Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 4/29 – 5/12

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
When’s the Downbeat?
by Pam Baumgardner


Ozomatli to play Ventura College Stadium May 3.

Congratulations to 16-year-old drummer, Alex Smith, winner of the Ventura Music Festival’s 2015 Student Jazz Competition; Smith earned the privilege of performing with Ozomatli when they perform at the Ventura College Stadium on Sunday, May 3.  The Ventura Music Festival officially kicks off Friday, May 1, with a free concert at 6 pm at the mini-park at the corner of Santa Clara and California featuring the Festival Brass Quintet.   The complete listing for events held throughout the City can be found at the VMF’s official website (

Cinco de Mayo always brings out revelers but there should be an extra added abundance of Latin pop lovers downtown attending the Kinky concert at the Ventura Theater.  The band out of Monterrey, Mexico, has been on an aggressive tour in support of their MTV Unplugged Album and DVD which was released a couple of months ago.  Kinky just headlined a festival at SxSW and they’ve been featured on numerous soundtracks and TV commercials.

I caught up with Ryan Cabrera before his show at Discovery, kicking back on his tour bus with vaporizer a blazing to help preserve his overworked vocal chords (he had to cancel his Souix Falls date). Cabrera’s new EP, “Wake Up Beautiful” features the single “House onFire” which has been receiving radio airplay and is catchy as all get out.  We talked about the virtue of buying a whole album as oppose to just buying one of the singles. “When I write an album, I don’t write three singles and then a bunch of ‘fillers,’” he explained. “Every single song to me is really important.  I spent as much time on the deeper cuts as I did on ‘House on Fire.’”  If you missed the show, you can pick up his EP via iTunes or Amazon.  By the way, Aaron Carter’s show has been rescheduled for June 19.

Adam and Josh over at Squashed Grapes gave me the lowdown on shows to watch for in May, so if you know your drummers, then you won’t want to miss Bernie Dresel when he performs with the Jerry Vivino Quartet (Vivino from the Conan O’Brien show) on Saturday, May16. How cool would that be if they performed “Whiplash” or “Caravan?”  And while we’re on the subject of drummers, Danny Carey of TOOL returns with Doug Webb on Saturday, May 30. The downbeat is always scheduled for 7 pm with live jazz music at the Grape 7 – 10 pm Wednesday through Saturday with Jazz Jams on alternate Tuesdays.

And finally if you’re into burgers, beers and music, then you won’t want to miss this year’s Hamburger and Hops Music Festival May 2 at the Collection in Oxnard.  The Main Stage will feature music from The Bomb, The Midnight Band, Upstream and Road Brothers; however, the VIP Lounge will have a special appearance by the band Kalyde.

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

What Happened on Facebook??

fb_icon_325x325At the end of March this year, we chose to migrate to a “Business” page as oppose to continue as a “Friend” page on Facebook for a couple reasons.

#1 It’s against the rules to have a business be listed as a “Friend” page. We knew our days could be numbered and we could get taken down, so we bit the bullet and converted our “Friends” to “Likes”.  To be a “Friend” page, you have to be listed as a person.

#2 The cap on “Friends” is 5,000. There is no cap on “Likes.” We had been keeping Friends at 4,999 so people could request to be friends (otherwise you’d get a notice saying we no longer accept friends). When people shut down their page, un-friended us, we un-friended them, or they got blacked-balled, we would add people who were in the queue. We had dozens in the queue at any given time. They’re all Likes now.

Unfortunately, Facebook only shows our posts to a very small minority of people who have Liked us. To increase your chances of having us show up in your news feed, hunt us down, make sure you had Liked us, then continue to click on posts, Like them and comment on them. This is our new page:

I know this works, because I was not receiving VenturaRocks Facebook posts on my personal Facebook page News Feed.  Drove me crazy!  I knew I was posting events, but I wasn’t seeing them on my personal page.  Then one day I personally went to from my personal page, and Liked a couple of posts and even wrote a comment and shared a few.  Lo and behold, they now show up more consistently!

So when you see I’ve Liked something, it is for this reason alone:  to ensure I get the posts on my News Feed!

I can reach more people if I pay for it, but that ain’t gonna happen anytime soon.  I might collaborate with venues or artists on doing that in the future though.

I hope this explains things and why our postings may have disappeared from your News Feed.


Of course if you’re not on Facebook, nevermind!

