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

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

Ventura Rocks artwork

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

PLAYING THE GAME

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.

NOT BACK TO NORMAL

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.

PLAYING SAFELY

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.

DRIVE-IN CONCERTS V

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 ConcertsInYourCar.com.

Q&A with JOHN JORGENSON

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.

SURF RODEO

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!”

CROOKED EYE TOMMY

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

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 6/16/20 – 6/30/20

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

Ventura Rocks artwork

DRIVE-IN CONCERTS IV

In each of my past three music scene columns I’ve been able to report more details on the Concerts in Your Car events by CBF Productions (California Beer Festival). The drive-in style concerts where you remain in your car tuned in to an FM frequency have been gaining popularity in Europe and now here in the States. We knew the first concert was marketed to our new grads featuring two nights starring former Ventura High School artist SuperDuperKyle. Unfortunately, the dates changed after our press deadline in our last issue, so if you thought you missed it, you can still get tickets for his rescheduled shows for June 26 and June 27.

Now if you’re wondering like I was who else they’ll be having live on stage, well I just got wind of their next show which is going on sale Thursday, June 18 for just $39 per car…ready??? It’s one of my favorite bands from the 90s, it’s none other than Third Eye Blind on Saturday, July 25! They’re back playing all the songs you know and love such as “Semi-Charmed Life, “Graduate” and “Losing a Whole Year.” Stephan Jenkins and the boys actually played the Ventura County Fair back in 2016, and they sounded as great as ever. I can’t wait to catch the show in the comfort of my own car.

photo of Stephen Jenkins

Stephen Jenkins of Third Eye Blind at the Ventura Fair 2016

Along with nationwide touring bands, Concerts In Your Cars has a summer of tribute bands lined up for Thursday nights. It will be along the line of those concerts that had taken place at the Collection the past couple of summers. The company is locking down Queen, Journey, AC/DC and Bruno Mars tribute bands. The tribute shows will be held on Thursday evenings for only $19 per car.

And finally, I mentioned in my last column I was hoping the drive-in theater style concerts would actually start featuring drive-in movies, and ta-da, it’s happening!! CBF Productions is also putting together movie screenings for film classics such as the Goonies, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and Grease which have been scheduled along with a series of theater productions of Forever Plaid, Jimmy Messina & Friends and Music of the Knights featuring the songs of Andrew Lloyd Weber, Elton John and Paul McCartney.

I heard there is more coming, especially if you have “Friends in Low Places,” but contracts are pending, so stay tuned. For all the concert and movie dates along with ticket information, go to ConcertsInYourCar.com.

MAIN STREET VENTURA EXPERIMENT

By the time this issue of the Ventura Breeze hits newsstand, the closing of downtown Ventura’s Main Street to through traffic will be in effect for at least 30 days kicking off on Monday, June 15. If it is a success and people come out and support all the restaurants and stores, there could be an additional 30 days added to the closure.

As previously reported, the City Council unanimously voted in favor of the emergency ordinance on May 18, 2020, which closes Main Street from Fir to the Mission (or Figueroa Street). If you live close enough, I would encourage you to either walk, ride your bike, or use one of the many rideshare companies, which include our local taxis, Lyft or Uber.

And of course, to keep things lively, there is nothing like live music to enhance the experience, and I understand there will be plenty to go around with at least 32 hours scheduled at press time. Go to VenturaRocks.com for listings.

VENUES REOPENING

Most all venues have reopened their doors and a handful are offering live music by either solo, duos or combos where the sound level can be kept at a level where people can still hold a conversation, i.e., you don’t have to lean in to hear someone speaking. This is especially important when a waiter comes one’s table, or you step up to the counter to place an order. Most establishments are requiring face masks while entering their premises; however, once you’re seated, you can take them off. My understanding is the wait staff will continue to don their masks while working the room.

Venues and artists tend to keep me in the loop on their schedules and so I’ve provided those listings on this page. Keep in mind, more and more are coming back on board; I’m hearing Peirano’s, and possible the Shores will have music on the weekends, and when I can confirm their line-up, I will add to the music calendar on VenturaRocks.com.

THE GRAPE

I was hoping to have solid information to report, and hopefully I will next issue, but know this, the boys are working hard and it’s full steam ahead on construction for the new jazz venue. I’m hearing August (2020) is a possibility.

Squashed Grapes closed over a year ago working through the paperwork and permitting process as well as fundraising to open the Grape. Meanwhile, Adam and Josh teamed up with other vintners (Boyer Wines and Sensation Wines) to open the Winery Ventura down on Market Street which will continue to be their main outlet for their wines. You can find live music there (all genres), with food trucks or order in capabilities, but of course what we’ve been waiting for is a jazz house with a full bar.

GUITAR AND WHISKEY CLUB

As of this month, Gail Sutton will be holding down the bass and backing vocals for Guitar and Whiskey Club. Sutton is an accomplished four and five-string electric bassist who excels in rock, blues and jazz. After having successful runs in Florida, NY/NJ/ tri state and Colorado, she landed in Southern California in 2015 when she immediately started networking and playing everywhere she could. She eventually met and teamed up with Giorgio Bertucelli who has designed and built studios for other rockers including Alex Van Halen. With Bertucelli’s help, Sutton finished construction on her own studio named Gailforce.

Meanwhile you can catch the Guitar and Whiskey Club every Sunday afternoon online during their Clubhouse shows on their Facebook page. Many thanks to Jeff Donovan and Jennifer Wylde for having me on as a guest last month. It was a hoot!

YOU CAN HELP

In the interest of supporting local musicians whose incomes have been drastically reduced, and even in some cases stopped completely due to the COVID-10 crisis, please consider reaching out via social media and support one of their livestream concerts and/or performances and make a donation if you can. I’m loving the intimate setting some provide, albeit awkward at first as they’re so used to immediate feedback (cue the applause), but they’re catching on and they do read the comments as they come in on their feeds.

And if you’re not one for watching livestreams, then consider a small purchase of one of their CDs, or a t-shirt or coffee mug. Every little bit helps. Of course, you may find yourself too strapped to help out, so perhaps you might consider just reaching out and letting your favorite artist or band know you’re looking forward to seeing them again soon.

COVID-19

It still seems surreal that we’re living through a pandemic which has changed the face of Ventura’s music scene. It’s going to be some time before we’re crammed together on a dance floor dancing up a sweat to our favorite cover bands. It’s going to be some time before the Majestic Ventura Theater holds packed houses in front of our favorite bands. And it’s going to be some time before our festivals and events can be held where large audiences amass. I understand the frustration, but we got to hold the line and do what’s right.

And finally in closing, BLACK LIVES MATTER.

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows 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 6/3/20 – 6/16/20

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

Breeze artwork

VENTURA MUSIC FESTIVAL

It’s official, the Ventura Music Festival put out a press release which postpones their 26th season scheduled for the last two weekends in July 2020 and it’s been moved to July 2021. The VMF’s chief executive, Susan Scott said, “when the only certainty is uncertainty, creativity and innovation come to the fore along with the necessity to be nimble. Assuming conditions permit 60 or more days’ readiness, we can present 3-4 live, fully staged concerts between Fall 2020 and June 2021, with distanced seating and other measures as required.”

