Album Review: Medicine Hat

Medicine Hat CDWhiskey and Waves
Medicine Hat
Review by Pam Baumgardner
August – 2015

It’s always an honor being asked to review music. I don’t take it lightly. So when I was approached by Robert Ramirez who has been ingrained in Ventura’s music scene for years I’ll admit, I was nervous. But after a few spins my fears subsided and I relaxed knowing this was going to be an easy task. The music runs from a fun funky Americana sort of vibe as with the opening track, “The Only Thing” and “107 Songs” to a more serious overtone as with “Kind of Girl.”

I dig the harmonies and interesting texture to tunes such as “Falling Graces” and “More Than I Wanted” both of which would fit like a glove in one of those quirky Quentin Tarantino movies. But most songs are rooted in  Country, where I can envision people two-steppin’ to such tunes as “Whiskey and Waves,” “Another Sad Song,” as well of “Scared of You”  which has additional electric guitar courtesy of Neal Casal.

The whole album flows well and is well-produced with the addition of some strings and steel pedal guitar work.  All the songs were either written by Robert Ramirez or a collaboration between Ramirez and Michelle Votrian. I love the sound and quality of the instruments cleanly mastered; they’re so simple yet captivating; makes me want to pick up my acoustic and play along late on a hot summer night with a whiskey to hand.

Alternative Country. Southern Rock, Alt Rock.

Medicine HatMedicine Hat member:
Robert Ramirez – Vocals, Electric and Acoustic Guitars
Michelle Votrian – Vocals, Percussion, Keys
Ralph Votrian – Bass
Chuck Herrera – Drums

Guest musicians include:
Ashley Broder – Violin
Neal Casal – Electric Guitar (Whiskey and Waves, Scared of You)
Erik Kristiansen – Pedal Steel

Recorded, Engineered and Mixed by Earle Mankey at Earle Mankey Studio.

Medicine Hat at Surf Rodeo 2015

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 8/19 – 9/1

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
Great Scott! It’s Tom!!
by Pam Baumgardner

Kevin Costner and Modern WestOnce again the Ventura County Fair entertained the masses with a lively eclectic line up of artists. Highlights for me were Kevin Costner’s anecdotes between songs with his band Modern West and of course “Private Idaho” and “Rock Lobster” from The B-52’s.

The hot ticket this month will be for Tom Scott who has recorded on dozens and dozens of albums from such iconic artists as The Beach Boys, Paul McCartney, the Grateful Dead, Bruno Mars, Steely Dan, Pink Floyd, and Frank Sinatra. He’s earned over a dozen Grammy nominations, winning three; and of course he’s a founding member of The Blues Brothers. Confidence is high this one will sell out, so don’t miss Scott at Squashed Grapes on Friday, August 28.

The Pierpont Summer BBQ series has just two more concerts this season: 8/20 with Carmen & the Renegade Vigilantes, or better known as CRV, And then Dirty Rice will close out the series on September 3.

The Pacific Sound Chorus will hold their annual Ventura show at the Poinsettia Pavilion on August 30 featuring the chorus and several top, local barbershop quartets. The special guest star is a quartet from the Los Angeles area, The New Fangled Four who were crowned Champions of the Western United States in 2013, as well as champions in the International Collegiate Quartet Contest in 2013.

The El Rey Cantina will host an Elvis Karaoke Competition, on Saturday, August 22. There will be prizes for best Elvis singer and costume.

Don’t forget Spencer Mackenzie’s annual End-of-Summer Block Party on Saturday and Sunday August 29 and 30. There’s no cover this year. Artists performing include the Guy Martin Band, Bloody Mary Morning, Brothers Fortune, Mandex, Honey Owl and Andre and the Giants.

And then be sure to clear the calendar for Bombay’s 31th Annual Beach Party which runs the following week, September 1st – 6th. Just a handful of the bands appearing will be Hy Brasil, The NaVaNaX, The Jelly, Rey Fresco and more.

We’re sorry to report that Green Art People hosted their final Short Attention Span Theater on Wednesday, August 5 with GrooveSession and the Rainbow Girls. GAP kept their doors open as long as they possibly could, but fundraiser efforts fell short. Thanks for the memories and you’ll be sorely missed by the community.

And finally, a huge shout out to the cast and crew of West Side Story which had a one-week run at the Rubicon Theatre this month. It’s such a thrill to see live theater especially such a beloved story as this with a stellar cast comprised of so many Ventura County youth and young adults along with a 21-piece live orchestra. Hats off to Brian McDonald for another stellar production!

