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Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze – 1/13/21 – 1/26/21

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com
Pam@VenturaRocks.com

Ventura Rocks artwork

We all have high hopes for 2021, so don’t let the first week of political turmoil get you down. I’ve been thinking about Ventura’s music scene over the past decade and at one point there were over 30 venues available for live music from the East end of town to the Harbor to Downtown to the Avenue. I miss places that would pack the joint like Bernadette’s, Billy O’s, Zoey’s, Blackbeard’s at the Harbor, Amigo’s, Green Art People, Surf Brewery, the Winery, Yolies, and now the Hong Kong Inn.

As we grapple with Covid-19, it will still be a while before we’re able to embrace live music like we use to do. And when we can, it’s totally up to music lovers to support the scene. If you ask any one of the past owners of any one of the venues who had to shut their venue down this past decade, they would tell you there was nothing like offering live music to a packed house with people spending money to keep their doors open. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it takes three elements to make a music scene, the artists, the venues, and us music lovers. We can do this!


Photo of Guy MartinMeanwhile, I thought I would check with Ventura’s own, Guy Martin, to see what he’s been up to the past year. You can’t get much more homegrown than Guy, from the bands and projects he’s been a part of for over three decades, he’s seen it all. And now he has put together his own studio, Black Couch Studios, as another choice for musicians to record.

Pam: How has the pandemic affected you personally?

Guy: I’ll keep this one short because I have my own personal views on this pandemic, that could be argued otherwise. However, with my day job as a contractor, it has had no effect. Music on the other hand, we all know it has had a tremendous effect on this business. I’m lucky, I have my “essential” day job to lean back on. My other peers and colleagues that actually rely on music and performing to make a living….well, they are really feeling the effects of this pandemic. I feel bad for the entire performing arts industry. It’s going to be hard moving forward for anyone relying on performing to make a living. It’s so sad. I could go on and on about how I feel about these strict lock downs…but that’s another story for another day. It truly is a bit of a downer mentally for a lot of people, including me at times. We just have to persevere and keep our heads up as much as we can. Love your family, love your close friends, and while you’re at it…just love everybody. Love always wins.

Pam: It seems your Black Couch Studios has been doing well. Who has been in there recording new music this past year?

Guy: I am blessed to have such a professional and functional studio in my own home. I literally count my blessings every time I walk into my studio. With the shutdown of the performing industry, I feel blessed to still be able to keep my feet in the pool with use of my studio, both for my own projects and other’s as well. The pandemic has slowed the projects coming into the studio for sure. As of late, I did a project with a young talented player named Jayden Secor. He just released his debut EP, of which was recorded, mixed, and mastered here at BlackCouch. There is another artist, Court Kellum that is in the process of tracking some of his original songs here as well. He is another talented vocalist trying to release his music to the world…soon. For now, that’s about all. I’ve had several consultations with other artists about recording here at BlackCouch. That was before the pandemic hit, so a lot of artists are on hold with that. They are at home fine tuning their material with small bedroom setups, hopefully getting ready to record in a pro facility when they feel safe to do so.

Pam: What extra precautions (if any) have you been taking to ensure client’s safety?

Guy: I wouldn’t call it “extra” precautions, other than the usual. If both the client and I have been tested negative and feeling well, then it’s business as usual. If a client feels more comfortable with a mask during a session, then that’s what we do. Of course, everything is cleaned on a daily basis in the studio. Everything from drum sticks to microphones.

Pam: What projects have you been working on personally? Who have you been collaborating with?

Guy: Ah…my personal projects. You mean the projects we’ve discussed in the past, maybe 3 years ago that aren’t finished yet? Those projects? Lol. I have a whole album worth (and more) of original material that is just waiting to be finished. GOOD STUFF too!! I can’t wait to release a full-length record again. It’s been since 1997 since that has happened for me. So sad once you really think about it. But it will happen…soon, I promise. I still have a couple covers that are waiting to be released as well. One of them being “Gimme Shelter” by the Stones. Such a cool version too.
Collaborations have come to a halt with the pandemic in play. But that doesn’t stop us from talking about it and planning for it down the road. I plan on collaborating with a lot of my local peers and friends. Players like Shawn Jones, Alastair Greene, Mikey Mo, Jen Leigh… just to name a few. Jayden Secor is even on board for some future works. Looking forward to that all happening.

