Ventura Music Photos – March 2017

Squashed Grapes – March 25, 2017
Denny Seiwell (Founding member Paul McCartney & Wings)


The Patio at Player’s Casino – March 25, 2017
Natalie Gellman


Amigo’s – March 24, 2017
Bad Leaf (Photo: Louis Olachea)


Squashed Grapes – March 18, 2017
Doug Webb Group featuring Danny Carey (TOOL) playing Johnny Be Goode tribute to Chuck Berry who passed away earlier that day at age 90.

Doug Webb Group featuring Danny Carey (TOOL) with Jacob Scesney


Discovery – March 17, 2017
50 Sticks of Dynamite
50 Sticks of Dynamite


The Tavern – March 15, 2017
Witchstone (Photo: Louis Olachea) #MetalWednesday

The Tavern – March 15, 2017
Spell (Photo: Louis Olachea)  #MetalWednesday


St Patrick’s Day Parade – Downtown Ventura
Squashed Grapes Parade Band
RJ Root, Trey O’Toole (Pulse Drumming), Dirk Shumaker (Big Bad Voodoo Daddy), Karen Parkhouse (Barrelhouse Wailers) Pam Baumgardner (VenturaRocks.com) Drue Drew & Andrew Conchelos (Barrelhouse Wailers).


St Patrick’s Day Parade – Downtown Ventura
Diana Boydstun5, RJ Root, Pam Baumgardner
Diana, RJ & Pam photo


Majestic Ventura Theater – March 7, 2017
Social Distortion

Ventura Music Photos – February 2017

Bombay Bar and Grill – February 19, 2017
CASH BASH
The Mighty Cash Cats with Jade Hendrix (Photo: Cliff Montgomery)


Grapes and Hops – February 16, 2017
Jeff Silbar and Suzie Candell 


Bombay Bar and Grill – February 11, 2017
Yachtley Crew


Squashed Grapes – February 9, 2017
Mike Garson (Bowie, NIN, Smashing Pumpkins), Dave Liebman (NEA Jazz Masters Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Endowment for the Arts)
with special guest appearance Jacob Scesney


Discovery – February 4, 2017
The Band That Fell to Earth (Bowie Tribute)

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 12/21 – 1/3

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
To Another Rockin’ Year!
by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com
Pam@VenturaRocks.com
2017
Here we are ushering in another year. It’s when we take time to reflect back and it’s when we take time to look forward. If you know me at all, then you know that I’m a “glass-half-full” sort of gal. So, I’m looking forward to and postulating a year of growth, a year of success, a year of new music and a year of harmony for all.

Before we hit the ground running in 2017, we have to send off 2016 with a bang! So here we go with New Year’s Eve parties in and around Ventura. You’ll want to do your own due diligence with reservations and keep in mind that a number of venues who typically don’t, will be charging a cover for the night; most everyone will have specials and party favors. And if I may suggest, be sure to have a designated driver or a well-thought out exit plan on getting home safe.

Amigos will feature the pop 80’s band Wax Off; Café Fiore has two bands in the front room, Big Adventure and Instone with Colette Lovejoy in the Treehouse; Chinaland in Oxnard has the Grooveline featuring Dora Sanchez and guest DJ Frank Ramirez; the Copa Cubana in the harbor will have Artis Ford; The Crown Plaza has their popular annual event with DJ Bruce Barrios; Discovery features One More Time, a Daft Punk tribute band; Gigi’s has a Karaoke countdown; there will be a masquerade party at Grapes and Hops with the Shawn Jones trio; the Greek Mediterranean will have a Great Gatsby theme party with a DJ; The Hong Kong Inn has The Bomb; The Hut in Ojai has Wishbone with special guest Alastair Greene; there’s definitely no cover at the Keynote Lounge with the Black Canyon Band; O’Leary’s has a Roaring 20’s party with Live Band Karaoke; Paddy’s has DJs with two dance floors all night; Rookees will also feature a masquerade theme with Wiz Kid at the helm; Saloon BBQ Co has DJ Acer; Brain Faith & Friends will be at the Sportsman in Camarillo. The Tavern has DJ Steeze Steve; and former LA Guns singer, Paul Mars Black will be at the Wine Rack.

And finally, if you’ll be ringing in the New Year anywhere near a television, then be sure to tune in to Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 2017 with Ryan Seacrest. I realize that’s an odd recommendation from me, but you won’t want to miss seeing the newly Grammy nominated Mike Posner Band with local artist, Jacob Scesney on saxophone in his band. I can’t even express how proud I am of Jacob, he’s truly living the dream!

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.