She also said that larger events were on the drawing board that could be staged outdoors. I remember well Ozomotli on the athletic field at Ventura College. It was quite an innovative idea which was well received during the Ventura Music Festival’s 2015 season. There are plenty of locations throughout Ventura County where outdoor concerts could potentially be held.

Oxomatli

Ozomatli played 2015 Ventura Music Festival on the Ventura College athletic field.

MAIN STREET VENTURA EXPERIMENT

The closing of downtown Ventura’s Main Street to through traffic is a green light as the DVP (Downtown Ventura Partners) work with the City and restaurants and merchants to create a safe environment for people to enjoy, but mostly to help kickstart our economy.
The City Council unanimously voted in favor of the emergency ordinance on May 18, 2020, which will close Main Street from Fir to the Mission (or Figueroa Street). If you live close enough, I would encourage you to either walk, ride your bike, or use one of the many rideshare companies, which include our local taxis, Lyft or Uber.

According to the City’s Economic Development Manager, Estelle Bussa, the target date for the closure is on or around June 15th. She also told me that the Ventura Unified School District is able to do a parade graduation for the City’s graduating class of 2020 which will take place on June 13 and 14 which will have an impact to the traffic in downtown.

I also had a great conversation with Julie Henszey from the DVP about the possibility of live music and we were pretty much on the same page where solo or duos could perform for a couple of hours over the weekend which would liven up downtown without encouraging amassing a large group of people dancing in the streets. She’s even thinking of speakers atop buildings along Main so one act could be heard on each block.
By the way, it cracks me up when I hear talk about “repopulating” areas after the quarantine. Seriously, wouldn’t it be more proper to say “reoccupying” an area? We have the people; we don’t need to produce new ones, although it wouldn’t surprise me if we have a baby boom early next year.

DRIVE-IN CONCERTS III

Concerts in your car artworkAs previously reported, CBF Productions (California Beer Festival), will be presenting Concerts in your Car, a drive-in theater type setting for live music using the parking lot at the Ventura County Fairgrounds at Seaside Park. The first live show is marketed to the new grads in the area with SuperDuperKyle performing two nights on Friday, June 12, and Saturday, June 13 (DATE CHANGED AFTER BREEZE PRESS DEADLINE TO JUNE 26 & 27). They have not announced other dates or artists. SuperDuperKyle who is also known as K.i.D. (Kyle is Determined), is a former Ventura High School student himself (Kyle Harvey), who has given back to his school with a sizeable donation to the theater department and who has sold out the Ventura Theater in the past. He is incredibly popular having paved his own road making a mark in the hip-hop community.

As the state relaxes a lot of their stringent guidelines, there are still many obstacles to deal with such as no bathrooms. WHAT??? Please dear God, let the portables be greenlighted! And as much as I love live music, maybe someone could also utilize the same parking lot for actual drive-in movies. I’m about ready to travel an hour or so to catch a movie up in Goleta, or visit friends up near Morro Bay where San Luis Obispo just reopened their Sunset Drive-in theater. And just a small confession, while I do love movies, it’s mostly because I miss my movie theater popcorn!!

NEW MUSIC

New music released during the pandemic includes Dylan Garcia’s Devil’s Playground which dropped Friday, May 29, 2020; some of the music had been kept unpublished as far back as 2009. You can find Dylan’s work on most social media platforms.
The band, earth immigrant has a new EP called Genrefluid where each of the four tunes features a different genre including country, punk, rockabilly and synthpop, and yes, they prefer their band’s name in print to be all lowercase which is not always an easy feat what with autocorrect trying to override one’s poor grammar choices.

All-a-Blur released False Flag, a highly respectable punk entry. The album was engineered, mixed and mastered by Armand John Lizzy at the Captain’s Quarters here in Ventura. You know years ago, punk bands were mostly garage bands who played loud, fast, but mostly, couldn’t quite play their instruments, and NO ONE CARED! These guys know how to; yes, they’re loud; yes, they’re fast; and with a resounding yes, they nail it!

Michael Henszey & David Standridge were inspired by the pandemic and wrote and produced a song called “Take Care of Each Other” which can be found on Bandcamp; they posted on their page, “In the spirt of this song, we are donating your download gift to the World Central Kitchen, who is distributing fresh meals in communities across the US. World Central Kitchen is active in dozens of cities partnering with local restaurants and providing 250,000 fresh meals every day. Founded in 2010 by celebrity chef, Jose Andres, the organization prepared food in Haiti following its devasting earthquake.”
You might remember World Central Kitchen was on the scene here in Ventura making meals for first responders and residents displaced by the Thomas Fire. Over 500 homes burned, no telling how many occupants in each…so a lot of people benefited from this service.

Each one of the artists mentioned here have been played on the Pam Baumgardner Music Hour out of the CAPS Media center on KPPQ-LP at 104.1 FM. I’ve been producing hour-long shows for the past couple of years with 110 episodes in the can. My show highlights mostly artists out of the 805 (area code) and artists who come to the 805 to play. And while the frequency at 104.1 FM isn’t all that strong (serves most of Ventura if you don’t have a large object like a hill between you and their tower), you can listen online at Capsmedia.org/radio or use the MyTuner app on your smart device.
I will admit not all music I play is professionally produced music, but I believe all artists deserve a spin on the radio from time to time. It’s a mixed bag of tunes ranging from punk to jazz and all points in between and airs Tuesdays and Fridays at 5 pm and Sundays at noon. Each show runs two weeks at a time. I hope you tune in sometime, and if you have music you’d like to submit for airplay, just drop me a line at Pam@VenturaRocks.com.

VENUES REOPENING

A couple of venues have taken advantage of the shutdown and have been doing upgrades and remodeling. I’m looking forward to checking out both the Keynote Lounge on the eastside of town as well as Grapes and Hops downtown on Main Street in the near future. Otherwise, most bars and restaurants have been slowly opening up with all the social distancing guidelines in place, and a handful are having live music. The venues already putting out their feelers for booking music include Four Brix Winery for single or duo acoustic sets for weekend afternoons; 1901 Speakeasy in Oxnard is booking solo artists as well as duos for Friday and Saturday evenings; John from Leashless is absolutely onboard for hosting music starting with Saturday afternoons but he is getting his ducks in a row in order to extend out their patio area very soon; JR at Winchesters is holding off for when they can be back at full capacity, but is also entertaining expanding their tables into the street and/or parking lot; and the Winery Ventura has already been hosting a few combos here and there; the latter’s floor plan is quite conducive for social distancing especially when they open up their back doors so people can use the adjacent parking lot where food trucks are available.

And while I don’t have specific artists to report currently for my column, do keep tuned to VenturaRocks.com as I’m able to update the website daily, and my column here in the Breeze is once every two weeks. I will be updating as the information comes in. It is going to take some time before we’re back to hanging out with one another, especially in crowded places like Star Lounge or Bombay’s used to be. Until we have this COVID-19 totally under control, things will look different for the time being. But I’m happy to report it looks like music will continue to be an important aspect to our community. Be patient, do your part, and for God’s sake, wash your hands!

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows 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 – 5/20/20 – 6/2/2020

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

Ventura RocksBefore I get to more interview with local artists, I have a couple of updates on a few of our venues, musicians and events.

