Ventura Music Photos: December 2015

Amigo’s Surf Cantina – December 31, 2015 NYE Party
Dive Bar Messiahs (photo credit: Candance Marshall)
Dive Bar Messiahs

December 18, 2015
Ran into the one and only Albert Lee downtown!

VenturaRock's Pam Baumgardner w/ Albert Lee

VenturaRock’s Pam Baumgardner w/ Albert Lee

Downtown Ventura – December 5, 2015
Ventura Winter Wine Walk with The Bomb

The Livery Theater – December 4, 2015
Kinky Friedman

Amigo’s Surf Cantina – December 3, 2015
Gypsy Blues Band
Gypsy Blues BandAs I walked into Amigo’s last night with my dear friend Tammy Myers, I was curious to see who was sitting in for Jerry who is currently in Japan; I was super jazzed to see that it was Mario Calire! I told her that Mario use to play with the Wallflowers and Ozomatli…and then quickly added Oh! there’s Brent Harding who plays with Social Distortion, and of course Jimmy Calire who was a member of Raven and toured with America in the 70’s. Rounding out the band were local Blues legends Morganfield Burnett and John Marx later joined by Tom Buckner.

It was one of those “I-am-so-lucky-to-live-in-Ventura nights.” Never take it for granted peeps. Support Ventura’s music scene!!

CAPS Media – December 3, 2015
Taping of Ventura Rocks with Medicine Hat
Medicine Hat

Ventura Music Photos: November 2015

Amigo’s Surf Cantina – November 28, 2015
With the Dive Bar Messiahs REPRESENTING!

Ventura Beach Club – Novembre 28, 2015
Raging Arb and the Redheads & Spencer the Gardener

Majestic Ventura Theater – November 22, 2015

Squashed Grapes – November 14, 2015
The Doug Webb Group
151114_SG_DougWebbDoug Webb (horns) has recorded with the likes of Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Clarke, Quincy Jones, and dozens of others. He played with the house band for the Dennis Miller Show and continues to tour witht he Doc Severinsen orchestera. He’s recorded music for hundreds of TV shows and movies such as Mysitc River and Million Dollar Baby including the saxophone of Lisa in the The Simpsons.
Jimmy Earl (bass) has performed nightly on Jimmy Kimmel Live since 2003. He’s worked with Chick Corea, Robben Ford, and dozens of other artists.
Steve Fister (guitar) has performed and recorded with the likes of Bon Jovi, Lita Ford, Pat Travers, Joe Satriani and more.
Danny Carey (drums) from Tool. Enough said.
But this past week Webb brought in Mike Garson who has played with the Smashing Pumpkins, NiN, and David Bowie to name a few. You know the piano on Young Americans by Bowie? That’s Garson.
The night was electrifying to say the least.

The Hong Kong Inn – November 8, 2015
Ashford Gordon Blues Jam

New Year’s Eve Parties

NYE2016Where to bring in 2016:

We found as many posters as we could and created a photo gallery below, but here’s the lowdown, in alphabetical order of venues we know of who are offering NYE parties.  Just so you know, many will have a cover charge, and may depend on whether you want dinner or not:

Amigo’s Surf Cantina: 9 pm – The Dive Bar Messiahs; 4-7 pm Doug & Frank
546 E. Main Street – (805) 874-2232

Bombay Bar and Grill: Fido; DJ Philocybin
143 S. California Street (805)643-4404

Cafe Fiore: Big Adventure
66 S. California Street (805) 653-1266

Discovery: Spencer Fischer, DJ Lunatic
1888 E. Thompson Blvd (805) 452-4967

El Rey Cantina: DJ Aycer
294 E. Main Street (805) 653-1111

Gigi’s: Karaoke countdown
2493 Grand Ave. (805) 642-2411

Golden China: Fallout vs X-Machina
760 S. Seaward (805) 652-1188

Grapes and Hops: Shawn Jones and Friends
454 E. Main Street (805) 616-2375

The Greek Restaurant:DJ dancing
Ventura Harbor (805) 650-5350

Keynote Lounge: Action Down
10245 E. Telephone Road (805) 647-9390

Now Ventura: William Rottman
185 E. Santa Clara St. (805) 667-2200

Peirano’s: Gil Valencia and Friends
204 E. Main St. (805) 648-48523

Prime: a 4 piece band
2209 E. Thompson Blvd (805) 648-1143

Red Cove: 3 in the Morning; The Free and Natural Human Beings
1809 E. Main St. (805)643-1101

Rookees: DJs
419 E. Main St. (805) 648-6862

Sans Souci: DJ Spinobi
21 S. Chestnut St (805) 643-4539

Star Lounge: Cross Cut
343 E. Main St. (805) 648-4709

The Tavern: DJs Masquerade Ball
211 E. Santa Clara St. (805) 643-3264

Ventura Beach Club: Shaky Feelin;, Christopher Hawley Rollers, DJs
281 W. Main St. (818) 307-7598

Ventura Theater: War, Tierra
26 S. Chestnut St. (805) 653-0721

Watermark: DJ Erok, DJ Ciera
598 E. Main St. (805) 643-6800

Wine Rack: Ventura Jazz Collective
14 S. California St. (805) 653-9463

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 12/23 – 1/5

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
“Ventura Rocks Another Year”
by Pam Baumgardner


Trey O’Toole (Pulse Drumming), Rich Barth (Ventura County Jazz) Colin Bailey (Drummer extraordinaire) Pam Baumgardner ( Tony YBarra (Guitarist)

We’re in the final stretch for 2015 and Ventura Rocks at CAPS Media is finally scheduled. The debut episode features Medicine Hat and will air several times including a Christmas evening broadcast at 8 pm. Go to for all air dates!

