Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 6/16/20 – 6/30/20

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com
Pam@VenturaRocks.com

Ventura Rocks artwork

DRIVE-IN CONCERTS IV

In each of my past three music scene columns I’ve been able to report more details on the Concerts in Your Car events by CBF Productions (California Beer Festival). The drive-in style concerts where you remain in your car tuned in to an FM frequency have been gaining popularity in Europe and now here in the States. We knew the first concert was marketed to our new grads featuring two nights starring former Ventura High School artist SuperDuperKyle. Unfortunately, the dates changed after our press deadline in our last issue, so if you thought you missed it, you can still get tickets for his rescheduled shows for June 26 and June 27.

Now if you’re wondering like I was who else they’ll be having live on stage, well I just got wind of their next show which is going on sale Thursday, June 18 for just $39 per car…ready??? It’s one of my favorite bands from the 90s, it’s none other than Third Eye Blind on Saturday, July 25! They’re back playing all the songs you know and love such as “Semi-Charmed Life, “Graduate” and “Losing a Whole Year.” Stephan Jenkins and the boys actually played the Ventura County Fair back in 2016, and they sounded as great as ever. I can’t wait to catch the show in the comfort of my own car.

photo of Stephen Jenkins

Stephen Jenkins of Third Eye Blind at the Ventura Fair 2016

Along with nationwide touring bands, Concerts In Your Cars has a summer of tribute bands lined up for Thursday nights. It will be along the line of those concerts that had taken place at the Collection the past couple of summers. The company is locking down Queen, Journey, AC/DC and Bruno Mars tribute bands. The tribute shows will be held on Thursday evenings for only $19 per car.

And finally, I mentioned in my last column I was hoping the drive-in theater style concerts would actually start featuring drive-in movies, and ta-da, it’s happening!! CBF Productions is also putting together movie screenings for film classics such as the Goonies, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and Grease which have been scheduled along with a series of theater productions of Forever Plaid, Jimmy Messina & Friends and Music of the Knights featuring the songs of Andrew Lloyd Weber, Elton John and Paul McCartney.

I heard there is more coming, especially if you have “Friends in Low Places,” but contracts are pending, so stay tuned. For all the concert and movie dates along with ticket information, go to ConcertsInYourCar.com.

MAIN STREET VENTURA EXPERIMENT

By the time this issue of the Ventura Breeze hits newsstand, the closing of downtown Ventura’s Main Street to through traffic will be in effect for at least 30 days kicking off on Monday, June 15. If it is a success and people come out and support all the restaurants and stores, there could be an additional 30 days added to the closure.

As previously reported, the City Council unanimously voted in favor of the emergency ordinance on May 18, 2020, which closes Main Street from Fir to the Mission (or Figueroa Street). If you live close enough, I would encourage you to either walk, ride your bike, or use one of the many rideshare companies, which include our local taxis, Lyft or Uber.

And of course, to keep things lively, there is nothing like live music to enhance the experience, and I understand there will be plenty to go around with at least 32 hours scheduled at press time. Go to VenturaRocks.com for listings.

VENUES REOPENING

Most all venues have reopened their doors and a handful are offering live music by either solo, duos or combos where the sound level can be kept at a level where people can still hold a conversation, i.e., you don’t have to lean in to hear someone speaking. This is especially important when a waiter comes one’s table, or you step up to the counter to place an order. Most establishments are requiring face masks while entering their premises; however, once you’re seated, you can take them off. My understanding is the wait staff will continue to don their masks while working the room.

Venues and artists tend to keep me in the loop on their schedules and so I’ve provided those listings on this page. Keep in mind, more and more are coming back on board; I’m hearing Peirano’s, and possible the Shores will have music on the weekends, and when I can confirm their line-up, I will add to the music calendar on VenturaRocks.com.

THE GRAPE

I was hoping to have solid information to report, and hopefully I will next issue, but know this, the boys are working hard and it’s full steam ahead on construction for the new jazz venue. I’m hearing August (2020) is a possibility.

Squashed Grapes closed over a year ago working through the paperwork and permitting process as well as fundraising to open the Grape. Meanwhile, Adam and Josh teamed up with other vintners (Boyer Wines and Sensation Wines) to open the Winery Ventura down on Market Street which will continue to be their main outlet for their wines. You can find live music there (all genres), with food trucks or order in capabilities, but of course what we’ve been waiting for is a jazz house with a full bar.