QUICK NOTES

Both Bombay Bar & Grill and Sans Souci are open again serving up food and libations, they both have limited hours and earlier in the day, in other words, no closing down the bar at 2 am, and they’re only providing takeout/curbside service; Ventura Music Festival has launched “Music Connects” a digital weekly series and they’re looking for musicians who would like to participate (www.VenturaMusicFestival.org); I’m sorry to report the passing of one of the Estrada Brothers, Henry Estrada (saxophonist), passed from a long-term illness at home this month; and the City of Ventura has officially cancelled the Music Under the Stars series for the summer. As with the fair, I wish I knew who they had lined up and who we’ll be missing out on this year, but I guess it’s just as well.

DRIVE-IN CONCERTS II

Speaking of the fair, in my last column I wrote about drive-in concerts and I mentioned a couple of locations that might work including the fairgrounds parking lot, and lo and behold we have a promoter stepping up to the plate. It great to hear Vincenzo from CBF Productions (the good folks who bring you the Winter Wine Walk, Boots & Brews Music Festival, Tequila & Taco Music Festival and more) was already on it and working on a concert series to be held this summer and as soon as the first few weeks in June, and I’m hearing Ventura won’t be their only venue. Keep tuned to www.ConcertsInYourCar.com for bands, dates and ticket information. There’s no doubt about it, there are a number of hurdles to overcome, but if anyone can pull something like this off, it would be Vincenzo.

(Post Breeze: First concert celebrating the class of 2020, Super Duper Kyle, June 12 & June 13.  Tickets & Information: www.ConcertsInYourCar.com )

MAIN STREET VENTURA EXPERIMENT

There are discussions afoot in the City to shut down Main Street from the mission to Fir Street to allow merchants and restaurants to spill out onto the sidewalk and street to provide social distancing for pedestrians and their customers. I’ve seen an artist’s rendering and I have to say, “I like it!” My comments are few but include a couple of small stages for singer/songwriters (solo or duo) to enhance the experience; perhaps one on each block. Other cities throughout the country are considering the same idea to help ease out of this shut down and get people out enjoying their downtown safely while supporting local businesses.
(Monday, May 18, the City Council approved an emergency ordinance to accelerate the planning process and approval for businesses for use of outside space – but will wait for phase III to be enacted)

Now on to interviews!


BRIAN BRINGELSON OF ANCHOR & BEAR

How are you Katy holding up during this Stay at Home mandate?

Brian and KatyBrian: We’re doing fine here thankfully. Healthy, happy, but honestly a bit anxious as well.

Are either one of you still working?

Brian: No we’re both not working and of course no shows to play.

Do you find you’re playing music more…or less now?

Surprisingly it’s about the same. Before all of this we had at least three shows a month and rehearsals twice a week. But since all of this happened, we’ve both been writing a lot and making videos. In addition, I’ve started a side project with an old friend from high school. I record guitar, bass, and vocals at home and then send him the tracks to add his drums to. It’s been really inspiring and keeps me sane. Katy by the way has been finishing up her soon to be released new EP for her project Bearkat. So, we are keeping busy with music.

Any inspiration from this weird time we’re going through in history?

Brian: Yes, lots of writing/recording/making videos, (but) nothing really about the current state of how things are going. I think I write to distract myself from all of it.

Tell me about the live streaming events you’ve been hosting.

Brian: We’ve had a few (concerts) on our Instagram where we play a couple of songs and try to interact with the people leaving comments. They’ve been really rewarding in the sense that we get to connect with our friends and share our music. We also recently just had a simple chat with our bassist Zeke Berkley on Instagram live and lots of our friends joined in on that as well. They’re certainly not a replacement for a live show, but they’ll have to do for now.

Anything else you want to share?

Brian: Katy and I miss playing shows soooo much. And that includes rehearsing with our friends/band mates: Zeke and Paul. We also miss seeing all of our friends that work at Topa Topa Brew in Ventura, Ojai, and Santa Barbara. I’d like to encourage Breeze readers to pick up some beer at one of their locations. And that goes for all of the excellent venues we’ve been lucky enough to play in the last year: Peirano’s – Ventura, The Nest – Ojai, Lucky Fools Pub – Moorpark, MadeWest – Ventura, to name just a few. These places need our support. Besides being some of the only places to hear/play live music, they also provide so much to the community.

AnchorAndBear.com/
https://www.facebook.com/anchorandbearmusic/


Singer/Songwriter Karyn 805

How are you holding up?

Karyn 805

Photo credit: Monica Karl

Karyn 805: I’m coping very well right now. I think I’ve gone through a variety of emotions during this time: disbelief, fear, sadness, stress, acceptance, and finally a realization that this time may be a gift to slow down a bit more, enjoy the small wonders around especially in nature and have more time to write more songs and to check in with family and friends through Zoom or FaceTime.

Are you actively playing and writing?

Karyn 805: I have continued to play music daily, but now I have more time to create new songs (which is my passion) and work on new covers. Before the “Stay at Home” policy there was less time for this because I was performing regularly and spending a lot of time going over my sets.

Since the policy was enacted, I’ve written 3 songs – two deal with Covid 19; one is called “Corona” and it echoes my first impressions and emotions regarding this whole Twilight Zone experience; the second one, “It’s Just Who I Am” is a tribute to all who work in the medical field: nurses, doctors, and all the staff. I have three doctors in the family and when my daughter-in-law Nina volunteered to go to NYC to help on their front lines, I asked my son how she has the strength and courage to do this, he answered, “It’s just who she is.” That said it all, and his words and her bravery gave me the inspiration to write that song. She has shared it with her friends who are on already in this “war zone” fighting this pandemic. I just hope they realize how much they are appreciated. The other original, “Siren’s Song” is a bluesy, seductive tune which I had fun coming up with a nice riff on my guitar at the end.

How do you think this pandemic will change Ventura?

Karyn 805: I think the music scene will change in the near future. Of course, musicians need to perform, many are doing live-streaming, but there is nothing like performing to a live audience! (I miss this!) It will be hard for venues like restaurants to make enough money to pay musicians when they are limited in the number of people they can have. However, with a bit of creativity, there will likely be solutions. We all need to be innovative until we have a safe vaccine at which time the music scene can get back to what has been normal.

https://karyn805.hearnow.com/
VenturaRockSpot with Karyn 805
Facebook


Bill Rotella, Singer/Songwriter, Amber & Smoke

How are you holding up during this Stay at Home mandate?

Bill RotellaBill: I’m holding up as well as can be expected. We in Ventura County are fortunate to have coast lines and trails to help us weather these challenging times. I’m taking advantage of this time I’ve been afforded to create music.

Are you still working?

Bill: Yes, I just filmed a show for Beverly Hills TV and I’m streaming two concerts for the Beverly Hills Virtual Art Show this month. I’m also streaming shows for the Center For Spiritual Living and for BIG BIG SLO productions in San Luis Obispo.

Do you find you’re playing music more…or less now?

Bill: I’m always writing, recording, playing no matter what’s happening but I’m performing far less due to venue closures.

You have new music right? Any inspired by the recent state of affairs?

