Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze – 10/29 – 11/11

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
Ventura Continues to Rock!
by Pam Baumgardner

Army of FreshmenChris Jay of Army of Freshmen is totally looking forward to their upcoming UK tour with the band Lit. Jay told me, “I just love being on tour. We don’t get to do it nearly as much as we used to so I think we tend to enjoy it more and appreciate it. Every night is like a big party. It’s more like vacation than work.” The dates in the UK run from November 13 through the 23 so it looks like the guys will be back in time for Thanksgiving. See complete interview with Chris Jay at

No news yet on the Discovery entertainment permit appeal. We have our fingers crossed this matter will be settled sooner than later and with Discovery retaining the right to have live music in their venue.

Way to go for The Velveteen Band who has been invited to play the Steampunk Worlds Fair in Piscataway New Jersey. The SPWF is the world’s largest gathering of steampunks. After only six months of being a band, the Velveteen has gained national attention with their Puppets, Rabbits, and big rock band sound. You can find them playing locally at Bombay’s The Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, party on November 1 with Cirque Noir, Angie’s Curse and Fangboy and the Ghouls.

Kelly’s Lot will be holding a fundraiser for one of Kelly Zirbe’s favorite charities, C.A.R.L. at the Patio at The Player’s Club which will raise money for Canine Adoption and Rescue League. Look for appearances by Teresa James, Guy Martin, Steve Hinojosa, Lenny Mazzotti and Bobby and lee Orgel. The event will be held on Saturday, November 8 from 6 – 10 pm. $10 donation plus 15% of food sales donated.
Looking forward to hearing the new song that 8Stops7 has been recording. Bass player, Cory Tarallo, says, “This song is straight up awesome!” I can’t wait to hear “Center of Our Universe” after they put on the finishing touches.

Jan McWorter of Hi Hat Entertainment reminded everyone, “When one door closes, another one opens,” after Hi Hat said goodbye to over six years at Yolie’s on October 17 with the R&B Bombers. But after just a couple days of searching they found their new location just a stone’s throw away, at the newly renovated facilities at 281 W. Main Street at Ventura Beach Club (formerly Fuegos). Just a quick head’s up as Ventura Beach Club already had a previous obligation, on Halloween, Hi Hat’s James Harman party will be at Peirano’s on October 31.

There will be a cool fundraiser at Bombay’s on Saturday, November 1, to help raise funds for Dawn (single mom) and Damian (7 years old) and their battle with Cancer. There will be lots going on all day but on the music side of it there will be Alastair Greene, James Harman, Morganfield Burnett, Hot Roux and more.

And finally, I’d like to wish Ken Winters, “Happy Birthday!” Ventura’s jazz scene will be helping to celebrate his 88th birthday on November 4th during the bi-monthly jazz jam at Squashed Grapes. I’m sure cake will be involved.

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

Concert Review: Benefit for Jacob with Albert Lee

Albert Lee and Friends Deliver in Jam for Jacob at Yolie’s
Benefit for Jacob was held at Yolies on Saturday, January 4, 2014
by Jon Garner

Blues musicians love to play, and when they can lend their efforts to a worthy charitable cause, most of them are all over it. Last Saturday January 4, some true heavyweights, led by the ageless guitarist Albert Lee, got together in the cool little music room at Yolie’s in Ventura to blow a little bit and help with Jacob Hacker’s considerable medical expenses due to recurring cancer. The event was a resounding success all the way around.

Spearheaded by Jacob’s parents Jan and Jerry McWorter (who was behind the drums during many of the proceedings) and Hi Hat Entertainment, the show netted more than $10,000 for Jacob and delivered a lineup of talent was comparable to any you’d see at Doheny or just about anyplace else. It was heartwarming to see all these musical friends cheerfully contribute in a powerful way.

I found out about the show at the last minute, and with the likes of Albert, Coco Montoya, Pete Anderson, and James Harman on the bill, I figured what the heck, I’m in. Little did I know that harp legends Mark Hummel, Rick Estrin and the great singer Curtis Salgado would also appear, the vibe would be fantastic, and the night would turn into a blues lover’s dream.

Had I known the music would be so good that I would write a story, I would have been more concerned with learning who the talented sidemen were than what brand of tequila was being served.