Pam: What do you miss most this past year?

Guy: Most? Just being normal, which encompasses a lot of things rolled into one. Hanging with friends without worry or issue. Dining out, going to a movie, and most of all…being on stage. I’ll admit, I started to get a little burned out on the “scene” and the politics of playing out and getting gigs. But now that it’s not even an option currently, I miss it so much. I can’t wait to make people happy with some guitar playing again, hopefully soon.


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 Pam@VenturaRocks.com, and for updated music listings daily, go to www.VenturaRocks.com.

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 12/30/20 – 1/13/21

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com
Pam@VenturaRocks.com

Artwork for article

Last year at this time, and traditionally speaking, this time of year I’m usually sharing where all the New Year’s Eve parties are happening and what bands are playing, but this year, not so much. Instead, we have to be patient and diligent and before long, we’ll be back in the venues with friends listening to live music. Until then, I’d like to share a story about one of our own, and how the community is coming together to support. I reached out to Mike Fishell after reading on social media what happened to his son and he was so gracious to share his story with the Breeze.
Mike has been playing music in Ventura county nightclubs and restaurants since the late 70s playing countless weddings and parties with bands like Rudy and the Reverbs, the Convertibles, the Barstool Pigeons, Fish Fry and the Vonettes. Mike’s two sons, Roy and Miles, have been playing with him professionally since 2010 when he started Fish Fry, a rock and blues band that’s played all over Ventura County. Mike told me that the three of them have performed with the Vonettes with his sister, Mary Sawyer and his brother-in-law, Brent Sawyer. He said, “Playing music I love with people I love has been a high point in my life.”

Mike added that both of his sons and he began playing music when they were very young. Miles started on the drums when he was about four years old. In fact, he was Fish Fry’s drummer for many years. He also played professionally on keyboards, bass and guitar. Mike said that Miles had been playing lead guitar with Fish Fry, bass with the Vonettes, and keyboards with the Soulutionaries, a Los Angeles based reggae band.

And then this past summer everything changed.

Pam: Please explain what happened to Miles

Mike and Miles FishellMike Fishell: It happened so fast. In July, 23-year-old guitarist Miles Fishell checked into St. John’s Hospital in Oxnard, CA with a high fever. He was diagnosed with a rare, life-threatening bacterial blood infection called meningococcal disease, and deteriorated rapidly. The infection led to blood poisoning and spread quickly throughout his body, leading to overlapping medical traumas known as purpura fulminans. The infection caused Miles’s blood to clot, limiting oxygen to the smallest capillaries in his fingers, feet and nose, resulting in devastating, permanent damage. Thankfully, St. John’s ICU team arrested the bacteria’s progression and saved Miles’s life. He was then transported to UCLA Medical Center, where he remained for seven weeks, including a long stay in ICU. Miles was prescribed daily hyperbaric oxygen treatments to help heal his wounded limbs. He has had all ten toes amputated, will lose parts of eight fingers, and requires surgical reconstruction of his nose.

And on top of everything else, this is happening during a pandemic. Did that play a part in his treatment at all?

Mike: The pandemic has affected everything, but we felt safe during Miles’s seven weeks in the hospital; the doctors and staff at St. John’s Hospital and at UCLA were all great.
Have you been able to spend time with him while he was in the hospital?
Mike: We were fortunate due to the severity of Miles’s medical Condition that one family member could stay with Miles at UCLA twenty-four hours a day. He needed constant assistance; our help was needed. While only one of us could be in the room at one time, someone was there around the clock. He is now staying in Ventura where he gets the daily loving care that he needs from two of his mothers, Julianne Fisher and Michele Sumner who have both been nothing short of miraculous. We are so happy he is out of the hospital.

