Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze – 2/17 – 3/1

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
“It’s the Dude!”
by Pam Baumgardner

Jeff Bridges at Discovery February 28, 2016

Jeff Bridges at Discovery February 28, 2016

Ventura’s music community is not only comprised of talented artists, but the people who support live music are just as important to the scene.  When we lost Chris Pinger of the band Malice Thoughts, his friends quickly pulled together a fundraiser to help Pinger’s family with the cost of his funeral. The fundraising event will be held at Bombay’s on Saturday, February 20, with a silent auction and other ways to make a donation.  Bands on the bill include his former bandmates in Malice Thoughts, The Kane Gang, Grim, The NaVaNaX, and Civil Conflict.  Chris lost his life while being driven by a drunk driver, a somber reminder to all of us to not drink and drive, to not get in the car with someone else who has been drinking, and to think ahead about alternative ways of getting home safely.

You won’t want to miss an evening of music and conversation with Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges February 28 at Discovery.  Seriously, how can you pass up an evening with “The Dude” and in a bowling alley no less?

Jerry Vivino, the bandleader for the Conan O’Brien Show returns to the Squashed Grapes Saturday, February 20.

Saturday, February 27 at the Garage on the east end of town will play host to one rockin’ punk show featuring The Dickies with Ill Repute and Mothers of Dissension. You should remember the Dickies, “Stuck in a Pagoda with Tricia Toyota” and other quirky punk tunes.

If swing is your thing, then you’ll want to dress up and be a part of the Speakeasy Swing Dance with The Barrelhouse Wailers on Saturday, February 20 at the Ventura Beach Club. The event will kick off with swing dance lessons with Kim Clever and David Frutos at 8 pm and then the band follows 9 to midnight.

Dan Grimm’s song, “Peachy Keen” was played on the “New Girl” show staring Zooey Deschanel this month.

Joy Burnworth who has been playing a number of gigs here in Ventura the past few months including one at Grapes and Hops recently received the fantastic news that she’s the new lead singer for Jefferson Starship starting initially as a first sub for Cathy Richerdson who had apparently quit the band last year.

Congratulations to Ventura County Blues Society’s Delgado Brothers for winning the Memphis challenge.  The band took the top prize this past month beating out 250 other bands from all over the world.  Last year our very own Crooked Eye Tommy made it to the semifinals.

And speaking of Crooked Eye Tommy, the newest episode of Ventura Rocks on CAPS Media is now airing featuring Crooked Eye Tommy. There’s a link to the show on as well as being on the schedule this month on CAPS Media.

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

Reviews – Table of Contents

Album Review: Casey Abrams

TalesFromTheGingerbreadHouseTales From the Gingerbread House
Casey Abrams
Review by Pam Baumgardner
February 8, 2016

Full disclosure: I love Casey Abrams, but then millions of Americans fell in love with him as he made it to the top six of season ten on American Idol a couple of years ago.

Full disclosure: I’ve only tuned in once and only saw the last ten minutes of the last episode of the first season of American Idol.

So how did I come to know Casey? It was when the owners of Squashed Grapes told me a year and a half ago that they had booked him and that I should search Google and YouTube for The Gingerbread Band. I saw just one, and I got it. I understood what the fuss was all about.

0726_CaseyAbrams_001Casey played the Grape that summer night to a sold out house via word of mouth and it quickly made my Top Ten shows of all time.  He’s just too freakin’ cool!! Fast forward to the present time and Casey is now offering his second release, an EP entitled, “Tales from the Gingerbread House.”  It’s a mix of five eclectic tunes including one featuring fellow American Idol alumni, Haley Reinhart.

Casey had a hand in writing all songs and I was delighted to see the uber talented Jacob Scesney, who you can find sitting in with local bands around town when he’s not out on the road, covered the sax work on four out of five songs even getting a shout out on “Cougar Town”.