GUITAR AND WHISKEY CLUB

As of this month, Gail Sutton will be holding down the bass and backing vocals for Guitar and Whiskey Club. Sutton is an accomplished four and five-string electric bassist who excels in rock, blues and jazz. After having successful runs in Florida, NY/NJ/ tri state and Colorado, she landed in Southern California in 2015 when she immediately started networking and playing everywhere she could. She eventually met and teamed up with Giorgio Bertucelli who has designed and built studios for other rockers including Alex Van Halen. With Bertucelli’s help, Sutton finished construction on her own studio named Gailforce.

Meanwhile you can catch the Guitar and Whiskey Club every Sunday afternoon online during their Clubhouse shows on their Facebook page. Many thanks to Jeff Donovan and Jennifer Wylde for having me on as a guest last month. It was a hoot!

YOU CAN HELP

In the interest of supporting local musicians whose incomes have been drastically reduced, and even in some cases stopped completely due to the COVID-10 crisis, please consider reaching out via social media and support one of their livestream concerts and/or performances and make a donation if you can. I’m loving the intimate setting some provide, albeit awkward at first as they’re so used to immediate feedback (cue the applause), but they’re catching on and they do read the comments as they come in on their feeds.

And if you’re not one for watching livestreams, then consider a small purchase of one of their CDs, or a t-shirt or coffee mug. Every little bit helps. Of course, you may find yourself too strapped to help out, so perhaps you might consider just reaching out and letting your favorite artist or band know you’re looking forward to seeing them again soon.

COVID-19

It still seems surreal that we’re living through a pandemic which has changed the face of Ventura’s music scene. It’s going to be some time before we’re crammed together on a dance floor dancing up a sweat to our favorite cover bands. It’s going to be some time before the Majestic Ventura Theater holds packed houses in front of our favorite bands. And it’s going to be some time before our festivals and events can be held where large audiences amass. I understand the frustration, but we got to hold the line and do what’s right.

And finally in closing, BLACK LIVES MATTER.

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.

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 4/8/20 – 4/21/20

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com
Pam@VenturaRocks.com

Breeze artworkAs incredible as it may be, Ventura’s music scene is keeping its preverbal blood flowing. I’ve been watching so many live streaming events, where you can purchase to view and some where you can make a donation to the “tip” jar. Our artists and musicians are doing what they can to keep our scene alive. For this column, I reached out to a number of musicians and asked how they’ve been dealing with the Stay Home order.

Shawn Jones Singer/Songwriter

How is the Covid-19 Stay Home order affecting you as a working musician?

photo of Shawn JonesShawn:  Well, for the next half of the year all my work is gone. Everybody is in lockdown mode and all of the clubs all over the world are closed as well as outdoor events so there you have it. I had four international trips booked in Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Costa Rica, Ireland, Hawaii, Seattle, and local gigs that are all gone. It’s impacting me pretty severely.

Is there an upside to this?

Shawn: There is an upside to it in regard to things slowing down, having a chance to reflect, a little bit of writing here and there, inventing new ways to create and to share your music, getting things done around the house, etc.

But the downtime is also filled with chasing down new ways to make money in the music industry and looking into COVID-19 bills that have passed and grants that are possibly available for musicians and freelance gig economy people. Before we were never counted in and now, we are because of this horrible pandemic we are finally being recognized as a working class of people that have rights as well.

You have a new record ready to release, right?

Shawn: Well I was supposed to be doing a release in Liechtenstein for the new vinyl that we did that included Sam Bolle on bass and Gerry Morgan from Ireland on drums. It’s a live album from our studio live session at Little Big Beach Studios in Liechtenstein. That will have to come out in the fall at this point if everything goes well.

Additional thoughts you’d like to add?

Shawn:  My heart goes out to all of those that are suffering right now so that’s kind of more the important thing on my mind and being responsible in my actions and staying self-quarantined.

I am also doing a lot of writing and trying to cut it close to the heart as possible and get to some very thought-provoking topics and issues for the next project which will come out when I am ready and since I am independent it’s when I’m ready instead of when the record company tells me I need to release it, so all I can say is it will be sooner than later!

ShawnJonesMusic.com
Facebook.com/OfficialShawnJones
Instagram.com/ShawnJonesMusic
Twitter.com/ShawnJonesMusic
YouTube.com/User/ShawnDJones


Kelly Zirbes, singer/songwriter of Kelly’s Lot


Are you and Perry (Kelly’s Husband and Guitarist for Kelly’s Lot) still working a day job?

photo of Kelly ZKelly: Perry is still working. He is finishing up a post-production sound on the new Ghostbusters movie. He can do that from home and meets with the team on Zoom for updates.

How’s the Covid-19 Stay Home order affecting you as a working musician?

