Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 3/15-3/28

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
Local Music and More!
by Pam Baumgardner

The Wine Rack on California Street has been sold. Darcy is moving on creating a family and taking over is Kristen Shubert who will be rebranding the venue soon as Vintura. She’s cutting back the music to weekends but I don’t think it will be for long as she gets grooved in on Ventura’s music scene.

The Sandbox Coffeehouse is celebrating their five-year anniversary with live music every weekend, which come to think of it, they already do. Congratulations to Todd and the crew and thanks for giving a platform to artists to share their craft.

ARC of Ventura County is working on raising awareness about people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They’ve put together a great event for Saturday, March 18th at Bombay’s which will run 5-8 pm called, “Let’s Go Out!” It coincides with March being the National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. Come out and enjoy the music from Fishfry, Seth Pettersen, The Vonettes and Deejay Steph. There is no cover, so bring the entire family!

Grapes and Hops is hosting a special event on Sunday, March 19 to help raise funds for Food Share featuring music from Crooked Eye Tommy, Jade Hendrix and Mr. O. Tickets are $25; the affair runs 5-9 pm.

To what was once home to the legendary Beatles that influenced the world with their music, comes a new wave of musicians from the city of Liverpool. The Falling Doves, Barry Sutton, Cal Ruddy and Sam Rabette (all Liverpool natives) will perform music that inspired American rock n roll. There’ll be music from The Beatles, The La’s, as well as their own compositions. Catch them on their Liverpool Legends Tour at Oxnard’s Copper Blues March 24th.

The Cask Alehouse is offering up music for the East Enders here in Ventura. They’re located at 5952 Telegraph road. You’ll find live music on Thursday nights at 8 pm. They’ll have Soul 4 II on March 16th, Frank Barajas on the 23rd and Lee Koch on the 30th.

There will be a Nat King Cole birthday celebration at Squashed Grapes on Friday, March 17 with Tilford Jackson and Friends; the Doug Webb group featuring Danny Carey of TOOL returns Saturday March 18; and the Denny Seiwell Trio featuring founding member of Paul McCartney and Wings will be there on Saturday, March 25.

And finally, my radio show, “The Pam Baumgardner Mostly Local Music Hour” on KPPQ-LP 104.1 FM is starting to generate interest. I’m spinning tunes Tuesdays 5-6 pm with songs from Lee Koch and the Grinders, Bruce Forman, Joaquin Peck, Shelby Figueroa, Jade Hendrix, New Liberty, the Galactic Polecats, Brent Franklin, Dona Oxford and more. The station has been rebroadcasting the show during the week, so be sure to check in often for our local talent.

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Or would you like to submit your music for possible inclusion on my radio show? Please send all information short or long to, and for updated music listings daily, go to

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 3/1 – 3/14

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
Local Music and More!
by Pam Baumgardner

I’m extremely impressed with this year’s lineup for the Ventura Music Festival which includes headliner Michael Feinstein, but I’m really looking forward to catching Perla Batalla’s tribute to Leonard Cohen on Friday, July 21.  Yes, this is advance notice, but hopefully ticket sales will be brisk and I wouldn’t want you to miss out.  Full listings for all events can be found at

Medicine Hat is off to Austin this month to play at SxSW (3/10 – 3/19).  They’ll be there five days, they’re currently scheduled to play four shows and working on more. In addition to acoustic shows, Medicine Hat will play a couple gigs with a full band, consisting of some of Austin’s finest.

Here’s a couple of one-liner notes of interest: Karen Eden continues her Margarita Mondays at 6 at Amigos; Chris Austin is heading up an open Jam/Mic night at Bombay’s on Wednesdays starting March 1, PA and backline will be provided and I’m told that the jams will be filmed; Yachtley Crew returns to Bombay’s on Saturday March 4; Four Brix Winery will offer live music on the first Friday of the month starting with JJ Frank on March 3; The Ventucky String Band plays every first Thursday of the month at Saloon BBQ including this month on the 2nd; Big Rig Dollhouse returns to Sans Souci on Friday, March 3; you can catch the Dive Bar Messiahs in a new venue for them at the Star Lounge, on Saturday March 4; the Social Distortion show at the Ventura Theater March 7 is sold out, but tickets are still available for the White Buffalo on Friday, March 10; there’s a Rockabilly and Blues fundraiser for El Camino High at the Ventura Beach Club on Friday, March 10; and finally, Plan B’s Second Sunday Supper is back on with Ray Jaurique and the Uptown Brothers on the 12th.

