Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 7/29 – 8/11

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

Ventura Rocks


I made it to my first Concert in Your Car (but to be clear, it was in my car), last week when I saw Third Eye Blind. The main problem with being a single person and trying to abide by the social distancing rules is that I have to go to a concert in my car by myself. There is no six feet of distancing in my car. I also can’t go out with friends to dinner as the tables are not six feet in length, but that’s different story for another time. But honestly, I really didn’t mind the concert by myself, I’ve been attending shows solo for years taking photos and milling around while enjoying the music. In any case, I packed a dinner with beverage and headed over to the fairgrounds early enough to get a good spot.

Well it turns out, if you have excellent eyesight, there really isn’t a bad spot since they have large screens facing out on each side of the stage which is set up in the middle of the parking lot. And as for sound, you’re not listening to the concert via oversized speakers damaging your eardrums, instead you’re listening at a level you control in your car via personal devices. I used my car’s radio which actually has a nice speaker system. I minimized my eardrum damage by opting to turn up the speakers much later in the show. The band put on a great performance; I would wager it was even better than the last time they played in Ventura at the fair two years ago. Lead singer Stephen Jenkins quipped that they hadn’t played together since March 9 and didn’t even have a rehearsal or soundcheck; they clearly enjoyed performing again.

The crew from Concerts in Your Car have your safety in mind. It’s not a minimal crew either, from the front entrance all the way to the security personnel (some with large scary looking dogs) who patrol the grounds and gently remind those who have placed their face masks around their necks, to put them back up on the their face when they were outside their cars. But the best feature is the stage itself with a huge screen on each side and professional lighting and camera work. It was top-notch. The one attraction I did not participate in was the Zoom link where the large video screens featured people waiting for the show to start. I opted out of that feature because…well let’s be honest, it is a little sad sitting in your car by yourself waiting for a concert to start.

One more thing, if you do actually sit in your car and not outside in a chair or in the back of your truck, then you might want to bring something to wash your windows with as you will be driving through a dirt field in line to enter the fairgrounds. It’s not that you’re driving through the dirt field that’s the issue, but rather everyone else is too, and it’s the dirt from their tires that land on your front windshield. Lesson learned, pass it along.

There are still a number of shows lined up, and if the rumor mill is correct, a few more dates could be added. Still to come, Sublime with Rome for two shows on Friday, August 7 (5:30 and 9:30 pm), Rodney Atkins and Ross Ellis on Saturday, August 8 and Fitz and the Tantrums on Saturday, August 29. And don’t forget about Theater in your Car brought to you by the good folks at the Rubicon Theater with three nights for each performance of Forever Plaid, the 30th Reunion Concert from August 3 through the 5; Jimmy Messina and Friends August 17 through the 19 (the 18th features Tomothy B. Schmit and the 19th has Kenny Loggins); and Music of the Knights will run September 7 through 9 with special guest star Ted Neeley of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” All ticket information, and additional shows and movies can be found on their website,


Alastair Greene’s email newsletter just revealed that Greene recently worked with former Dishwalla vocalist, J.R. Richards on a previously unreleased track from the Dishwalla 5 record. The track is called “Winter Sun (Piano Version)” and is on the maxi-disc version of the album now available via Bandcamp and all the usual digital and physical means of getting your music these days.

Crooked Eye Tommy with their brand of deep seeded blues and smokey southern rock will have their official CD release party down at the Oxnard performing Arts Center where they’re having their own version of drive-in style concerts. The party is scheduled for Friday, August 21 with sets from Jim Gustin and Truth Jones, Guy Martin and Jon English before the band takes the stage. Ticket details have not been revealed at press time, but you’ll want to secure that date on your calendar.

What was going to be a live event is now an online live streaming concert of “Delta by the Beach” from the Namba Performing Arts Space. This promises to be more than your average livestream with a screening of the film “True Delta,” an award-winning short documentary by Lee Quinby and Daniel Cowen that explores the Clarksdale, Mississippi roots of blues music. The live music will be from Doc Ventura, Milo Sledge and Eddie Layman.