Kelly:  We have switched gears and started planning, arranging and writing a new record featuring songs from the Facebook Word Challenge that I have been doing for a couple years. Fans give me a word and I write a song in 2 hours. I miss playing with my band but a new CD is nothing to complain about. I am blessed.

Do you find an upside to this?

Kelly: No, not with all the fear, sadness and suffering. I don’t mean to be negative, but live music helps so many and creates a community that is missing right now.

What are you doing to fill the time?

Kelly:  Just writing more songs and checking in with people. We feel blessed that Perry is still working so we have reached out to those who are not working now and have helped in different ways. We all need to look to the left or look to the right and see who beside us who is hurting and do something to help.

Add anything else you’d like to share.


Kelly:  If you’d like to help a local musician, just think about who you loved going out to see in your local pubs and reach out to them. Maybe they are doing an online concert or selling CDs on their websites. Maybe they need to hear from their fans, maybe they need financial help. If you are working and okay, maybe help someone who is not.  I’m sure they would really appreciate it!

www.facebook.com/KellysLotMusic/ 
www.Kellyslot.com 


Dan Grimm, Singer/Songwriter & owner Carbonite Sound

Are you still working your day job? 

photo of Dan GrimmDan:  Hell yeah I am, and I’m surprised! When I took the job at Lynda.com to start the tech support team for online learning, I didn’t think I would be there long –– I thought I would sign a new artist contract and be writing for an artist or touring within the year. Amazingly, 14 years later, my love for the technological evolution of human learning has never been stronger. I’m having some Deja vu these days because when the economic bubble burst in 08′, Lynda.com skyrocketed with people needing to learn new skills to survive.  Linkedin acquiring Lynda.com was unexpectedly awesome, and I am proud of how many people’s lives we have helped improve with the massive platform for learning.

But sadly, the music industry as a trade has been demolished over that same time frame. Streaming services have become disastrous, live venues pay 1/10th the money they used to, and while people still value music so greatly –– there isn’t the same class of fair pay for work you see in trades like plumbing, electricians, and carpentry. I’m actively working to try to change that using every platform at my disposal, and I think every musician and industry person should be too.

How’s the Covid-19 Stay Home order affecting you as a working musician?

Dan: I miss my band and playing in front of a live audience so much.  At the same time, it’s good for me because I have to focus on writing and getting solo demos for license instead of taking gigs. On the bright side, there is still a growing need for music behind all that streaming content most folks are binge watching. Plus, if you can’t find material to write about in these interesting times, you shouldn’t ever complain that Bob Dylan, Crosby Stills and Nash, Neil Young, or anyone in the 60’s had more things to address in their music. I’m hopeful songwriters are taking advantage of a powerful moment in history to channel powerful concepts into song.

Tell me how this all is affecting the studio.

Dan: It’s a mixed bag, the part of our revenue at Carbonite Sound (formerly Brotheryn) that comes from recording live bands is paused, fortunately, we have been so busy over the last 6 months with TV, movies, bands, and various sound projects that there is a lot of mixing, mastering, and cleanup work that can be done in isolation. This could go on for longer than we can guess, and we think it’s time we look at ways we can pivot with the post pandemic shifts that may occur. On that note, we think we have a few good ideas in the works and I’m really excited to see what we can do to improve the things we offer artists, industry, and audience.

www.facebook.com/dansgrimm
www.facebook.com/carbonitesound
www.carbonitesound.com


Karen Parkhouse, Singer/Songwriter of The Barrelhouse Wailers

Do you work a day job?

photo of Karen ParkhouseKaren: I don’t work a day job, but I volunteer teach choir at Balboa middle school, so that’s obviously not happening at the moment. My husband is still employed and works from home.

How’s the Covid-19 Stay Home order affecting you as a working musician?

Karen: Covid has affected us by performances being cancelled through June resulting in income loss for the band.  Also, band cannot rehearse with remote communication only.  We are working on some new stuff though, and setting up recording stations at each of our houses.

Is there an upside?

Karen: The upside is learning to slow down; unfortunately, so many musicians rely on gig income, so it’s rough for some. Upside is also taking time to work on writing. I’ve set myself a daily music challenge to be creative and practice/ produce something every day and to document this time in life.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Karen: It’s tough for performers to not perform.  It’s like our outlet has been taken away.  Thankfully we live in a period that we can still express ourselves and reach an audience through social media where even tips can be sent remotely. The energy level has gone down, but support for each other has skyrocketed.

www.facebook.com/TheBarrelHouseWailers/
www.thebarrelhousewailers.com 
www.Youtube.com


Jeff Donovan, Guitarist from The Guitar and Whiskey Club

Do you work a day job? If so, are you still working?

photo of Jeff DonovanJeff: I used to spend my days working Monday through Friday from home, so now I spend 24 hours a day at home (except for the occasional store run). My heart goes out to the many people not in a good situation right now.

