that people do. And don’t do something totally stupid. Ha-ha.

Polly: Like every other YouTube pop song that comes out.

Jake: Yeah…

Polly: Is there anyone that you’d like to collaborate with or go on tour with. Like if you had your wish right now, would it be like go on tour with Jason Isbell or… ?

Jake: Well for me I am a songwriter but I do have a family and I’m a businessman as well, so I have to… when I look at tours there’s got to be some way that I can capitalize. I’ve never had that career changing tour where I get to open for fucking Neil Young or somebody like that.

Polly: But would you want to?

White BuffaloJake: Tom Petty or Neil Young and play in front of fucking 10,000 people a night that are going to get it, would be the ultimate kind of thing. For me that’s the kind of tour that I would love. There are bands that I love but I think there’s a balance to those things. To check your finances, seeing if you can do it and seeing if at the end if it makes sense. In order to break into other markets and stuff like that, summertime especially, you just have to bite the bullet and you have to say okay I’ve never been to this place so I better support somebody and get there to these places. So I’m not starting out and I’m not playing in you know, Nashville, for 3 people. That you’re getting in front of somebody else’s crowd and hopefully converting some of those people to your Church and hope they come out the next time. The headlining tour with Chuck (Ragan) was cool. And I thought musically and our approach to songwriting and performing were similar. We just kept on getting after it, on and off stage every night giving our all. You know. I think I might have gone off topic…

Polly: No, I like it when you riff. How is the family?

Jake: Rilo and Tanner, the wife. Everyone’s good. Rilo is in 2nd grade. Crazy…

Polly: What?!

Jake: I know, yeah, he’s so big. Doesn’t want to hold my hand in the street anymore. Ha-ha, but he’s still a sweetheart. Yeah, it’s good. Everything’s good.

Polly: Is Tanner still into his music? Is he going to carry on the family business you think?

Jake: Ha, I don’t know I hope so. I heard him playing guitar today. Not sure if he’s going to be in Ventura but he’s sat in with me every once in awhile. I think I’ve got this other guy out which it should be fun.

Polly: Nice. So speaking of Ventura you’re doing the big show. They’ve called you up from the minors and you’re playing in the big leagues now, the Ventura theater.

Jake: Yeah, right? Well they shut down the best place in town (Zoey’s).

Polly: Ha-ha that’s nice of you to say.

Jake: Yeah, I think this is going to be a good jump. You know, but what else do you do? It’s like we play in Santa Barbara all the time. There’s really not that many great mid size venues. Soho is what it is, there’s the Lobero Theater in Santa Barbara. It’s all seated but it kind of doesn’t totally vibe with our drunken crowds. Ha-ha. But, Yeah, I’m excited. I’m little nervous. Hoping we make it feel good and fill the room up.

Polly: Well we want to get your fans out. It’s been awhile since you’ve played Ventura so that’s what we’re aiming for.

Jake: I hope so.

Polly: Have you thought about where you want to be in 5 years or is that too far into the future. You have goals?

Jake: In 5 years?

Polly: Or in 2015 you’ve got this album coming out…

Jake: Yeah, I’m always looking closer into the future than that. But I keep my expectations small so that hopefully next year is better than the year before. Partially it’s the nature of how I’ve built my business and how I’ve built the fan base. It’s just slowly and surely I just keep churning out songs and keep playing and performing. And you know it just keeps getting a little bigger and a little bigger and it seems like more people come every time. That’s just how it’s been which has been good.

Polly: As it should be.

Jake: Yup. I’ve been lucky.

The White Buffalo, at The Majestic Ventura Theater Saturday Sept 20th 7pm doors/8pm all ages show. Tickets

Ventura Music Photos: September 2014

Squashed Grapes – September 30, 2014
Andy Waddell Quintet – Andy Waddell – Guitar; Katisse Buckingham – Sax/Flute; Aaron McClendon – Drums; Josh Nelson – Piano; Hamilton Price – Bass.
Andy Waddell Quintet

Amigos – September 28, 2014
Jen Staves and the Bluzfish
Jen Staves and the Bluzfish Jen Staves and the Bluzfish

Squashed Grapes – September 25, 2014
Jazz Hates Johnny – Karl Hunter, Rufus Philpott, Andy Langham, Aaron McClendon
Hunter, McClendon

The Wine Rack – September 24, 2014
Camille Bloom (from Seattle)
Camille Bloom

Cafe Fiore – September 24, 2014
Coso Live
Coso FranklinCoso Live

Discovery – September 24, 2014
The Paul McCallum Band – (San Diego)
Paul Cannon Band

Milano’s Italian Restaurant – September 23, 2014
Bluegrass Jam
Bluegrass Jam

Yolie’s – September 19, 2014
Kelly’s Lot CD Release Party
Thanks to all photographers.  Photos are watermarked.

Squashed Grapes – September 17, 2014
Adam Hawley with Trio B.A.D.
Adam Hawley

Bombay Bar and Grill – September 18, 2014
Carousels and Limousines (from UK)
Carousels and LimousinesBombay Bar and Grill – September 18, 2014
Anchor and Bear
Anchor and Bear

Ventura Beach Party – September 7, 2014
Ray Jaurique & the Uptown Brothers
Ray Jaurique & the Uptown Brothers

Billy O’s – September 2, 2014
The NaVaNaX