Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze – 4/22/20 – 5/5/20 MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner
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.

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. 😊

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.

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.

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.

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

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

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

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!

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! 

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 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′, skyrocketed with people needing to learn new skills to survive.  Linkedin acquiring 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.

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.

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!

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!

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

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

I was concerned for a day, maybe two, on how to move forward with supporting Ventura’s music scene on my website, 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 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

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 For updated music listings daily, go to

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

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

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: 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 For updated music listings daily, go to

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

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

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

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

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 For updated music listings daily, go to

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 2/12 – 2/25

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

Ventura Rocks in Breeze artworkLet’s acknowledge the elephant in the room, and then move on. Yes, another venue has closed its doors. What’s worse, it’s a Main Street venue, this time Oak and Main. Was it due to mismanagement? Bad service? Poor advertising? It’s easy to be a Monday morning quarterback, but instead, let’s all just vow to support your favorite venues making up Ventura’s music scene. Rent is incredibly high, and the bands deserve to be paid well, so understand that us music lovers are the ones who truly give it the blood to keep it going.

Here now, your Valentine’s musical choices for February 14: there will be a Punk Rock Prom party (all ages) at Bike Ventura on the Avenue with Rafa Rose, Martini Drive and Without Words; Colette Lovejoy plays Café Fiore; serious dancing will be going on at Copa Cubana with House Arrest; there’s a 20’s theme party at Four Brix Winery with Ginger & the Hoosier Daddies; Benjamin Buttner plays jazz & blues at La Cosecha Modern Concina in the Crown Plaza Hotel; Limon y Sal offers up Mariachi Aguilas de Oxnard dinner shows; there’s a “Rock into my Heart” party at the Sewer with Spacedragon and the Mystos; in Ojai, a special evening of live music with Jade Hendrix at Topa Mountain Winery; in Oxnard, jazz with Toni Jannotta at 1901 Speakeasy in Oxnard; and finally, not only can you celebrate Valentine’s Day with Shawn Jones at Grapes and Hops, but it’s a Marti Gras birthday celebration for owner Tammy White as well.

Get your cowboy boots out because Saturday, February 15 will be the 4th annual Country Music Crawl in downtown Ventura featuring six bands and six venues where at the start you pick the color cup to represent whether your single (blue) or in a committed relationship (red). I’m thinking we should always have that option in all bars don’t you think? In any case, here’s the line up starting at Blue Agave at 4 pm with Lacie Mae; Ted Z & the Wranglers at Star Lounge at 5; then over to Grapes and Hops for Blind Innocense at 6; up to Limon y Sal for Paige Peel at 7; Mike Scully plays Winchesters at 8 pm; then wrapping up the crawl at the Sewer for Rob Leines at 9 pm by which time I’m sure it will be an actual crawl. Get your tickets at

Pulse Drumming will hold a special drum clinic at the Winery Ventura Sunday afternoon, February 23, with Fausto Cuevas (toured with Stevie Wonder, Queen Latifah, Santana, and now with Jennifer Lopez). Following the clinic will be a live performance starting at 2:30.

Quick Notes: now that football season is over, the Boatyard Pub is back to live music every night of the week; there’s a free Chamber Music Concert at the Ventura College Performing Arts Center on Saturday, February 15; Namba has Licity’s Love Fest at Namba Saturday, February 15 and then Dan Rosenboom’s Jazz Fusion on Sunday, February 16; Dark Star Orchestra plays the Ventura Theater Thursday, February 20; and the 6th annual Johnny Cash birthday bash at Bombay’s will be Saturday, February 22 with the Mighty Cash Cats and Silver Threads.

And finally, there will be a fundraiser on Saturday, February 22, for an all-inclusive playground in Arroyo Verde Park at the Garage with over ten bands supporting this effort including the Robot Uprising, Fuse, Day Drunk, One Minute Run, Malice Thoughts and Plot.

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

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 1/19/20 – 2/11/20

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

ventura breeze artworkI’m a big fan of shaking it up and seeing new things tried out in our little town, and case in point, you can spend your lunchtime at the EP Foster Library in the Topping Room on Friday, January 31, while listening to Opera Santa Barbara, and it’s absolutely free!

Oak and Main’s social media post invites you to celebrate One Love in honor of Bob Marley’s birthday on Thursday, February 6, when they will host a Bob Marley Day with Kaya Now (Marley tribute band) and LayLow.

I spoke with Josh McNutt of Squashed Grapes to get an update on the new jazz club to be simply named, The Grape, and he told me while they have had several setbacks, they continue to overcome all the barriers they’ve come across and hope to be open early Summer. Meanwhile you can catch some great jazz at the Winery Ventura several nights a week located at 4746 Market Street.