Do 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: August 2015

Olivas Adobe – Music Under the Stars – August 29, 2015
Fantastic Diamond  (photo credit:  Kevin Hogan)
Fantastic DiamondSquashed Grapes – August 28, 2015
Tom Scott
Tom Scott

Discovery – August 23, 2015
Los Lonely Boys

Los Lonely Boys

Bombay’s – August 14, 2015


Ventura County Fair – August 13, 2015
The B52’s
The B52's The B52's

Ventura County Fair – August 12, 2015
The Band Perry
The Band Perry

Ventura County Fair – August 10, 2015
Kevin Costner and Modern West
Kevin Costner

Ventura Fair Parade & Squashed Grapes – August 8, 2015
Fair Parade BandKarl Hunter and Dirk Shumaker of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Trey O’Toole of Pulse Drumming, Franklin Murphy of Shaky Feelin’, Jacob Scesney, and RJ Root.

Bombay’s – August 7, 2015
Alice (photo credit:  Mark Hirasaki)

Ventura County Fair – August 7, 2015
Huey Lewis and the News
Huey Lewis & the News
Huey Lewis & the News

Squashed Grapes – August 6, 2015
The Lounge Trio with special guest Ruben Estrada
Cougar & Ruben Estrada


The Wine Rack – August 3, 2015
US Blues Project
US Blues Project

Saloon BBQ – August 2, 2015
Medicine Hat
Medicine Hat

Bombay Bar and Grill – August 1, 2015
Hy Brasil
Hy Brasil

Bombay Bar and Grill – August 1, 2015
Wax Off
Wax Off

Olivas Adobe – Music Under the Stars – August 1, 2015
Platinum Grooves
Platinum Grooves

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 8/5 – 8/18

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
It’s Fair to Say Ventura Rocks
by Pam Baumgardner

Rachel Flowers

Rachel Flowers to perform at Scan Health and Wellness Center August 14, 2015.

I’m a tad giddy with anticipation for the 2015 Ventura County Fair: cinnamon buns, corn on the cob, livestock, carnival rides, vendors and of course another fine line up of music. I’m personally looking forward to the B52’s, Kevin Costner and the Modern West, The Band Perry, Lean Rimes, and call me goofy, but there’s no way I’m missing Huey Lewis and the News! Full line up of musical entertainment can be found on their ad here in the Breeze.

Squashed Grapes is bringing back Emmy Award Winning guitarist, Chieli Minucci and the Special EFX, on August. 7th; then the following morning you can cheer on the Squashed Grapes float in the Ventura Fair parade. Those same players will be appearing that evening at the Grape featuring Karl Hunter and Dirk Shumaker of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Franklin Murphy of Shaky Feelin’, Jacob Scesney, Trey O’Toole and RJ Root.

I’m super curious to see Gygax at Bombay’s on Friday, August 14, the band features Armand John Lizzy, Bryant Throckmorton, Justin Dempsey and Eric Harris. Members from local bands getting together to create a new band isn’t necessarily newsworthy in this town; however, this band is for the nerd in all of us as they center around the fantasy imagery and creation of role playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons. Too weird? I seriously hope so!

Growing in popularity are the Second Sunday Suppers at Plan B. The next one is scheduled for Sunday, August 8 from 4:30 – 7 pm featuring Donna Greene and the Roadhouse Daddies.

Taking the place of over two decades of Bowlful of Blues, is the Inaugural Ojai Blues Festival scheduled for August 15 at the Ojai Art Center featuring Deb Ryder, Crooked Eye Tommy, Shawn Jones and Alastair Greene.

Just a few of the upcoming shows to look forward to at Discovery include Whitey Morgan on August 15, Eric Hutchinson on August 18 and Los Lonely Boys on August 23.

The Scan Health and Wellness Center at 6633 Telephone Road in Ventura is hosting its first ever Jazz Night on August 14, 5:30pm. Rachel Flowers is the featured artist with E’nuff Said opening. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Call Scan at 805-658-0365 for information and to secure tickets.

The music lineup for the California Blues and Brews Festival on September 20 includes Walter Trout, blues for the modern daze, Mr. Sipp, the Mississippi blues child; and Mingo Fishtrap out of Austin, Texas. You can get more information on the three-day beer festival event and line up your tickets at

And finally, I’m sorry to report that Gladys Dietz passed away July 20. She opened Gigi’s cocktails 30 years ago, on New Year’s Eve 1985.

Do 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 .