Ventura Music Scene
by Pam Baumgardner
Nathan McEuen’s Tuesday evening residency at Amigos is always a treat, but October 7, he stepped it up several notches when he performed with not only his brother Jonathan, but with their dad, John McEuen of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. While it was cool, hearing them perform, it was even cooler seeing the admiration they have for one another. Looking forward to hearing the new album Nathan has been diligently working on; he hopes to release it sometime in November.
I’m always tickled when I’m approached for talent advice for events being planned; case in point, Charleen Mora (Dirty Rice) of the Ventura Chamber of Commerce was searching for a jazz trio for the upcoming TASTE event being held October 30. I’m pleased as punch to say The Hans Ottsen Trio will be performing. TASTE will be held at the Museum of Ventura County this year with over 40 exhibitors and some exceptional jazz.
Taylor Rae returns to Bombays. I happened upon her the last time she played there and immediately became a fan of her southern rock music with a tinge of blues. She’ll perform earlier in the evening on the 18th for an all-ages show at 8 pm.
On the Grape front: The Pulse Daddies comprised of Trey O’Toole (Pulse Drumming), Karl Hunter and Dirk Shumaker (Big Bad Voodoo Daddy), and Hans Ottsen are on the bill for Oct. 16. Donna Deussen & the Paul Weitz Trio return on the 18th and of course Doug Webb Quintet with Danny Carey of Tool on the 24th. And though I’m glad other publications are finally recognizing a “rebirth” of America’s original art form in Ventura, I would like to go on record as saying our jazz scene returned two years ago when Squashed Grapes started providing consistent high caliber jazz artists Wednesday through Saturday with a jazz jam every other Tuesday.
I’m loving the community support for The Baker Family as traditional media and social media have been getting the word out on how to help them rebuild after their incredible losses. Discovery Ventura is hosting a fundraiser on October 26 with Raging Arb and the Redheads, Zepp Heads and Good Deeds. Suggested donation is $10, but you can always dig deeper and give more.
And finally, because it falls on Friday this year, you know Ventura will be off-the-hook with Halloween parties. Most venues are pulling out all the stops hoping to pack their joint with revelers. From Amigos on Main to Billy O’s midtown to The Garage on the East end of town, live music will abound. Dirty Rice will be at Discovery, The Bomb at the Watermark, Smooth Hound Smith at Red Cove, The UnUsual Suspects at Keynote, Tony Ybarra at Peirano’s and well, the list goes on and on. Be sure to visit VenturaRocks.com for a more comprehensive listing.
(At press time, I was assured that Discovery would be having music for the Baker Family fundraiser and for Halloween but their entertainment permit is being appealed)
If you have any music related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Send all information short or long to Pam@VenturaRocks.com.
Squashed Grapes – October 31, 2014
Donna Greene and the Roadhouse Daddies
Saloon BBQ – October 18, 2014
Steve and Sally Williams
Squashed Grapes – October 18, 2014
Paul Weitz Group with Donna Deussen
Squashed Grapes – October 14, 2014
Charles Lloyd & Dorothy Darr, Screening of movie, “Arrows Into Infinity”
(Charles Lloyd will receive the NEA Jazz Masters Award 2015. He was the Honoree at the 2014 Monterey Jazz Festival Jazz Legends Gala, hosted by Herbie Hancock. Lloyd was also the recipient of the 2014 Alfa Jazz Fest International Music Award.)
Amigos – October 5, 2014
Karen Eden & Joe Hamilton: Fundraiser for team “Lick Cancer
Bombay Bar and Grill – October 3, 2014
Jason Cruz and Buddy Darling
On the Street Where You Live
by Pam Baumgardner
I was given a copy of Donna Deussen & the Paul Weitz Trio’s new CD by our good friends at Squashed Grapes where one of the band’s CD release parties was scheduled. I popped in the CD and “California Dreamin'” came on. The first thing that caught my attention was Donna’s amazing voice; it’s smooth as silk and sexy as hell.
I’ve spent a lot of time with this one cruising around and while working on the computer and though I have no chance at hitting those notes, I find myself singing, trying to imitate Deussen in the privacy of my own home (or with the windows rolled up); well there’s always my next lifetime.
The musicianship is top notch and Weitz’s guitar work is fluid, skilled and unpretentious as the band compliments each other so very well. Bringing into the mix some horn work from Nudell and Wayne was brilliant as well. So very well produced.
That bass line on “Do Wrong Shoes” and the smooth jazz guitar coupled with extraordinary vocals is completely seductive. I’m also loving the Joni Mitchell classic, “Both Sides Now,” “The Very Thought of You,” but if I were pressed for a favorite, I’d have to go with the mash up of “Black Coffee” / “A Night in Tunsia.” The pace is picked up slightly and intensely as the sax work closes the deal for me.
I always know new music strikes a chord with me when I can envision listening to it on a hot summer day cruising the coastline in a convertible as I do with this one; but I can also envision orchestrating the perfect intimate candlelight dinner for two with this as the backdrop. “On the Street Where You Live” from Donna Deussen & the Paul Weitz Trio will fit in quite nicely to your music collection.
Photos from Squashed Grapes show on Saturday, May 17, 2014:
“California Dreamin'” (Michele Gillam, John Phillips)
“Do Wrong Shoes” (Donald Fagen, Hirth Martinez)
“On the Street Where You Live” (Alan Jay Lerner, Frederick Loewe)
“Both Sides Now” (Joni Mitchell)
“Black Coffee” / “A Night In Tunisia” (J. Francis Burke and Paul Francis Webster / John Gillespie and Frank Paparelli)
“Fly Me to the Moon” (Bart Howard)
“The Very Thought of You” (Ray Noble)
“Sister Sadie” (Horace Silver)
“If I Only Had a Brain” (Harold Arlen, E.Y. Harburg)
“Waltz for Debby” (Gene Lees, Bill Evans)
Donna Deussen, vocals
Paul Weitz, guitar
Matt Vanbenschoten, bass
Gus Duffy, drums
Geoff Nudell, clarinet and flute
On the Street Where You Live was produced by Paul Weitz & Donna Deussen recorded at DBW Studio, Woodland Hills, CA.