Bill: I just wrote and released a new song born from quarantine called “River of Smoke.” It is the title song of my new album “River of Smoke ~ a Retrospective” which was released May 1. I recorded the title song, and many songs on the album, with Ventura County’s Doug Pettibone. Doug and I recorded together in the late ’80s at renowned Sound City recording studios in Van Nuys.

Have you hosted any livestreams or Facebook events?

Bill: I hosted 7 episodes of “Live @ 5” on Facebook. It was a happy hour hang more than a concert. It was a cool way to stay connected with friends and fans and they really dug reconnecting not just with me but with each other. My last show had 700+ comments, like they were in a bar chatting with each other. We toasted, did rock ‘n’ roll trivia, I shared some vinyl with them and sang songs from my new album as well as some nuggets from my favorite artists. However, I must admit it was pretty strange creating conversation with a distant and silent audience while singing into an ipad …from my living room. Now with the new album released and more time on my hands (those shows require prep!) I will resume “LIVE @ 5” in June. My streaming capabilities will be upgraded by then.

Any other thoughts you’d like to share?

Bill: Music brings people together. If ever we needed to be reminded of the magic of music this is that time. Some say you don’t know what you have ’til it’s gone (live music venues) but I think many people have always valued live music venues. They just really miss connecting with each other and experiencing music together. Listening to good live music collectively is just a great moving experience. I am grateful that VenturaRocks.com allows us to keep sharing and delivering music during these unprecedented times. They are in service to our community. Thanks for allowing me to share my music. Everyone please stay safe. Together we will get through this.

https://www.facebook.com/brotellamusic
www.BillRotellaMusic.com


Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows 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 – 5/6/20 – 5/19/20

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com
Pam@VenturaRocks.com
Ventura Rocks in the BreezeThe past couple of music scene columns I had interviewed a number of local musicians to see how they were holding up during this COVID-19 self-quarantine, and then somebody suggested I reach out to a couple of the venues, and so I did, but sadly, the response was a little sad, and I will protect those who asked not to participate. They’re just not ready to respond, and who can blame them?

Here’s what I know, there are a couple of venues (who previously hosted live music) that are offering curbside and/or home delivery services (GrubHub, Postmates, DoorDash, etc…) including Peirano’s, Café Fiore, Casa Bella & Prime, the Winery Ventura, Margarita Villa, Topa Mountain Winery, the Shores and now Winchesters on the weekends. Yay!  You’ll find more of them listed on this page. I don’t have to tell you how vital it is right now to support these guys. Gift certificates are helpful too; in fact, I was delighted to be gifted a Peirano’s gift certificate from one of our local musicians. You can support venues and help spread the joy and buy a gift certificate or two to help support our musician friends (I’m fine by the way 😉).


Fresh ProduceHELPING LAID OFF VENUE WORKERS

Many thanks to Kat Merrick and the Local Love Project for spearheading the effort to help Ventura’s food and bar industry employees by enlisting volunteers, and donations and making available weekly produce boxes and more including some household items to those who have been laid off or had their hours cut. If you find you’re in this category, or want to help her efforts, go to the Local Love Project Facebook page for more information and the rules for receiving their weekly care packages.


RADIO

I’ve continued to work on the Pam Baumgardner Music Hour for KPPQ-LP which broadcasts out of the CAPS Media Center here in Ventura at 104.1 FM, but I am producing my shows at home and uploading them to the station which then loads each show for airplay (Tuesdays and Fridays at 5 pm; Sundays at noon). I had to become creative as I don’t have a “home studio” at the ready. Luckily, I am proficient enough with Audacity’s software for compiling the program, but the real problem is with recording me! I don’t have a microphone and hardware to record my intros and such. But I came up with a temporary workable solution, I use my Android phone and record each element, email each individual file to myself, upload it to my computer, then insert it into the program. I haven’t quite worked out the equalization, and sometimes I’m under/over modulated, but it’s not half bad! I am looking to invest in a real microphone soon.


LIVESTREAM

Along with home concerts, a couple of venues are hosting livestream events which is a great way to keep the community involved with their establishment.  Social distancing is practiced, and some of them request a donation to gain access to the livestream. I’ve found several on Facebook including the Ojai Underground Exchange, the Red Piano and Figueroa Mountain both in Santa Barbara. Just some of the artists participating include Shawn Jones, Morganfield Burnett, Cindy Kalmenson, Tommy Marsh with Jim Guston, and Jamie Drake.  One thing I don’t quite get is when I see an invitation to view a livestream of a previously recorded concert.  Wouldn’t that just be a “watch party?”


DRIVE IN CONCERTS

I read a story recently that certain European cities were hosting drive-in concerts. Yay or nay? I’d say Yay if, an only if I could be parked in the first few rows, though I wouldn’t mind being fifty rows back for Rage Against the Machine and maybe Paul McCartney. So I’m just spit-balling here, if Ventura considered such an undertaking, I’m think a makeshift drive-in could be mocked up at the Ventura Fairgrounds parking lot, or maybe the backside of the Pacific View Mall, or where our last drive-in theater was located in the parking lot of Barnes and Nobles.


COVID-19 INSPIRED

Some singer/songwriters are finding inspiration to write new music, others not so much. We all deal with crisis in different ways. Those who are writing have differing viewpoints as well, some write of hope, others write to inspire people to keep their butts at home. I see a lot of musicians are happy to just take time off after a hectic schedule of performing all the time while others fill the void of connecting and sharing in person, they’re now connecting and sharing via a computer screen.


NEW MUSIC

There is a lot of new music out already for 2020. Keep in mind, most people don’t sit down, write music, go to their home studio, hit record and release an album in a month. Most records take some time before they “hit the streets” and not all music comes with a hard copy of a CD these days.  I find it interesting that some artists are going totally digital (saves boatloads of money upfront) while others are releasing their music including a vinyl option, totally old school. New music to report includes Last Rock Empire, Death to the Monkey People; Bill Rotella, River of Smoke; Karen 805’s sophomore effort, 21 in My Heart; Ben Wylen, People Say;  Medicine Hat, Fences; Michael Fitz, Colors in the Wind; Mik Sullivan, Overdramatic; and Dudeo Perez, King of Last Year (produced by Scotty Morris).

If you are interested, these releases are available on most music outlets online, or check the artists’ website or Facebook page. Ventura Rocks is also a great resource for finding artists and their releases at www.VenturaRocks.com/Artists. If their listing has artwork, that’s a link to their music.


Collective Soul VENTURA COUNTY FAIR NO GO

The Ventura County Fair Board voted unanimously on Monday, May 4, to cancel this year’s Ventura County Fair.  They did it with a heavy heart, I know, I listened in on the remote Zoom meeting.  But you know, as difficult as it was for them to come to this decision, it’s the prudent thing to do. It was sad to hear the 4-H Club and supporting members scrambling to figure out how they can still pull something off for their young members; a remote auction online was even suggested.

Every spring I wait patiently for the concert line up to be announced and then just like everyone else, I pick out my favorite bands to not only go and enjoy, but to shoot some pictures for VenturaRocks.com and the Breeze.  Last year’s line up included one of my all-time favorites, Collective Soul, which I managed to weasel my way into the Meet and Greet before the show. I’m truly looking forward to next year’s fair and praying for a vaccine so we can cram ourselves into the mobs of people in front of the stage again.


Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows 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 – 4/22/20 – 5/5/20

CrookedEyeTommy.com/Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com
Pam@VenturaRocks.com
Ventura Rocks artwork
As we continue in shutdown mode and our town is a virtual ghost town at night (as it should be), I’ve reached out to a number of musicians to get their thoughts and updates on how they’re managing the stay home mandate.

Tommy Marsh of Crooked Eye Tommy

Are you still working your day job?

Tommy MarshTommy: I was off for two weeks but I’m back to work now.

How’s the Covid-19 Stay Home order affecting you as a working musician?

Tommy: So far 20 shows have been cancelled totaling at least $3,500 in lost revenue. To date, the Ojai Blues Fest is still on for June 6th but that is subject to change. I also had to cancel my trips to both the Nashville and Cincinnati areas where I was booked in April. It’s been tough.

Is there any upside to it?

Tommy: I have been blessed to spend time at home with Tammy which has been very nice, I’m usually so busy that it’s all a blur. I have been getting lots of sleep which is also elusive during a busy life of working and playing. I have been writing and that is always good.

What are you doing to fill the time?

Tommy: I’m working on the artwork for our new album, the theme is sort of a comic book style. We have also been getting things done around the house as well as planning our retirement to Tennessee. Plus, we’ve been watching lots of live music shows of our friends and supporting them with $ as we are able. We are so blessed, and I know many out there are not as lucky.

Tell me about the new record and when it will be released.

Hot Coffee & Pain is completed and will be released in August. It’s been a long time coming. I just got the masters and I’m VERY PLEASED and feel it is better on many fronts than Butterflies & Snakes; big guitars and big horns will be the hallmark of this one.

CrookedEyeTommy.com/
Facebook.com/CrookedEyeTommy/
Twitter.com/TommyMarsh805
Instagram.com/CrookedEyeTommy/


Jodi Farrell, Singer/Songwriter and owner of Jodi Farrell’s Music Studio

How badly has the Stay Home mandate affected you economically? Are you able to keep your students engaged with video music lessons?

Jodi FarrellJodi: I consider myself one of the lucky ones to be able to continue working from home.
Although there have been a few students who have opted not to continue music lessons via Zoom, most of my students have welcomed this opportunity and are doing an amazing job adapting to this new format. I believe, just like me, they welcome any sense of normalcy and continuity in their lives during this unprecedented and upheavaled time. Being able to continue music lessons not only fulfills this desire, it also provides a sense of joy and happiness in a way only music can.

Are you doing anything to stay connected to the music scene?

Jodi: Anytime I click on Facebook and come across someone sharing a song or streaming live music or posting a musical collaboration through Zoom, I feel uplifted. I’ve also posted videos singing songs with the intent to uplift the community’s spirit. I am also pleased to see fellow musicians such as, Jerry Breiner and Colette Lovejoy (Déjà vu Too), Karen Eden, Mark Masson (Shaky Feeling), Shawn Jones, Alastair Greene, Jon Gindick, Kelly’s Lot, Polly Musicmuse, Karyn 805, Crooked Eye Tommy and so many others utilizing social media platforms to continue to share their music and talents with all of us.

Have you been inspired to write new music about this experience, or not so much?

Jodi: Funny you should ask, I am in the process of writing a melody to some lyrics given to me from another talented writer (and illustrator), Linda Silvestri. It’s going to be a blues song that will make you smile. I look forward to recording and posting it upon its completion.

Would you like to add anything else?

Jodi: I would like to express my gratitude to you for all that you do in supporting live arts in Ventura. Even in this time, when no performance is able to occur in our local establishments around town, you are still working to inform, and bring the musical community together through articles such as these and in so many other ways. Together, and with music, we will get through this!

Pam: Aw shucks. 😊

JodiFarrell.com
www.facebook.com/jodi.farrell


Jon Gindick, Singer/Songwriter, best-selling musical
instruction author, and owner/operator of the Blues Harmonica Jam Camp

Is the Covid-19 Stay Home order affecting you as a working musician?

Jon GindickJon: I’ve had to cancel five gigs and postpone my five-day Mississippi Delta Blues Harmonica Jam Camp in April; it’s a small price to pay for defeating this virus.

Is there any upside to it?

Jon: Yes, short term, I feel released from my mundane responsibilities, free to develop new songs, and time to research and create new material. Long term, we shall see.

What are you doing to fill the time?

Jon: I’m giving lessons online, advertising my seminars, providing customer service,
playing music, creating videos, reaching out to old friends, and trying to figure what to do with myself next. Luckily, I have a good teaching and publishing business, so my finances have not been damaged.

Gindick.com 
Facebook.com/Gindick


Licity Collins, Singer/Songwriter

How badly has the Stay Home mandate affected you economically?

Licity CollinsLicity: I have complex feelings about the stay-home mandates. We’ve all lost a lot. For many people the reasons might feel theoretical. For me it is not. One of my two best friends in the world contracted the novel coronavirus and came down with COVID-19. She is in one of the high-risk categories. So, my “stay home” time has included a harrowing two-week vigil of holding back tears every day worried for her life while she walked the slow intense path through a “mild case” of the illness which was actually quite brutal. I am grateful for her life today, knowing she has just recently recovered. Her voice has never sounded so sweet. I am happy to stay home so that as few people as possible must go through that illness or that vigil.
I am also hoping that the powerful exposure of the massive flaws in the music economy will, in the end, benefit musicians. We all know that the industry was broken. We lost our ability to earn money through our recording sales in the MP3 transition, leaving only performance as our main way of making money. That system was also starting to fall apart, with smaller musicians expected to play too many shows for free, concert ticket prices getting so high, and major artist fees becoming unaffordable for even the largest festivals. It is my deepest hope that this challenge we are going through will shine a light on the devaluing of music— and correct it. I hope that musicians will begin to receive our true value for all we do.

What are you doing to stay connected with the music scene?

Licity: I have been really focused on staying connected to my community of supporters and fans. I‘ve been sending frequent messages of love and inspiration to my email list and creating new intimate opportunities for them to connect with me and each other.
In asking for donations (which everyone is) I’ve made the decision to pass along 22% of my donations to working musicians in need. I know that many of lead artists have fan bases that we can turn to for support. But a lot of the amazing band members that make us sound like rock stars don’t have that kind of name recognition. I’ve been able to pass along a small amount, and I hope it has helped.

Have you been inspired to write new music about this experience, or the opposite?

Licity: I need a lot of mental space to write music. This time has been anything but that! In addition to worrying/trying not to worry about my friend and my income, I have been extremely busy creating new ways for people to connect to themselves, me and others, as a part of all I do as a music maker. I am very excited to announce those new projects in the coming weeks.

Would you like to add anything else?

Licity: You know I’m a big advocate for love. This time is an opportunity for us to choose love, in every moment. Choosing love looks like so many different things, but this time there is a major focus on unselfishness, while understanding that we have to care for ourselves and our own needs. This is one of the greatest challenges of humanity—to understand both our individuality and interconnectedness.

LicityCollins.com/
Facebook.com/LicityCollins/


Guy Martin, Singer/Songwriter and owner of BlackCouch Studio

Are you still working your day job?

