Ventura County Fair – August 8, 2019
George Thorogood and the Destoyers
Ventura County Fair – August 8, 2019
George Thorogood and the Destoyers
Ventura Music Scene
by Pam Baumgardner
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.
Surf Brewery 5th Year Anniversary – June 18, 2016
The Slider and Raging Arb and the Redheads
Yolie’s – September 19, 2014
Kelly’s Lot CD Release Party
Thanks to all photographers. Photos are watermarked.
Squashed Grapes – July 15, 2014
Surf Rodeo – July 12 – 13, 2014
Pato Banton, Cisco Adler, Suburban Legends, Jukebox Mutiny, Sweet N Low, more…
Bombay Bar and Grill – July 5, 2014
Bombay Bar and Grill – June 28, 2014
Derek Jennings, Shane Alexander & Alicia Murphy
Squashed Grapes – June 21, 2014
50/50 Band with Rachel Flowers (keyboards and flute), Tom Buckner (sax), Domenic Genova (bass) and Tina Raymond (drums)
VENTURA MUSIC WEEK PHOTO GALLERY
SolTree on back stage
Sans Souci, June 14, 2014
Amigos, June 13, 2014
Spencer the Gardener
Keynote Lounge – June 13, 2014
Squashed Grapes, June 11, 2014
Karl Hunter’s Jazz Hates Johnny
Green Art People – June 11, 2014
Milano’s Italian Restaurant – June 10, 2014
Bluegrass Jam (Every 2nd & 4th Tuesday of the month)
Century Theater 10 Downtown – June 9, 2014
20 Feet From Stardom Screening
Bombay Bar and Grill – June 8, 2014
Ray Jaurique and the Uptown Brothers CD Release party
Pulse Drumming – June 7, 2014
Bongo Workshop with Fausto Cuevas
Music in Ventura
Amigo’s Surf Cantina – April 23, 2014
Kyle Swan, Benjamin Buttner and Doug Johnson
Bombay Bar and Grill – April 19, 2014
Squashed Grapes – April 9, 2014
Nee Sackey Trio with special guest Karl Hunter
The Nee Sackey Trio featured Nee on bass, Hans Ottsen on guitar and Adam Clark (not pictured) on drums with special guest Karl Hunter of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy on sax.
Karl Hunter “Organ’ic” Quartet
3/22/14 – Squashed Grapes
Karl’s thoughts on the gig:
Last night’s KH quartet gig was awesome!!! Jimmy Calire, Mario Calire, and Hans Ottsen killed it. Jimmy brought his B3 and from the moment we saw it in the back of Jimmy’s van there was a hushed reverence. I’ve never seen a B3 with so much character. Both aesthetically and aurally. The power and sound of the organ was so fun to play off of. Especially when played by Jimmy. Mario’s drumming was so groovy and tasty. His technique and style are a joy to watch. I had the best vantage in the place, right next to him. He reminds me of all the reasons I love drums and drumming. Hans played one amazing solo after another and accompanied Jimmy’s playing perfectly. Jimmy even sang a couple of tunes and sounded amazing. I had no idea he had such a great voice. Plus Jimmy brought a bunch of his original tunes to the plate that seemed custom fit to this band. The guys all played their collective arse off. On top of that the show sold out! I can’t wait to do this again and I want thank the guys and everyone who came out. What a blast! My new friend Pam did a blog post with pictures from the gig on her site VenturaRocks. Thanks Pam! Much love to all who shared this awesome night. Thank you so much!
Karl Hunter – Jimmy Calire – Mario Calire – Hans Ottsen
Written by Karl Hunter and originally posted on Facebook 3/20/14
So, the first KH quartet,back in November, was in the fusion vane. We played a bunch of Herbie Hancock tunes and went ballistic. It was a wild ride and a whole lot of fun! Rufus Philpot, Aaron McLendon, and Andy Langham killed it. It was amazing! I’m still listening to the recordings!
The second installment of the Karl Hunter Quartet is going to explore another one of my favorite sub-genres of jazz, the organ trio/quartet. One of my favorite musicians is Jimmy Smith. His playing is firmly rooted in the blues. But there is something about his phrasing on the B3 organ that is so unique. I’ve been listening to Jimmy a lot over the years and he did a lot if great records with amazing tenor players.
We had a rehearsal last night for Saturdays “organ”ic quartet gig and it went great. Jimmy Calire brought a bunch of his tunes and they are really great. Plus, I brought in some of my favorite Jimmy Smith classics. I brought all my horns with me, soprano, alto, tenor, Bari and I couldn’t put my tenor down. It just sounds so good in that organ setting. I’m really excited about Saturday’s gig. It’s going to be great!
