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 – 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.