Nothing like being one degree of separation from Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Frank Sinatra and more; that’s exactly what went down at Squashed Grapes when drummer extraordinaire, Colin Bailey, was in the house, Saturday, December 19. Mr. Bailey has not only played with the cream of the crop but he was also the drummer for the Charlie Brown Christmas special. Bam!

And just one final note before we move on from Christmas, giving the gift of music is always a treat, especially when you’re supporting local artists and picking up music such as Tommy Marsh’s Crooked Eye Tommy, Butterflies & Snakes; Medicine Hat’s Whiskey and Waves; the self-titled The NaVaNaX; Honey Owl’s Early Bird, The Barrelhouse Wailer’s Last Call; Nathan McEuen’s Side by Side, and so much more! Of course you can go to their websites or be old school and pick up a CD at Salzer’s, Grady’s, or Very Ventura where you’ll find the listening station.

Opening up recently in the former Zoey’s location at 185 E. Santa Clara is Now Ventura featuring higher end Italian and Seafood fare. I went in and met Michael Anthony, one of the partners, and a former bassist for Puddle of Mudd (who are coming to Discovery in early March). Michael gave me the low down on offering live music after they’ve renovated the stage; his vision includes two 45 minute sets Thursday through Saturday. I’ll be keeping tabs and will get them listed as soon as the music is back, but meanwhile they’ll be throwing a New Year’s Eve Bash with William Rottman performing acoustic 80s and 90s covers. Call 667-2200 for reservations and more information.

Ventura will most definitely be off the hook all over town with New Year’s Eve parties, here are just some highlights: The Dive Bar Messiahs at Amigo’s Surf Cantina; Fido and DJ Philocybin at Bombay’s; Big Adventure at Café Fiore; Spencer Fischer and DJ Lunatic at Discovery; Shawn Jones and Friends at Grapes and Hops; Action Down at The Keynote Lounge; 3 in the Morning, The Free and Natural Human Beings at Red Cove; DJ Logic at Rookees; DJ Spinobi at Sans Souci; Cross Cut at the Star Lounge; DJs will be featured at a NYE Masquerade Ball at The Tavern; Shaky Feelin’, The Christopher Hawley Rollers, 9 Lives and more at the Ventura Beach Club; DJ Erok and DJ Ciera at the Watermark, The Ventura Jazz Collective at the Wine Rack and the biggest show of them all is WAR with Tierra at the Majestic Ventura Theater.

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

Now Ventura! is all about promoting venues who offer music and supporting those artists who live in and around Ventura as well as those who travel here to play.  We’re devoted to inspiring people to support Ventura’s music scene.

FullSizeRenderOver the years our music scene has had its ebbs and flows; no one disagrees we took a major hit when Zoey’s closed their doors a couple of years ago and we continue to feel the effects of no longer having a dedicated listening room for artists. But we have a new venue in town taking over the exact same place where Zoey’s use to be located at 185 E. Santa Clara Street. Now Ventura is first and foremost a higer end italian and seafood restaurant and lounge which has been totally renovated.  The digs are fabulous, the food delicious, the staff on the ball, and what makes it most intriguing to me isn’t their reality TV connection, but rather their rock star connection.  One of the partners at Ventura Now is Michael Anthony, one of the former bass players for Puddle of Mudd.

We arrived on a Thursday evening, and Michael was there greeting patrons, seating them, visiting to make sure their food was prepared properly, and quite open to engaging in conversation about his rock and roll past.

Ventura Rocks:  What brought you to Ventura?

Michael: I just really like Ventura and being by the beach every day.  I’ve been running bars in West Hollywood and Hollywood for the past 13 years and I was looking for a change of pace.

VR: Do you surf?

Michael:  I did try surfing once in Hawaii.  Wasn’t very good so I will just stick to what I know and focus on my restaurant and maybe play some music once I get settled in.

VR: Why did you decide to give up the life of a rock star?