Album Review: Casey Abrams

TalesFromTheGingerbreadHouseTales From the Gingerbread House
Casey Abrams
Review by Pam Baumgardner
February 8, 2016

Full disclosure: I love Casey Abrams, but then millions of Americans fell in love with him as he made it to the top six of season ten on American Idol a couple of years ago.

Full disclosure: I’ve only tuned in once and only saw the last ten minutes of the last episode of the first season of American Idol.

So how did I come to know Casey? It was when the owners of Squashed Grapes told me a year and a half ago that they had booked him and that I should search Google and YouTube for The Gingerbread Band. I saw just one, and I got it. I understood what the fuss was all about.

0726_CaseyAbrams_001Casey played the Grape that summer night to a sold out house via word of mouth and it quickly made my Top Ten shows of all time.  He’s just too freakin’ cool!! Fast forward to the present time and Casey is now offering his second release, an EP entitled, “Tales from the Gingerbread House.”  It’s a mix of five eclectic tunes including one featuring fellow American Idol alumni, Haley Reinhart.

Casey had a hand in writing all songs and I was delighted to see the uber talented Jacob Scesney, who you can find sitting in with local bands around town when he’s not out on the road, covered the sax work on four out of five songs even getting a shout out on “Cougar Town”.

The EP opens with “Cougartown” and an interesting introduction from actor, Eric Avari; it’s a song about Casey’s love for the older woman.  Casey makes himself vulnerable with “Just One More Time (These Eyes)” confessing his love while throwing in some funky scat moves.  “Caught” is more energetic, upbeat, even danceable, and as sexy as all the previous songs may be, they don’t compare to the duet between Abrams and Haley Reinhart on “Never Knew What Love Can Do” as the two break it out and get right down and dirty.

But I have to say my favorite is the final cut called “Shining a Light” which is a contrast to the jazzier and funkier previous tunes on the EP. Typically I spend a lot of time with the music I plan to write about, and I know I’m ready to write when I start humming a song, or singing along, but with “Shining a Light” I literally could not get it out of my head.  I can totally hear this on popular radio, in movies, TV shows…it’s just so catchy and contagious and if there were no other songs, it’s totally worth the price of the CD.

Knowing that Casey was self-taught on over 11 musical instruments, and by ear, I came to the realization at Squashed Grapes that Casey not only writes and plays music really well, but that he actually is music.  I’m looking to great things to come from Mr. Abrams, the world is wide open to him.

logobig

1. Cougartown – (Casey Abrams/Rune Westberg)
2. Just One More Time (These Eyes) – (Casey Abrams)
3. Caught – (Casey Abrams/Victoria Horn “Lady V”/Rob Kleiner)
4. Never Knew What Love Can Do – (Casey Abrams/Bobby Hamrick)
5. Shining A Light – (Casey Abrams/Andrew Rose)

http://www.iamcaseyabrams.com/ 

After hours at Squashed Grapes 7/26/14
singings

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 2/3 – 2/16

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
“Rockin’ February ”
by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com
Pam@VenturaRocks.com

Photo credit: Cliff Montgomery

Photo credit: Cliff Montgomery

 

 

I was delighted to see that Ian Moore made a stop at Bombay’s for his current tour with the Lossy Coils Wednesday, January 27th. We added Moore to our playlist back when I was Program Director of KXBS alternative rock radio in the 90s. Moore told me he’s been self-managing for the past 12 years, but has three records done and ready for release the first one called “Strange Days”. Moore told me, “It’s a departure from what I have been doing for the last few years. It is funkier, and lyrically heavier, leaning in on rhythm.”

Voices – Women in the Round was held at Bell Arts Factory on Saturday, January 30. I spoke with Jim Rice of Bell Arts who told me the night was just perfect. It was one of those events where the audience is totally engaged and the performances were heart wrenchingly beautiful. The range of music from Bach to Otis Redding to original pieces by Andrea Landin, Donna Lynn Caskey, Kate Bokoles, Maliah Pena and Mare Louise were extremely well received. Rice told me they’re looking at having this be a regular series hopefully monthly before too long.

A last minute addition to the February calendar for Squashed Grapes is coming up on Tuesday, February 9 featuring members from the world famous Post Modern Jukebox. This will also be the last opportunity to see them for a while before they set out on tour across the pond. Christina Gatti’s amazing vocals will front the band which includes one of our very own Jacob Scesney who also tours with PMJ.

Expect an upbeat funky time when The Main Squeeze plays Discovery on Saturday, February 6. The band is produced by Randy Jackson well known American Idol judge. Discovery has also been offering a Starlight Swing night on Wednesdays with swing dance lessons and live music.

