Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 1/30 – 2/13

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

It should come as no surprise that the Thomas Fire Benefit Festival sold out one week before the concert having only been announced less than two and half weeks previously. For those of us who have tickets, the event takes place at Plaza Park at the corner of Chestnut and Santa Clara downtown Ventura on Saturday, February 3. Gates open at 2 pm for VIPs with general admission at 4 pm; blankets and chairs welcomed as there will be no priority seating so get there early for a good seat to catch Kevin Costner and Modern West, Olivia Newton-John, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and the rest of the acts on the bill.

Just a quick follow up on two past events, first the Delgado Brothers headlining the fundraiser at Discovery on January 19, raised $3705 for Ventura Food Share and the Ventura United Way Thomas Fire Fund; and the 805 Love Notes on Sunday, January 14, raised $8,000, and those funds go directly to the families and individuals in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties through 805Arise, Help California and Santa Barbara Music Foundation.

Back to the business at hand, Chopper Fest falls on Sunday, February 4th at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, it had to be rescheduled due to the Thomas Fire in December. Along with all the hot rides to check out, you can enjoy music from Gethen Jenkins, Kelly’s Lot and The Bob Carrillo Blues Band.

Paulie Cerra returns to Ventura for a show at the Hong Kong Inn on Saturday, February 10th. While he may be best known as Joe Bonamassa and John Scofield’s touring tenor sax player, this show will focus on his songwriting, singing and keyboard work. Ray Jaurique & The Uptown Brothers will open the show at 7pm with new songs to be featured on their upcoming CD being recorded at Ventura’s Castaway7 studios.

A couple more artists back in the studio include Tommy Marsh who has been working overtime producing a new album for Crooked Eye Tommy at Brotheryn Studios, where I was invited to hang out and watch the recording process recently, and let me tell you, it was too cool for school! And Stephanie Gladhart and Jerry Careaga of The Blue Music are tracking their next LP down at Capital Records early February. Their debut EP has already started getting radio play around the country and in Europe.

Quick notes: The Tossers first Sunday residency has landed at Grapes and Hops starting at 3 pm; Leashless Brewery is offering up jazz twice a week, Tuesdays with John Bardi and Thursdays with Davey Miller; Emergenz has regrouped as Dry Creek Strangers, you can catch them at noon on Sunday, February 4 at the Sandbox Coffeehouse; and The Blasters return to town for a gig at Discovery on Saturday, February 10.

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Please send all information short or long to, and for updated music listings daily, go to

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 10/11 – 10/24

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

There are a couple of high profile events coming up. Let’s start with The Seaside Highland Games (a Scottish/Celtic Festival) which hits town every Fall. They’ll have all kinds of games and activities including music all day long on several stages over the weekend of October 14th and 15th at the fairgrounds. Some of the acts performing will be Blackwaterside, The Angry Brians, Hidden Fifth, Slingo Rags, Highland Way, and Three for Joy.

The Ventura Beach Party in conjunction with the Ventura Marathon will be held down along the promenade at the Ventura Pier. There is no charge for this one and there will be music during the day over the weekend of October 21 and 22nd with Lightnin’ Willie, Sunnie Paxson, Sonic Boom, Paul Mars Black and Acoustic Generation performing.

Then there is the C.A.R.L. fundraiser on Saturday, October 21 at the Hong Kong Inn. This one donates all proceeds to the Canine Adoption and Rescue League and has Kelly’s Lot, Orphan Jon and the Abandon featuring Johnny Main, along with special guests all evening long including performances from Ray Jaurique, Michael Golden and Jerry McWorter.

Hi Hat Entertainment as a couple of weeks of amazing nights of music you won’t want to miss at the Hong Kong Inn. First on Friday, October 13, it’s The Forty Fours; then the following week, October 20, it’s Alastair Greene’s CD release of Dream Train. Greene has embarked on his solo career after playing with the Alan Parsons Project for the past 7 years.

Speaking of new music, Kelly Z (Zirbes) has a brand-new CD just released called Rescue. Kelly said that all 8 tracks were recorded in 2011 by Chuck Kavooras at SlideAway Studio; however, the project was never finished, that is until Kelly was asked to provide the vocal tracks. It really is quite impressive!

