Ventura Music Scene 12/27/23 – 1/9/24

Ventura Music Scene
by Pam Baumgardner
Well, we’re at the close of another year and looking forward to the new one. I’m typically not one for looking back, but rather one who anticipates all the good things to come. That being said, now is as good of time as any to reminisce, just a bit. It’s been almost fifteen years since I decided to get involved with Ventura’s music scene hoping to inspire people to get out and enjoy live music while supporting our local venues and artists by launching It was ten years ago that Sheldon Brown, publisher of the Ventura Breeze, invited me to write this music scene column. Since I got involved keeping my finger on the pulse of our music community, the most important thing I’ve learned is that the music scene is a living entity. You have to nurture it. The venues (God love them) need to promote, the artists need to captivate and entertain, and just as importantly, us music loving fans need to support by not only showing up, but show up with our wallets opened. Several venues provide no cover charge, so they especially need your patronage; buy a beverage, order up some food, tell others about the great time you had, and please don’t forget about the artists, especially our beloved singer/songwriters; buy their swag, order their music, leave a tip. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it takes three elements to make a music scene, the venues, the artists, and us music fans, together, we make Ventura Rock!

Now on to bringing in the New Year. Most venues will have a special celebration on Sunday, December 31, but not all at midnight. Some pub/wine houses are celebrating the “UK” New Year at 4 pm, others at 9 pm aligning with the New York dropping of the ball in Time Square, but most will ring in 2024 at midnight our time with entertainment and party favors. My column (as well as only lists live music, so if you don’t see a venue here (Bombay’s, the Six and others), it doesn’t mean they’ll be closed, they’ll most likely rock in the year with a DJ. No matter your preference, I recommend you take a look and see what’s available, call the venue to secure reservations and find out if they’ll have a cover charge so you’ll be prepared. And speaking of being prepared, if you’re planning to tie one on, I highly recommend you either have a designated driver, the phone number of a taxi service or have a rideshare app on your phone (Uber, Lyft).

Go to VenturaRocks full calendar page and search NYE for  all live music listings to bring in the new year!

Quick Notes: Copa Cubana has permanently closed their doors their final show was December 19; Nick Waterhouse plays the Deer Lodge on Thursday, December 28; Rincon Brewery continues with live music on Friday, December 29, with Milo Sledge Trio; and Namba hosts All Ears described as a musical alchemy on Saturday, January 6.

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 Scene 12/28/22 – 1/10/2023

Ventura Music Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

Happy New Year!!! Have you made your New Year’s resolutions yet? May I suggest one you can add to your list? Why not make it a point to get out more often to support our local original artists this year? We have such an abundance of talent right here in the 805 spanning from Simi Valley all the up to Slo town (San Luis Obispo); and between Ventura and Santa Barbara it’s a rare week that goes by without a show featuring original music.

It’s a passion of mine to help get the word out on live music because it helps raise your spirits and it can put a smile on that mug of yours. Research as shown that listening to music releases dopamine which has a positive effect on your mood. It’s a tonic of sorts which can help relieve stress, and literally lift your spirits. And while I can’t say firsthand that it enhances intelligence (though it would be scary to see how dumb I’d be without it), research also suggests that it can increase your IQ along with lowering blood pressure and boosting your immune system.

And as you should know by now, my passion is all about original artists. Of course, I’m a fan of cover bands and artists, but I’m always thrilled when they’ll slip in an original tune they wrote. I know it can be disheartening to perform at a venue, play your heart out while the audience is busy talking or dancing or not paying attention at all. Most venues are designed for this, which is why I’m a fan of the smaller listening rooms such as Namba Arts or Ojai Underground; you’re there to listen to the performance.

One can forget what music does and the effects it can cause as we listen to it while driving, studying, working and relaxing. We can listen to it while soaking in a tub, or while eating dinner. It’s enmeshed in so much of our lives that we forget it takes talented individuals to create it for us. And now getting back to my original suggestion of supporting our local talent, let’s give back and show our love by attending their shows, buying their merch, leaving a large tip and paying to download their music. Trust me when I say, your validation and support encourages and makes them realize what a difference their contributions of original music makes on other’s lives.

And now onto New Year’s Eve celebrations featuring the best of cover bands to help bring in 2023. Most venues will have a party whether it be East Coast style (9 pm our time is when the proverbial ball drops on the East Coast), or they’ll go to at least midnight to bring in the official new year. Many request reservations and a lot will have cover charges for all the extras they’ll offer. There are a few parties being held at locations such as the Crowne Plaza, The Greek and the Moose Lodge where they’re not typical places you would go to listen to live music. I suggest you take a look at the listings.  Here’s a link to the VenturaRocks Calendar page.  Up top under search, type “NYE” to see all listings:

In closing, thanks for your continued support of the Ventura Breeze newspaper, and for reading all the way through this article so I can tell you just how much I love this community. We not only have the beach, the hillsides, downtown, the Harbor but interspersed all over, we have dozens of venues offering live music. While thinking of where I would like to retire someday, I realized after contemplating about it for a year, “Why would I ever leave?” Ventura Rocks!

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