Front Street takes over the Sewer with some down low dirty gypsy blues on Friday, February 12 with two equally unique and fun bands, The Front Street Knuckle Draggers and D.on Darox and the Melody Joy Bakers.

The Hong Kong Inn will host the 2016 Cash Bash honoring the man in black’s birthday with The Mighty Cash Cats, Jade Hendrix and Joe Billingiere. The festivities kick off Sunday, February 14 at 4 pm with no cover charge.

The Wine Rack has upped their entertainment by offering live music seven days a week.

And finally, the newest episode of Ventura Rocks on CAPS Media is now airing featuring Crooked Eye Tommy; you can get the schedule of when it airs next at www.capsmedia.org.

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 .

Ventura Music Photos: July 2015

W20 at the Watermark – July 30, 2015
Anchor & Bear
Anchor & Bear


Sans Souci – July 26, 2015
My Modern Valentine
My Modern ValentineAll-A-Blur
All-A-Blur


The Wine Rack – July 26, 2015
The Swilley’s – Steve and Sally Williams
Steve and Sally Williams


 

The Star Lounge – July 25, 2015
Arockalypse Now
0725_Arock_002 0725_Arock_003 0726_Arock_001


Squashed Grapes – July 24, 2015
Jerry Vivino & Friends, guest appearance by Jacob Scesney
Jerry Vivino and Friends


 Surf Rodeo 2015

Pam Baumgardner, Staci Brown and Mark Hartley

Pam Baumgardner, Staci Brown and Mark Hartley

Pierpont Beach – July 11 – 12, 2015
Surf Rodeo

 


Saloon BBQ – July 10, 2015
Charles and Christine Law

Charles Law


Ventura Beach Club – Hi Hat Entertainment – July 10, 2015
Hot Roux CD Release Party
Hot Roux


Peirano’s – July 10, 2015
Lola Haag & the Back Beat Boys
Lola Haag


Sandbox Coffeehouse – July 4, 2015
Kevin Stanley
Kevin Stanley


Ventura Street Fair – July 4, 2015
UnUusual Suspects
UnUsual SuspectsVentura Street Fair – July 4, 2015
Iron Mountain Boys
Iron Mountain BoysVentura Street Fair – July 4, 2015
Singing Valentines (for hire!)
Singing Valentines


Discovery Ventura – July 3, 2015
Queen Nation
0703_QueenNation_001


Sans Souci – July 2, 2015
Burien (Seattle, WA)
Die Nasty Die NastyDie Nasty

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 3/4 – 3/17

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

Mimur

Photo: Louie Satchmo

Squashed Grapes already had Zack Brock, Sam Barsh, Danny Janklow and Mark Ferber on the books for February 28 even before Sam Barsh won two Grammys for his work with Rahki. The evening unfolded with stellar jams from original material (some never performed before live) to jazz standards including Thelonious Monk.

Speaking of the Grape, I’m looking forward to hitching a ride on their float during the City’s St. Patrick’s Day parade Saturday, March 14th, downtown Main Street; the band they put together is always a crowd pleaser; this year they’ll have Trey O’Toole, Franklin Murphy, RJ Root and Jacob Scesney. Later that same evening they’ll have a follow up jam performance at the Grape which is always a treat.

W20 always provides the best in entertainment for the dance lovin’ crowd and in that tradition they welcome Dirty Rice on Friday, March 6th and take note because they will be open Tuesday night, March 17, with a St Patrick’s Day party featuring Rey Fresco.

Chef Ubaldo has moved his staff into a much larger accommodating location and now offers live music to his Italian food loving patrons where Zoey’s was home for many years on Santa Clara. You’ll find live music at Padrino’s during peak dinner hours on the weekend with such artists as John Stanewich, John Hendrickson, Lola Haag and crowd favorite Del Franklin.

The Cash Bash held at Bombay’s in honor of the Man in Black’s birthday was packed to the gills proving once again Johnny Cash’s popularity is as strong as ever. It was great to be able to see the Mighty Cash Cats perform before they hit the road for their European tour this month.

Hi Hat Entertainment just added another artist to the lineup for Friday, March 20th Doug Macleod date. Maria Muldaur & the Bluesianna Band will be in the house! You should remember Muldaur who of course had the huge hit with “Midnight at the Oasis.” Advance tickets are available through their website www.hihatentertainment.com.

You can’t say Jonny doesn’t take chances on new artists. John Reese, owner of Amigo’s on Main Street, is one of the sweetest guys I know giving chances to artists like no other. John got wind that two bands were traveling through town from Santa Cruz and were looking for a place to play and he welcomed them immediately and placed them on the bill that same night. Mimur ( Gypsy/Ska/Jazz/Rock ) and Cyclops and the Owl (psychedelic Surf Jazz) played after the Gypsy Blues Band late Thursday night (February 26) and killed it! Mary Michelsen, bass player for Mimur said, “It was so fun!” Nothing like a last minute gig!!

