Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze – 4/12 – 4/25

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
Local Music and More!
by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com
Pam@VenturaRocks.com

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 Rocks in the Ventura Breeze – 8/17 – 8/30

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
“Idols, Icons and more…”
by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com
Pam@VenturaRocks.com

Karen Eden with Olivia Newton-John at W20 at the Watermark, Thursday, August 4, 2016.

Karen Eden with Olivia Newton-John at W20 at the Watermark, Thursday, August 4, 2016.

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.

Ventura Music Photos: December 2015

Amigo’s Surf Cantina – December 31, 2015 NYE Party
Dive Bar Messiahs (photo credit: Candance Marshall)
Dive Bar Messiahs

December 18, 2015
Ran into the one and only Albert Lee downtown!

VenturaRock's Pam Baumgardner w/ Albert Lee

VenturaRock’s Pam Baumgardner w/ Albert Lee

Downtown Ventura – December 5, 2015
Ventura Winter Wine Walk with The Bomb
1205_WWW_TheBomb


The Livery Theater – December 4, 2015
Kinky Friedman
Kinky


Amigo’s Surf Cantina – December 3, 2015
Gypsy Blues Band
Gypsy Blues BandAs 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!!


CAPS Media – December 3, 2015
Taping of Ventura Rocks with Medicine Hat
Medicine Hat

Album Review: Crooked Eye Tommy

Butterflies & Snakes
Crooked Eye Tommy
Review by Pam Baumgardner
July 2015

CD CoverTommy 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.
CET_logoIt 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.”

“AftCrooked-Eye-tommy1er the Burn” has become a staple here in town almost the band’s signature tune. “Over and Over” is so intimate, I have to confess that I blushed the first time I heard it.

“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.

Official website
Reverbnation

Facebook

Crooked Eye Tommy

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 9/17 – 9/30

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
Suds, Music and Rockin’ History
by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com
Pam@VenturaRocks.com

Calire's Hammand B3I 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.

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

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze – 7/23 – 8/5

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
Summer Music is Really Heating Up!
by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com
Pam@VenturaRocks.com

Jerry's BirthdayWe 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.

Ventura Music Photos: July 2014

Ventura County Fair – July 31, 2014
The Beach Boys w/ John Stamos
The Beach Boys


Amigo’s – July 27, 2014
Dave Gleason
Dave Gleason


W20 at the Watermark – July 27, 2014
Shawn Jones with Mario Calire and Jaymes Edward Felix
Shawn Jones Shawn Jones


Squashed Grapes – July 26, 2014
Casey Abrams – with Zach Lodmer, Jacob Scesney, Adam Clark, and guest appearance by Karl Hunter.
Casey Abrams


Olivas Adobe, “Music Under the Stars” – July 26, 2014
Spencer the Gardener
Spencer the Gardener


Bombay Bar and Grill – July 25, 2014
Brothers Gow
Brothers Gow


The Wine Rack – July 25, 2014
Cakewalk Trio
Cakewalk Trio


Grapes and Hops – July 25, 2014
Funkaphonics
Funkaphonics


Saloon BBQ – July 25, 2014
The Deer Leg Band with Jonathan McEuen sitting in.
The Deer Leg Band


The Star Lounge – July 25, 2014
CRV
CRV


Panchos – July 25, 2014
Big Adventure
Big Adventure


Museum of Ventura County – July 25, 2014
Sin Chonies – Screening of “The Big Lebowski”
Sin Chonies


Squashed Grapes – July 23, 2014
Nate Birkey, with Tom Buckner on Sax, Peter Buck on drums, Jim Connolly on bass and Rachel Flowers on piano.
Nate Burkey group


Peirano’s – July 22, 2014
Estrada Brothers
Estrada Brothers


Yolie’s – July 18, 2014
Jerry’s 50th Birthday Party Bash:
Albert Lee, Brent Harding, Jerry McWorter, Jimmy Calire
Jerry's Birthday Bash


Discovery – July 18, 2014
Standard Deviance
Standard DevianceStandard DevianceSquashed Grapes – July 18, 2014
L.J. and the Boyz
LJ and the Boyz


Squashed Grapes – July 15, 2014
XD-7


Surf Rodeo – July 12 – 13, 2014
Pato Banton, Cisco Adler, Suburban Legends, Jukebox Mutiny, Sweet N Low, more…