How is Miles holding up?

Mike: Miles is an inspiration. Honestly, he never complains. He is focused on getting past this stage of his treatment and moving on to a normal life. Whether it be treatments or physical therapy, he has been enthusiastic and diligent. Before this happened, he was taking classes full time at Ventura College and he looks forward to getting back to school.

How about you and the rest of the family?

Mike: We take our cues from Miles. Of course, we are saddened by these events, but his positive nature is an inspiration. My entire family and so many friends have been directly involved with providing love and support. Miles inspires us to stay strong.

So, who started the funding raising efforts on social media?

Mike: My brother Steve and my wife Valerie (Miles’s other mom) helped enormously, but I was the organizer of the GoFundMe page.

Go ahead and describe the response as best you can.

Mike: We have been overwhelmed by the response. It has been stunning. The outpouring of love and care sent his way has lifted us all emotionally in ways that are indescribable. We realize that so many folks are struggling now. The generosity that people have shown has been very heartening.

How will this help your son?

Mike: This trauma has been monumentally life-changing for Miles. Medical insurance covered most of his hospitalization costs, but his long-term working prospects remain uncertain. Miles must now rely on multiple medical specialists over his lifetime. Future medical bills are a huge concern, as are his daily living expenses. Your donation helps him prepare for his uncertain future.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Mike: Miles is very moved by the outpouring of love and support. Our family is so grateful. We urge anyone with kids between the ages of 14 and 23 to learn more about Meningococcal vaccines here:

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/mening/index.html

Pam to readers: If you would like to help out one of Ventura’s own too, just go the GoFundMe.com page and search “Miles’s Amputation Recovery Fund” or just click here: GoFund.me/18fd2943.

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Happy New Year VenturaRocks.com & Ventura Breeze readers! I wish you love, peace and prosperity as we all look forward to getting back to a more normal way of life in 2021 and once again being able to get out and listen to live music again.
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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 Pam@VenturaRocks.com, and for updated music listings daily, go to www.VenturaRocks.com.

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 12/16/20 – 12/29/20

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com
Pam@VenturaRocks.com

Breeze artwork

With most of Southern California under another lockdown, live in person music, has been put back on hold; and it turns out, both the Canyon Club at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center and Concerts in Your Car at the Fairgrounds are on hiatus until at least mid-January. You can see live performances on social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube, but for the most part, we just need to hunker down, be patient, and hope this new vaccine will be our saving grace.

I’m sorry to report that The Winery Ventura is shutting their doors by the end of this year. They had so many great live performances there the past couple of years. The building which holds their lease has been sold, and instead of pushing the agreement with the new owners, they decided to close. They are having a blow out sale which you are welcomed to support with great deals on not only their wine, but tables, chairs, plants, etc… They’ll be open Fridays 5-7, Saturdays noon-5, and Sundays noon – 2. Do note: The Grape jazz club is still scheduled to open this June barring anymore pandemic shenanigans.
One of the previously mentioned online performances will be coming from the Namba Performing Arts space on Sunday Dec 20 at 7 pm featuring Jayden Secor, Power2ThePeople, Joe Henry III, Delta by the Beach, Kris Simeon, Aaron Burch, Medicine Hat and Fred Kaplan & Robert Kyle. The money raised ($10 streaming donation fee) goes to benefit Namba which is a 501c-3 non-profit organization. Get the lowdown at www.NambaArts.com.
And though Jodi Farrell’s Music Studio 2020 Holiday Recital is available online. The production is a collaborative effort of her studios producing home videos to share some holiday musical cheer. You can view the recital at www.JodiFarrell.com/2020-Holiday-recital/#5.
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Gary Best w/ Pam Baumgardner photoI reached out to local musician Gary Best for a little Q&A, and he was happy to oblige. It’s always a treat to run into Gary out and about supporting other bands and artists when he’s not playing. You might know Gary from the local Improv group here in Ventura, and seeing him perform in Los Dudes. I’ve been playing his original tunes (which are really good!) on the Pam Baumgardner Music Hour on KPPQ-LP at 104.1 FM here in Ventura.

