Ventura Music Scene
by Pam Baumgardner
Finally!! The Ventura County Fair runs Wednesday, August 3, through Sunday, August 13, featuring tons of music in and around the fairgrounds (Seabreeze and Station stages) as well as the featured national acts on the Grandstand stage most evenings. The concerts are always included in the price of admission. Here’s the schedule: Thursday, August 3, a double bill with Smash Mouth and Sugar Ray; Friday, August 4, it’s the return of Huey Lewis and the News; Saturday, August 5, dust off your dancing shoes for KC and the Sunshine Band; Sunday is the traditionally Dia de la Familia and this year it features Chiquis Rivera, Noel Torres and Banda Carnaval; Monday, August 7, it’s country star Billy Currington; Tuesday at 1 it’s the Spinners, then 7:30 it’s Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds; Wednesday, August 9, it’s rock with Shinedown; and to wrap up the concert series it’s Wynonna and the Big Noise on Friday, August 11. All concerts (except the Spinners) start at 7:30 pm. All music and events can be found online at www.VenturaCountyFair.org.
Oh! Speaking of the fair, the Ventura County Fair Parade rolls down Main Street downtown Ventura Saturday, August 5 at 10 am. There’s always plenty of music; I’ll be hanging out on the Squashed Grapes float along with the Barrelhouse Wailers.
And speaking of Squashed Grapes, they have quite the week lined up with Lett, Mancini & Dutt on Wednesday, August 2, followed by Nees Bees featuring Nee Sackey and friends on Thursday, then it’s “Organtua” on Friday with Karl Hunter, and Jimmy and Mario Calire followed up on Saturday, August 5, with Tia Brazda (from Vancouver) who has been touring all over the United States and Canada this Summer.
Music Under the Stars is in full swing and it’s as popular as ever. Coming up Saturday, August 5, it’s Orquestra Charangoa and then Saturday, August 12, it’s a celebration of the music of Joni Mitchell. It’s better to get your tickets in advance, but if you can’t, be sure to check before heading out to ensure tickets are still available on the City’s website (www.CityofVentura.ca.gov).
Quick Notes: The Golden China is hosting a Roots 805 Jam on Saturday, August 5th with Jah Mon Soul, Ras Rebel and Rising Son; The Queers along with The Ataris and Bad Samaritans play a pop punk show at Discovery on Sunday, August 6; Toad the Wet Sprocket is at the Libbey Bowl August 6; and The Museum of Ventura County’s “Speaking Of” lecture series will be featuring Fito de la Parra (Canned Heat Drummer) on Thursday, August 10.
And finally, congratulations to Night Demon who landed themselves on the same bill as Ozzy Osborne, the Deftones and Prophets of Rage when they play Ozzfest this year, November 4 at Glen Helen Amphitheater. Now that freakin’ rocks!!
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.
Squashed Grapes – July 29, 2017
Doug Webb w/ Danny Carey of TOOL (photo credit: Cliff Montgomery)
Hong Kong Inn – July 7, 2017
Hi Hat Entertainment presents The Mighty Mojo Prophets
(photo credit: Kate “BluesAholics” Bolson)
Roadshow Revival at Discovery – July 1, 2017
Ventura Music Scene
Local Music and More!
by Pam Baumgardner
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 Music Scene
“Idols, Icons and more…”
by Pam Baumgardner
With the Ventura County Fair behind us leaving us with many cool memories of so many amazing concerts, I would be remissed if I didn’t share one slightly monumental event that took place on Tuesday afternoon. One of our musical treasures we claim as our own is Jimmy Calire who you can find playing here in town with several different bands. I once wrote about stories Calire shared with me when his band Raven played in New York City and Jimi Hendrix would join in on the jam and I even once read that Janis Joplin tried to hire him at one point. Calire also toured with America in the seventies, so it was really cool when America played at the fair and invited Jimmy to join them for their final song, their most iconic tune, “Horse with No Name”. I had to ask Jimmy about it and he modestly told me, “Joining them on the song was great, but just catching up backstage was even better.”