Quick Notes: now that Monday Night Football is over for the season, Boatyard Pub welcomes back Milo Sledge with his Monday night residency; it’s good to see Jade Hendrix playing more shows, she’ll be at Topa Topa Brewing on Thompson, Wednesday, January 29; the band, Nein Lives, will debut during open mic night on Thursday, January 30 at Keynote Lounge; find out what the Namba performing arts space is all about during their open house on Thursday, January 30 (4 pm); there should be a packed house for the return of Porcelain Hill at the Sewer on Friday, January 31; you won’t want to miss Jen Staves & the Bluzfish at the Winery Ventura on Friday, January 31 (they’re also celebrating Nee Sackey’s birthday); the Vinyl Gypsies play classic rock on Saturday afternoon at Cantina 31 starting at 2 pm on Saturday, February 1; proving rock is not dead, Ninefinger returns to town with a gig at Red Cove on Saturday, February 1; Concrete Jungle Brewing has a hardcore show on Monday, February 3, kicking off at 5:30 with Born from Pain, Slowbleed and several other bands; in support of their newest release, Widow’s Weeds, the Silversun Pickups play the Ventura Theater on Tuesday, February 4; the Mentors with Social Conflict play the Garage, on Friday, February 7; Caught Red Handed plays Cantara Cellars on Saturday, February 8; and Anchor & Bear duo play Peirano’s on Saturday, February 8.

Don’t forget to check out my little local radio show which actually has the potential for a worldwide audience as it’s not only in Ventura at 104.1 FM, but on the internet at The Pam Baumgardner Music Hour airs Tuesdays at 5 with rebroadcasts on Friday at 5 and Sundays at noon and features mostly local music out of the 805. Do you have music you’d like to submit? Drop me an email.

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

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 1/15/20 – 1/28/20

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

Congratulations to Made West Brewing as they celebrate their four-year anniversary this month, and you know there is no better way to pack the house (other than with their excellent suds) than with live music. On Saturday, January 25, from 11 am to 9 pm they’ll have Sam Kulchin, Brother Earl, Lauren Hall, Peter Blackwelder and Ben Schneid (formerly of Foxtraxx); then on Sunday, January 26, 1 pm to 7 pm, it’s Fire Mist, Milo Sledge Trio and Jade Hendrix.

The Winery Ventura is bringing Blues promoter out of LA, Cadillac Zack, with their first show on Friday, January 17, featuring blues guitar legend, Chris Cain.

50 Sticks of Dynamite is back with new music and a gig at Bombay’s; be sure to get in early to catch their sets from 6-9 pm on Saturday, January 18.

Namba welcomes new executive director, Lorenzo Destefano; Lorenzo is the founder of the Ventura Film Society. There will be an open house meet and greet on Thursday, January 30 from 4-7 pm when you can learn more about Lorenzo’s vision for Namba. Meanwhile this month there are a couple of interesting shows to check out including Dirty Cello out of San Francisco with their blues/bluegrass unique blend of American music on Saturday, January 18; a Celebration of Joni Mitchell featuring Kimberly Ford falls on the following Saturday, January 25. Oh! And what sounds like lots of fun will be a “Grease! Sing-along” on Friday, January 24.

Quick Notes: Golden China’s open mic has moved to the Hong Kong Inn on Tuesdays 6-10 pm (drums and backline provided); Discovery has the English Beat Friday, January 17, and Ozomatli on Saturday, January 18; Leashless Brewing hosts a Singer/Songwriter showcase on Sunday, January 19; there will be a memorial fundraiser for Kanyon Morales on Sunday, January 19, at Oak and Main with the Question, Rising Son, After the Smoke, True Zion, the Ghetto Lions and more; Paradise Pantry’s debut Cabaret Series with Chris Pierce on Sunday, January 19, has sold out; Isla Vista Jazz Trio plays Grapes and Hops on Friday, January 24;
Club Fall takes over the Ventura Beach Club with dark electronic music on Friday, January 24;
get your punk rock fill with Agent Orange at Discovery on Saturday, January 25; and there will be live music at the Ventura Harbor Comedy Club on Sunday afternoon, January 26, with Teresa James and the Rhythm Tramps.

Two final notes of interest: first, Motown Live at the Rubicon was simply fabulous, now I’m looking forward to the Platters performing this June! And just so you know, there is not a bad seat in the house. And finally, a big congratulations to Big Bad Voodoo Daddy on their 3000th show this month! They continue to make Ventura proud!!

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

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

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

graphicHappy New Year my friend! We are back to business as usual and as always already looking forward to a year filled with music which science has proven increases happiness and reduces stress as well as depression.  Now the type of music that soothes the average soul is totally subjective. As for me? I love punk to jazz and “most” points in between.

