Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 8/26/20 – 9/8/20

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

CONCERTS IN YOUR CAR

Moorpark has thrown their hat in the ring and the City has hosted a handful of live drive-in style concerts at Arroyo Vista Community Park (4550 Tierra Rejada Road). They’ve hit a couple of bumps in the road and had to cancelled their most recent one, but let’s keep our fingers crossed for their next scheduled concert on Sunday, September 13 featuring The Trip with Rock ‘n’ Roll from the 60s to today. The show runs 6 -8 pm and the cost is only $20 per car; preregistration is required which can be found on the City’s website at Moorparkca.gov on their Parks & Rec’s page.

The Canyon at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center continues offering reggae on Sunday evenings dubbed Reggae Knights as well as other shows coming up such as Little Willie G (the voice of Thee Midniters) on Friday, August 28, Queen Nation on Saturday, August 29 and Led Zeppagain on Friday, September 4.

And of course, our own drive-in concert venue here in Ventura at the Ventura Fairgrounds continues to offer live shows with Fitz and the Tanrums on Saturday, August 29, A-Trak, Ruckus and Tay James on Sunday August 30 and Tower of Power with Los Lobos on Sunday, September 6. For the FAQ and ticket information as well as other dates for movies and such, go to the official website ConcertsinYourCar.com.

Another Sky – Q&A with Kelly Zirbes of Kelly’s Lot

The uber talented Kelly Zirbes of Kelly’s Lot never ceases to amaze me with her seemingly never-ending supply of energy and creative outflow. She is always working on new projects, writing and performing and keeping in touch via social media as much as possible with her fan base. She sent me her latest release called Another Sky which only solidifies my opinion of this woman. Kelly and Perry from Kelly’s Lot will be my next guests on the VenturaRockSpot (VenturaRocks.com), but meanwhile, I thought I’d ask her a couple of questions for the Breeze.

Pam: I’m mostly familiar with your blues releases, how would you describe the genre of this release?

Kelly Z: Another Sky is mostly a Contemporary Folk and Americana release.

Doug Pettibone, Kelly Zirbes and Perry Robertson

Was this something you’d been working on, or did the recent pandemic, social unrest, or elections have a part in your songwriting choices?

Kelly Z: I had already written these songs when the pandemic started but two songs were written about the frustration in politics today. “Freedom” was written about how extremism robs you of your freedom and “Hurricane” was written about the madness of a divided country. We had also written an Irish jig for Ventura’s Saint Patrick’s Day parade but that was canceled. Back in March I didn’t think these songs would be recorded for a couple years. We were planning on doing a full band blues recording but because we were locked down it was going to be difficult to get everyone together to work out the parts. So, we decided to try and do something acoustic and we reached out to our neighbor Doug Pettibone to see if he would like to co-produce and play on the project. He was on board having had lost a few jobs himself.

So then, who all gets producing credit

Kelly Z: It was recorded in Doug’s studio in Oxnard and in the Kelly’s Lot studio in North Hollywood.

Who all were involved in the project and in what capacity?

Kelly Z: Deciding and arranging what instruments we wanted to put on these songs was very organic. We first started with Doug and Perry both on acoustic guitars; Doug then added pedal steel, slide guitar, and mandolin. After that the songs started to feel a certain way and we could hear what was missing. We also wanted to make sure we included every member of the band on at least one song and that helped fill in many gaps. Art Mendoza on drums, Matt McFadden on bass, Rob Zucca on guitar, Bill Johnston on clarinet, Aviva Maloney on penny whistle, Frank ‘Cisco’ Hinojosa on harmonica, Jeri Goldenhar doing some background vocals and for standup bass we used Paul Kennedy and David Grover. We brought in Aubrey Richmond on violin and Phil Parlapiano on accordion to round it all out. We ended up with two duets featuring Doug Pettibone and Rick Monroe from Nashville.

You’ve been sharing a lot about the song “Butterfly;” what’s the inspiration behind it?

Kelly Z: “Butterfly” was written the day after Prince died. Like I do every once in a while, I have asked my fans on Facebook to give me a word. Butterfly and Purple came up right away and the song was written rather quickly. As I wrote it, I remember thinking of my mom and my brother and so many musicians we have lost in the past couple years. It is a song to lift up someone form the grief of losing a loved one or maybe even a musical mentor.

You’ll be hosting a CD release party at Four Brix?