One of Ventura’s most popular bands, Rey Fresco, has new music, three songs produced by Mario C who also worked with The Beastie Boys and Jack Johnson (he’s also won three Latin Grammy awards to date).  I’m loving their new tune “You Were Wrong” which I haven’t gotten out of my head since first playing it, but you know, in Rey Fresco’s case, that’s a good thing.

And speaking of Rey Fresco and bands who record original music, don’t miss my program “The Pam Baumgardner Mostly Local Music Hour” on KPPQ-LP 104.1 FM.  I’m spinning tunes from not only Rey Fresco, but Shawn Jones, Kelly’s Lot, Steve Williams, Bryan Titus, Hot Roux, The Barrelhouse Wailers, The NaVaNaX, Medicine Hat, Charles Law, 50 Sticks of Dynamite, Jerry Breiner, Shaky Feelin’ and more. The station is rebroadcasting the show during the week, but I’m live on Tuesdays 5-6 pm with internet access coming soon. You can also give a listen to the current week’s broadcast on

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Or would you like to submit your music for possible inclusion on my radio show? Please send all information short or long to, and for updated music listings daily, go to

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 2/15 – 2/28

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
One Degree of Separation
by Pam Baumgardner

If you follow Ventura’s music scene, then you most likely know Brent Harding who can be heard playing bass in bands like the Whiskey Chimps, the Gypsy Blues Band, Hot Roux and others, but did you know he’s been Mike Ness’s bass man for Social Distortion since 2004?  Brent will be back on the road with Social D the next few months and you can see him when they play at the Ventura Theater on March 7.  That’s all awesome, but I just found out that during one of the many private parties during this year’s NAMM (National Association Music Merchants) event, Brent got a call to play at a Gretsch Guitars event with Jeff Beck.  Yeah, THE Jeff Beck.  I had to talk to Brent about it, because you know, that’s HUGE! Plus, that’s only one degree of separation for me!  Anyways, Brent was so funny when he told me there were moments where he couldn’t look at him because he’d freak out and he had to concentrate; but he said Jeff Beck was a wonderful guy, really sweet and kind.  Now that’s what you want to hear about guitar gods, no?

Grapes and Hops will once again host a special evening with Shawn Jones, Jeff Silbar and Suzie Candell. Of course, we all know and love Shawn who recently competed and made it to the semi-finals of the International Blues Challenge in Memphis this month, but Suzie is returning to Ventura from Switzerland; Shawn produced her first CD the last time she was out here called, California Streets. The two will reunite with the one and only Jeff Silbar (Grammy award winning songwriter, “Wind Beneath My Wings”) for an evening of swapping stories and tunes on Thursday, February 16.

Here’s a couple of one-liner notes of interest:  Ruben Estrada returns to the Copa Cubana Monday evenings 6-9 pm through April 10; The Ventura Breeze is sponsoring the Equinox jazz band at Squashed Grapes February 24; The Johnny Cash, Cash Bash will be held on Sunday, February 19, 4-7:30 pm at Bombay’s featuring the Mighty Cash Cats and Jade Hendrix; another Cash Bash will be held on Sunday February 26 at Discovery with Hard Six, Jackass and Inazuma; Rey Fresco will be at Now Ventura on Saturday, February 25; and along with their normal Friday concerts, Hi Hat Entertainment has a special show on Sunday, February 26 at the Hong Kong Inn featuring the 2016 Muddy Award Winners, “Performance of the Year,” Karen Lovely with Lisa Mann and Ben Rice (downbeat at 7).

And finally, the all new CAPS Media radio station, KPPQ-LP has officially launched and is live on air 24 hours a day at 104.1 FM. It’s a low-powered signal so it only reaches most of Ventura, but they’ll soon be available on the internet as well; the staff is working out the programming as you read this.  Keep in mind, this is local area access and along with covering our City Council meetings and other events (parades and such), the programming is open up to CAPS members like myself.  I hope you’ll tune in when I’ll be hosting a one-hour mostly local music show, tentatively on Tuesdays 5-6 pm.