Pam: How long did it take for you to gain confidence that you actually have skills?

Gary: I am a fearless dilettante. I never wait to have the skill to do anything. I usually dive in and learn to swim as I go. You can tell from reactions if any song works. I try to keep writing.

When did you first start writing songs?

Gary: In high school. My songwriting partner moved to my town and he played James Taylor and Cat Stevens and the Beatles. I sort of stalked him until he taught me chords and I wrote songs to impress him. Still do.

When did you start recording them?

Gary: We had a reel to reel back then and started playing with recording techniques. I started going to Nashville in the 90’s to demo songs. My first trip was with Jonathan McEuen and Jimmy Adams.

How did that evolve into playing in a band?

Gary: A dozen years ago a local group had a gig and one of their members had just dropped out. I had always done Johnny Cash at parties so I volunteered. Thus was born the legendary garage band, Los Dudes.
I always try to hang around people that know more than me.

Do you have a producer you work with?

Gary: Locally I love working with Jesse Seibenberg. He can play anything and has a wonderful ear. He always makes my songs better than they are.

What’s the Randy Parsons connection?

Gary: When I retired, I started looking for new projects. My original songwriting partner, Bruce Scism, was building guitars in Nashville so when I saw Parsons Guitar Building School I was already primed to the idea. I picked a pretty difficult build for my first and Randy was really game to give it a go. Great guy. Lucky to have him in our community.

How has the Pandemic affected you as an artist? Personally?

Gary: It’s been a boon to me artistically. I got a lot more work done in the last 9 months writing songs and painting. I’m starting a Podcast; which is exciting.
I miss seeing and hearing music and art which is how I get inspired and steal ideas. I’m a pretty social animal so I miss seeing friends.

Are you still working with your improv group? And if so, in what capacity?

Gary: The Ventura Improv Company is certainly looking forward to doing shows again. I haven’t encouraged our people to do Zoom shows. I haven’t seen many that work real well. I’m still Artistic Director, as far as I know, but the ship is in harbor.

What goals do you have in the near future…pandemic or not?

Gary: The podcast I mentioned… it was inspired by a song of mine called, “My Daddy Never Cried.” Friends sort of spontaneously started sharing stories of and about their fathers. My sister, Brenda, suggested we might have the basis of a book or collection. We should be rolling it out early next year.
Other than that, to just keep writing and producing art in my own way. It’s what I do.

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It’s all holiday music produced locally and mostly original on the Pam Baumgardner Music Hour on KPPQ-LP for the next two weeks. I’ll be spinning tunes from Gary Best, Jill Martini & the Shrunken Heads, Warren Takahashi, Kelly Zirbes, Professional Americans and more. The program airs Tuesdays and Fridays at 5 pm and Sundays at noon at 104.1 FM, online at www.CapsMedia.org/Radio or by using the MyTuner radio app for your smart device.

Happy holidays to you and yours. Here’s to putting 2020 behind us (too many jokes about 2020 vision). I’m wishing you peace, health and prosperity, along with a hefty dose of live music for 2021. Take care, be safe and rock on.

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 Pam@VenturaRocks.com, and for updated music listings daily, go to www.VenturaRocks.com.

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 12/2/20 -12/15/20

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com
Pam@VenturaRocks.com

Ventura Rocks artworkIt’s the last month of the year, a year that will go down in history where music scenes everywhere took a major hit including our quant little Ventura. But now with a vaccine or two on the horizon, let’s hope 2021 shows a slow yet steady recovery. All those venues that provided live music pre-pandemic will need your help getting back up to speed. Meanwhile, please continue to be diligent when venturing out as the pandemic numbers have risen yet again. Do your part and social distance and wear your mask to help reduce the spread of the virus.