Ventura Music Photos: April 2015

Green Art People – April 29
50 Sticks of Dynamite
50 Sticks

Megasound Studios – April 28

Discovery – April 22
Ryan Cabrera
Ryan Cabrera

Bombay Bar and Grill – April 19
Echo (Photo credit: Kurt Sodergren)

Amigos – April 19
The Kenny Walters Band (Photo credit:  Shelly Gfeller Walter)
Kenny Walters Band

Bombay Bar and Grill – April 18, 2015
Shaky Feelin’
Shaky Feelin'

Grapes and Hops – April 18, 2015
Global Guitar Greats (Shawn Jones, Thomas Leeb, Stephen Inglis)
Global Guitar Greats

The Wine Rack – April 18, 2015
The Swilly’s (Steve and Sally Williams)
The Swillys

Champagne on Main – April 18, 2015
Zeal Levin (Los Angeles)
Zeal Levin

Plan B Winery – April 12, 2015
Jen Staves and the Bluzfish
Jen Staves

Discovery – April 11, 2015
Hope and Justin
Hope and Justin

Squashed Grapes – April 11, 2015
Tizer (Raul Pineda – drums; Ric Fierabracci – bass; Lao Tizer – keyboards/piano)


Bombay Bar and Grill – April 9, 2015
Spivey Spi
Spivey Spi

Amigos – April 5, 2015
Jonathan McEuen and the New Opry
Jonathan McEuen

Squashed Grapes – April 4, 2015
The Pulse Daddies (Hans Ottsen, Karl Hunter, Trey O’Toole, Dirk Shumaker)
The Pulse Daddies

Amigos – April 4, 2015
Jacle Bow (Belgium)
Jacle Bow

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 4/15 – 4/28

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
Toast the Train!
by Pam Baumgardner

150415_JenStavesWe had a blast at the Second Sunday Supper at Plan B Wine Cellars feathering the amazing Jen Staves and the Bluzfish.  Plan B is also hosting the Afternoon Blues Series now through September with Blues lined up on the first Saturday of the month.  The next soiree will be on May 2nd with the Shari Puroto Band.  Bring your chair and toast the train!

You’ll find music both days downtown on Main Street the weekend of the 18th and 19th.   On Saturday, it’s Champagne on Main, the Spring Wine Walk and Street Fair with music from Zeal Levin, Road Brothers, Kalyde and Ross Harper, then on Sunday Paint Ventura with live music from Paulina Logan and The Star Bandits.  And then continuing with the outdoor theme, head down to the Promenade for EcoFest on Saturday, April 25, for live performances from Spencer the Gardener, Dan Grimm, Heather Locke, Trans Van Santos, Afishnsea The Moon, Soul Tree and more.

Surf Rodeo has been rolling out weekly announcements for their music line up (a shrewd maneuver I might add), so far to date they’ll have the Rainbow Girls, Bob Long III, The NaVaNaX, Brothers Fortune, the Iron Outlaws and Raging Arb and the Redheads (who didn’t see that one coming a mile away?).

Darkside of the Hand will be there the following night along with Dead of Night, Die Evil Die and Shady Ladies.

The Mighty Cash Cats will hold their CD release party on Sunday, April 26, at Amigos.  The CD will be available featuring a blend of Country, Rock ‘n’ Roll and Blues, along with the title cut, an original duet “The Ballad of Johnny and June.”

Shawn Jones will be joined by Stephen Inglis at Grapes and Hops on Saturday, April 18.  Confidence is high they’ll have copies of their new CD, Global Guitar Greats, “Common Ground,” available.

Be sure to put this one on your calendar, Ozomatli at Ventura College Athletic Field, Sunday, May 3.  You can get tickets for all Ventura Music Festival events at  (Ill Repute cancelled gig at Garage).

And finally we’re sorry to report the passing of a friend to so many local musicians, Doug Sax.  Sax was a mastering engineer, direct-to-disc pioneer, co-founder of Sheffield Labs, founder of The Mastering Lab; he would have been 79 on April 26.

If you’re missing us on Facebook, we had to convert to a business page.  So if you want to see our listings, you should not only Like our page, but you’ll have to continue to Like posts, and write comments to have them show up on your news feed on a regular basis.  I know!  What a pain!!

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

Ventura Music Photos: March 2015

Discovery – March 28
Hollywood U2
Hollywood U2 Hollywood U2

The Garage – March 28

Bombay Bar and Grill – March 28
Brothers Fortune
Brothers Fortune

The Garage – March 26, 2015
The Miseries (Amsterdam)
The Miseries

Bombay Bar and Grill – March 21, 2015
Doug C and the Blacklisted (Doug Carrion of The Descendents)
Doug C and the Blacklisted

Grapes and Hops – March 21, 2015
Ebony Blaze
Ebony Blaze

Saloon BBQ – March 21, 2015
Frankie Boots and the County Line
Frankie Boots and the County Line

El Rey Cantina – March 21, 2015
Sick Boy
Sick Boy

W20 at The Watermark (St Patrick’s Day Party) – March 17, 2015
Rey Fresco
Rey Fresco

Amigos – March 11, 2015
Dixie Jade (Nashville, TN)
Dixie Jade