IMG_0053Michael: During the last big tour I already had someone all ready to fill in for me so that I could go back to the opening of PUMP in West Hollywood.  It was stressful for me to be out on the road while opening a huge restaurant right in the middle of West Hollywood.  The morning we got back from tour I had to throw on a suit at get camera ready for staff interviews for Vanderpump Rules.  I looked pretty tired during that shoot.  It’s a good thing my partner in Now Ventura, Rani John, was my AGM at Pump.  He kept me in the loop the whole time.  I would not have been able to get Pump or NOW going without him. The guy that was ready to sub for my was Alien Ant Farm’s bass player Tye Zamora.  I didn’t need a sub after all because the tour got cut short due to some crazy shit happening with Wes.  That’s a whole other story. So, I gave them a month’s notice.  I figured that was plenty of time because that is all I had when I joined the band.

I gave it up for the chance at a semi-normal life I guess.  Touring is fun until you are really doing it and then you come back home to nothing.  I loved being on stage but I did not love all the waiting around.  It was the most difficult decision of my life. I would always buy tickets to see POM back in NJ and was surreal to actually be a part of it.  Would I go back? Yes.  Would I make the same decision to leave again?  Yes.

VR:  Do you currently have any other music projects since Puddle of Mudd?

Michael:  I am actually so focused on making Now the best restaurant it can be that I put playing on hold for a while.

VR: I heard you’re likely to sit in with Puddle of Mudd when they play at Discovery in March. 

Michael:  That is true.  I actually didn’t event know they were playing there until I went in and saw myself of the poster.  Yes, they have not taken me off yet.

VR: What are your plans for live music at Now Ventura?

Michael:  My vision for NOW is quality not quantity.  I want to do live music Thursday to Saturday but not all night. Maybe 2 45 min sets. I’m going to start working on the stage soon.  Need to get all my gear up here from my rehearsal studio in L.A.  All the gear is coming from the Puddle of Mudd rehearsal space.

VR: Will we be seeing you sit in or playing sets? 

Michael:  Yeah, I will for sure do a little cover band night here and play. Need to dust off my bass.

VR: What the ETA for live music at Now Ventura?

Michael: The beginning of February.

NYENow Ventura will be hosting a New Year’s Eve Party with William Rottman preforming acoustic 80’s and 90’s covers from 10 to 12 and will also MC the night.

Once again Now Ventura is at 185 E. Santa Clara Street, (805) 667-2200.  Here’s a link to their website which also features their menus:
Like them on Facebook:
Follow them on Twitter:
Follow them on Instagram:

By the by, when I emailed Michael about sending me some photos, I wasn’t sure if he had any on hand, so I told him to just take a selfie, that it would be good goofy fun…AND HE DID!  We love him!


Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 12/9 – 12/22

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
“Holiday Fun”
by Pam Baumgardner

Medicine Hat recording Ventura Rocks music show at CAPS Media

Medicine Hat recording Ventura Rocks music show at CAPS Media

Though the evening isn’t really about the music (hint: it’s about the wine), the Ventura Winter Wine Walk was a huge success with live music at the corner of Main and California.  There’s nothing quite like families coming out on a gorgeous December evening with men on stilts, women hula hoop dancing, snow falling while dancing to popular R&B and funk tunes from the Bomb on a huge stage, with professional lighting while City Hall is lit up in the background.  Along with the tree lighting ceremony, and the Ventura Harbor Parade of Lights, this has become my favorite holiday tradition.

Speaking of which, the Ventura Harbor Parade of Lights runs December 18 and 19. I hear you can get a pair of 3D glasses to watch the fireworks display while supplies last at Coastal Cone Ice Cream parlor.  I’m not sure how the glasses will enhance fireworks as they’re already 3D, but I’m sure they’ll be in high demand. The two-day celebration includes music, a carnival with rides on the main lawn, fireworks, and decorated boats with this year’s theme, “Surf, Sand & Santa Celebrating 150 Years of Ventura.”  Be sure to be on the watch for Santa making an earlier flyby during the evening.

RJ Mischo & the Down Home trio have begun a Tuesday night residency this month at the 805 Bar and Grill Cheese.  I’m hearing the Copa Cubana (next to the 805 Bar) is getting close to opening soon.

The Watermark will host The Pullmen’s “Going Dark” vinyl release Xmas party on Friday, December 18. The event will be held on the ground floor as upstairs will be closed for a private party that evening.

It promises to be yet another “one of those evenings” at Squashed Grapes on Saturday, December 19th when The Frank Potenza Trio will be in the house.  The trio features Potenza (Joe Pass, Dizzy Gillespie, George Van Eps and more), who is a professor of jazz guitar at USC Thorton School of Music; Jim Hughart (Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Pass and Tom Waits, Sinatra and more); and Colin Bailey.  I love that Bailey was the drummer on the Charlie Brown Christmas special, in fact, he’s done over 100 jazz albums, T.V. shows and toured with Benny Goodman and Joe Pass.  Earlier the same day, Bailey will be holding a drum clinic across the street at Pulse Drumming.  Get tickets and/or sign up for the clinic at

We’re working on post production of the debut episode of Ventura Rocks music show on CAPS Media featuring Medicine Hat. CAPS, Community Access Partners of San Buenaventura is a private non-profit television channel available through Time Warner and Charter. Check in with for updates on when the program will air this month.

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