The Canyon Club at Oxnard Performing Art Center continues to add more concerts (see listings on this page), and if you’re a fan of The Beatles, then you won’t want to miss The Fab Four who have been a professional tribute band for the past 23 years. The band has a couple of CDs to their credit, including their popular HARK! Christmas CD, which features traditional Christmas songs done in that unmistakable Beatles style. They’ve also released a live concert CD and a CD of their Emmy-winning 2012 PBS special, “The Fab Four: The Ultimate Tribute.” The Fab Four plays Friday, December 4.

Here in Ventura, Concerts in Your Car has a handful of shows before a short break at the beginning of the year. Still to come this year, Iration on Friday, December 4, and then a couple of stage productions including a live drive-in opera of Carmen on Sunday, December 6, the Nutcracker from Ventura County Ballet on Saturday, December 12 (two shows 5 and 8 pm) and Santa Saves Christmas on Saturday December 19. The same venue has been offering actual drive-in movies in between concerts, and leading up to Christmas, they’ve lined up a number of holidays classics including Elf, the Polar Express, The Santa Clause, Dr. Seuss How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the Jim Carrey version) and of course, A Christmas Story. For more information on any of these shows, or ticket prices, just go to www.ConcertsInYourCar.com.

The 3rd annual Doc the Halls, Holiday Blues show with Doc Ventura will be held virtually this year out of Namba Performing Arts space on Sunday, December 6 from Noon until 6 pm. For the cost of admission (a mere $10), you can catch performances online live from Delta by the Beach, Mark McKinney, Tom Buenger, Robert Kyle & Alyse Korn, Lucious Spiller, the Ventura County Ballet Company, Freda Ramey and Frank Barajas.

We’ve continued to produce monthly episodes of the VenturaRockSpot which features local bands and artists. You’ll want to check out our current interview with the talented Jodi Farrell. You can either go to VenturaRocks.com (listed on homepage), or go directly to www.VenturaRockSpot.com which includes past episodes featuring such bands as Kelly’s Lot, How to Live with Robots, Mark Masson of Shaky Feelin’, Kyle Smith, Crooked Eye Tommy and more. We currently have 22 episodes posted for your listening pleasure.

Quick Notes: The Forty Nineteens just released their latest single, “Go Little GTO” which takes the 1966 GTO out of the garage for a ride on Sunset Strip where the bandmates learned their chops; and the Mighty Cash (Michael J and Leticia) will be performing at a social distanced, free concert at Chuy’s in Simi Valley on Saturday, December 12.

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 Pam@VenturaRocks.com, and for updated music listings daily, go to www.VenturaRocks.com.

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 11/18/20 – 12/1/20

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com
Pam@VenturaRocks.com

Ventura Rocks artworkThere’s no doubt about it, the drive-in theater live concert events are about the only way you can take in a full band performing live music, and of course it’s the safest way if the folks in your car are quarantine buddies, so I’m happy to see more of these events popping up such as the one in Camarillo, and before you judge, keep an open mind because this one is serving up opera! The Ventura Music Festival has partnered with POP (Pacific Opera Project) and they boldly state, “If you think you hate opera, you haven’t seen a POP performance!” It all takes place for a limited time in the United Methodist Church parking lot at 291 Anacapa Drive. Coming up over the weekend of the 20 and 21 is a double bill featuring the US premiere of two rare, comic one-act Gluck operas, La Corona and Il Parnaso Confuso. Take a chance, take the family and enjoy some opera! Get more information at VenturaMusicFestival.org.

The Canyon Club at Oxnard Performing Art Center continues to add more concerts (see listings on this page) and they are typically of the tribute band variety with upcoming shows highlighting bands such as Van Halen, The Beatles, Elton John (the early years) and more.
Here in Ventura, Concerts in Your Car has Kaskade on November 20 (sold out), Bush the following night on November 21, Yachtley Crew on November 27, and Iration on December 4. They’re also offering up some opera on December 6 with a live performance of Carmen presented by Opera SB; then on Saturday, December 12, the Ventura County Ballet will provide entertainment to get you into the holiday mood with two performances of The Nutcracker (5 and 8 pm). For more information on any of these shows, go to www.ConcertsInYourCar.com.

