Album Review: Crooked Eye Tommy

Butterflies & Snakes
Crooked Eye Tommy
Review by Pam Baumgardner
July 2015

CD CoverTommy Marsh is one of the most sweetest, generous, hardest working men in town, but he also happens to be one talented blues man who also has the smarts to surround himself with uber-talented musicians on his latest project, Crooked Eye Tommy.

In 2014, the newly-formed band competed in the Memphis International Blues Challenge where bands from 16 countries converged for the top prize.  Our active blues community really came together to raise funds to get the band to the competition (See article and photo gallery).  Crooked Eye Tommy went; they played hard and advanced a long way reaching the Semi Final round.
CET_logoIt was soon after Memphis that Tommy took the boys into the studio to produce Butterflies & Snakes because when you’re on that sort of high you want to harness the energy.  Well mission accomplished.  Without a doubt, Tommy writes from the heart, he divulges life experiences, digging down deep, intimate, soul revealing, and totally committed to each song, no holds barred.  His singing, his playing, his writing, he just lays it down from the heart.

The CD opens with “Crooked Eye Tommy” with clean guitar work from the brothers setting the tone and a little background on Tommy’s adversities growing up with an eye which doesn’t quite align right, “The world is going to see what a crooked eye can do.”

“I stole the Blues” written and sung by Paddy reveals who molded their musical education from the likes of  Muddy Waters, Albert King, Johnny Winter, T Bone Walker and even Jerry Garcia which brings a smile to my face every time I hear that. As with most of Crooked Eye Tommy songs, you get great solos and musical interludes deserving of a packed dance floor; and of course Jimmy Calire’s sax solo is nothing short of brilliant.  I love the line, “Well you know I stole the blues, now it’s time to give it back.”

“AftCrooked-Eye-tommy1er the Burn” has become a staple here in town almost the band’s signature tune. “Over and Over” is so intimate, I have to confess that I blushed the first time I heard it.

“Mad and Disgusted” is a prime example of the brothers in sync, flawlessly complimenting each others guitar work, along with Jimmy tearing up the keyboards.

I Love the steel guitar work on “Southern Heart” compliments of Jesse Siebenberg, which has a definite southern country feel, in fact, several pieces don’t fit the traditional Blues mold and that’s okay; a little southern flair, rock and roll and blues meshed together makes for an interesting combination.  Add to the equation talent and incredible mastering, this one hits it out of the park for Tommy.

The players are Tommy’s brother Paddy Marsh (the talent runs deep in this family), add to the mix highly respected and high in demand drummer, Tony Cicero,  Glade Rasmussen, one of the solidest bass players in town and music icon Jimmy Calire (Raven, America).

Tommy Marsh – Guitar
Paddy Marsh – Guitar
Jimmy Calire – Organ and Sax
Tony Cicero – Drums
Glade “BoomBoom” Rasmussen – Bass

Produced by Tommy Marsh, Dan Grimm and Tammy Mosby; recorded at Brotheryn Studios and engineered and mastered by Jason “Gandalf” Mariani.

Official website


Crooked Eye Tommy

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 7/22 – 8/4

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
No Need to Panic!
by Pam Baumgardner

Jon Reese of Amigos with columnist Pam Baumgardner of the Ventura Breeze celebrating Cinco de Mayo earlier this year.

Jon Reese of Amigos with columnist Pam Baumgardner of the Ventura Breeze celebrating Cinco de Mayo earlier this year.

Just so you know, notices have gone up on a couple of key venues in town indicating ownership changes.  I thought it prudent to go to the source before I panicked, so I spoke to Diego at Bombay’s and he said they had to post behind-the-scene changes for legal reasons, but nothing changes in the bar and all the same familiar faces will continue to keep things popping (thank God!); but there will be a change of ownership in the next month or so at Amigo’s when Jon Reese hands over the keys to new owner, Mike Toler (barring any major roadblocks).  Toler has asked Jon to stay involved and to continue to book bands nightly, which is why Jon loves Amigos in the first place and why we love Jon.

Todd Hannigan and Xoco Moraza returned recently from Japan where they performed while supporting screenings of the film The Fisherman’s Son.   The short film was scored by Todd Hannigan, Xocoyotzin Moraza, Dave Palmer and Jesse Siebenburg.  I asked Xoco about performing in Japan and he told me that the coolest thing he experienced was being able to share his musical art with such an appreciative country. He said, “It was a great feeling. It reminds me that music is a universal language that transcends any borders. It was a great cross cultural experience.”

There are a number of CD and EP release parties to support over the next few weeks:  Sleepercub, July 25, at Bombays; Hy Brasil, August 1, at Bombays; Medicine Hat, August 2, at Saloon BBQ; and Crooked Eye Tommy, August 7, at the Plaza Playhouse Theater in Carpinteria.

The Mighty Cash Cats will team up with Island Packers on Saturday, July 25 for a musical dinner cruise out of the Ventura Harbor.

The Ventura Fair kicks off August 5. Pre-sale tickets are available through the 4th. Don’t forget that all concerts are included in the price of admission.