Kelly Z: Yes we are doing a live online acoustic concert at Four Brix Winery in Ventura (Friday, August 28). Because of Covid, there will be no “in winery” audience. It will be a Facebook live concert hosted on the Four Brix Facebook page. They are offering a meal and wine for pickup to enjoy during the concert at home or in your backyard. We are both promoting it on Facebook and through our mailing lists. If you want more info call the winery at 805-256-6006, visit the Facebook page or email them at info@fourbrixwine.com.

Is there anything else you’d care to share?

Kelly Z: It feels good to go back to my singer/songwriter roots and do an album of folk, roots rock and americana. Luckily Doug and Perry guided me through this in a way that brought out a deeper yet brighter version of my songs. They are both great at arranging and even participated in some of the writing. I also brought in my team from other releases, mixer Fred Paragano, mastering engineer Mike Michner and graphic artist Evie Cook. You can buy the CD or a download at my website KellysLot,com or a download at iTunes on August 28. It will also be on Spotify, Apple Music and a few other online platforms.

A BIT OF THIS AND THAT

Congratulations to 50 Sticks of Dynamite on their 10-year anniversary together as a band.
Alastair Greene will have a new release this October called The New World Blues produced by Tab Benoit. Dan Grimm has a new EP ready to release, as does the Colette Lovejoy Band; details coming soon.

Tommy Marsh’s Crooked Eye Tommy CD release party was a bittersweet affair as he introduced the band’s sophomore release, Hot Coffee and Pain, but the show was also his final show as a resident of Ventura County. We wish him well on his new adventures as he and Tammy pack up and move to Nashville. But not to worry, he assures us that he will return for shows after this pandemic is over.

And finally, Serena Ropersmith just sent me new music to play on the Pam Baumgardner Music Hour. She recently released Sideways which was mostly inspired by her experiences at Ventura High School (she now attends Cal Poly) and she plays piano on every song. I love that her dad is Kent Bones, drummer for Birdbrain, and he plays on a couple of her songs and it was recorded with Armand (Night Demon, New Liberty) at the Captains Quarters.

Don’t forget my radio show airs Tuesdays and Fridays at 5 pm and Sundays at noon at 104.1 FM here in Ventura on KPPQ-LP, or you can use your smart device and listen using the MyTuner radio app or listen online at CapsMedia.org/Radio.

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows (online or live) 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 7/1/20 – 7/14/20

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

Ventura Rocks artwork

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

PLAYING THE GAME

I’ve spoken to a number of venue owners the past couple of weeks as they tread lightly doing their best to follow the guidelines in place to operate safely in this time of COVID-19. And without naming names, I know several have had to stop the music (literally) to remind patrons that wearing masks is mandatory in their establishment unless you’re seated at your table. Social distancing is being enforced and whether you think the whole thing is a conspiracy theory or not, it’s their business, literally! They can make up whatever rules they want to secure their venue, but the bigger issue is that they’re actually enforcing what has been mandated by the governor of California. Do you want them to be closed down by code enforcement? Of course not! So, I beseech you to please wear a mask, because if you don’t you’re going to not only put their business at risk, but you could pass along the virus not even knowing you’re a carrier.

We all want to get back to normal. We all want to hang out, and give hugs and hearty handshakes to old friends while taking in our favorite bands, but we’re nowhere near that point yet. If you feel strongly enough about not wanting to wear a mask, then please stay away and listen to music at home. There are plenty of live streaming concerts still being held.

NOT BACK TO NORMAL

Reopening doors, following safety guidelines and trying to get back up to speed may not include live music at this time for a lot of venues. I understand (she says with a pitiful lower lip pushed out trembling ever so slightly). The priority is paying the rent and the staff and rebuilding a clientele. So, don’t forget to support all your favorite music venues whether they have live music or not yet. If we do this right, and we do this together supporting where we can, we will live to see another robust economy with a booming music scene.

PLAYING SAFELY

And while we’re on the submit of live music in venues, let’s take it from the perspective of the musician. Not all artists feel safe enough to get back out there to play live. Trust me, they want to, but their better judgement is keeping them away for many reasons. You have your favorite bands, and solo artists, well why not reach out via social media where most of them have accounts. Let them know you miss them, and if you can, buy their music and some merchandise if available to show your support.