Another anecdotal story I must share with you involves another local artist whom you can find singing her Aussie heart out most weeks here in town, of course I’m speaking of Karen Eden. Mark Hartley of the Watermark specifically had Eden booked for Thursday, August 4, in order to surprise her with one of Eden’s idols. Karen told me, “I was half way through a song when Hartley gave me a mischievous look and out from behind him stepped none other than Olivia Newton-John!” Karen of course immediately recognized her and smiled a huge grin. She told me, “I can’t believe I kept singing!” After the song Karen went up to Olivia and gave her a big hug. Karen got to tell her how she grew up listening to, learning from and loving her. Karen confessed, “She was so lovely; it was a treat of a lifetime for me.” It also turned out that Karen’s guitarist that evening, Cary Park, had played on one of Olivia’s albums back in the 90s. What a night!
And just so you know Mark Hartley, Dave Grohl is my favorite idol. Just sayin’.
Music Under the Stars continues Saturday nights throughout the summer at the historic Olivas Adobe with music from the Shari Puorto Band (Rock ‘n’ Blues) on August 20 and Savor (Santana tribute band) on August 27 which is already sold out.
And finally Spencer Makenzie’s Cornhole Tournament has been growing exponentially gaining recognition as the West Coast’s biggest cornhole/bean bag tournament and though their main focus is the contest, they’re also continuing their End of Summer party with a free concert Saturday, August 27, featuring Mandex. Show starts at 6 with Andre, then Brothers Fortune and the headliners at 8.
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.
December 18, 2015
Ran into the one and only Albert Lee downtown!
Amigo’s Surf Cantina – December 3, 2015
Gypsy Blues Band
As I walked into Amigo’s last night with my dear friend Tammy Myers, I was curious to see who was sitting in for Jerry who is currently in Japan; I was super jazzed to see that it was Mario Calire! I told her that Mario use to play with the Wallflowers and Ozomatli…and then quickly added Oh! there’s Brent Harding who plays with Social Distortion, and of course Jimmy Calire who was a member of Raven and toured with America in the 70’s. Rounding out the band were local Blues legends Morganfield Burnett and John Marx later joined by Tom Buckner.
It was one of those “I-am-so-lucky-to-live-in-Ventura nights.” Never take it for granted peeps. Support Ventura’s music scene!!
Butterflies & Snakes
Crooked Eye Tommy
Review by Pam Baumgardner
Tommy 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.
It 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.”
“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.
Ventura Music Scene
Suds, Music and Rockin’ History
by Pam Baumgardner
I seriously can’t remember a year with more music bursting at the seams than this past year, and we’re only about two thirds done! Coming events, and starting on the water, the Ventura Harbor is capitalizing on all this great weather by bringing back the popular Rock on the Dock series every Saturday in September. Still to come on the 20th is Smokey and Friends and the 27th The Hard Times Band.
The 2014 California Beer Festival is finally upon us. I’m looking forward to learning all about craft beer on Saturday the 20 while chillin’ to Petty Theft, Dr. M and Rey Fresco; and then on Sunday, the 21, it’s the Blues & BBQ Festival with Tab Benoit, Trampled Under Foot, Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds, Michael John & the Bottom Line as well as Jonathon Boogie Long. I’ll be out selling Ventura Rocks t-shirts on Sunday, so be sure to swing by and hang a spell.
A free family-friendly night of music featuring music from popular radio and Broadway will be held at the Ventura Theater on September 19 and 21 featuring Loanne Wullaert with vocal support from some of the county’s best vocalists including Aaron Orbit and Marcella Tambouris. Look for numbers from Les Miserables, A Star is Born, Frozen, Dreamgirls and more. In between the two nights being called “September Song” will be The White Buffalo on the 20th. See VenturaTheater.net for times.
The good folks from Zoey’s have officially kicked off their new music venture in the form of Ones to Watch Productions. Steve and Polly Hoganson continue their support of up and coming artists as they produce local showcases. The next one will be Friday, October 3, at Bombay Bar and Grill with The Lee Koch Band, Derek Jennings and Zeke Berkley. For more information see OnesToWatchProductions.com.