Guy MartinGuy: Most definitely; my day job is a general contractor.

How’s the Covid-19 Stay Home order affecting you as a working musician?

Guy: Well for me, the timing of this pandemic hasn’t affected my gigs at all, simply because I have been focused on building the new BlackCouch Studio for the last 6 months. I had done a few sit-ins and benefit performances in between, but lately I haven’t pushed any Guy Martin Band shows at all. So, when Covid-19 hit, the only thing that really changed was the social interaction.

Is there any upside to it?

Guy: On a personal level, somewhat. Now is the time to get those nagging little things done that I’ve never made the time to do before. On a global level, there is definitely a silver lining in this dark cloud; the world has a common enemy that we are fighting together as one. I do think that after the chaos is over, people around the world will have a renewed outlook on what is important in this life. The downside is I miss my immediate family and close friends. I’m tired of having to use mobile devices and technology to communicate. I would love to have a physical hang, and get together soon. Nothing beats that.

What are you doing to fill the time?

Guy: I have a list of to-dos that I’m stoked to get done. And BlackCouch Studio has a small list of things as well. I just re-wired the BlackCouch Studio’s entire preamp section to exactly how I want it. I have the time to analyze what my perfect workflow should be like in a recording session and make any necessary adjustments to accommodate that. I also now have the time to try and set up and record more social media content, both for Guy Martin Music and BlackCouch Studio. Will it get done how I want? Probably not, because I am my own worst critic and usually get in my own way.

GuyMartin.com
BlackCouchStudio.com
Facebook.com/GuyMartinMusic
https://twitter.com/GuyMartinMusic


Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Please send all information short or long to Pam@VenturaRocks.com. For updated music listings daily, go to www.VenturaRocks.com.

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 4/8/20 – 4/21/20

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

Breeze artworkAs incredible as it may be, Ventura’s music scene is keeping its preverbal blood flowing. I’ve been watching so many live streaming events, where you can purchase to view and some where you can make a donation to the “tip” jar. Our artists and musicians are doing what they can to keep our scene alive. For this column, I reached out to a number of musicians and asked how they’ve been dealing with the Stay Home order.

Shawn Jones Singer/Songwriter

How is the Covid-19 Stay Home order affecting you as a working musician?

photo of Shawn JonesShawn:  Well, for the next half of the year all my work is gone. Everybody is in lockdown mode and all of the clubs all over the world are closed as well as outdoor events so there you have it. I had four international trips booked in Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Costa Rica, Ireland, Hawaii, Seattle, and local gigs that are all gone. It’s impacting me pretty severely.

Is there an upside to this?

Shawn: There is an upside to it in regard to things slowing down, having a chance to reflect, a little bit of writing here and there, inventing new ways to create and to share your music, getting things done around the house, etc.

But the downtime is also filled with chasing down new ways to make money in the music industry and looking into COVID-19 bills that have passed and grants that are possibly available for musicians and freelance gig economy people. Before we were never counted in and now, we are because of this horrible pandemic we are finally being recognized as a working class of people that have rights as well.

You have a new record ready to release, right?

Shawn: Well I was supposed to be doing a release in Liechtenstein for the new vinyl that we did that included Sam Bolle on bass and Gerry Morgan from Ireland on drums. It’s a live album from our studio live session at Little Big Beach Studios in Liechtenstein. That will have to come out in the fall at this point if everything goes well.

Additional thoughts you’d like to add?

Shawn:  My heart goes out to all of those that are suffering right now so that’s kind of more the important thing on my mind and being responsible in my actions and staying self-quarantined.

I am also doing a lot of writing and trying to cut it close to the heart as possible and get to some very thought-provoking topics and issues for the next project which will come out when I am ready and since I am independent it’s when I’m ready instead of when the record company tells me I need to release it, so all I can say is it will be sooner than later!

ShawnJonesMusic.com
Facebook.com/OfficialShawnJones
Instagram.com/ShawnJonesMusic
Twitter.com/ShawnJonesMusic
YouTube.com/User/ShawnDJones


Kelly Zirbes, singer/songwriter of Kelly’s Lot


Are you and Perry (Kelly’s Husband and Guitarist for Kelly’s Lot) still working a day job?

photo of Kelly ZKelly: Perry is still working. He is finishing up a post-production sound on the new Ghostbusters movie. He can do that from home and meets with the team on Zoom for updates.

How’s the Covid-19 Stay Home order affecting you as a working musician?

Kelly:  We have switched gears and started planning, arranging and writing a new record featuring songs from the Facebook Word Challenge that I have been doing for a couple years. Fans give me a word and I write a song in 2 hours. I miss playing with my band but a new CD is nothing to complain about. I am blessed.

Do you find an upside to this?

Kelly: No, not with all the fear, sadness and suffering. I don’t mean to be negative, but live music helps so many and creates a community that is missing right now.

What are you doing to fill the time?

Kelly:  Just writing more songs and checking in with people. We feel blessed that Perry is still working so we have reached out to those who are not working now and have helped in different ways. We all need to look to the left or look to the right and see who beside us who is hurting and do something to help.

Add anything else you’d like to share.


Kelly:  If you’d like to help a local musician, just think about who you loved going out to see in your local pubs and reach out to them. Maybe they are doing an online concert or selling CDs on their websites. Maybe they need to hear from their fans, maybe they need financial help. If you are working and okay, maybe help someone who is not.  I’m sure they would really appreciate it!

www.facebook.com/KellysLotMusic/ 
www.Kellyslot.com 


Dan Grimm, Singer/Songwriter & owner Carbonite Sound

Are you still working your day job? 

photo of Dan GrimmDan:  Hell yeah I am, and I’m surprised! When I took the job at Lynda.com to start the tech support team for online learning, I didn’t think I would be there long –– I thought I would sign a new artist contract and be writing for an artist or touring within the year. Amazingly, 14 years later, my love for the technological evolution of human learning has never been stronger. I’m having some Deja vu these days because when the economic bubble burst in 08′, Lynda.com skyrocketed with people needing to learn new skills to survive.  Linkedin acquiring Lynda.com was unexpectedly awesome, and I am proud of how many people’s lives we have helped improve with the massive platform for learning.

But sadly, the music industry as a trade has been demolished over that same time frame. Streaming services have become disastrous, live venues pay 1/10th the money they used to, and while people still value music so greatly –– there isn’t the same class of fair pay for work you see in trades like plumbing, electricians, and carpentry. I’m actively working to try to change that using every platform at my disposal, and I think every musician and industry person should be too.

How’s the Covid-19 Stay Home order affecting you as a working musician?

Dan: I miss my band and playing in front of a live audience so much.  At the same time, it’s good for me because I have to focus on writing and getting solo demos for license instead of taking gigs. On the bright side, there is still a growing need for music behind all that streaming content most folks are binge watching. Plus, if you can’t find material to write about in these interesting times, you shouldn’t ever complain that Bob Dylan, Crosby Stills and Nash, Neil Young, or anyone in the 60’s had more things to address in their music. I’m hopeful songwriters are taking advantage of a powerful moment in history to channel powerful concepts into song.

Tell me how this all is affecting the studio.