DRIVE-IN CONCERTS V

John Jorgensen Bluegrass

John Jorgensen’s Bluegrass Supergroup

SuperDuperKyleIn each of my past four music scene columns I’ve been able to report more details on the Concerts in Your Car events by CBF Productions (California Beer Festival). This past weekend Ventura finally saw a large-scale concert with SuperDuperKyle kicking off the series over the weekend of June 26 and 27. Kyle, a former Ventura High School graduate, was well-received as he gears up for his album release on July 17, See You When I Am Famous.

I’m not going to lie; I am so relieved to hear portable bathrooms are now available as they were not when they first launched this series. Under their FAQ, the Concerts in Your Car website made it clear no restrooms on site, no getting out of your car, and you could not leave the event early. As a female, let me just say “THANK YOU GOD!” I just couldn’t wrap my bladder, I mean head around that one! Gratefully, we don’t have to worry about that now.

Back to the business at hand, joining forces with CBF Productions is the Ventura Music Festival as they present John Jorgenson’s Bluegrass Supergroup. On Thursday, July 16. I love that Concerts In Your Car is being so diverse with the genres ranging from rap to bluegrass to alternative rock to country, there literally is something for everyone! And if you are a fan of bluegrass music, then you won’t want to miss Grammy-winning guitarist, John Jorgenson (Desert Rose Band, the Hellecasters) who will be joined by fellow music legends Herb Pedersen (Desert Rose Band, Laurel Canyon Ramblers), Mark Fain (seven-time Grammy-winning bassist) and Patrick Sauber (Laurie Lewis band).John Jorgensen Bluegrass

Patrick Sauber, Mark Fain, John Jorgenson, Herb Pederson

I have a quick Q&A following here, but for more information on all the concerts and movies and for purchasing your ticket got to ConcertsInYourCar.com.

Q&A with JOHN JORGENSON

Pam: I’m loving the creativity of our music community; what was your initial response to doing a drive-in concert?

John: Indeed Ventura is a very creative community, and as a musician I feel quite comfortable living here.

When Nuvi [Nuvi Mehta, Ventura Music Festival Artistic Director] asked me to play the drive-in concert for the Ventura Music Festival I was thrilled. I have performed in so many varied venues over my 40 plus years as an entertainer so to get asked to do something new and challenging is rare, surprising and fun. In the last few months most of my contact with my band members has been to cancel or reschedule gigs, so to get to tell them about one that’s actually going to happen was great too.

Pam: What can people expect from your show?

J2B2 is an excellent ensemble both instrumentally and vocally, so people can expect world class singing and playing first of all. Our material ranges from very traditional bluegrass to newer songs from some of the best songwriters of our time. Our goal has been to bring meaningful lyrics into the mix of virtuosic picking and tight vocal harmonies. Hopefully the audience will laugh, wipe a tear or two, think a bit differently, and drive home with smiles on their faces.

Pam: Do you see more of these type concerts on the horizon?

John: Well, I sure hope so! The chance to get out and enjoy a performance from the safety of your own car while still feeling a bit of community and a shared concert experience is extremely rare if not impossible. Here is a way forward!

Pam: Musically speaking, what had you been doing during the shutdown?

John: Since the shut down I’ve been mostly using the time to go through my musical archives of older formats and transfer tapes, as well as organize memorabilia I’ve amassed over the years. I have also done a few remote recording sessions and contributed to a worldwide orchestral and choral collaboration. It’s definitely a time for all performers to rethink and retool.

SURF RODEO

I spoke to JD Drury just a few weeks ago and being the optimist that he is, he was still holding out that Surf Rodeo could in some form or another be pulled off this summer or late fall, but the word came out shortly afterwards that Surf Rodeo is officially off for 2020; JD hung in there hoping for a miracle, but alas…it wasn’t to be. The official post on social media: “It is with heavy hearts that after several conversations with the City of Ventura and State Parks, due to Covid-19, we will not be able to party on the beach this summer. We love you and we miss you! WE WILL BE BACK 2021!”

CROOKED EYE TOMMY

Album artworkTommy Marsh dropped off a copy of Crooked Eye Tommy’s sophomore CD, Hot Coffee and Pain which is scheduled for an August release. It was recorded in Ojai at Carbonite Studios with Grammy-winning audio engineer, Jason Mariani (Joe Bonamassa, Robben Ford). You know I’ll be spinning a couple tunes on the Pam Baumgardner Music Hour at CAPS Media’s KPPQ-LP, and we’re working on having Tommy be a guest on the VenturaRockSpot which you can view on the Ventura Rock’s YouTube channel. If you loved their last release, Butterflies and Snakes, well you ain’t seen nothing yet! Holy smokes, they hit this one out of the park! More details coming soon.