Namba Arts continues to host live-streaming events every other weekend out of their studios. The next one will be held on Sunday, November 22 with Delta by the Beach, Solstice, FILI, Freda Ramey, String Planet, and the Rayjay & Flattop Tom Blues Duo. These events help keep Namba alive with a cover of $10 per performance which are hosted by Doc Ventura. You can look them up on Facebook or go to www.NambaAarts.com for details.

Quick Notes: Camarillo Barrelworks is offering live music solo/duo again (see listings); have dinner with “Frank” at Prime Tuesdays and Thursdays with Danny D; the Swillys play Grapes and Hops the night before Thanksgiving; Teresa Russell plays Wednesdays at Surfside Seafood in Port Hueneme, and Brittney Burchett with Ben Buttner plays Four Brix Winery on Sunday November 22.

Watching the fluctuation of the number of COVID-19 cases, it’s more important than ever to be diligent when venturing out, please do your part and social distance and wear your mask to help reduce the spread of the virus.

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 Pam@VenturaRocks.com, and for updated music listings daily, go to www.VenturaRocks.com.

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 11/4/20 – 11/17/20

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com
Pam@VenturaRocks.com

Graphic of Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze I guess it was bound to happen, and it finally did on Halloween when the first Concerts in Your Car was cancelled with a notice going out. “Aaron and Sully have made the difficult decision to cancel the remainder of their American Drive-in Tour. We know you are disappointed, and understand the challenges in touring nationally during a pandemic. We hope to have all of this behind us soon.” Of course, all tickets holders should receive full refunds within 5-7 business days. I have to admit my heart skipped a beat and a cold sweat hit me when I drove by that evening on my way home from a friend’s house in Ojai. The parking lot was empty and dark, and I thought to myself, “Did I get it wrong?” Did I list the wrong day on VenturaRocks.com??? It’s hard enough running a venue and booking artists let alone trying to do that during a pandemic. So, hats off to the crew behind the scenes. By the way, there are still a number of concerts and movies up until they’ll be offering “Holidays in Your Car” through the end of the year with just a handful of dates dark. No live music as far as I can tell, but it should be quite the visual sight with over a million animated lights for the whole family to enjoy. Meanwhile, they still 311 with two shows on Saturday, November 14, the sold out Kaskade show on Friday, November 20, and Bush on Saturday, November 21.

The next New West Symphony online concert, A Tour of India, takes place on Sunday, November 15, which will include a live Q&A with Maestro Michael Christie. The musical program will explore the influences that Indian and western classical musical traditions have upon each other. More information and tickets can be found at www.NewWestSymphony.org.

The Ventura Music Festival is celebrating Beethoven’s Birthday with two admission-free online shows, Sundays, November 15 and 22 at 4 pm with pre-recorded live performances by pianist Adam Golka. Remarks by Artistic Director Nuvi Mehta accompany each program and an interview with Golka is planned. To reserve your spot, go to www.VenturaMusicFestival.org.

Namba Arts will be hosting another live-streaming event out of their studios on Sunday, November 8. This one features Kris Simeon, Delta by the Beach, Richard Aufrichtig, Power2thePeople, Aaron Burch Band and Fred Kaplan & Rob Kyle. These events help keep Namba alive with a cover of $10 per performance which are hosted by Doc Ventura. You can look them up on Facebook or go to www.NambaAarts.com for details.

Quick Notes: Caffrodite Community Collective is now offering live acoustic music with limited seating; Ken Devoe plays Copa Cubana Saturday and Sunday afternoons; and Winchester’s is expanding their music to include both Thursdays and Sundays. Artists who have released new music include Colette Lovejoy’s self-titled debut and Alastair Greene’s “The New World Blues” produced by Tab Benoit.