One of my favorite blues singers with some serious spunk is Kelly Zirbes who has this never ending contagious energy about her. She’s always there when a helping hand is needed and it’s always a treat to see Kelly along with her husband Perry Robertson and their band Kelly’s Lot perform. She’s sure to make you laugh, but more than that, the band will get you up off your tush jamming to their special brand of rockin’ blues. Kelly’s Lot CD release party for their latest CD, “Don’t Give My Blues Away” will be held on Friday, September 19, at Yolies with a $10 cover. If you’re not able to make it, you’ll want to add this one to your collection for sure. Visit KellysLot.com to pick one up today.
And finally, just a quick little anecdote: While hanging out with Jimmy Calire the other night at Squashed Grapes, I knew the Hammond B3 organ he had brought in for the show that evening with Karl Hunter had some stories behind it, but none could be cooler than the one he share with me that evening where he would be jamming on it with his band, Raven at The Session in the Theater District in New York City and Jimi Hendrix would jump up on stage and join in the action. Seriously, how cool is that? This town has such an abundance of talent and history reinforcing what I’ve always said, Ventura Rocks!
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 – 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.
Spencer Makenzies End of Summer Block Party – August 24, 2014
Bloody Mary Morning
Olivas Adobe – Music Under the Stars – August 9, 2014
Jeff Hershey and the Heartbeats – final performance
Ventura Music Scene
Summer Music is Really Heating Up!
by Pam Baumgardner
We had two days of the best summer weather for Surf Rodeo. There was so much to see and do with Pato Baton doing a superb performance at sunset on Sunday to wrap it all up. Congratulations JD Drury on another successful Surf Rodeo!
Hi-Hat Entertainment’s Jerry McWorter’s 50th Birthday Bash was a blast at Yolies July 18. It was so cool to see so many top-notch artists in the room and up on the stage performing. When we swung by it was Jerry on drums, Brent Harding on bass, Jimmy Calire on keyboards and Albert Lee on guitar. Legendary!
It was great seeing so many ArtWalk 2014 venues supplementing this city-wide art event with live music this year! Bell Arts Factory, the WAV, Mission Park, Stoneworks Studios and many more featured such artists as Jonathan McEuen, Mitchell Blake, The Deer Leg Band, Rey Fresco, and SoulVang.
The fair kicks off July 30 with the ever popular fair parade on Main Street on Saturday, August 2. Ventura Rocks will be hitching a ride on the Squashed Grapes float with some of our favorite jazz performers playing the parade route: Fausto Cuevas, Jacob Scesney, Trey O’Toole, Andrew Hill, RJ Root and perhaps a surprise or two. Speaking of music and the Ventura County Fair, their entertainment lineup is amongst the best of recent history with the Beach Boys, Little Big Town, The Spinners, Barenaked Ladies, Deep Purple, Seether, Jake Owen and Creedence Clearwater Revisited. All shows are included in the price of admission.
The Music Under the Stars series continues with Spencer the Gardener taking over Olivas Adobe on Saturday, July 26. Joining his beloved cast of characters, um, I mean musicians, will be former members Cougar Estrada and Nate Birkey who will kick it up just a notch or two. The following week will be a Carlos Santana tribute band. Call (805) 658-4726 for ticket information.
Bombay Bar and Grill has nailed down the date for their 30th annual Indoor/Outdoor Beach Party; and though Diego wasn’t quite ready to share their music line-up, you’ll want to mark down the dates which cover the last three days of the month, August 29 – August 31. This is sure to be off-the-hook!!
Chiodos, along with Bless the Fall, will take over the Ventura Theater on Friday, August 1. They’ve been out on tour in support of their new CD, “Devil” which was produced by David Botrill (Tool, Muse, Stone Sour).
And finally, just added to the VenturaRocks.com Listening Station at Very Ventura store on California Street are Ashford Gordon, the new one from Mother of Dissension, and “Struggle Makes You Stronger” from Shawn Jones. You have no idea what it means to our local musicians when someone purchases their music. It really does make a difference.
Do you have any music related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Send all information short or long to Pam@VenturaRocks.com.