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

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze – 2/1 – 2/14

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
Bringing on the Blues, Jazz and more…
by Pam Baumgardner

The line-up at Squashed Grape is getting hotter and hotter as we get further into 2017.  Karl Hunter (Big Bad Voodoo Daddy) and friends return on Thursday February 2 with his band mPhaka; Bobby West (Wynton Marsalis, R.Kelly, Smokey Robinson) returns on Saturday, February 4; it will be a night of hot jazz with the international jazz manouche and Balkan music band Het Hat Club with Laura Lackey on vocals Wednesday, February 8; and Mike Garson (Bowie) and David Liebman (Miles Davis, Chic Corea) return on Thursday February 9.  If you were there the last time Garson played, then you too were blown away when Garson played “A Space Oddity” on the piano.

Discovery has several noteworthy shows lined up including Shaky Feelin’ on February 3; a Bowie tribute band, The Band that Feel to Earth on the 4th; several local musicians will be on hand to honor the late great reggae artist on Bob Marley day, February 9; the Hubcap Stealers will be there on the 10th; and finally, a Black Sabbath tribute band on Saturday, February 11. Go to the Discovery’s website for tickets and times as they vary.

As you probably know, there’s a wonderful Blues community supporting this genre of music and nobody does a better job at bringing notable Blues artists to town than Hi Hat Entertainment. You’ll want to mark down on your calendar that following dates: Friday, February 3, it’s James Intveld; February 10th, Teresa James & the Rhythm Tramps; Carl Sonny Leyland’s on Friday, February 17; Alastair Greene & Deanna Bogart on Friday, February 24; and a special show on Sunday, February 26 with Karen Lovely with Lisa Mann & Ben Rice. Get the lowdown at All Hat Hi shows are at the Hong Kong Inn where you’ll find one more concert to add to your calendar, RJ Mischo has a special blues party on Saturday, February 4 with Hashbrown, Fred Kaplan, Rick Reed and Johnny Morgan. All shows start at 8; covers vary.

Topa Topa Brewery launches their open mic night February 1 and thereafter on the first Wednesday of the month. Signups at 6 and it runs 6:30 – 8:30 pm.

The legendary David Nigel Lloyd is reuniting after 30 years with Jonathan Mako Sharkey for a special performance on Saturday, February 11. Nigel Lloyd, one of the pre-eminent Acid Folk performers in the world will hold a songwriting workshop at 6 pm, then he’ll join up with Sharkey (musician and Port Hueneme Councilman) for a concert at the Loft in Camarillo.

And finally, CAPS Media is launching a low-powered FM station here in Ventura and it’s schedule to launch in mid-February. I’ll be hosting a weekly hour-long program highlighting independent artists including local artists from the area, and artists who have played in town. I’ll let you know when we’re live and on air at 104.1 FM.

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

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 1/18 – 1/31

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
Second Hand Blues and more…
by Pam Baumgardner

Second Hand Blues Band
photo credit: Amanda Peacock

I’ve known Ashford Gordon and his music since back in the day when I was a DJ at KXBS radio here in Ventura in the 90’s, so I’ve been looking forward to his latest project the Second Hand Blues Band to make their debut and to release their self-titled CD this month.  I received an advance copy, and trust me, you won’t be disappointed. They’ll be holding a CD release party at Grapes and Hops on Saturday, January 28 where the band will perform with Jade Hendrix on hand to warm up the room.

The Santa Barbara-based reggae-influenced alternative rock band, Iration, returns to the Ventura Theater on January 19 in support of their all acoustic album, Double Up. They’re calling it their “Lost & Found Winter Tour.”

50 Sticks of Dynamite are super jazzed to once again open for The Young Dubliners, this time at Discovery Ventura, on Friday, January 20.

After an earlier Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar workshop, there will be a special intimate evening performance with guitar masters Ken Emerson and Jim Kimo West at the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts in Ojai on January 21.  If you’re not familiar with slack key guitars, the instrument is one where you can play bass, chords and melody all at once.  “It’s the most interesting acoustic guitar music in the world,” according to West.

The 11th annual Ventura Music Festival Student Jazz Competition will be held on Sunday, January 22 from 2-3:30 pm at the Pierpont Inn and it’s free to the public.  The Students selected to perform for the judges and audience will be backed up by Bevan Manson on Piano, Tom Etchart on bass and Charles Levin on drums.  Besides cash prizes, the winners will receive numerous opportunities to perform for the public throughout the year, including February 21st when the Ventura Music Festival announces the 2017 July Festival program at Ventura City Hall. Student Jazz winners will also perform during the Rising Stars Concert in May.

