ZoSo – The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience

ZosoZoso will be rolling through town playing a date Saturday, June 6, at the Majestic Ventura Theater. While there may be a number of Zep tribute bands around, there’s no denying these guys take their craft seriously performing since 1995 traveling not only nationally, but internationally perfecting the essence that is the mighty Led Zepplin; that’s over nineteen years and 2500 shows.

 The Chicago Sun-Times declared ZoSo:
“The closest to the original of any tribute.”

We caught up with Matt Jernigan, founder and lead singer of ZoSo:

Ventura Rocks:  How long has ZoSo been performing?
Matt Jernigan:  We’ve been performing for 20 years this year–longer than Led Zeppelin was actually together.

VR:  What kind of venues have you rocked?
Matt:  We’ve been fortunate to play some amazing places throughout the US and internationally. It’s tough to pick a favorite, but some of the beautiful classic theater venues, of which Ventura Theater is one, are our favorites. Our shows in Japan left a big impression on us because the fans there were so enthusiastic and excited, packing out a huge venue over there. We’re fortunate to play the places that we do.

VR:  What’s the response been like?
Matt:  The response from both fans and critics has been good. We have spent these last 20 years studying every nuance of Led Zeppelin’s live shows, what little footage that there is, to continuously refine and hone our live performances. People often remark about how talented all four of us are at what we do, which is a testament to the work and care we put into ZoSo.

The St. Petersburg Times called ZoSo:
“The most exacting of the Zeppelin tribute bands in existence.”

VR:  There are so many songs to chose from.  How hard is it to whittle down a set list?
Matt:  Our first few times playing a market we play a lot of their longtime favorites, many of which are staples in our set-list. After coming to a market a few times, we will usually go a little bit deeper into their catalog. When we play multiple nights at one spot we’ll play songs from specific albums each night so fans get two or three nights without any repeat songs.

VR:  Which songs typically get the best response?
Matt:  In no particular order:
-Stairway to Heaven
-Dazed and Confused
-Whole Lotta Love
-Ramble On
-No Quarter

VR:  Got dinner plans for that Saturday?  
Matt:  Nope, if you’re buying we happen to be free 😉
Thank you for the interview!

Tickets are still available at the Majestic Ventura Theater:



Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 5/27 – 6/9

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
Geared Up for Summer!
by Pam Baumgardner

Vivino Quartet

May 16, 2015: Jerry Vivino Quartet at Squashed Grapes with Bernie Dresel on drums, John Leftwich on bass, Jerry Vivino on sax and Mitch Forman on piano.

With the end of the school year, summer vacations planned and the outdoor music season quickly approaching, there is much to cover on Ventura’s music scene. Let’s start with the Pierpont Inn’s 2015 Summer BBQ and Concert Series which kicks off on Thursday, June 4, featuring Fish Fry and the Vonettes. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean with a BBQ dinner that can’t be beat, the series will run the first and third Thursday of the month from 5-9 pm. No admission either!

Squashed Grapes had yet another hot night of jazz recently when Jerry Vivino (Conan O’Brien orchestra leader) came to town and brought with him monster players including Bernie Dresel whose work on the movie Whiplash is becoming more known. It’s so very cool, to be so close and intimate with such amazing jazz players. Don’t forget Doug Webb returns with Danny Carey of Tool on Saturday May 30.

Jackie Greene plays Discovery on Friday, May 29. Jackie is out promoting his first studio album in five years with “Back to Birth.” The album was recorded in Portland and produced by Los Lobos member, Steve Berlin. “Musically, this record is kind of a return to the simplicity that I started with, although I feel like I have a much better idea of what I’m doing now,” Greene observes. “I think the lyrics are the part that’s really evolved.” Tickets are on sale at www.DiscoveryVentura.com.

Tickets for the third annual Nardfest have gone on sale for the two-day event at the Ventura Theater August 29 and 30 with all the usual suspects including Ill Repute, Dr. Know, Stalag 13 and dozens of local punk favorite bands.

The final concert of the Ventura County Concert Band’s 51st season will be held at the Ventura High School auditorium on Sunday, June 7. Doors open at 2:30, it’s free to the public and the final program, “As Summer Was Just Beginning” will be full of cool musical favorites including marches and musicals along with big band and hot popular hits.

And finally, on any given day of the week, you’ll find amazing live music downtown Ventura and all within 4-5 blocks, yes people, that’s walking distance for most. It’s not easy running a business and then on top of that booking bands and ensuring quality entertainment for patrons. But kudos go out to Amigos, Bombay’s, W20 at the Watermark, Sans Souci, Café Fiore, Grapes and Hops, The Wine Rack, Saloon BBQ, The Tavern, Peirano’s, The Star Lounge, Hong Kong Inn as well as El Rey, Rookies, Dargan’s, Padrino’s, the Sandbox Coffeehouse and Shanghai Beer Gardens for stepping up from time to time.   These venues are responsible for making our Downtown vibrant. Keep up the good work!!

If you have any music related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing?  Send all information short or long to  Pam@VenturaRocks.com, and for updated music listings daily, go to www.VenturaRocks.com .

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze – 5/13 – 5/26

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
Welcome Back Joe
by Pam Baumgardner

I just got wind that the R&B Bombers, one of Ventura’s favorite dance party bands, will be welcoming back Joe Wilson to the group; you can catch them on Sunday, May 17, at Bombay’s when you know they’ll be packing the dance floor from 4 – 7:30 pm.