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

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 6/5 – 6/18

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

If nothing else, Ventura is known as a community that loves to give back, case in point, the Ventura Theater will be hosting a Cystic Fibrosis Fundraiser on Saturday, June 8, with lots of favorite local bands being given the opportunity to play the big stage. The genres range from hard rock to metal with Bone Maggots, The Deveros, The Guitar and Whiskey Club, SixPackofDoom, Samoan Take-Out and Stronger Than Machines. This one is all ages and will be over by 11 pm. Tickets are only $10.00.

The Rubicon Theater has a number of music related events the next couple of weeks. First over the weekend of June 8 and 9 it’s Amanda McBroom performing “Lady Macbeth Sings the Blues” and the following weekend, June 14 – 16, you won’t want to miss the iconic doo-wop sounds of the 50s and 60s with The Drifters and Cornell Gunter’s Coasters playing two shows daily. You can find ticket information at RubiconTheatre.org.

The Hong Kong Inn has live music once again with quite the eclectic mix of genres. They’ll have punk shows on Wednesday, June 5, with Civil Conflict, NNN, Bare Minimum and Operation Oxnard, and then again on Friday, June 7 with How to Live with Robots and Astreyas; then it’s Latin fun with La Imagen Nortena on Saturday June 8, and smooth jazz on Sunday June 9 with Del Franklin.

Quick Notes: there will be a free, all-ages show, at Bank of Books on Saturday, June 8, with Lasso the Moon (Compton), Crawdads and Trypanosome; more punk with All-a-Blur, Plot, FUSE, Birdbrain and One Minute Run at the Red Cove on Saturday, June 8; Plan B Wine Cellars offers Johnny and the Love Handles for your Sunday early evening, June 9 (4:30 – 7 pm); Silver & Gold out of Greeley, Colorado will be making a stop on their tour for a special show at Oak and Main on Monday, June 10, along with Ferriswheels, Blossum and Pretty Well; Dad Brains is holding their album release party at Gigi’s Cocktails on Friday, June 14; the Ventura Harbor Village is once again providing live music over the weekend from 1-4 pm with Surfer Joe on June 15, and Cash Cats on June 16; and finally, good to know that the open jazz jam is gaining some traction on Thursdays at Golden China.

Big news!!! Be sure to listen to episode #84 of The Pam Baumgardner Music Hour on KPPQ-LP at 104.1 FM for the world premiere release of the brand-new Crooked Eye Tommy Album! Episode #84 also includes an interview with Tommy Marsh which airs Tuesdays and Fridays at 5 pm and Sundays at noon for two weeks. You can also listen with the MyTuner app for your phone or online at CapsMedia.org.

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 5/9 – 5/22

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

I’m loving the effort to liven up downtown with businesses staying open later during May and holding special events like a Mom’s night out or a pub crawl. Kudos to the merchants! But of course, you know nothing livens up a place like live music, and you know who has been doing right? Just take a look at the venues in the Ventura Harbor! The Boatyard Pub is officially providing live music seven days a week so between the Boatyard, 805 Wine Bar, the Copa Cubana, Margarita Villa (also seven days a week), and even the Ventura Comedy Club where Tom Scott and LA Express plays time to time, the place is about as lively as you can get!

Nothing goes with warmer weather like a cold brewski, so you won’t want to miss Surf n’ Suds, the beer festival with a surf twist, on Saturday, May 19, at San Buenaventura State Beach. The daylong event not only has over 50 craft breweries, ciders and wine, but they’ll have entertainment from Crosscut 805, DJ Hecktik and After the Smoke.

It’s always a treat when Hi Hat Entertainment brings Billy Vera and the Beaters to town so you’ll want to get your tickets in advance at HiHatEntertainment.com for Friday, May 11, at the Hong Kong Inn. They’ll perform their #1 hit tune, “At this Moment” along with “Millie make some Chili” and other favorites.

