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 – 4/16/14 – 4/29/14

Ventura Breeze logoVentura Music Scene
by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com
Pam@VenturaRocks.com

With the weather warming up more music is being offered outdoors. One recurring event, Folk Steady, can be found at the Ojai Rancho Inn where Vaughn Montgomery of the band Little Big Here puts together a pretty cool list of bands (including his own) playing for free (donations welcomed). Vaughn told me he’s been holding these concerts since last summer and depending on the weather they fall on the first Sunday of the month with seven or eight acts on the bill.

Todd-Jesse-VRThe first Sunday of April I caught just a couple of the acts including a great set from the owners of Brotheryn Studios, Todd Hannigan and Jesse Siebenberg, along with Micah McCabe and Taylor Quinn which included a guest appearance by Roger Keiaho of Rey Fresco. The afternoon was a blast. It was completely a laid back vibe with a swimming pool, nice lawn area, and a huge tree where the band plays underneath. Scratch Food Truck was on the grounds for those who didn’t pack a picnic lunch. In attendance were Steve and Polly Hoganson, Charles and Christine Law, Amanda Peacock, Dan and Malory Grimm, Becca Fuchs and just tons of other musicians, friends and families.

Vaughn’s completely on board with future gigs telling me, “I’d like to keep doing them indefinitely. It seems like a good alternative from hearing music in a bar. These concerts feel more like a day in the park, with families and dogs and some sky.” Catch the next one scheduled for May 4th, bring blanket, low chairs, sunscreen and refreshments.

Speaking of fun in the sun, Ventura Earth Day Eco Fest has plenty of music lined up for Saturday, April 26, along Ventura’s promenade. Just a couple of acts to watch for are the Barrelhouse Wailers, D.on Darox and the Melody Joy Bakers, Derek Jennings and Soul Infusion. Check out www.VenturaEarthDay.org for more information.

Of course there is Ventura Beach Festival with Martha Davis and the Motels headlining on May 3rd at State Beach. See www.VenturaBeachFestival.com ticket info and further down the road it’s the Roadshow Revival: A Tribute to the Music of Johnny Cash on Saturday, June 14 with the Paladins, Dale Watson, Calico, Hard Six and the Mighty Cash Cats lined up so far.

And finally, Bombay’s will host a fundraising event with Tommy and Paddy Marsh and special guests. A percentage of sales will be donated on April 19, 6-9 pm to the Botanical Gardens, so grab a burger and brewski, enjoy the tunes while supporting another great cause!

Do you have any music related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Send all information short or long to Pam@VenturaRocks.com.