The live streaming event costs $10 and benefits Namba & the musical artists. First out more at The live performance on Saturday, August 8, will be streamed via Crowdcast and then it will be available for viewing for one month after.

The Ventura Music Festival continues to share a video weekly highlighting artist in a series they call VMF’s Music Connects digital festival. They are accepting submissions and all genres are accepted from classical, to pop to roots, to jazz and everything in between. The most recent video featured an amazing cover from MC15 – Time for Three. All previous videos are available for viewing as well and all absolutely free at

There are a number of venues that are offering live stream concerts on a consistent basis including The Winery Ventura every Thursday evening, the Ojai Underground Exchange every Friday and Saturday, as well as the Grammy winning studio, Carbonite Studios, out of Ojai. They all promote their shows either via Facebook, on their respective websites or via an email blast. does its best to list them as well.


The latest installment of the VenturaRockSpot is up and live with an interview with my good friend Tommy Marsh of Crooked Eye Tommy. What is normally a fifteen-minute show turned out to be thirty as we had much ground to cover with the aforementioned new release, Coffee and Pain. I also get to play the new video of the title track in its entirety. You can find the video on the homepage of


I continue to produce my radio show from my home studio and I’m getting pretty good at it, you can hardly tell it’s all done remotely except for the occasional barking dog in the background. I share music from local artists in and around Ventura, as well as expanding to include the 805, but I also share music from bands who come to the 805 which covers a lot. The field has talent, there’s no doubt about that, and a lot of artists are continuing to produce from home as well. And while production on their music may not sound studio produced, it still communicates during this COVID-19 time of social distancing.

I’m always looking for more music to share, new or old, and if you have something you’d like to have played on FM radio (and world wide as we’re on the internet), just drop me at line at The Pam Baumgardner Music Hour airs at 104.1 FM in Ventura with a new show every two weeks debuting on a Tuesday at 5 pm, with rebroadcasts on Friday at 5 and Sundays at noon.

I’m certainly looking forward to getting out and seeing our local artists being able to play once again in a safe environment and hopefully while the weather is still great. I think it’s safe enough if an artist, duo or small ensemble is playing outdoors, with social distancing in place and where everyone who is not eating, drinking or singing on stage is wearing a mask. Maybe they have to add no dancing allowed. But let’s get serious, it’s no riskier, than just dining out; you’ve just added a little entertainment and given these guys some much deserved work!

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows (online or live) you want help publicizing? Please send all information short or long to, and for updated music listings daily, go to

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 7/15 – 7/28

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

Ventura Rocks

The day after I submitted my last music scene column, all live music in venues and/or restaurants was banned. And then in a sign of solidarity, downtown Ventura’s Main Street Moves decided to postpone having artists performing at California and Main. Someone argued it wasn’t fair to the venues; I say that “someone” is shooting everyone in their collective foot. The live music at California and Main isn’t feeding anyone any food, they are not competing with restaurants for your dollars, in fact, it’s costing them money. Live music draws people, albeit at a safe social distance, and then these good people after getting their fill of good vibes will stop in at one of the many restaurants for a meal helping to support the economy. But you know, that’s just my opinion.

Meanwhile, I really want to enjoy a packed house with incredible music dancing the night away. So please do your part and help nip this pandemic in the bud. Wear your mask, social distance, and if you think for even one second you might be sick, stay home! I’ve read too many accounts of a person who thought they were just tired from working too much or perhaps they hoped they just had allergies, and then they spread the virus to others. Hang tight, stay strong and vigilant and we’ll get through this quicker than if we go around “bending” the rules.


I’m happy to report more drive-in concerts are popping up around the county joining the ranks of Concerts in Your Car whose home base is the Ventura Fairgrounds parking lot. The Canyon Club has been working with the Oxnard Performing Arts & Convention Center to bring shows to their venue. To date they’ve shown the movie Frozen 2 with opening bands Dr. T and the Blues Criminals, Kelly’s Lot and Fantastic Diamond and then on July 12 it was all about the reggae with Urban Dread, After the Smoke and Bombafiya. Both events were free to the public. I’m hoping they’ll continue to provide shows to the community as our hot summer nights are just getting started.