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 Pam@VenturaRocks.com, and for updated music listings daily, go to www.VenturaRocks.com.

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze – 10/21/20 – 11/3/20

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com
Pam@VenturaRocks.com

Ventura Rocks artwork
We’re wrapping up October and music is finally resuming, albeit on a slow and cautious path. Heeding warnings and following the new guidelines is not available for all restaurants and venues as they don’t have the space to give up, specifically 20 feet to keep artist apart from patrons. Be patient, it’s happening.

When I first reported that the Beach Boys were playing Concerts in Your Car on Friday, October 23, I mentioned that John Stamos had played drums with the band in the past, so he just might show up. Well while checking for the latest Concerts in Your Car updates, the listing now has the Beach Boys with special guests John Stamos, and wait for it…Mark McGrath lead singer of Sugar Ray who has also co-hosted Extra (formerly on NBC). Other shows to look forward to include the former members of Oingo Boingo on Saturday, October 24; the voices of Godsmack & Staind, Aaron Lewis & Sully Erna together for the American Drive-in tour on Saturday, October 31; two shows on Saturday, November 14, with 311; and already sold out, Kaskade on Friday, November 20.

The New West Symphony is presenting a reimagined 2020/2021 season; and since you can’t be with them in the concert hall, they’re taking New West Symphony to you with eight virtual mini-festivals this season. “Tour of Japan” took place from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and the Kavli Theatre at the Bank of America Performing Arts Center on Sunday, October 18. The next couple of performances are “A Tour of India” on November 15, and “Violins of Hope” on January 24. Details and ticket information will be listed four weeks in advance of each show at www.NewWestSymphony.org.

The newest episode of the VenturaRockSpot has been posted and the video can be found on the homepage of VenturaRocks.com. This time around I interview Hunter Ackerman of Hunter and the Dirty Jacks who have played Grapes and Hops here in Ventura and a number of venues in Ojai including the Deer Lodge and Topa Mountain Winery. Again, many thanks to Michelle Hoover and GWC Productions for producing the show.

The mission statement for VenturaRocks.com, and the reason I write this music scene column has changed very little over the past 11 years, the mission is to stimulate the economy by promoting venues who offer music thus supporting local musicians and those who come here to play. It becomes very tricky to maintain this objective during a pandemic. Please do your part and support the venues who are offering live music and please for the love of all that is good in the world, practice safe distancing and wear your mask when not eating or drinking. We can get Ventura back to rockin’ again, but you have to do your part.

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 Pam@VenturaRocks.com, and for updated music listings daily, go to www.VenturaRocks.com.

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 10/7 – 10/20

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com
Pam@VenturaRocks.com

artworkVentura’s music scene is far from rockin’ but at least the process of healing has begun and the County/City is allowing music once again as long as venues follow their strict rules to keep everyone concerned safe. Though I shared it in my last column, it bears repeating what is allowed, “Live solo or duet (from same household) singers/musicians can perform outdoors at restaurants, bars, or wineries. The soloist/duet must stay at least 20 feet away from patrons and not amplify the music to the point where people have to lean in to be heard. The live music cannot cause people to gather. It should be for the benefit of the business patrons who are already seated and not to attract people to gather around the performers and/or stage. All other local and state guidance must be followed.”

Stepping up to the plate to date here in town are Leashless Brewing, Winchesters, Bombay Bar and Grill, the Winery and Copa Cubana. I’m as diligent, if not more than most, when it comes to taking the virus seriously. I hope all venues will heed the rules and ensure there is space between the musician (s) and the patrons. Not all venues have the luxury of the extra space needed, which is sad, but at least we’re on the road now to heading back to more live music.

Just added to Concerts in Your Car (CIYC) at the fairgrounds here in Ventura is the band 311 which pretty much defies being pigeon-holed into one genre. Hip hop, rock, reggae, funk, in a nutshell? Flat out danceable fun. The band is playing two shows on Saturday, November 14. The other two venues for CIYC have ramped up and I’m happy to report that all bands playing in Arizona or San Diego have or will be playing here locally.