That being said, I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for musicals from Broadway plays to small-town theater.  Here in Ventura we are so lucky to have the Rubicon which always offers stellar productions. This month and for three days only, the Rubicon will play host for a special event, “Forever Motown” with favorite hit songs from Motown Legends. The production not only features nine singers and a five-piece band, but includes special guests Glenn Leonard from the Temptations and G.C. Cameron, original lead singer of the Spinners. While the production is in town for only three days, there will be two shows on Friday, January 10 (2 and 8 pm), three shows on Saturday, January 11 (2, 5:30 and 8 pm), and two final shows on Sunday, January 12 (2 and 7 pm). Find out more at

Discovery Ventura has a number of shows lined up later in the month including Dave Wakeling and the English Beat on Friday, January 17, Ozomatli’s 25th year celebration on Saturday, January 18 (Ozomatli presents Ozokids earlier that afternoon), Agent Orange on Saturday, January 25 and the Spazmatics on Friday, January 31. It’s always more affordable to get your tickets in advance at

Surf Rodeo tickets are already on sale with big news that they’ve expanded to three days!  Dates run July 17, 18 and 19 with prices going up as you get nearer the event.  Find out more at

Quick Notes: the 12th Night Masquerade Ball at 1901 Speakeasy with Teresa Russell, Stephen Geyer and Mama Pat Russell on Saturday, January 4; brand new at the Saloon, it’s DJ Cid Hernandez and the Disco Soul Club every Friday at 9 pm; Pennywise and the Adolescents play the Ventura Theater on Saturday, January 11 and the Winery of Ventura plays host for a Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research benefit on Saturday, January 11, featuring Joe La Barbera and Coda.

Along with reading my music scene article here in the Ventura Breeze, I’d like to invite you to check out a few of my other projects I either produce myself or give a platform to such as the VenturaRockSpot which highlights a band or artist every month, you can find that on my main outlet for supporting our music scene which is and you can listen in for original music from artists out of the 805 on the Pam Baumgardner Music Hour on KPPQ out of CAPS Media 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  For updated music listings daily, go to

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 12/18 – 12/31

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

Ventura BreezeIt’s the final weeks of the year with a handful of holiday shows and a whole lot of New Year’s Eve parties, so let’s get right to it.

On Thursday, December 19, Buena High School hosts their 7th annual Not-So-Silent-Night benefit concert in the Library Media Center. The following day, Friday, December 20, the Ventura Theater presents their 8th annual Holiday Sing-along featuring Disney hits and holidays tunes with the price of admission a new unwrapped child’s toy or pet supplies.

Topa Mountain Winery has three events lined up starting on Friday evening at 7 pm with an Ojai holiday concert featuring Smitty & Julia and Friends; then they’re back to their regularly scheduled afternoon live music 3-5 on Saturday with Patricia Avis Family Christmas and Sunday featuring the Hopeful Quartet Holiday Jazz ensemble.

Along with the final weeks of the musical “Forever Plaid” Plaid Tidings” at the Rubicon, there will be a Tiny Tots Holiday Concert featuring the Broadway Juniors on Saturday, December 21, at 10 am.

While we’re still on the subject of Christmas and music, I’d like to give one final plug for “the Local Love Project Holiday Album, The Spirit of Giving” which features over a dozen artists out of the 805 including Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Charles Law and Jagged, Towse, Boom Duo and more. The proceeds from the sales stay in the community going to the Local Love Project which helps those who have been affected by a disaster here in the 805. It’s available at CD Baby, Amazon, and locally at most every record store in town. It is the perfect stocking stuffer!

Now on to New Year’s Eve parties starting with live music: FIDO plays until 9 pm with an east coast style NYE party at Leashless Brewing; the Brandon Ragan Project will keep you dancing at the Copa Cubana in the Ventura Harbor; it’s 80’s Invasion at the Crown Plaza at the top of the harbor overlooking the ocean and our fair city; the Shores in Oxnard has Teresa Russell & Friends; Grapes and Hops has the Diane Miller Band; the Self Righteous Brothers play Café Fiore; it’s an all-white party (meaning wear white) at Cantina 31 with Instone; Blues Bullet will keep it lively at Winchesters; it’s classic rock with Arockalypse Now at the Star Lounge; Yachtley Crew with their yacht rock will keep it festive at Discovery while Mandex will keep you rockin’ at Oak and Main downtown.

Venues with DJs and full party plans include Bombay’s, Paddy’s, El Rey Cantina, the Tavern, the Garage, the Keynote Lounge and Sans Souci. There will be cover charges most everywhere and some will sell out, so I highly recommend calling and making reservations now, and don’t forget to arrange for a safe ride home!

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