VenturaRocks.com celebrates its six-year anniversary on St. Patrick’s Day. I launched the website on this day mostly because it was ready to roll out and because, well, why not?! Thanks for all the love and support. Ventura really does rock!

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

Ventura Music Photos: August 2014

Squashed Grapes – August 30, 2014
The Paul McCallum Group w/ special guest appearances by Bob Bain and Ted Nash

Ted Nash member of the Lincoln Center Orchestra directed by Wynton Marsalis
Legendary Bob Bain responsible for the guitar licks on Peter Gunn, theme song to Bonanza, Nat King Cole’s Unforgettable, Sinatra’s I’ve Got You Under My Skin, Moon River… He worked with Andre Previn’s trio, Harry James and his big band, he played the guitar on the themes for M.A.S.H., Mission Impossible series, the Munsters. For 22 years he was with the Tonight Show band.

Photos by Marie Gregorio-Oviedo
photo by Marie Gregorio-Oviedo


Discovery – August 24, 2014
Led Zepplica
Led Zepplica


Spencer Makenzies End of Summer Block Party – August 24, 2014
Bloody Mary Morning


Squashed Grapes – August 23, 2014
The Doug Webb Group: Doug Webb (sax) Jimmy Earl (bass), Mitch Forman (keys) and Danny Carey of TOOL on drums
The Doug Webb Group


Spencer Makenzies End of Summer Block Party – August 23, 2014
Ventura Social Club: Joe Baugh, Xoco Moraza, Mario Calire, Lenny Castro
Ventura Social ClubDas Danny Trio
Das Danny Trio
Aaron Orbit
Aaron Orbit


Amigos – August 10, 2014
Cougar Estrada Bigfoot InvasionCougar Estrada, drums; Jimmy Calire, keys; Tom Echart on bass, Little Al Vafa on guitar.
Bigfoot Invasion


Plan B Wine Cellars – August 10, 2014
The Blondies
The Blondies


Olivas Adobe – Music Under the Stars – August 9, 2014

Jeff Hershey and the Heartbeats – final performance

Jeff Hershey and the Heartbeats
Jeff Hershey and the Heartbeats


Bombay Bar and Grill – August 8, 2014
Doug Pettibone (recently out with John Mayer), Taras Prodaniuk (Dwight Yoakam) and Toss Panos (Robben Ford)
Pettibone, Prodaniuk and Panos


Bombay Bar and Grill – August 8, 2014
Derek Jennings
Derek Jennings


Discovery – August 8, 2014
Easy Bear
Easy Bear


Discovery – August 8, 2014
The Winchester Rebels
The Winchester Rebels


Ventura County Fair – August 7, 2014
Jake Owen
Jake Owen


Ventura County Fair – August 5, 2014
Deep Purple:  Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Ian Paice, Steve Morse and Don Airey
Deep Purple


Ventura County Fair – August 4, 2014
Barenaked Ladies
Barenaked Ladies


Squashed Grapes – August 2, 2014
Franklin MurphyRj RootJacob Scesney
Rj Root & Franklin Murphy
Jacob Scesney


Grapes and Hops – August 1, 2014
 Ed Berghoff & Shawn Jones
Ed Berghoff & Shawn Jones


Majestic Ventura Theater – August 1, 2014
Chiodos
Chiodos


Downtown Ventura – August 1, 2014
Hour Lioness
Hour Lioness


Pancho’s – August 1, 2014
Fausto Cuevas just back from touring with Stevie Wonder & J-Lo
Fausto Cuevas
Fausto Cuevas


Ventura County Fair – August 1, 2014
Galvanized Souls
Galvanized Souls

2014 Ventura County Fair Parade

Thanks so much to Squashed Grapes for inviting us on their float.  And thanks to everyone who sent us your photos that you took as we passed by on the parade route.  The musicians rocked it:  Trey O’Toole (Happy Birthday Sir!), Jacob Scesney, Franklin Murphy, RJ Root and Andrew Hill!

Here now the preparation, the parade route & celebration that evening.  LOVE The Grape:

The band warming upPreparing for the parade and the band warming up:

Thanks Felix Cortex for these shots:


Thanks Diana Boydstun for these shots:

Thanks to Lance Baird for the “winning” shots!  Squashed Grapes took #1 Place for Best Commercial Float!!

After party at Squashed Grapes:

Rj Root and Franklin Murphy celebrating!!
Rj Root and Franklin MurphyJacob Scesney getting the crowd up and dancing!
Jacob Scesney