Squashed Grapes – July 11, 2014
Rachel Flowers
Rachel FlowersRachel Flowers


Bombay Bar and Grill – July 5, 2014
Mandex


Saloon BBQ Co. – July 4, 2014
Alan Peterson
Alan Peterson


Grapes and Hops – July 4, 2014
Shawn Jones
Shawn Jones


Beach House Tacos – July 4, 2014
Raging Arb and the Redheads
Raging Arb and the Redheads


Squashed Grapes – July 1, 2014
Jazz Jam #1
Jazz Jam #1

Ventura Music Photos: April 2014

Music in Ventura

Sans Souci – April 25, 2014
Radio Threat
Radio Threat


Amigo’s Surf Cantina – April 25, 2014
Bigfoot Invasion – Cougar Estrada, Ruben Estrada, John Schnackenberg, Ruben Martinez, Rene Martinez
Bigfoot Invasion


The Wine Rack – April 25, 2014
Ebony Ann Blaze
Ebony Ann Blaze


The Keynote Lounge – April 24, 2014
Open mic jam night!
Wild Rideopen mic


Bombay’s Bar and Grill – April 23, 2014
The Session featuring Coco Montoya and Mikey Mo
The Session


Amigo’s Surf Cantina – April 23, 2014
Kyle Swan, Benjamin Buttner and Doug Johnson


Bombay Bar and Grill – April 19, 2014
Groove Session


Bombay Bar and Grill – April 19, 2014
The Pullmen
The Pullmen


Bombay Bar and Grill – April 19, 2014
Botanical Gardens Fundraiser
Ray Jaurique, Tommy and Paddy Marsh
Ray Jaurique, Tommy and Paddy Marsh


The Wine Rack – April 19, 2014
Dan Grimm
Dan Grimm


The 805 Bar – April 19, 2014 – Andy’s Birthday Bash
Steve and Sally Williams
Steve and Sally Williams


Bombay Bar and Grill – April 18, 2014
Sharks and Cobras
Sharks and Cobras


W20 at The Watermark – April 18, 2014
Shawn Jones
Shawn Jones and Mario Calire


Squashed Grapes – April 17, 2014
The Jazz Report:  Bevan Mason (keys); Brad Dutz (drums); Danny Young (bass); Jacob Scesney (sax); Dave Tolegian (flute/sax).
The Jazz Report


The Tavern – April 16, 2014
American Hoss
American Hoss


Yolie’s – April 12, 2014
Morry Sochat with Tommy Harkenrider (guitar), Steve Nelson (bass) and Jerry McWorter (drums)
Morry Sochat


Squashed Grapes – April 10, 2014
Ventura Jazz CollectivePam from VenturaRocks.com and Adam from Squashed Grapes representing!Ventura Jazz Collective

Pablo Plasencia, Crystal Rose Sanchez, Patrick Martin, Pam Baumgardner, Adam Randall, Trey O’Toole from Pulse Drumming and Bill Bannister.

Bombay Bar and Grill – April 9, 2014The Session: Tommy Marsh and Bad Dog with guest Cadillac Zack – Post Jam with Paul Vallis, Franklin Murphy, Jacob Scesney
Jacob Scesney


Squashed Grapes – April 9, 2014
Nee Sackey Trio with special guest Karl Hunter
0409_Karl-Hunter_001 Nee Sackey Trio
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.


The Star Lounge – April 6, 2014|
Dallas Burrow from Austin, TX
Dallas Burrow


Downtown Ventura – April 6, 2014
D.on Darox
D.on Darox


The Garage – April 5, 2014
Shelby Figueroa
Shelby Figueroa


The Garage – April 5, 2014
Practical Animal
Practical Animal


Bombay Bar and Grill – April 4, 2014
Alicia Murphy, Derek Jennings & Max Kasch
Alicia Murphy


The Wine Rack – April 4, 2014
Matthew Zeltzer
Matthew Zeltzer


Amigo’s Surf Cantina – April 1, 2014
Nathan McEuen
Nathan McEuen


 

Karl Hunter’s Return to Squashed Grapes

Karl Hunter “Organ’ic” Quartet
3/22/14 – Squashed Grapes

Karl’s thoughts on the gig:
Jimmy'sLast 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!
The Band
Karl Hunter – Jimmy Calire – Mario Calire – Hans Ottsen

Miscellaneous Shots


The Crowd


Written by Karl Hunter and originally posted on Facebook 3/20/14

Karl Hunter QuartetSo, 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!

Squashed Grapes FlyerSpeaking 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.

Karl HunterWhen 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).

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