How’s the Covid-19 Stay Home order affecting you as a working musician?
Jeff: I am trapped at home with the singer of my band as a roommate – how fortunate is that? On the other hand, the rest of the band members are not able to be with us right now, so we have had to develop new material – and do live streaming as the Guitar & Whiskey Club “Lite” in place of shows with the full band.

Is there any upside to it?

Jeff:  Yes, there is extra time to create music, but on the downside, I have to spend some of that time sanitizing my groceries and mail, and just about everything else in sight!

www.facebook.com/Guitarandwhiskeyclub/
GuitarandWhiskeyClub.com


Robert Ramirez from Medicine Hat

I know you injured yourself and have been rehabilitating but how has this Stay Home Order been affecting you?

photo of Robert RamirezRobert: COVID19 and its impact on myself and Medicine Hat has been quite a journey. This has all happened while simultaneously recovering from broken clavicle surgery. With a brand-new album, corresponding release parties and a trip to play SXSW all being cancelled, we pretty much watched all the hard work and planning slip away, like a carpet being pulled out from under us.

As is for many artists, the Stay Home order has caused us to rethink how we share our music. We’d like to do some live streaming as soon as I’m able. In the meantime, we’re coming up with different ways to get the new songs out there. Medicine Hat plans to post a song a day from the new album, on our Facebook page. We’ll include lyrics, photos and interesting notes pertaining to each track, kind of a virtual Story Tellers.  We’re trying to take advantage of this time to work on promoting, submitting the record for reviews and maybe start writing the next one!

www.Facebook.com/MedicineHatBand
www.MedicineHatMusic.net

Next issue I’ll be checking in with more musicians including Guy Martin, Tommy Marsh and Jon Gindick.

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 4/24 – 5/7

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com
Pam@VenturaRocks.com

It’s always a treat when Noel Paul Stookey from the iconic folk trio, Peter, Paul & Mary, performs at the Rubicon Theatre.  Stookey brings his dry wit and love of humankind in a show called “In These Times” on Sunday, April 28. His appearances always sell out, and this one did as well, so I’m happy to report there will be a second concert on Monday, April 29. I wonder what he’ll talk about.  Hmmm.

The local crew from Army of Freshmen have new music available this month, it’s an EP called “At the End of the Day” featuring acoustic tunes. That one drops April 26; the next day, they’ll perform “unplugged” up in Goleta at The Imperial sharing the stage with Nerf Herder.

Eco Fest not only provides over 80 exhibitors, green education ideas with helpful tips, and children’s activities, but they also offer great music throughout the day. This year they’ll have two stages of music with D.on Darox and the Melody Joy Bakers, Ventucky String Band, Anchor & Bear, Shay Moulder, the Midtones and more.  The annual event will be held at Plaza Park (Santa Clara and Chestnut) on April 27 from 10 am to 4 pm.  Eco Fest is free to the pubic with a bike valet available for those doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint.

Gigi’s will be hosting a couple of shows featuring bands from out of the area.  First on Monday, April 29, it’s Radio Active (Tokyo, Japan), The Wankys (Leicester, UK), Eel (Pittsburgh, PA) and No Divide (Santa Barbara); and then on Friday, May 3, they’ll have MOB 47 (Sweden), along with Phobia, Wichaven and Zoloa. I’m glad to see promoters taking advantage of this space again for live music.

Quick Notes: Amber Olive of Amber & Smoke has a new side gig with the band Mini Driver; Margarita Villa has live music every weekend now, Friday through Sunday; Ray Jaurique and friends play The Blue Room on Wednesdays in the Harbor; Show Me the Body from New York play with Enemy on Thursday, April 25, at the Tavern; Norman Baker out of Seattle plays Namba on Friday, April 26; playing the Sewer for the first time, it’s The Guitar & Whiskey Club on Saturday, April 27; The Popravinas perform Saturday, May 4, at Dargans; Club 805 hosts The Darkside (Cosplay) on May 4; and Robin Trower plays the Ventura Theater on Sunday, May 5.

Congratulations to Adam and Josh for getting the Planning Commissions unanimous approval during their public hearing April 10.  It was a standing room only crowd with so many people speaking in support of opening The Grape Jazz Club.  Now, a little construction upgrades and hopefully the next time I write about the Grape will be to give their opening date.  Well done boys!

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.  For updated music listings daily, go to www.VenturaRocks.com.