Dan: It’s a mixed bag, the part of our revenue at Carbonite Sound (formerly Brotheryn) that comes from recording live bands is paused, fortunately, we have been so busy over the last 6 months with TV, movies, bands, and various sound projects that there is a lot of mixing, mastering, and cleanup work that can be done in isolation. This could go on for longer than we can guess, and we think it’s time we look at ways we can pivot with the post pandemic shifts that may occur. On that note, we think we have a few good ideas in the works and I’m really excited to see what we can do to improve the things we offer artists, industry, and audience.

www.facebook.com/dansgrimm
www.facebook.com/carbonitesound
www.carbonitesound.com


Karen Parkhouse, Singer/Songwriter of The Barrelhouse Wailers

Do you work a day job?

photo of Karen ParkhouseKaren: I don’t work a day job, but I volunteer teach choir at Balboa middle school, so that’s obviously not happening at the moment. My husband is still employed and works from home.

How’s the Covid-19 Stay Home order affecting you as a working musician?

Karen: Covid has affected us by performances being cancelled through June resulting in income loss for the band.  Also, band cannot rehearse with remote communication only.  We are working on some new stuff though, and setting up recording stations at each of our houses.

Is there an upside?

Karen: The upside is learning to slow down; unfortunately, so many musicians rely on gig income, so it’s rough for some. Upside is also taking time to work on writing. I’ve set myself a daily music challenge to be creative and practice/ produce something every day and to document this time in life.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Karen: It’s tough for performers to not perform.  It’s like our outlet has been taken away.  Thankfully we live in a period that we can still express ourselves and reach an audience through social media where even tips can be sent remotely. The energy level has gone down, but support for each other has skyrocketed.

www.facebook.com/TheBarrelHouseWailers/
www.thebarrelhousewailers.com 
www.Youtube.com


Jeff Donovan, Guitarist from The Guitar and Whiskey Club

Do you work a day job? If so, are you still working?

photo of Jeff DonovanJeff: I used to spend my days working Monday through Friday from home, so now I spend 24 hours a day at home (except for the occasional store run). My heart goes out to the many people not in a good situation right now.

How’s the Covid-19 Stay Home order affecting you as a working musician?
Jeff: I am trapped at home with the singer of my band as a roommate – how fortunate is that? On the other hand, the rest of the band members are not able to be with us right now, so we have had to develop new material – and do live streaming as the Guitar & Whiskey Club “Lite” in place of shows with the full band.

Is there any upside to it?

Jeff:  Yes, there is extra time to create music, but on the downside, I have to spend some of that time sanitizing my groceries and mail, and just about everything else in sight!

www.facebook.com/Guitarandwhiskeyclub/
GuitarandWhiskeyClub.com


Robert Ramirez from Medicine Hat

I know you injured yourself and have been rehabilitating but how has this Stay Home Order been affecting you?

photo of Robert RamirezRobert: COVID19 and its impact on myself and Medicine Hat has been quite a journey. This has all happened while simultaneously recovering from broken clavicle surgery. With a brand-new album, corresponding release parties and a trip to play SXSW all being cancelled, we pretty much watched all the hard work and planning slip away, like a carpet being pulled out from under us.

As is for many artists, the Stay Home order has caused us to rethink how we share our music. We’d like to do some live streaming as soon as I’m able. In the meantime, we’re coming up with different ways to get the new songs out there. Medicine Hat plans to post a song a day from the new album, on our Facebook page. We’ll include lyrics, photos and interesting notes pertaining to each track, kind of a virtual Story Tellers.  We’re trying to take advantage of this time to work on promoting, submitting the record for reviews and maybe start writing the next one!

www.Facebook.com/MedicineHatBand
www.MedicineHatMusic.net

Next issue I’ll be checking in with more musicians including Guy Martin, Tommy Marsh and Jon Gindick.

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 3/25/20 – 4/7/20

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

Ventura Rocks graphicWe find ourselves in uncharted territory as the Covid-19 pandemic hits home. Many venues initially didn’t take Governor Newsom’s Stay-Home Order too seriously, but once the Ventura County Public Health Officer, Dr. Robert Levin, issued our own local emergency order, each venue, one by one, closed their doors and posted on social media they would not be open for business until allowed to do so; and as much as we all would like to think live music is an essential service, alas, by definition, it brings people together in too close proximity to remain safe.

This extraordinary event is disrupting our normal routine and we’re scrambling to figure out how best to endure and stay safe.

Forever the optimist, I still feel for our community; I feel for the musicians who lost all their gigs; I feel for Sheldon Brown, publisher of the Ventura Breeze, as his advertisers have fallen short of covering the cost of production, yet he’s doing everything he can to keep the Breeze alive; I feel for all the small business owners forced to close their doors (hopefully just temporarily); I feel for the grocery workers who have to constantly restock (and deal with cranky customers) as certain people feel compelled to overbuy; I feel for first responders forever on standby, ready to serve; I feel for parents with children unexpectedly at home due to school closures; and I feel for those scared and worried about this pandemic because that is in their nature to do so. The only comfort and advice I can offer is to ask those who are in anguish to take a step back, and really try to realize worrying doesn’t help anyone (especially you and your family), it only adds to the problem. If you can get to that point, then figure out what you can do to better the situation; seriously, do something, anything!

During this time of social distancing, I’ve seen so many resourceful and creative solutions for remaining connected especially using social media, but I’ll be honest, Facebook can be potentially soul damaging when people constantly vent angry political-blaming posts, but I want you to remember that you have the power to “hide” those posts, even “unfollow” and “delete” friends and in extreme situations, “block” individuals who chronically share mind-numbing snarky remarks, false information and diatribe. What’s left are pictures of pets, children running amok, creative suggestions to try at home, groups forming to support each other (one is a bartering group here in Ventura) and of course all our beautiful musicians providing live online concerts using social media (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, even Cadenza.tv).

I was concerned for a day, maybe two, on how to move forward with supporting Ventura’s music scene on my website VenturaRocks.com, but once I saw musicians and singer/songwriters inviting fans to view their home concerts, I knew I could help promote and list those events instead of venue calendars. And because I’m also a website designer, I created a page where you can view that video after the performance is over on the VenturaRocks Artist page. And just so you know, many of the performers also provide a way to make a donation, a tip jar if you will, so you can help these artists who lost all their gigs for the time being.

I’ll be honest (with a Cheshire smile), it’s a little mini vacation for me not having to research where all the live music is and compiling a calendar (both for the Breeze and VenturaRocks.com). Here’s a little insight on where I get my information: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email, messenger, text messages, phone calls and venue websites, not to mention the occasional flyer I’ll spot walking around town. What makes it even more challenging is the fact that people will not always list an event in a timely manner, so I have to research several times a week instead of only once, and even then, I can miss a gig by someone who posted the morning of the show. So yeah, I’m decompressing and enjoying cleaning out the junk drawer(s), and spending time with my senior pups.

Gratefully, the Stay Home Order allows us to go to the grocery store and pharmacy, even to a restaurant for take-out or drive-thru, which brings up another point. While we are at home, we can still support local restaurants who are providing delivery services, many of them without delivery fees. For a list of FAQs on what is allowed, go to vcemergency.com/staywellvc.