It looks like the powers that be will pull off another Ventura Music Week with two major events as bookends; first June 21 with the Vans Warped Tour at the Ventura Fairgrounds and then the following weekend with the expanded Roadshow Revival over two days, Saturday and Sunday, June 27 and 28 at Mission Park Downtown. We’re waiting on the announcement for movie night, but the Visual Arts evening is coming along and final details are being ironed out.  You can get more information at www.VenturaMusicWeek.com.

The Ventura Harbor has been hopping between Margarita Villa and the new Boatyard Café with music mostly featured Thursday through Sunday.  They’ve been offering acoustic artists such as Dan Grimm, Hawks & Britt, Jodi Farrell & Jim Rankin, but Margarita Villa kicks it up from time to time with such bands lined up this month as GrooveSession, Rising Son and Rock Cats Rock.

San Francisco’s doom pop outfit Rich Girls will be touring the California coast this month and will be playing at The Garage on the 29th. Combining west coast garage rock with the polish of British art rock, the band released an EP entitled “Fiver” last year after getting signed to Breakup Records.

Tickets have gone on sale for the Music Under the Stars series which covers nine Saturdays at the historic Olivas Adobe.  You can bring your own dinner or enjoy gourmet food trucks and a full beverage service.  The venue is intimate with a big dance floor and seating available for family and friends.  The popular series kicks off July 11 with Britain’s Finest, a Beatles tribute band, followed by July 18 with Porterhouse Bob, and July 25 with The Kings of the 88.  Call the City of Ventura for more information and to reserve your tickets at (805) 658-4726.

If punk music is your cup of tea, then be on the watch out for Luicidal out of Venice, CA.  They’re looking for gigs up in our neck of the woods; the band features former members of Suicidal Tendencies (Louiche Mayorga and RJ Herrera), and not to worry, they still play tunes off ST’s first three albums.  If you’d like to get them hooked up with a show you’re producing, or you just want to book them, then drop me a line.

Many thanks again to all musicians who create, and to all venues that provide a platform for live music. You make Ventura Rock.

If you have any music related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing?  Send all information short or long to  Pam@VenturaRocks.com, and for updated music listings daily, go to www.VenturaRocks.com .

Album Review: Honey Owl

Early Bird – Live @ the Captain’s Quarters
Honey Owl
Review by Pam Baumgardner
May 2015

Honey OwlIt’s always great to get fresh new original music from local musicians especially musicians who are well-known in our close-knit community here in Ventura. Getting together,  collaborating, and then recording has yielded “Early Bird” by the newly formed Honey Owl which features Spivey Spi, Nels Rosegren, Jaymes Quirino and Megan Morris.  I asked Jaymes about the way they went about producing their first effort as a band and what recorded “live” in studio means, and he explained “We played everything top to bottom with everyone in the tracking room, the only “overdubs” are the vocals including harmonies and one of spivys’ solos.”   The result is raw and engaging. The songs are no-nonsense with no bells and whistles, just musicians playing from the heart, singing about real life; simply put, an honest effort. Spivey’s style is reminiscent of Dylan and Petty laying it out without apologies, though none are needed. I love the imagery in the lyrics and the complimenting harmonies and musicianship.  My only complaint? There are only four songs.

Alternative Rock with a Country/Americana Flair.

Self described on their Facebook page:  “Too blessed to be stressed. Life’s about making that Honey.”  Amen!

o book Honey Owl:  honeyowlband@gmail.com

Local artists, You know them, you love them:
Michael “Spivey Spi” LaValle – vocals guitar
Nels Rosegren – guitars, vocal harmonies
Megan Morris – drums, vocal
Jaymes Quirino – bass

Ventura Music Photos: May 2015

Discovery – May 29, 2015
Jackie Greene
Jackie Greene

Padrino’s Italian Restaurant – May 29, 2015
Del Franklin
Del Franklin

Amigo’s – May 29, 2015
Medicine Hat (Photo credit: Duane Meagher)
Medicine Hat

Beach House Tacos – May 24, 2015
After the Smoke
After the Smoke

Margarita Villa – May 23, 2015
GooveSession (Photo Credit: Mark Hirasaki)


Surf Brewery – May 23, 2015
Frank Barajas and Doug Johnson (Photo Credit:  Steve Glennan)
Doug Johnson & Frank Barajas

Bombay’s – May 17, 2015
The return of Joe Wilson with The R&B Bombers
R&B Bombers

Squashed Grapes – May 16, 2015
Jerry Vivino Quartet (with Mitch Forman, John Leftwich and Bernie Dresel)
Vivino Quartet

Pacificview Mall – Food Truck Fridays – May 15, 2015
Mojo Filter (Photo Credit:  Patsi Ledbetter)
Mojo Filter

Squashed Grapes – May 13, 2015
Danny Janklow’s NYC Quartet
Danny Janklow's NYC Quartet

Majestic Ventura Theater – May 5, 2015

Ventura College Stadium – Ventura Music Festival – May 3, 2015

Amigos – May 3, 2015
The Tossers (Photo Credit:  Jon Reese)
The Tossers

Discovery – May 1, 2015
Helmet performs “Betty”

The Tavern – May 1, 2015
The Black Hips (Chris Price and Matt Oloffson)
The Black Hips

Bombay Bar and Grill – May 1, 2015
Lolita Dark (Photo credit: Mark Hirasaki)
Lolita Dark