Spencer MacKenzie’s annual end-of-summer block party falls on August 29 and 30. This year there will be no cover charge.  Bands will be lined up both days with performances from the Guy Martin Band, Mandex, Brothers Fortune, Bloody Mary Morning, Honey Owl, and more including new comer on the scene, André. Get out, enjoy the free music, but be sure to support the event by buying some delicious fish tacos and cool beverages.

And finally, the third annual Key to the Highway Blues Benefit will be held at Rookees Sports Bar on Saturday, August 1 from 6 til 9 pm starring Tommy Castro and the Painkillers supported by Guy Martin. Proceeds benefit the Khepera House rehab and recovery program.

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

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 7/8 – 7/21

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
Ventura Will Always Rock!
by Pam Baumgardner

Queen Nation at Discovery, Thursday, July 2, 2015

Queen Nation at Discovery, Friday, July 3, 2015

I just had to see Queen Nation at Discovery Ventura on July 3; I was such a Queen fan back in the day and saw them live at least 4-5 times. All I have to say is the band totally nailed it!

I ran into Ventura resident Nick St. Nicolas on July 4th. Nick and the boys of Steppenwolf are responsible for such quintessential rock anthems as “Born to be Wild” and “Magic Carpet Ride.” He’s been touring with the World Classic Rockers (with members of other iconic bands) and has several out-of-state dates lined up doing corporate gigs. He’s such a classy super nice gentleman; I’d love to get see him do an intimate acoustic show sometime!

Music Under the Stars finally kicks off on July 11 with Britain’s Finest, a Beatles Tribute Band, and then on July 18 it’s Porterhouse Bob serving up New Orleans Boogie & Blues. You can find a complete listing for their summer schedule on

The summer event of the season, Surf Rodeo, takes over Pierpont Beach on Saturday and Sunday July 11th and 12th. You won’t want to miss dozens of bands all day both days on the sand, a surf competition, a bikini cowgirl competition, a cornhole contest, vendors up and down Seaward from Pierpont Blvd to the sand, food, beverages, friends, family, and of course will be representing! Go to for ticket information.

I have to admit being a fan of all three, I’m totally looking forward to the Tequila and Taco Music Festival on July 18 and 19 at the Collection in Oxnard. Foreverland, 14-piece tribute band to the music of Michael Jackson, will be performing. Other bands include Caliente Band 805, Instone, Zeal Levin and the Bomb. For more information you can go to

A couple of touring/studio notes: Mario Calire hits the road this summer drumming for legendary singer-songwriter and two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Stephen Stills. Shawn Jones has been touring Italy and Switzerland but he’ll be back late July, he’s also been recording new material. The Pullmen have been working on their latest Beast Records release, “Going Dark;” they’ll be returning to Europe for a Fall France tour this year.

And finally, while catching 8Stops7 at the Pierpont Inn on July 2, I caught up with Chris Jay of Army of Freshmen, and longtime writer for the VC Reporter. We reflected on the state of music in Ventura and how there are ebbs and flows, venues come and go, bands peak then disappear, and through it all, supporting Ventura’s music scene are a number of media including The Ventura Breeze, The VC Reporter, The Ventura County Star and of course websites like What a privilege it is to be a part of such an amazing music scene. Ventura will always rock!

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

Ventura Music Photos: July 2015

W20 at the Watermark – July 30, 2015
Anchor & Bear
Anchor & Bear

Sans Souci – July 26, 2015
My Modern Valentine
My Modern ValentineAll-A-Blur

The Wine Rack – July 26, 2015
The Swilley’s – Steve and Sally Williams
Steve and Sally Williams


The Star Lounge – July 25, 2015
Arockalypse Now
0725_Arock_002 0725_Arock_003 0726_Arock_001

Squashed Grapes – July 24, 2015
Jerry Vivino & Friends, guest appearance by Jacob Scesney
Jerry Vivino and Friends

 Surf Rodeo 2015

Pam Baumgardner, Staci Brown and Mark Hartley

Pam Baumgardner, Staci Brown and Mark Hartley

Pierpont Beach – July 11 – 12, 2015
Surf Rodeo


Saloon BBQ – July 10, 2015
Charles and Christine Law

Charles Law

Ventura Beach Club – Hi Hat Entertainment – July 10, 2015
Hot Roux CD Release Party
Hot Roux

Peirano’s – July 10, 2015
Lola Haag & the Back Beat Boys
Lola Haag

Sandbox Coffeehouse – July 4, 2015
Kevin Stanley
Kevin Stanley

Ventura Street Fair – July 4, 2015
UnUusual Suspects
UnUsual SuspectsVentura Street Fair – July 4, 2015
Iron Mountain Boys
Iron Mountain BoysVentura Street Fair – July 4, 2015
Singing Valentines (for hire!)
Singing Valentines

Discovery Ventura – July 3, 2015
Queen Nation

Sans Souci – July 2, 2015
Burien (Seattle, WA)
Die Nasty Die NastyDie Nasty