Watch for the return of Bullet Made Statues with all original members at Bombay’s on Sunday afternoon, January 29 featuring Wes Pagano (acoustic guitar and lead vocals), Paul FitzGerald (bass), Mike Georgia (lead guitar), Tristan Hendy (keyboards), Rich Agren (drums), and Rene Ponce (percussion and backup vocals). Fitzgerald will be visiting from Spain, and Georgia will be coming down from San Francisco to make this happen. I understand other acts will be on the bill as well.

And finally, after winning the Southern California Blues Society Battle of the Blues Bands in November, The Shawn Jones Trio (Jones, Sam Bolle and Mario Calire) will head to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis which runs January 31 through February 4th. Our hearts are with you boys; good luck!

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

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 1/4 – 1/17

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
Rockin’ in 2017
by Pam Baumgardner

From the foothills of Georgia, The Edgar Loudermilk Band featuring guitarist Jeff Autry will be returning to Ventura for a show at the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) local union at 3994 E. Main Street on Saturday, January 14. Loudermilk has been out on the road touring coast to coast; you may remember him as the former bass player for IIIrd Time Out. Tickets are available the day of the show for $18; doors open at 7 with Ventura’s Bluegrass Bottom Feeders opening.

Jon Gindick’s harmonica camp returns to Ventura at the Pierpont Inn January 31 through February 4. The camp features world-class harmonica players who work one on one with new and returning students who come from all over the world to participate. Keep your ears open for harmonica jams at local venues during that week including The Wine Rack on Monday, January 30.

Karen Eden returns to Amigos starting the first week of the new year at 6 pm for Margarita Mondays. Speaking of Amigos, owner Mike Toler will be trying out Country music for a change of pace on Thursday nights with Pull the Trigger on the 5th of January, then it’s 5th & Birmingham on the 12th and CRV on the 19th.

The Ventucky String Band returns on the first Thursday of the month at Saloon BBQ Co. Other bands to look for include Anchor & Bear on the 6th of January and Bad Leaf on the 7th.

There are two shows for the first two weeks of the New Year at the Majestic Ventura Theater. The first one falls on Saturday, January 7th featuring several local musicians in a couple of tribute bands, namely, “One More From the Road” paying homage to Lynyrd Skynyd and then “Bad Reputation” a tribute to Thin Lizzy. The following week the theater hosts the pop punk band, MXPX with Five Iron Frenzy and Dogwood opening.

Discovery is hitting the ground running for 2017 with Masters of Puppets (Metallica tribute) on the 6th, Cash’d Out on the 7th, Pato Banton on the 12th, The Blasters on the 13th (with Raging Arb and the Redheads, Jackass opening) and Ozomotli on the 14th. Oh! Earlier on the 14th, Discovery will also offer a special family-friendly show with Ozomatli which is geared towards performing for children as well as adults aptly named OzoKidz. The earlier show starts at 2 pm and ends by 4. Get ticket information at

And finally, there will be special memorial punk show to celebrate the life of Scott Ross (The NaVaNaX) on Sunday, January 15 from 1-6 pm at the Ventura Beach Club with The Rouse, F.S.K.D. Birdbrain and The Kane Gang.

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


promotingLet’s promote your band.  Let’s promote your gig.

In this article I may refer to a band, duo, single artist or event as the “product”.  I’m not trying to be disrespectful, but it is what it is, a product. And if you market it and promote it properly, you will have more of a following, and hopefully, more people at your gigs, because let’s be honest, you’re trying to win people over. You want them to be engaged with what you have to offer. And if you don’t care whether you have an audience or not, then play on the freakin’ street corner and don’t put the venues at risk.

For starters, there are so many different ways to get your product known, now more than ever.  Social media is a must and networking is imperative.  Since the dream of getting picked up by a big label has all but diminished, more artists are garnering “Street teams” to make a grassroots effort to accumulate fans. They’re following the DIY business model as the music industry attempts to reinvent itself.  Yes, there are still Independent Record Promoters out there working artists trying to get them radio airplay, but they cost big bucks. BIG BUCKS. I make no attempt to try to tell artists how to “make it,” I’m just trying to get artists to promote their gigs here in Ventura!  You can use Bandcamp, ArtistData and CDBaby for the bigger picture.  This article is about getting people out to see you and support you in Ventura.