New music on the scene includes Star Goes Nova, a project by my good friend Christine Law who is known as a bassist supporting such acts as hard rockers, Tantrum back in the day, and her husband’s band, Charles Law & Jagged and Suzanne Paris. She calls it melodic bass and dubstep cinemata EDM (Electronic Dance Music) and she sent me the single, “The Apprentice.” Another good friend has been hard at work producing music on her own for the first time, Sally Williams of the Swilly’s and she worked with Doug Pettibone and Taras Prodaniuk; she sent me her single called “Suffering.” And finally, Bill Rotella is about to release a new album next month called Smoke and the Earthtones, he sent me a single off of it called, “The Other Side.” I’m super excited to share all three songs on the Pam Baumgardner Music hour (episode 119) which airs Tuesdays and Fridays at 5 and Sundays at noon, and will run 10/6 – 10/18 at 104.1 FM, KPPQ-LP out of Caps Media.

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 Pam@VenturaRocks.com, and for updated music listings daily, go to www.VenturaRocks.com.

(post deadline: RIP Eddie Van Halen, you changed Rock ‘n’ Roll forever and took it to the next step.

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 9/23/10 – 10/6/20

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com
Pam@VenturaRocks.com

Ventura Rocks artwork

There is a fabulous resource as we navigate all the do’s and don’ts during the pandemic. It’s the VenturaCountyRecovers.org website and it has a “roadmap” to reopening and states, “Live solo or duet (from same household) singers/musicians can perform outdoors at restaurants, bars, or wineries. The soloist/duet must stay at least 20 feet away from patrons and not amplify the music to the point where people have to lean in to be heard. The live music cannot cause people to gather. It should be for the benefit of the business patrons who are already seated and not to attract people to gather around the performers and/or stage. All other local and state guidance must be followed.”

Don’t you agree that sounds fair, though I’m not sure most venues have an extra 20 feet of empty space to spare. But let’s see how it unfolds and hope each City gets on board, and with any luck at all, we can enjoy our local artists while supporting our favorite venues hoping they’ll provide live music again at such venues as Peirano’s, Winchesters, Grapes and Hops, Leashless, Boatyard Pub, Bombay’s, etc….

Meanwhile the crew from Concerts in Your Car continue to add acts including Slightly Stoopid, Chris Janson, the Beach Boys, Aaron Lewis & Sully Erna, and two shows with DJ Snoopadelic. Most shows start at $99 per car and as I reported before, you get to decide the volume as you run control on your own system in your car (yes, the radio). And per their website (www.ConcertsInYourCar.com), they’ll be opening a venue this month in Del Mar, and next month in Phoenix, Arizona. [add after print deadline: 311 two shows on Saturday, November 14]

Down in Oxnard in the Oxnard Performing Arts Center parking lot, the Canyon Club continues to line up acts, mostly of the tribute band variety, but I just saw that Jon B. (Jonathan David Buck) is currently schedule to perform October 17. This is the first show where the ticket price per vehicle has gone up from $39 to a hefty price of $175 – $200 per car. Grammy nominated Jon B. has written songs for artists such as Michael Jackson and Color Me Badd as well as performing on hit records with Tupac and Babyface not to mention his record Bonafide going Platinum.

The newest episode of VenturaRockSpot has been posted (you can find it on the homepage of VenturaRocks.com as well as at VenturaRockSpot.com) which features my interview with Kelly Zirbes and Perry Robertson of Kelly’s Lot. We discuss the history of the band, their newest release called Another Sky and I not only play their latest music video “Butterfly,” but they perform a couple of songs live as well. It’s a fun interview, I think you’ll enjoy it. And many thanks to Michelle Hoover, producer extraordinaire, for another fine job.

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 Pam@VenturaRocks.com, and for updated music listings daily, go to www.VenturaRocks.com.