It’s awesome that the Museum of Ventura County is offering more live music. On Friday, May 11, it’s “Out of the Ashes: Healing in Story and Song”; the chamber music ensemble, Camerata Pacifica, performs on Sunday, May 13; the weekly Munch series continues Thursdays afternoons where local artists perform at lunch time; and two-time Grammy winner Laurence Juber (lead guitarist for Paul McCartney’s Wings) headlines a fundraiser for the Ventura County Library Foundation on May 19. For more information and tickets, visit VenturaMuseum.org.

Quick Notes: cool shows at The Garage include the New Candys from Venice, Italy, on Thursday, May 10, and Jason Steady and the Soft Ponies from Omaha, NE, on Friday, May 11; Topa Mountain Winery in Ojai is hosting a Rose Soiree Event with music from The Salty Suites and The Dales on Saturday, May 12; Grapes and Hops hosts an earlier show on Mother’s day, Sunday, May 13 at 11 am with Stephen Inglis who will perform, “Cut the Dead some Slack” then it’s Dive Bar Steve and Friends at 3 pm; Caught Red Handed plays Plan B Wine Cellars on Sunday, May 13; Oxnard’s Strawberry Festival is over the weekend of May 19-20, and on the Main stage will be Hollywood U2, Highway Starr, Professional Americans, 40oz to Freedom and more; and finally, the Outlaws will be at Discovery on Sunday, May 20 with Crooked Eye Tommy opening.

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 4/25 – 5/8

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

It’s out with the old and in with the new, but not just quite yet. Before their final week of jazz music in their current location, Squashed Grapes played host to none other than Michael McDonald, yes that Michael McDonald of the Doobie Brothers and a brilliant solo career which has spanned more than 45 years. The intimate, by-invite-only setting was held Sunday, April 22. What can I say? I love this town.

And speaking of their final week, Adam and Josh of Squashed Grapes have a stellar lineup of jazz before closing their doors while they work on the new location on Main street next to Yolanda’s. Wednesday, June 25 it’s Hans Ottsen Quartet with special guest Jacob Scesney; on Thursday it’s The Ray Mehlbaum Quartet; on then finally on Friday, Doug Webb returns with drummer Danny Carey (TOOL) for a huge sendoff party.

The Ventura County Blues Festival will be held this year at the Studio Channel Islands on Saturday, April 28 with Earl Thomas, John Nemeth, Deb Ryder, Alan Wright Band, and Sandy Scott & Blues to the Bone. There will be an after party with Crooked Eye Tommy at El Rey Cantina in Camarillo.

Jeffrey Willerth, is the new director of Namba and he plans to utilize the facility at 47 South Oak Street for what is called the “Music Speaks” series. The first installment will be held on May 5 with Conjunto Tenocelomeh, a band rooted in the Son Jarocho Mexican folk music of Veracruz. Also this month, they’ll have CG Ryche, an amazing percussionist, brilliant showman and filmmaker who will perform and share his inspiring story focused on the importance of ‘perseverance’ as it relates to musicians; Duane Tudahl, author of “Prince and the Purple Rain Era Studio Sessions 1983-1984” who will explain how he got his hands on the daily recording reports from the Studios Prince visited; and Tim Wickham, a Ventura local with boundless appreciation for Hammond Organs will bring a few of his prized Hammonds and play in a trio in a historical salute to this renown musical instrument. For tickets and information go to NambaArts.com

And finally, if you haven’t already done so, don’t make any out-of-town vacation plans over the weekend of July 14th and 15th; in fact, plan for a “Staycation” for this year’s Surf Rodeo. JD Drury has started to announce the music lineup and I’m super jazzed to learn that not only will Shwayze and The Untouchables be on the bill, but the Long Beach Dub Allstars will be headlining (group features former members of Sublime). I understand a lot more bands will be added over the next month or so but we know that Highway Starr, Kyle Smith, Rising Son, Yachtley Crew, Zepp Heads and of course Raging Arb and the Redheads will be on the bill.

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 1/30 – 2/13

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

It should come as no surprise that the Thomas Fire Benefit Festival sold out one week before the concert having only been announced less than two and half weeks previously. For those of us who have tickets, the event takes place at Plaza Park at the corner of Chestnut and Santa Clara downtown Ventura on Saturday, February 3. Gates open at 2 pm for VIPs with general admission at 4 pm; blankets and chairs welcomed as there will be no priority seating so get there early for a good seat to catch Kevin Costner and Modern West, Olivia Newton-John, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and the rest of the acts on the bill.