Number one rule, DO NOT depend on one medium, especially if that one medium is a social media choice (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).  Most people do not use social media and if they do, they’re not on it 24/7.

On the other side of the coin (and it’s a scary one), there are a handful of people who think Facebook is the internet and it’s the only place they get their information. I’ve met one or two and it’s bizarre.

Be that what it may, Facebook is fun because you get feedback, but Facebook now limits your reach; those who are your friends, or those who have Liked your page don’t always receive your post, and if they do, they’re not on Facebook ALL THE TIME, so they may miss your post. Bands who have used Facebook industriously have discovered that Facebook will warn them that they’ve abused the Events feature when people don’t accept invitations and they’ll blackball them for awhile.

If you do use Facebook, you should have a Band/Artist/Business page, and you should always promote your gigs from that page and not your personal page. I know a lot about Ventura’s music scene and it will still confuse me when a person says “We’re playing tonight at the Sewer!”  My question is , “Who is We?” If you don’t have a Band/Artist or Business page (this goes to you venue owners too), at least spell it out for people who “we” is; name your band or venue.

When you do post a gig on Facebook, take the time when possible to create artwork.  The artwork (poster) should include your name, date, place and time. People love images! And if you do create events, still use artwork so people can share it. I did a quick survey of my posts and found that when I shared a band’s event, it would get about 75 views, but when I posted artwork from that same event, it would garner over 700 views.  Do the math, it’s worth your time to create art.

Also, if you use a photo, do not use a photo from another venue, i.e., a picture taken at Squashed Grapes to promote a gig at The Wine Rack.  It not only confuses people, but let’s face it, it’s kind of rude to the venue you’ll be playing for.  So, do try to get photos at every venue you play for future use.

Twitter is fun because it’s such a challenge to get everything you want to say in 140 characters. But I like it because it forces people to keep their tweets succinct and to the point.  Use artwork here too, and don’t use a link to somewhere else explaining what you’re talking about.  Spell it out on Twitter.  I NEVER EVER click on those links. But again, the bottom line with Twitter (and all social media), people may miss the tweet because they’re not checking it all the time. Use it, but don’t depend on it.

The same goes for Instagram.  People LOVE pictures!  It’s true!  Using Instagram to share Posters of events is a clever way to help get the word out.  But like all the other forms of social media, people may miss it. Oh! And, if you share your Instagram post on Facebook, know that others can not share it for some reason.  You need to post it on Facebook (not share it from Instagram).

Email blasts are a great old school method because they will reach your target audience.  Just be sure you’re doing it right and the layout of your email isn’t all jacked up and oversized.  That’s a quick way to get your email deleted and ignored, especially if you consistently do that.  Also, don’t include too much information in each email.  Keep it to the point.  Triple check your text for typos and grammatical errors. Follow the basics, who, what, where, and how much will it cost. Again, artwork helps.

For the bigger picture, you’ll want to have a website, one that lists out who you are, what you offer and where you will be playing. Yes it’s an investment, but it gives you credibility, and it keeps you connected to your audience. They know where to find you. You can have links there to all your social media pages.

Please list your genre.  Don’t list how it makes people feel, or who your influences have been, list what type of music you provide. Do this on your homepage of your website, the About page of Facebook, Instagram, Tweeter, YouTube, CD Baby, BandCamp. Maybe because I don’t personally produce music I don’t understand why an artist or band doesn’t like to be pigeonholed to a particular genre, but trust me, if you’re trying to win over new fans, people want to know what they’re in store for.  They may or may not want folk, metal, punk or jazz. They just want to know what you have to offer.

Putting up flyers about town is still worthy of your endeavors, especially if you’re promoting an event as oppose to a gig.

And please use fonts people can read! Metal is the worst, punk follows closely behind. If you insist on using unreadable fonts on artwork for social media, then write out the band names on the post itself.

If you have a big event, let all of your local media outlets know!  Write up a quick press release and send it out to The Ventura County Star, the VC Reporter, The Ventura Breeze, and of course  Many of these resources list a calendar of events for free.  Do the research and find out who to email.

And not to be tooting our own horn, but is an invaluable resource for Ventura’s music scene. We get up to 10,000 page impressions monthly.  These are people who want to know about music in Ventura specifically.  Not LA, not Ojai, not Santa Barbara, just Ventura.