Quick Notes: Vintura at the Wine Rack will be hosting a special fundraiser for the Ventura Cancer Resource Center on Thursday, October 12th from 7-10 pm with singer/songwriter, Karen 805 entertaining; Spencer the Gardener returns to Discovery on Friday, October 13; One Square Mile featuring members of the Circle Jerks and Saccharine Trust will be at the Garage on Saturday October 14 and Motörbabe (female Motörhead tribute band) on Friday October 20; after playing at the Highland Games, The Angry Brians will be jamming at Grapes and Hops on Saturday, October 14 then Shawn Jones recently back after another European tour will be playing the next day on Sunday afternoon, October 15; and The Jelly opens for The Motels on Sunday, October 22 at the Canyon Club.

And finally, CAPS Media’s radio station is now streaming live at You can catch The Pam Baumgardner Music Hour every Tuesday at 5 with a rebroadcast on Friday at 5 and Sunday at noon.

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Please send all information short or long to, and for updated music listings daily, go to

Ventura Music Photos – May 2017

Sponsored Event!

Cajun & Blues Music Festival – May, 28, 2017

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels
The 44’s

Alex Nester

Cajun & Blues Music Festival – May 27, 2017

Robby Krieger of The Doors
The Yardbirds

Lazy Nester

Kelly’s Lot

Bombay Bar and Grill – May 20, 2017
The Pullmen

Surf ‘n’ Suds – May 20, 2017 (State Beach)
Crosscut 805 

Traveler’s Cafe – May 14, 2017
Bernie Larsen

The Wine Rack – May 13, 2017
Jodi Farrell and Jim Rankin

Squashed Grapes – May 13, 2017
Gergo Borlai Trio (with Scott Kinsey and Jimmy Earl)

The Sewer – May 13, 2017

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze – 11/9 – 11/22

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing!
by Pam Baumgardner
Swing Dancers artwork
You won’t want to miss Fortunate Youth when they open for Slightly Stoopid at the Ventura Theater, Friday, November 11.  They’re the creators of one of the biggest and most successful reggae compilations in the world, with all proceeds donated to different charities that the band tries to support from Cancer Awareness to helping Children who have lost music programs due to under funding.  Also at the theater will be the local favorites Dirty Rice opening for Tribal Theory on Saturday, November 12 and then the following week it’s Pennywise with Strung Out and Unwritten Law on Friday, November 18, and of course Suicidal Tendencies with Good Riddance on Saturday, November 19.

Congratulations to Rachel Flowers who was interviewed for the November issue of Keyboard Magazine (the one with Norah Jones on the cover).  Her film “Hearing is Believing” by Lorenzo DeStefano was just featured at the 17th Annual Ojai Film Festival.

I’m all about good causes especially when good causes are in conjunction with great music, and so it goes with the fundraiser on Saturday, November 12, at the Ventura Beach Club for The Canine Adoption and Rescue League (C.A.R.L.) in Ventura.  The event will run 6-10 pm and will feature Deb Ryder, Ray Jaurique & The Uptown Brothers and Kelly’s Lot. You can always count on Kelly Zirbes for going above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to taking care of abandoned cats and dogs. Admission is only $10 and all proceeds will go to C.A.R.L.  As a side note, Kelly and husband Perry just opened for the iconic Don Mclean at the Rose in Pasadena.

I’ll be honest, I’m really looking forward to “The Pretty Things,” a David Bowie tribute band at O’Leary’s November 12. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, “My teenage years would not have been the same without Bowie.”

The Barrelhouse Wailers will be hosting another Speakeasy swing dance night on November 19 at the Ventura Beach Club.  The evening will start with lessons at 8 pm with Kim Clever and David Frutos, then live music from 9 to midnight.  Of course, costumes are encouraged but not required.

Goodnight Kiss are currently in the studio recording their first EP; Medicine Hat will be going back into the studio soon; Hard Six just finished a video soundtrack recorded at Megasound Studios; the Rubberneck Lions just released new music via social media with their first single, “Head Case by Case”; Ashford Gordon’s CD release party has been postponed until after the New Year; Smitty and Julia’s new CD, “Made in Ojai” is now available on CD Baby; and congratulations to all of the Mayor’s Arts Awards recipients with a big shout out to local musician/teacher, Jodi Farrell.  It’s well deserved my friend!