And apparently another venue being used is the Poinsettia Pavilion’s parking lot. I just saw Ignition (rock cover band) will be putting on a drive-in concert on Saturday, July 18, from 6 to 8:30 pm; starting price is $59 per car.

But of course, spearheading the drive-in concerts in Ventura County is CBF Productions who continue to add shows to their roster. On Thursday, July 16, it’s J2B2 | John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band; I had a Q&A with Jorgenson in my last column when he detailed what people could expect from his show. He said, “J2B2 is an excellent ensemble both instrumentally and vocally, so people can expect world class singing and playing first of all. Our material ranges from very traditional bluegrass to newer songs from some of the best songwriters of our time. Our goal has been to bring meaningful lyrics into the mix of virtuosic picking and tight vocal harmonies. Hopefully the audience will laugh, wipe a tear or two, think a bit differently, and drive home with smiles on their faces.”

Then on Saturday, July 18, local favorite Rey Fresco, will open for Ozomatli and headliner, Fishbone. The following week on Saturday, July 25, it’s Third Eye Blind at 8 pm and then an encore screening of Blake Shelton w/ Gwen Stefani and Trace Adkins at 11 pm. Do note a couple of shows have been added so far for August. First, it’s two shows on Friday, August 7 (5:30 then 9:30 pm) with Sublime w/ Rome, and then on Saturday, August 29, it’s Fitz and the Tantrums.

And if tribute bands are your cup of tea, then don’t miss DSB, marketed as “the world’s greatest Journey tribute band” on Thursday, July 23 and then it’s Noise Pollution, the AC/DC experience on Thursday, July 30.

And finally, if you’re a fan of theater productions, then you won’t want to miss the Rubicon Theater Company’s line up of four concerts performed live on an elevated outdoor stage with video feed on 4 large LED screens. Running July 20 – 22 is “2 am at the Sands” Samonsky sings Sinatra. August 3 – 5 is Forever Plaid, the 30th reunion concert featuring members of the original cast. August 17 – 19 it’s Jimmy Messina & Friends with special surprise guests each night. And September 7 – 9 it’s Music of the Knights, the songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Elton John and Paul McCartney, special guest cast member is Ted Neeley star of the film Jesus Christ Superstar.

All tickets for the stage productions are available via the Rubicon website at All tickets for concerts, tribute shows and movies are available at You’ll want to read the full FAQs so you know what to expect and the do’s and don’ts for these special engagements.


With the live music ban once again in effect, a lot of artists are ramping up their game once again via online performances.

The Winery Ventura has livestream music every Thursday. Log in on their Facebook page July 16 for 6 Beats Apart featuring Bruce Lett, Ed Wayne, Andy Waddel, Charlie Ferguson, Russ McKinnon & MB Gordy; downbeat 6:30 pm.

The Ojai Underground Exchange has consistently been offering shows on the weekend for a small donation. Past shows include Shawn Jones, Kelly’s Lot, Jamie Drake, Rose Valley Thorns and Will Breman to name but a few acts. They’re a good page to follow on Facebook. You should also sign up for their email list.

Camerata Pacifica offers weekly a different video performance every Sunday at 5:30 pm.
Tierney Sutton accompanied by pianist Tamir Hendelman will perform a special online set Wednesday, July 15 at 6 pm. Just go to Tierney’s social media pages for links to log on.

Grammy winning studio, Carbonite Sound, has been offering up live and on demand streaming concerts. Their next one will be the Danny McGaw Band on Saturday, July 25.