Just a quick follow up on two past events, first the Delgado Brothers headlining the fundraiser at Discovery on January 19, raised $3705 for Ventura Food Share and the Ventura United Way Thomas Fire Fund; and the 805 Love Notes on Sunday, January 14, raised $8,000, and those funds go directly to the families and individuals in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties through 805Arise, Help California and Santa Barbara Music Foundation.

Back to the business at hand, Chopper Fest falls on Sunday, February 4th at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, it had to be rescheduled due to the Thomas Fire in December. Along with all the hot rides to check out, you can enjoy music from Gethen Jenkins, Kelly’s Lot and The Bob Carrillo Blues Band.

Paulie Cerra returns to Ventura for a show at the Hong Kong Inn on Saturday, February 10th. While he may be best known as Joe Bonamassa and John Scofield’s touring tenor sax player, this show will focus on his songwriting, singing and keyboard work. Ray Jaurique & The Uptown Brothers will open the show at 7pm with new songs to be featured on their upcoming CD being recorded at Ventura’s Castaway7 studios.

A couple more artists back in the studio include Tommy Marsh who has been working overtime producing a new album for Crooked Eye Tommy at Brotheryn Studios, where I was invited to hang out and watch the recording process recently, and let me tell you, it was too cool for school! And Stephanie Gladhart and Jerry Careaga of The Blue Music are tracking their next LP down at Capital Records early February. Their debut EP has already started getting radio play around the country and in Europe.

Quick notes: The Tossers first Sunday residency has landed at Grapes and Hops starting at 3 pm; Leashless Brewery is offering up jazz twice a week, Tuesdays with John Bardi and Thursdays with Davey Miller; Emergenz has regrouped as Dry Creek Strangers, you can catch them at noon on Sunday, February 4 at the Sandbox Coffeehouse; and The Blasters return to town for a gig at Discovery on Saturday, February 10.

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 – 4/12 – 4/25

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
Local Music and More!
by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com
Pam@VenturaRocks.com

This year’s California Jazz & Wine Fest was another sold-out success; it was held Sunday, April 9, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village. The event helped to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Conejo Valley. The music was exceptional, headlining was The Danny Janklow Quintet; other bands of note included the Lao Tizer Quartet, Bruce Forman’s Cow Bop, and Ventura’s own, The Barrelhouse Wailers.

Keeping with jazz, don’t miss Mike Garson (Bowie, NIN, Smashing Pumpkins) when he returns to Squashed Grapes bringing with him this time, Emmy and Grammy nominated Gaby Moreno on Thursday, April 13; Paul McCallum and Friends return on Saturday, April 15; and Gary Herbig (Harry James, Elvis, Tower of Power) and Bill Spoke Quintet be in the house on April 19.

Our local artists have been busy producing new music.  Hot off the presses is the latest CD from Hot Roux called Hometown Blues.  You can pick up a copy when Hi Hat Entertainment hosts their CD release party on Friday, April 21, at the Hong Kong Inn. You won’t want to miss this one as the band will feature not only lead man Jerry McWorter, but Ed Berghoff, Brent Harding, Jimmy Calire and Bill Flores.

Congratulations to local musician Travis Greer for landing a gig on the highly popular Criminal Minds television show on CBS.  He’s well-known for his improv work here in town as well as playing with the Los Dudes.

Eric Burdon joined Robby Krieger of the Doors for “Roadhouse Blues,” Saturday, April 8, at Libby Bowl. They then played “House of the Rising Sun” from The Animals. Tommy Marsh’s Crooked Eye Tommy warmed up the crowd.

The next One’s to Watch Productions will be held Wednesday, April 19, at the Plaza Playhouse in Carpinteria with Matt Duke, Jay Nash, Tony Lucca and Tim Curran. You can get tickets at OnesToWatchProductions.com.

I caught up with Ross Emery of Roadshow Revival as he ramps up for this year’s show.  It’s going to look a lot different this time around with the whole event being held on one day and at Discovery Ventura, but he told me who the headliner is, and I promised not to tell until May 1st, but between you and me, I’m pretty jazzed about it.  Watch for social media news, and get your tickets now!

Here’s a couple of one-liner notes of interest:  Jade Hendrix will be opening for Berlin when they play the Libbey Bowl April 22; Face to Face will be at Discovery on May 7 with Bad Cop/Bad Cop opening; Paddy’s is celebrating their 23rd anniversary on April 21st with DJ Pat Harper who will be playing classic house music; the Ventura County Spring Fair will be held at the Fairgrounds April 14 – 16 with carnival rides, petting zoo and music from The Velveteen Band; and finally, I’m looking forward to hearing new music from 8Stops7, they just signed with Wendigo Records and will be back in the studio in July.