Do you have any music related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Send all information short or long to, and for updated music listings daily, go to

Ventura Music Photos: July 2016

Music Under the Stars at Historic Olivas Adobe – July 30, 2016
Queen Nation

Queen Nation

Members of Queen Nation with Pam Baumgardner, Loree Price, Eve Mimiaga & Tammy Mullins

Members of Queen Nation with Pam Baumgardner, Loree Price, Eve Mimiaga & Tammy Mullins

Four Brix Winery – July 29, 2016
Kelly’s Lot
Kelly's Lot


W20 at the Watermark – July 24, 2016
Alastair Greene
Alastair Greene

Tequila and Taco Music Festival – July 24, 2016

Surf Rodeo – July 17, 2016
Raging Arb and the Redheads (Photo credit: Felix Cortez)
Raging Arb and the Redheads

Surf Rodeo – July 16, 2016
Hy Brasil
Hy Brasil

Surf Rodeo – July 16, 2016
Spencer the Gardener
Spencer the Gardener

Surf Rodeo – July 16, 2016|
The NaVaNaX
The NaVaNaX

Pam Baumgardner (Ventura Rocks) interviewing Shayne Mihalka (The NaVaNaX)
(Photo Credit: Elizabeth Rodeno)
Pam and Shayne

Surf Rodeo – July 16, 2016
Herbal Rootz
Herbal Rootz

The Star Lounge – July 15, 2016
Whiskey Stone
Whiskey Stone

Margarita Villa – July 10, 2016
The Swillys (Photo credit: Maggie Ramos McKinney)
The Swillys

The Wine Rack – July 7, 2016
Ian Soloman Duo with Hans Ottsen
Ian Soloman Duo

Squashed Grapes – July 6, 2016
Sheldon Brown (Publisher Ventura Breeze), Bobby West, and Pam Baumgardner (Owner  Photo credits: Rich Barth (, and Jack Lee.

Downtown Ventura – 4th of July Street Fair – 2016
Raised on Vinyl and UnUsual Suspects

Grapes and Hops – July 2, 2016
Doug Pettibone w/ Herman Matthews
Doug Pettibone

Kelly’s Lot French Connection

If you know Kelly Zirbes, then you know she’s one of the hardest working women on the music scene. She’s forever booking, promoting, playing, writing, and breathing music. She’s awesome; plus, she’s got the talent!  Calling their brand of Blues, “Roadhouse Rockin’ Blues” Kelly’s Lot features amazing musicians including Kelly’s husband Perry Robertson.

I caught up with Kelly to get the low down on the band’s upcoming Valentine’s Day show at the Patio at Player’s Casino.  Not only is the Patio pulling out all the stops to make a night of romance with some of the most delicious dishes in town, but Kelly’s Lot will have a special guest player all the way from France, Jean Francois Thomas.

FrenchTrioVentura Rocks:  What’s up with this international exchanging of Blues artists Kelly?

Kelly Zirbes:  It’s all about meeting and playing with other musicians who love the blues.  What I love about this genre is ‘The Jam’. During a blues jam you will play with total strangers and find that you connect. Music is a universal language with the Blues being a universal bridge and language. Even across the world we can all relate to each other when we play the blues. Jean Francois Thomas shared us with his friends and fans in France and we will share him with ours in Ventura

How did you meet?

We met Jean Francois in France on our 3rd tour in European in 2011. We had played at a record store together and became fast friends and he invited us back to his house for dinner. There was 6 of us so that was rather generous. We all fell in love with him, his energy, his songwriting, his guitar playing but mostly just him. We talked at dinner about coming back and doing a few concerts together and in 2013 Perry and I decided to take Jean Francois up on his offer and emailed him. He was thrilled. We all three decided just Perry and I would travel there and start with an acoustic trio adding Jean Francois. He booked some shows and we flew to France. It was a fantastic trip and our bond became even stronger. We repeated the same thing in 2014 but with many more shows and bigger audiences. It was then that we invited him to come to America and play with us. He wasn’t sure he could because he was afraid to fly. But after a couple weeks he changed his mind and told us he would come.

Jean Francois ThomasTell me about Jean Francois Thomas.

He’s a multi-faceted guy. He’s a a teacher of Economcs and Law in Auvergne, France and a touring musician. He discovered blues the age of 30 and was a boxer when he was younger.  He has one of the most giving spirits of any musician I have ever met and he loves the Blues more than any person I have ever come across.

How big is he in France?

I’m not really sure but he has performed at many large festivals in France land has opened for Tommy Castro, Patrick Verbeke, Shemekia Copeland, Nina Van Horn. He has released quiet a few CDs since 1995 and has been given lots of accolades by the French press and media.

This is a Valentine’s Day gig.  How romantic will it get?

Jean, Kelly & PerryThe Patio will be doing a French themed menu and serve French wine. I know Jean Francois will warm everyone’s heart and he will get the crowd going.  I think that in itself will bring romance to the room. The French are some of the most romantic people I have met and it is fitting to share Jean Francois with our Ventura fans on Valentines. You know, he didn’t want to play a lot on this trip. Just one or two shows. It’s a vacation for him, his wife and a few friends and they want to have time to enjoy the sights. Of course Ventura was my first choice to book a show because of all the music lovers that we have discovered in the 3 years of playing here locally. Needless to say there will be lots of love to go around.