I can’t stress hard enough how frustrating it is to see a gig on Facebook the day of the show that isn’t listed on I take promoting Ventura’s music scene very seriously.  I get up early every single morning, so I can update the website before I head out to my day job (which I start at 7 am). I’ve been doing this since 2009; I’ve missed updating the website maybe five times, and it was mostly due to technical issues or illness. I’ve never blown it off.

Please let me know when your gigs are and don’t depend on social media. I’m not online all the time!  It may seem that way because I schedule posts in advance, but seriously, I’m away MOST OF THE TIME!!  It really does break my heart to see something that I missed the day of someone’s show and I can’t update because I’m not at my home computer.

Don’t be shy, I want you to reach out to me and tell me your gigs.  I’ve never charged a venue or artist to be listed for gigs in Ventura. I do offer advertising for those who want to stand out more, but to be listed on the calendar, there has never been a charge. I just ask that you give me advance warning when you can, and let me know when your gigs have been cancelled or postponed. really is a unique resource that I wish bands, artists and all of Ventura’s venues would take advantage of. People swear by it and check it almost daily to make sure they’re not missing anything.

Send your info and updates to  It’s helpful if you check our weekly calendar page before you send me information just in case it is already listed:

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 12/21 – 1/3

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
To Another Rockin’ Year!
by Pam Baumgardner
Here we are ushering in another year. It’s when we take time to reflect back and it’s when we take time to look forward. If you know me at all, then you know that I’m a “glass-half-full” sort of gal. So, I’m looking forward to and postulating a year of growth, a year of success, a year of new music and a year of harmony for all.

Before we hit the ground running in 2017, we have to send off 2016 with a bang! So here we go with New Year’s Eve parties in and around Ventura. You’ll want to do your own due diligence with reservations and keep in mind that a number of venues who typically don’t, will be charging a cover for the night; most everyone will have specials and party favors. And if I may suggest, be sure to have a designated driver or a well-thought out exit plan on getting home safe.

Amigos will feature the pop 80’s band Wax Off; Café Fiore has two bands in the front room, Big Adventure and Instone with Colette Lovejoy in the Treehouse; Chinaland in Oxnard has the Grooveline featuring Dora Sanchez and guest DJ Frank Ramirez; the Copa Cubana in the harbor will have Artis Ford; The Crown Plaza has their popular annual event with DJ Bruce Barrios; Discovery features One More Time, a Daft Punk tribute band; Gigi’s has a Karaoke countdown; there will be a masquerade party at Grapes and Hops with the Shawn Jones trio; the Greek Mediterranean will have a Great Gatsby theme party with a DJ; The Hong Kong Inn has The Bomb; The Hut in Ojai has Wishbone with special guest Alastair Greene; there’s definitely no cover at the Keynote Lounge with the Black Canyon Band; O’Leary’s has a Roaring 20’s party with Live Band Karaoke; Paddy’s has DJs with two dance floors all night; Rookees will also feature a masquerade theme with Wiz Kid at the helm; Saloon BBQ Co has DJ Acer; Brain Faith & Friends will be at the Sportsman in Camarillo. The Tavern has DJ Steeze Steve; and former LA Guns singer, Paul Mars Black will be at the Wine Rack.

And finally, if you’ll be ringing in the New Year anywhere near a television, then be sure to tune in to Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 2017 with Ryan Seacrest. I realize that’s an odd recommendation from me, but you won’t want to miss seeing the newly Grammy nominated Mike Posner Band with local artist, Jacob Scesney on saxophone in his band. I can’t even express how proud I am of Jacob, he’s truly living the dream!

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

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze – 12/7 – 12/20

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
Swing in the Season!
by Pam Baumgardner
Ventura Rocks
There are plenty of music related holiday events to get you into the swing of the season. Let’s start with the Ones to Watch Productions hosting their first show at the Poinsettia Pavilion on Friday, December 16, with The Brambles and Bryan Titus Duo opening up for The White Buffalo. As you may know, Steve and Polly Hoganson (formerly of Zoey’s) continue to help artists featuring showcases such as this around the Gold Coast. This intimate holiday concert being called “I’m dreaming of a White Buffalo Christmas” features the incredibly talented Jake Smith whose songs have been featured in many films and television shows including “Sons of Anarchy.”  Polly told me, “We’re excited to bring Jake The White Buffalo back to Ventura for another holiday concert and food drive to benefit Turning Point Foundation. It’s OTW Productions first time show at the lovely Poinsettia Pavilion and we hope to bring more concerts to this event center.”  If you’ve caught one of Jake’s concert before, you won’t want to miss him up close and personal, Polly said, “The White Buffalo’s rare solo performances are special because you get an intimate insight into his songwriting and a connection that you don’t normally get at an arena show.”