The Dickies played a free livestream concert on Sunday, July 12 with special guests jazz giant Doug Webb sat in for a tune or two and Greg Hetson of the Circle Jerks joined the boys to play “Gigantor.” I am glad I caught them last November when they played Oak and Main live as I had never had the chance to see them play before. I’ve been a huge fan since the days of “Stuck in a Pagoda with Tricia Toyota,” “Manny, Moe & Jack” and their cover of “Nights in White Satin.” The live stream took an odd turn when the band took a break to sit around a table to eat Chinese food, but they quickly got back to the business at hand. On a side note, lead singer, Leonard Graves Phillips, has been working on a book about the Dickies, and hit a rough patch when someone stole his car. Luckily fans (including this one) stepped up to the plate to help out via an online fundraiser.


Michelle Hoover and GWC Productions in conjunction with continue to produce a show monthly highlighting musician in and around the 805, as well as the musicians who come here to play. We just changed up the format of the interview show making it a little more COVID-19 friendly with yours truly doing the interviews now via online software. My first interview was with Mark Masson of Shaky Feelin’ and the next couple will be with Brigette Purdy, Tommy Marsh of Crooked Eye Tommy and I believe Carry on Band.

Past episodes of VenturaRockSpot have featured How to Live with Robots, Kyle Smith, Prima Donna Rising, the Guitar and Whiskey Club, Amber & Smoke, Raised on Vinyl, Fallen Saints, Dylan Garicia, the Rockin Henrys and more! Just go to the homepage of and you’ll see the most recent video ready to roll. Just below it, a link to all previous episodes on the YouTube channel.

If you are interested in being featured on an upcoming episode, just reach out to Michelle Hoover on the official website,

Thanks for reading and as always, if you have any music-related news or upcoming shows (online or otherwise) that you want help publicizing, please send all information short or long to, and for updated music listings daily, go to

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 7/1/20 – 7/14/20

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

Ventura Rocks artwork

NOTE:  The deadline for this column was just before the County shutdown all bars and prohibited indoor music.


I’ve spoken to a number of venue owners the past couple of weeks as they tread lightly doing their best to follow the guidelines in place to operate safely in this time of COVID-19. And without naming names, I know several have had to stop the music (literally) to remind patrons that wearing masks is mandatory in their establishment unless you’re seated at your table. Social distancing is being enforced and whether you think the whole thing is a conspiracy theory or not, it’s their business, literally! They can make up whatever rules they want to secure their venue, but the bigger issue is that they’re actually enforcing what has been mandated by the governor of California. Do you want them to be closed down by code enforcement? Of course not! So, I beseech you to please wear a mask, because if you don’t you’re going to not only put their business at risk, but you could pass along the virus not even knowing you’re a carrier.

We all want to get back to normal. We all want to hang out, and give hugs and hearty handshakes to old friends while taking in our favorite bands, but we’re nowhere near that point yet. If you feel strongly enough about not wanting to wear a mask, then please stay away and listen to music at home. There are plenty of live streaming concerts still being held.


Reopening doors, following safety guidelines and trying to get back up to speed may not include live music at this time for a lot of venues. I understand (she says with a pitiful lower lip pushed out trembling ever so slightly). The priority is paying the rent and the staff and rebuilding a clientele. So, don’t forget to support all your favorite music venues whether they have live music or not yet. If we do this right, and we do this together supporting where we can, we will live to see another robust economy with a booming music scene.


And while we’re on the submit of live music in venues, let’s take it from the perspective of the musician. Not all artists feel safe enough to get back out there to play live. Trust me, they want to, but their better judgement is keeping them away for many reasons. You have your favorite bands, and solo artists, well why not reach out via social media where most of them have accounts. Let them know you miss them, and if you can, buy their music and some merchandise if available to show your support.


John Jorgensen Bluegrass

John Jorgensen’s Bluegrass Supergroup

SuperDuperKyleIn each of my past four music scene columns I’ve been able to report more details on the Concerts in Your Car events by CBF Productions (California Beer Festival). This past weekend Ventura finally saw a large-scale concert with SuperDuperKyle kicking off the series over the weekend of June 26 and 27. Kyle, a former Ventura High School graduate, was well-received as he gears up for his album release on July 17, See You When I Am Famous.