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

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze – 2/17 – 3/1

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
“It’s the Dude!”
by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com
Pam@VenturaRocks.com

Jeff Bridges at Discovery February 28, 2016

Jeff Bridges at Discovery February 28, 2016

Ventura’s music community is not only comprised of talented artists, but the people who support live music are just as important to the scene.  When we lost Chris Pinger of the band Malice Thoughts, his friends quickly pulled together a fundraiser to help Pinger’s family with the cost of his funeral. The fundraising event will be held at Bombay’s on Saturday, February 20, with a silent auction and other ways to make a donation.  Bands on the bill include his former bandmates in Malice Thoughts, The Kane Gang, Grim, The NaVaNaX, and Civil Conflict.  Chris lost his life while being driven by a drunk driver, a somber reminder to all of us to not drink and drive, to not get in the car with someone else who has been drinking, and to think ahead about alternative ways of getting home safely.

You won’t want to miss an evening of music and conversation with Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges February 28 at Discovery.  Seriously, how can you pass up an evening with “The Dude” and in a bowling alley no less?

Jerry Vivino, the bandleader for the Conan O’Brien Show returns to the Squashed Grapes Saturday, February 20.

Saturday, February 27 at the Garage on the east end of town will play host to one rockin’ punk show featuring The Dickies with Ill Repute and Mothers of Dissension. You should remember the Dickies, “Stuck in a Pagoda with Tricia Toyota” and other quirky punk tunes.

If swing is your thing, then you’ll want to dress up and be a part of the Speakeasy Swing Dance with The Barrelhouse Wailers on Saturday, February 20 at the Ventura Beach Club. The event will kick off with swing dance lessons with Kim Clever and David Frutos at 8 pm and then the band follows 9 to midnight.

Dan Grimm’s song, “Peachy Keen” was played on the “New Girl” show staring Zooey Deschanel this month.

Joy Burnworth who has been playing a number of gigs here in Ventura the past few months including one at Grapes and Hops recently received the fantastic news that she’s the new lead singer for Jefferson Starship starting initially as a first sub for Cathy Richerdson who had apparently quit the band last year.

Congratulations to Ventura County Blues Society’s Delgado Brothers for winning the Memphis challenge.  The band took the top prize this past month beating out 250 other bands from all over the world.  Last year our very own Crooked Eye Tommy made it to the semifinals.

And speaking of Crooked Eye Tommy, the newest episode of Ventura Rocks on CAPS Media is now airing featuring Crooked Eye Tommy. There’s a link to the show on VenturaRocks.com as well as being on the schedule this month on CAPS Media.

Do you have any music related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing?  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 8/5 – 8/18

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
It’s Fair to Say Ventura Rocks
by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com
Pam@VenturaRocks.com

Rachel Flowers

Rachel Flowers to perform at Scan Health and Wellness Center August 14, 2015.

I’m a tad giddy with anticipation for the 2015 Ventura County Fair: cinnamon buns, corn on the cob, livestock, carnival rides, vendors and of course another fine line up of music. I’m personally looking forward to the B52’s, Kevin Costner and the Modern West, The Band Perry, Lean Rimes, and call me goofy, but there’s no way I’m missing Huey Lewis and the News! Full line up of musical entertainment can be found on their ad here in the Breeze.

Squashed Grapes is bringing back Emmy Award Winning guitarist, Chieli Minucci and the Special EFX, on August. 7th; then the following morning you can cheer on the Squashed Grapes float in the Ventura Fair parade. Those same players will be appearing that evening at the Grape featuring Karl Hunter and Dirk Shumaker of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Franklin Murphy of Shaky Feelin’, Jacob Scesney, Trey O’Toole and RJ Root.

I’m super curious to see Gygax at Bombay’s on Friday, August 14, the band features Armand John Lizzy, Bryant Throckmorton, Justin Dempsey and Eric Harris. Members from local bands getting together to create a new band isn’t necessarily newsworthy in this town; however, this band is for the nerd in all of us as they center around the fantasy imagery and creation of role playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons. Too weird? I seriously hope so!