Kelly’s Lot will be at Four Brix Winery on Saturday, December 10.  The band recently released a new song, “Colours of December” in honor of members of the military and their families. There will be a silent auction and donations accepted for TAPS, an organization that provides assistance to families who have lost a family member in the military.  Four Brix will be offering tri-tip dinners and pizzas, doors open at 5, Kelly’s Lot plays at 7.

Chopper Fest arrives at the Ventura Fairgrounds on Sunday, December 11 with live music from The Shari Puorto Band, Hard Six and One More From the Road, a Lynryd Skynyrd tribute band; there will be a pre party the night before at The Tavern with music from Revolution Mother and the Rubberneck Lions.

Big props to Tommy and Paddy Marsh who will open for The Robert Cray Band at the Rose in Pasadena on December 9.

The 14th annual Nardcore Xmas food drive will be at The Garage on Saturday, December 17 featuring music from Shattered Faith, Hymen Blasters, Mother of Dissension, COA and Side Effects.  Along with accepting canned goods, the organizers are asking for new blankets and/or cash donations which will go to Food Share of Oxnard. Tax deductible receipts available.

You finally you should take a break from shopping and take the whole family out for a good old fashion holiday sing-along at the Ventura Theater. This event will be held on Sunday December 18 from 3-5 pm. Price of entry is one new unwrapped toy per family.

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 Rocks in the Ventura Breeze – 11/23 – 12/6

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Welcoming the Holidays!
by Pam Baumgardner

HolidaysI can safely say the holiday season is upon us and what better way to celebrate than with one of my favorite fundraisers, the 4 Kids 2 Kids Toy Drive. The event will be held at the Ventura Beach Club on Sunday, November 26 from 3 to 11 pm with honorary guest and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s Nick St. Nicolas (Steppenwolf, World Classic Rockers). On the bill to perform will be Ray Jaurique & the Uptown Brothers, Michael John & the Bottom Line, Tom & Milo, Preston Smith, Tommy Marsh, Sean Wiggins & IOne gOat, Kelly Zirbes, Joy Burnworth and more; plus, you won’t want to miss a special appearance by Santa (aka Gary Gordon Goff). The price of admission is only $15 and an unwrapped toy. You can learn more about this unique and important non-profit organization at

The following weekend, one of my favorite events hailed as “The social event of the year” will take over Main Street downtown on Saturday, December 3, for the Ventura Winter Wine Walk which also includes a holiday street fair. You’ll find all kinds of great gift ideas at the street fair which runs from Noon until 8 pm and is free to the public. There will be snow fall at 6:45 at the corner of California and Main with live music and of course the highlight itself, the Wine Walk between 4 and 7 pm, you can get ticket information at

Don’t miss Smitty and Julia performing with the Ventura Jazz Orchestra at the band’s holiday dance at the Poinsettia Pavilion on Saturday, December 3. Tickets are $15 at the door. Then the next day, the Old-Time Country Bluegrass Gospel Music Association will be presenting their annual Christmas music show at the Poinsettia Pavilion on Sunday December 4 from 2-4 pm. All ages are welcome, there is no cover for this one.

Dirty Rice recently opened for Tribal Theory at the Ventura theater. The band has a new EP called “Heart of a Lion” and features songs about struggle, abandonment, surviving and overcoming, to fighting the battles that life spontaneously brings you, including bullying, childhood cancer and something as simple as love. You can get in on iTunes.

Aron Van Alstine, music teacher singer/songwriter in Ojai recently released a new single, a protest song, in honor of election day called “Both Sides of the Fence.” He’s working a new album for 2017 called “The Revenge of Rock’’Roll.”

And finally, you know I’m always interested in new projects and one that sounds pretty interesting is called Bromero Captain Q & Flashman featuring members of The Jelly (Brandon Romero and Jaymes Quirino) and Goodnight Kiss (Rene Ponce). Their first gig at Amigos will be Sunday, November 27 at 5 pm.

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