I’m not going to lie; I am so relieved to hear portable bathrooms are now available as they were not when they first launched this series. Under their FAQ, the Concerts in Your Car website made it clear no restrooms on site, no getting out of your car, and you could not leave the event early. As a female, let me just say “THANK YOU GOD!” I just couldn’t wrap my bladder, I mean head around that one! Gratefully, we don’t have to worry about that now.

Back to the business at hand, joining forces with CBF Productions is the Ventura Music Festival as they present John Jorgenson’s Bluegrass Supergroup. On Thursday, July 16. I love that Concerts In Your Car is being so diverse with the genres ranging from rap to bluegrass to alternative rock to country, there literally is something for everyone! And if you are a fan of bluegrass music, then you won’t want to miss Grammy-winning guitarist, John Jorgenson (Desert Rose Band, the Hellecasters) who will be joined by fellow music legends Herb Pedersen (Desert Rose Band, Laurel Canyon Ramblers), Mark Fain (seven-time Grammy-winning bassist) and Patrick Sauber (Laurie Lewis band).John Jorgensen Bluegrass

Patrick Sauber, Mark Fain, John Jorgenson, Herb Pederson

I have a quick Q&A following here, but for more information on all the concerts and movies and for purchasing your ticket got to


Pam: I’m loving the creativity of our music community; what was your initial response to doing a drive-in concert?

John: Indeed Ventura is a very creative community, and as a musician I feel quite comfortable living here.

When Nuvi [Nuvi Mehta, Ventura Music Festival Artistic Director] asked me to play the drive-in concert for the Ventura Music Festival I was thrilled. I have performed in so many varied venues over my 40 plus years as an entertainer so to get asked to do something new and challenging is rare, surprising and fun. In the last few months most of my contact with my band members has been to cancel or reschedule gigs, so to get to tell them about one that’s actually going to happen was great too.

Pam: What can people expect from your show?

J2B2 is an excellent ensemble both instrumentally and vocally, so people can expect world class singing and playing first of all. Our material ranges from very traditional bluegrass to newer songs from some of the best songwriters of our time. Our goal has been to bring meaningful lyrics into the mix of virtuosic picking and tight vocal harmonies. Hopefully the audience will laugh, wipe a tear or two, think a bit differently, and drive home with smiles on their faces.

Pam: Do you see more of these type concerts on the horizon?

John: Well, I sure hope so! The chance to get out and enjoy a performance from the safety of your own car while still feeling a bit of community and a shared concert experience is extremely rare if not impossible. Here is a way forward!

Pam: Musically speaking, what had you been doing during the shutdown?

John: Since the shut down I’ve been mostly using the time to go through my musical archives of older formats and transfer tapes, as well as organize memorabilia I’ve amassed over the years. I have also done a few remote recording sessions and contributed to a worldwide orchestral and choral collaboration. It’s definitely a time for all performers to rethink and retool.


I spoke to JD Drury just a few weeks ago and being the optimist that he is, he was still holding out that Surf Rodeo could in some form or another be pulled off this summer or late fall, but the word came out shortly afterwards that Surf Rodeo is officially off for 2020; JD hung in there hoping for a miracle, but alas…it wasn’t to be. The official post on social media: “It is with heavy hearts that after several conversations with the City of Ventura and State Parks, due to Covid-19, we will not be able to party on the beach this summer. We love you and we miss you! WE WILL BE BACK 2021!”


Album artworkTommy Marsh dropped off a copy of Crooked Eye Tommy’s sophomore CD, Hot Coffee and Pain which is scheduled for an August release. It was recorded in Ojai at Carbonite Studios with Grammy-winning audio engineer, Jason Mariani (Joe Bonamassa, Robben Ford). You know I’ll be spinning a couple tunes on the Pam Baumgardner Music Hour at CAPS Media’s KPPQ-LP, and we’re working on having Tommy be a guest on the VenturaRockSpot which you can view on the Ventura Rock’s YouTube channel. If you loved their last release, Butterflies and Snakes, well you ain’t seen nothing yet! Holy smokes, they hit this one out of the park! More details coming soon.

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Please send all information short or long to, and for updated music listings daily, go to