Speaking of great, Mario Calire, Jimmy’s son, and an amazingly tasty drummer, sounds great, and always instinctively gets what each tune requires. He always keeps musicality at the forefront. His grooves always feel so good and make it so easy to play over. It’s no wonder that Mario was picked up to play with the Wallflowers at such a young age. His knowledge of the proper styles and grooves in jazz and Latin music is amazing and I look forward to learning a lot from him.
Hans Ottsen is also amazing and such a intuitive musician. Guitar has so many functions in Jazz and Hans knows precisely where and how to play each functionality. It’s a delicate balance between showcasing your own personal voice and serving the music and I’m learning a lot from Hans’ playing as he balances both beautifully. I love how his playing is both cerebral and inventive, and at the same time he’ll throw in that perfect phrase that fits the groove and genre to a tee. A perfect balance of paying respect and moving jazz forward.
When I moved back into the “805” about 5 years ago, I settled in Ojai. And without fail, when I met someone, and mentioned that I was a musician, the response was always, “Oh, you must know Jimmy Calire.” Well, I didn’t at first, but I’m so glad I do now. Jimmy has been in the Ojai area for many years, he originally hails from Buffalo NY and came out to our sunny shores when he played with the band America. I always liked when I heard an America song. I knew they had a few hits etc. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy shared a bill with America several years ago, and while sitting on the side of the stage I was blown away by how many hits they had. One amazing hit after another. There wasn’t one song in their entire set that I didn’t know well. So I finally met Jimmy and got to hear his B3 organ playing and was blown away. A lot of piano players dabble in organ, but Jimmy is the real deal and makes it sing. He has tons of experience and it shows when he plays. He has the knowledge of harmony and passing chords that you don’t just learn playing real-book tunes in the practice room. You can tell Jimmy learned his craft the right way, on the bandstand.
I’m feeling so much gratitude to be able to play jazz with so many great players lately. Jazz is a language, and there is no better way to become more articulate then to immerse yourself in the conversation.
If you are free this Saturday and would like to hear a few things we have to say musically, come down to Squashed Grapes in Ventura. It’s on Main Street, a half block east of Seaward. The experience there is amazing and the folks that work there seriously could not be any nicer or supportive. It really is a Ventura treasure. We start at 7:00. I hope you can join us.
(Editor: Call Squashed Grapes for ticket availability: 805-643-7300. Also, while you’re at it, see our review & photo gallery for Karl’s last performance at Squashed Grapes).
It was pretty cool catching the Numbskull Show on a rainy Wednesday night in the backroom at Bombay’s with Kevin Seconds from 7 Seconds sharing an acoustic evening with Steve Soto (Agent Orange and The Adolescents) and Russ Rankin (Good Riddance). Kevin’s three-week tour in support of his new release, Off Stockton, kicked off in Ventura. Rankin told me he’ll be performing the first four dates and the last three dates with Kevin. The night had the three as solo performers – just the artist and their acoustic guitar – and though there were some missteps from Soto, it was pretty cool when he just laughed it off like the true punk rocker he is.
We’re looking forward to catching Karl Hunter of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy as he returns to Squashed Grapes for another show on Saturday, March 22. In what is being called the Karl Hunter Organ’ic Quartet, Karl will have the legendary Jimmy Calire who toured for several years with America on keyboards, Mario Calire from the Wallflowers and Ozomatli on drums and guitar player extraordinaire Hans Ottsen will round out the quartet. Tickets are $10 and you should get them in advance at the Grape as this one is sure to sell out fast.
Technicolor Tone Factory out of Boulder, CO, will be making their debut in Southern California area with a free show at Green Art People on Wednesday, March 12. According to Taylor Frederick, TTF isn’t a jam band that rocks, but rather a rock band that jams. I took a listen on SoundCloud, and trust me, the band rocks.
St. Patrick’s Day celebrations officially kick off with the City’s annual parade on Saturday, March 15. We’ll be hitching a ride on Kat Merrick’s Totally Local VC float where Dan Grimm and other artists will be performing live along with Jon Reese of Amigos on air guitar, as we cruise down Main Street. Give us a shout out when we pass by!
And of course you are officially invited to help Ventura Rocks celebrate our 5th Anniversary with a huge St. Patrick’s Day party at Bombay’s on the 17th with first Irish music from the Lousy Drunken Uncles at 6:00, then it will Rey Fresco making this the hottest party in town.
Do you have any music related news or upcoming shows you want help on publicizing? Then send all information short or long to Pam@VenturaRocks.com.