Mark Hummel w Band CFor my money, Mark Hummel, Pete Anderson and the peerless Albert Lee were the highlights. Fortunately, we arrived in time to hear most of Hummel’s set. I have one of his CDs, but I am embarrassed to say that I had never seen him live and didn’t fully realize just how talented he is. His last harp solo in particular was a thing of beauty.

Mark’s website is – I’m particularly interested in his collaboration with Anson Funderburgh and Little Charlie Baty. That’s gotta be one hell of a band!

Pete Anderson Digs In CNext up was Pete Anderson. In my opinion Dwight Yoakam could never have achieved the success he did without Anderson’s music direction and quirky, fun guitar playing. He offered ample proof that his style translates equally as well to blues as it does to country. He delivered a really enjoyable set. Check him out at

Speaking of a guitar style that is equally suited for blues as it is for country, there’s the matter of Albert Lee. During the course of his 50-year career, Albert has toured with the Everly Brothers, Eric Clapton, Emmy Lou Harris and most recently with Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings and his own groups. He is a fixture and crowd favorite at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festivals. Simply put, Albert is one of the greatest guitar players in the world. His touring schedule would frighten a 20-year-old; check it out at

I was privileged to play with Albert a few times many years ago, and Saturday I found him to be just as gracious as ever. He took the bandstand following a strong set by Teresa James, who had a tight band and a very soulful voice. Albert’s band featured Donna Oxford, a talented pianist and singer who unfortunately found the volume knob a little too easily, and a very good second guitarist. Albert let them both have ample solo time.

Albert Lee Pickin' CEverything was relatively low-key until Albert cut loose with his signature Country Boy. He and the band proceeded to blow the doors off the place as he has with that song for nearly 40 years. Allowing for the quick changeovers and the large number of bands, Country Boy brought the only standing ovation and encore of the night – well deserved.

I wanted to stay for James Harman and Coco Montoya, but my friends and sanity prevailed and we headed for the barn shortly after Albert’s set. We were not alone. Harman’s first couple songs featured excellent piano solos by Fred Kaplan to send us on our way. It was a great night and a first-class event. I had so much fun I felt compelled to write my first music review in ten years.

For more information on the Benefit for Jacob, visit

Jon Garner has been a professional writer for 35 years and a Butterfield-inspired harpist since 1966. For more information on his band, the Costa Mesa Humor Kings, visit

Benefit for Jacob

Benefit for JacobVentura’s music community came together at Yolie’s on Saturday, January 4, 2014, for what was known as the “Benefit for Jacob”.  Jacob is the eldest son of Jan and Jerry McWorter of Hi-Hat Entertainment.  Jacob has been battling cancer for 16 months, his fourth time in his 35 years.

The musicians who had signed up and donated their time to play were amazing, but there were even a few unexpected surprises for Jan and Jerry.  First Sugaray Rayford of the Mannish Boys showed up and stated when he heard what was going on, he just had to be there.  Then a short time after the event got underway, there was a sort of hushed excitement as it was soon learned that Curtis Salgado was in the room – the story goes that Salgado was the inspiration behind John Bulush’s creation of the Blues Brothers after they met while John was filing Animal House in Eugene, Oregon. Before long, Salgado was on stage, belting it out, with Albert Lee on keyboards.

The love and compassion in the room was truly inspiring. The music off the hook!

The next day, Jan wrote a beautifully written thank you to all those who contributed gifts for the raffle, to the volunteers and to all the artists.  Here is her list of artists:  Albert Lee, Coco Montoya,James Harman, Pete Anderson, Rick Estrin, Mark Hummel, Curtis Salgado, Johnny Main JR Lozano, Dennis Gurwell, Will MacGregor, Mike HIghtower, Tommy Harkenrider, Ed Berghoff, Jack Kennedy, Franck Goldwasser, Al Vafa, My girlfriend Teresa James & the Rhythm Tramps, Terry Wilson, Billy Watts, Jim Christie, Lee Thornberg, Craig Thomas, Jeff Paris, Rene Beavers, Sugaray Rayford’s awesome surprise of coming & singing, Randy Chortkoff, Dona Oxford, Kelly & Perry – Thank you, THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts.

Well over 300 people showed up and over $10,000 was raised.

It took some time preparing the photo gallery as Roy Dodson gave us over 600 pix to choose from!  Thank you Roy, great job!!!

See Review by Jon Garner