Reservations are highly recommended (805) 658-8975, or go high-tech and get your reservations online:

Kelly’s Lot on Facebook.
Kelly’s Lot Official Website.

Ventura Music Photos: November 2014

W20 at The Watermark – November 26, 2014
Shawn Jones Roots Trio (Jones, guitar; Christopher Allis, drums; Sam Bolle, bass)
Shawn Jones Roots Trio

Bombay’s – November 26, 2014

Amigos – November 26, 2014
Shaky Feelin’

WAV – November 23, 2014
Donna Lynn Caskey

Donna Lynn Caskey

805 Bar & Grilled Cheese – November 23, 2014
Brandon Ragan
Brandon Ragan

Ventura Harbor – Wine, Dine & Jazz – November 23, 2014
Justin Claveria Trio
Justin Claveria

Squashed Grapes – November 19, 2015
Barry Mosley

Barry Mosley Quartet

Bombay Bar and Grill – November 15, 2015
The NaVaNaX
The NaVaNaXAmigo’s – November 15, 2014
Laura Cozzi and Soul Machine
Soul Machine

Cafe Fiore – November 15, 2014
Ricky Coz Band
Ricky Coz Band

Grapes and Hops – November 15, 2014
The Jazz Junkies
The Jazz Junkies

The Tavern – November 14, 2014
Private Island

Squashed Grapes – November 14, 2014
Ventura Jazz Collective
Ventura Jazz Collective

Amigos – November 14, 2014
Michael J and Leticia (MIghty Cash Cats)
Michael J and Leticia

El Rey Cantino – November 14, 2014
Xoco Moraza and Friends
Xoco and Friends

Sans Souci – November 12, 2014
The Miskreants

The Ventura Theater – November 12, 2014
The Misfits
The Misfits

The Winchester Rebels
Winchester Rebels

The Patio – November 8, 2014
C.A.R.L. Fundraiser
Kelly’s Lot
Kelly's Lot

Teresa James
Teresa JamesSteve “Smokey” Hinojosa

Bombay Bar and Grill – November 7, 2014
Army of Freshmen
Army of FreshmenArmy of Freshmen
Shane Mac
Shane Mac

Grapes and Hops – November 2, 2014
Shawn Jones
Shawn Jones

Amigos – November 2, 2014
The Tossers
The Tossers Lyla Fronsoe Representing while celebrating her birthday with The Tossers!
Lyla Representing!

Squashed Grapes – November 1, 2014
Paul McCallum and Friends
Paul McCallem

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

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

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
Suds, Music and Rockin’ History
by Pam Baumgardner

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 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

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 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

Ventura Music Photos: September 2014

Squashed Grapes – September 30, 2014
Andy Waddell Quintet – Andy Waddell – Guitar; Katisse Buckingham – Sax/Flute; Aaron McClendon – Drums; Josh Nelson – Piano; Hamilton Price – Bass.
Andy Waddell Quintet

Amigos – September 28, 2014
Jen Staves and the Bluzfish
Jen Staves and the Bluzfish Jen Staves and the Bluzfish

Squashed Grapes – September 25, 2014
Jazz Hates Johnny – Karl Hunter, Rufus Philpott, Andy Langham, Aaron McClendon
Hunter, McClendon

The Wine Rack – September 24, 2014
Camille Bloom (from Seattle)
Camille Bloom

Cafe Fiore – September 24, 2014
Coso Live
Coso FranklinCoso Live

Discovery – September 24, 2014
The Paul McCallum Band – (San Diego)
Paul Cannon Band

Milano’s Italian Restaurant – September 23, 2014
Bluegrass Jam
Bluegrass Jam

Yolie’s – September 19, 2014
Kelly’s Lot CD Release Party
Thanks to all photographers.  Photos are watermarked.

Squashed Grapes – September 17, 2014
Adam Hawley with Trio B.A.D.
Adam Hawley

Bombay Bar and Grill – September 18, 2014
Carousels and Limousines (from UK)
Carousels and LimousinesBombay Bar and Grill – September 18, 2014
Anchor and Bear
Anchor and Bear

Ventura Beach Party – September 7, 2014
Ray Jaurique & the Uptown Brothers
Ray Jaurique & the Uptown Brothers

Billy O’s – September 2, 2014
The NaVaNaX