Growing in popularity are the Second Sunday Suppers at Plan B. The next one is scheduled for Sunday, August 8 from 4:30 – 7 pm featuring Donna Greene and the Roadhouse Daddies.

Taking the place of over two decades of Bowlful of Blues, is the Inaugural Ojai Blues Festival scheduled for August 15 at the Ojai Art Center featuring Deb Ryder, Crooked Eye Tommy, Shawn Jones and Alastair Greene.

Just a few of the upcoming shows to look forward to at Discovery include Whitey Morgan on August 15, Eric Hutchinson on August 18 and Los Lonely Boys on August 23.

The Scan Health and Wellness Center at 6633 Telephone Road in Ventura is hosting its first ever Jazz Night on August 14, 5:30pm. Rachel Flowers is the featured artist with E’nuff Said opening. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Call Scan at 805-658-0365 for information and to secure tickets.

The music lineup for the California Blues and Brews Festival on September 20 includes Walter Trout, blues for the modern daze, Mr. Sipp, the Mississippi blues child; and Mingo Fishtrap out of Austin, Texas. You can get more information on the three-day beer festival event and line up your tickets at www.CaliforniaBluesFestival.com.

And finally, I’m sorry to report that Gladys Dietz passed away July 20. She opened Gigi’s cocktails 30 years ago, on New Year’s Eve 1985.

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

Album Review: Crooked Eye Tommy

Butterflies & Snakes
Crooked Eye Tommy
Review by Pam Baumgardner
July 2015

CD CoverTommy Marsh is one of the most sweetest, generous, hardest working men in town, but he also happens to be one talented blues man who also has the smarts to surround himself with uber-talented musicians on his latest project, Crooked Eye Tommy.

In 2014, the newly-formed band competed in the Memphis International Blues Challenge where bands from 16 countries converged for the top prize.  Our active blues community really came together to raise funds to get the band to the competition (See article and photo gallery).  Crooked Eye Tommy went; they played hard and advanced a long way reaching the Semi Final round.
CET_logoIt was soon after Memphis that Tommy took the boys into the studio to produce Butterflies & Snakes because when you’re on that sort of high you want to harness the energy.  Well mission accomplished.  Without a doubt, Tommy writes from the heart, he divulges life experiences, digging down deep, intimate, soul revealing, and totally committed to each song, no holds barred.  His singing, his playing, his writing, he just lays it down from the heart.

The CD opens with “Crooked Eye Tommy” with clean guitar work from the brothers setting the tone and a little background on Tommy’s adversities growing up with an eye which doesn’t quite align right, “The world is going to see what a crooked eye can do.”

“I stole the Blues” written and sung by Paddy reveals who molded their musical education from the likes of  Muddy Waters, Albert King, Johnny Winter, T Bone Walker and even Jerry Garcia which brings a smile to my face every time I hear that. As with most of Crooked Eye Tommy songs, you get great solos and musical interludes deserving of a packed dance floor; and of course Jimmy Calire’s sax solo is nothing short of brilliant.  I love the line, “Well you know I stole the blues, now it’s time to give it back.”

“AftCrooked-Eye-tommy1er the Burn” has become a staple here in town almost the band’s signature tune. “Over and Over” is so intimate, I have to confess that I blushed the first time I heard it.

“Mad and Disgusted” is a prime example of the brothers in sync, flawlessly complimenting each others guitar work, along with Jimmy tearing up the keyboards.

I Love the steel guitar work on “Southern Heart” compliments of Jesse Siebenberg, which has a definite southern country feel, in fact, several pieces don’t fit the traditional Blues mold and that’s okay; a little southern flair, rock and roll and blues meshed together makes for an interesting combination.  Add to the equation talent and incredible mastering, this one hits it out of the park for Tommy.

The players are Tommy’s brother Paddy Marsh (the talent runs deep in this family), add to the mix highly respected and high in demand drummer, Tony Cicero,  Glade Rasmussen, one of the solidest bass players in town and music icon Jimmy Calire (Raven, America).

Tommy Marsh – Guitar
Paddy Marsh – Guitar
Jimmy Calire – Organ and Sax
Tony Cicero – Drums
Glade “BoomBoom” Rasmussen – Bass

Produced by Tommy Marsh, Dan Grimm and Tammy Mosby; recorded at Brotheryn Studios and engineered and mastered by Jason “Gandalf” Mariani.

Official website
Reverbnation

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Crooked Eye Tommy