As I follow the guidelines of social distancing, I’m loving my community uplifting each other and voicing words of support as I walk my senior dogs down at Pierpont Beach, albeit, at least from a distance of six feet or more. I’m seeing people out enjoying the fresh air, walking their own dogs, biking, jogging and letting their kids out for some much-needed space, which after all, Ventura’s space is one of the most beautiful on the planet.

Please keep in mind, we will get through this quicker if we all adhere to the guidelines here and now.

#TogetherAtHome #StayVenturaStrong #StirCrazy #SupportYourLocalMusican #TheVenturaBreezeRocks #WeCanDoThis #VenturaWillRockAgain

Finally, my sincere condolences go out to the family and friends of Jim Salzer as the community grieves at his passing. He was an icon here in town and his impact on the music scene as a concert promoter and record and video store owner will be felt for a very long time.

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Please send all information short or long to Pam@VenturaRocks.com. For updated music listings daily, go to www.VenturaRocks.com.

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze – 3/11 – 3/24

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

Breeze artworkCoronavirus Closures and Postpones are possible starting this week.  Please double check with venue before venturing out.

(The first paragraph here is inserted as they missed the deadline for print publication)

There will be a fundraiser for local musician Robert Ramirez (Medicine Hat) on Saturday, March 13, from 4 – 9 pm at Bombay’s to help Robert with his finances while recuperating after braking his clavicle as a result of a bike accident.  Bands on the bill include Raging Arb and the Redheads, Honeyowl, Guy Martin, Matt Armor, Frank Barajas, Spencer Barantz and more.  Donations accepted at the door and part of the bar’s proceeds as well.  Get out and support!!

If you can not make fundraiser, here is a link to help support: Fundraiser for Robert

It’s not always easy to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day when it falls mid-week as it does this year on a Tuesday, so a lot of the celebrations will take place the weekend before with hardcore Irish venues such as Dargan’s celebrating full throttle on Tuesday anyways. You can expect the obligatory bagpipers and Claddagh Irish dancers throughout the day; I also hear the Ventura City Fire Pipes and Drums will be making their rounds including at stop at Made West Brewing.

Surge Du Monde plays the Red Cove on Saturday, March 14. The band’s genre is “Deep Groove – Old Country – Folk Core” with Austin Wrinkle on drums and percussion (nominated two years for World Percussionist of the Year, Drum! Magazine Drummies Awards), Orest Balaban who toured with the Eels back in the day and Eric Warner who recorded with Jon Swift. Casual Business also plays. The following weekend, Saturday, March 21, Blues Bullet will be joined by Whiskey Dick (Texas), James Hunnicutt (Washington) and the Hajj (Cypress Island).

There will be a hardcore night of Psychobilly/Rawkabilly/Ska with Los Pistoleros out of Reno, Mama’s Hot Sauce out of Palmdale along with locals Double Wide at the Garage on Saturday, March 14.

The Majestic Ventura Theater has a number of concerts over the next couple of weeks including Fitz and the Tantrums on Friday, March 13, the Growlers on Wednesday, March 18, Yachtley Crew on Friday, March 20, and then a tribute to Bob Marley with One Drop Redemption, BombaFiya and After the Smoke on Saturday, March 21.

See Ventura Theater website for cancellations/postponements.

Quick Notes: VenturaRocks.com celebrates its 11th anniversary this month serving Ventura’s music community; Buffalo Trance plays the Saloon on Saturday, March 14 (print version incorrectly has 13th); Social Distortion tribute band, Sick Boy, returns to the Sewer with the Hell Toupees on Friday, March 13; you can dance all night to tech music at the Ventura Beach Club with Club805 on Friday, March 13; mPhaka will be the Winery of Ventura’s band both for their float during the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and then again that evening at their venue on Market Street; the Channel Cities Jazz Club presents the Barrelhouse Wailers at the House of Dance on Sunday, March 15; Karyn805 releases her second CD at Winchesters on Friday, March 20; and the Copa Cubana will feature a night of salsa dancing and more when Cuban born Fermin Siforntes Quartet plays on Friday, March 20

So far, no events locally have been cancelled or postposed due to the Coronavirus. I’ve seen concerned raised on social media regarding the Skull & Roses event at the Ventura Fairgrounds over the weekend of April 2 where over a dozen bands play celebrating the music and community of the Grateful Dead. So far everything is a go, but keep your often-washed fingers crossed!

Many events have been cancelled/postponed due to Covid-19, including postponement of Skull & Roses.

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Please send all information short or long to Pam@VenturaRocks.com. For updated music listings daily, go to www.VenturaRocks.com.

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 2/26 – 3/10

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

Breeze artworkThe Ventura Music Festival announced their 2020 lineup recently. Most of the events will be held at the Ventura College Performing Arts Center (VCPAC); but the ever-popular Tea & Trumpets will once again be held at the Pierpont Inn on July 23, and their annual free event will be held at Mission park on July 30 featuring Adaawe, seven women of the voice and drum featuring music from West African roots with Gospel harmonies and American funk. The other performances at VCPAC including Aubrey Logan, an American pop and jazz singer and trombone soloist; Time for Three; Andrea Roberto, Django Festival Allstars, Tom Scott & LA Express and Sean Chen. Tickets go on sale April 13 at www.VenturaMusicFestival.org.

Meanwhile, the Ventura Music Festival has a special event on March 22 featuring seven gifted musicians from Austria called Mnozil Brass, noted as “the Monty Python of the musical world.” This concert will be held at Rancho Campana Performing Arts Center in Camarillo.

Formerly known as Champagne on Main, the Spring Wine Walk & Street Fair will be here before you know it. The street fair is always open and free to the public, but to be a part of the wine walk you will need to buy tickets. The event falls on Saturday, March 28. Get your tickets at www.SpringWineWalk.com.

Quick Notes: enjoy some pub rock with Sock Monkey at Red Cove, on Thursday, February 27; Grady’s Records has an in store performance on Friday, February 28, with Eugene Chadbourne and Daniel Masiel; the Vonettes with the Swizzlers play an early show (6 pm) at Bombay’s on Friday, February 28; Solvang’s La Grimas plays a punk show with Up Your Gut and Defeating the Purpose at the Garage on Friday, February 28; Concrete Jungle Brewing is hosting an “Into the Wild” art show on Saturday, February 29, with Omega Nova playing; you can catch Cinnamon Whiskey at Duke’s at the beach on Saturday, February 29; the Midtones play Peirano’s on Saturday, February 29; Caffrodite Community Collective has a songwriter’s showcase on Sunday, March 1 with Liz Nash, Kathy Kamath, Don Horn and others; check out Sunday Funday, March 1, at Four Brix Winery featuring Mark Masson; Rachel Flowers returns to Ventura for a jazz show at the Winery Ventura on Sunday afternoon, March 1; Los Cool Arrows plays the Ventura Theater on Saturday, March 7; and finally, Second Sunday Supper on March 8 has Shaky Feelin’ at Plan B Winery.

The Jazz community lost a good one this past month when Ken Winters passed away. A former jazz writer and a World War II veteran, he was a gem and a gentleman and I always enjoyed hearing his tales of the many jazz shows he had seen over the years.

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Please send all information short or long to Pam@VenturaRocks.com. For updated music listings daily, go to www.VenturaRocks.com.