The EP opens with “Cougartown” and an interesting introduction from actor, Eric Avari; it’s a song about Casey’s love for the older woman.  Casey makes himself vulnerable with “Just One More Time (These Eyes)” confessing his love while throwing in some funky scat moves.  “Caught” is more energetic, upbeat, even danceable, and as sexy as all the previous songs may be, they don’t compare to the duet between Abrams and Haley Reinhart on “Never Knew What Love Can Do” as the two break it out and get right down and dirty.

But I have to say my favorite is the final cut called “Shining a Light” which is a contrast to the jazzier and funkier previous tunes on the EP. Typically I spend a lot of time with the music I plan to write about, and I know I’m ready to write when I start humming a song, or singing along, but with “Shining a Light” I literally could not get it out of my head.  I can totally hear this on popular radio, in movies, TV shows…it’s just so catchy and contagious and if there were no other songs, it’s totally worth the price of the CD.

Knowing that Casey was self-taught on over 11 musical instruments, and by ear, I came to the realization at Squashed Grapes that Casey not only writes and plays music really well, but that he actually is music.  I’m looking to great things to come from Mr. Abrams, the world is wide open to him.


1. Cougartown – (Casey Abrams/Rune Westberg)
2. Just One More Time (These Eyes) – (Casey Abrams)
3. Caught – (Casey Abrams/Victoria Horn “Lady V”/Rob Kleiner)
4. Never Knew What Love Can Do – (Casey Abrams/Bobby Hamrick)
5. Shining A Light – (Casey Abrams/Andrew Rose) 

After hours at Squashed Grapes 7/26/14

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 2/3 – 2/16

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
“Rockin’ February ”
by Pam Baumgardner

Photo credit: Cliff Montgomery

Photo credit: Cliff Montgomery



I was delighted to see that Ian Moore made a stop at Bombay’s for his current tour with the Lossy Coils Wednesday, January 27th. We added Moore to our playlist back when I was Program Director of KXBS alternative rock radio in the 90s. Moore told me he’s been self-managing for the past 12 years, but has three records done and ready for release the first one called “Strange Days”. Moore told me, “It’s a departure from what I have been doing for the last few years. It is funkier, and lyrically heavier, leaning in on rhythm.”

Voices – Women in the Round was held at Bell Arts Factory on Saturday, January 30. I spoke with Jim Rice of Bell Arts who told me the night was just perfect. It was one of those events where the audience is totally engaged and the performances were heart wrenchingly beautiful. The range of music from Bach to Otis Redding to original pieces by Andrea Landin, Donna Lynn Caskey, Kate Bokoles, Maliah Pena and Mare Louise were extremely well received. Rice told me they’re looking at having this be a regular series hopefully monthly before too long.

A last minute addition to the February calendar for Squashed Grapes is coming up on Tuesday, February 9 featuring members from the world famous Post Modern Jukebox. This will also be the last opportunity to see them for a while before they set out on tour across the pond. Christina Gatti’s amazing vocals will front the band which includes one of our very own Jacob Scesney who also tours with PMJ.

Expect an upbeat funky time when The Main Squeeze plays Discovery on Saturday, February 6. The band is produced by Randy Jackson well known American Idol judge. Discovery has also been offering a Starlight Swing night on Wednesdays with swing dance lessons and live music.

Front Street takes over the Sewer with some down low dirty gypsy blues on Friday, February 12 with two equally unique and fun bands, The Front Street Knuckle Draggers and D.on Darox and the Melody Joy Bakers.

The Hong Kong Inn will host the 2016 Cash Bash honoring the man in black’s birthday with The Mighty Cash Cats, Jade Hendrix and Joe Billingiere. The festivities kick off Sunday, February 14 at 4 pm with no cover charge.

The Wine Rack has upped their entertainment by offering live music seven days a week.

And finally, the newest episode of Ventura Rocks on CAPS Media is now airing featuring Crooked Eye Tommy; you can get the schedule of when it airs next at

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