Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 7/14/21 – 7/27/21

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

It’s easy to forget just how therapeutic live music can be. Music affects us, it affects our moods, and it can even change our outlook from grim to optimistic. If you’re stressed out, say for instance after having endured a world-wide pandemic and you could use some help easing back into being a social being again, then I highly recommend getting yourself out to enjoy live music. The genre is your choice of course, as it’s so subjective.

Big Bad Voodoo DaddyBut you can’t go wrong with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. They’ll be performing on Saturday, July 17 at Libbey Bowl, along with Dr. T. & the Blues Criminals. Tickets start at $28. And speaking of the Bowl, other dates include Grateful Shred on July 16, Blue Oyster Cult on July 23, Little River Band on August 7 and Ambrosia, John Ford Coley, and Peter Beckett of Player on August 22.

Back in the day I use to enjoy the music events at Zoey’s that were billed as “music in the round” meaning a number of artists would share the stage and take turns showcasing their original tunes with the other artists backing them up. So, I can only imagine that will be the same case scenario when the Ojai Underground features “Women of Americana” on Friday, July 16th. The live performance/broadcast live stream will feature the talents of Pi Jacobs, Manda Mosher, Celia Chavez and Arielle Silver. I trust Silver will choose selections from A Thousand Tiny Torches, her most recent release. According to her website, the album is an Americana Highways favorite album of 2020 and has been recognized in the numerous prestigious songwriting contests including International Songwriting Competition (ISC), Great American Song Contest and Music City Song Star. All four of these women are prolific singer/songwriters who will share the back stories on their carefully chosen musical selections. Two more shows at the Ojai Underground this week include Kelly’s Lot on Saturday, July 17, and a special concert with Ojai’s own, Perla Batalla on Sunday, July 18. More information and ticket information can be found at OjaiArtsExchange.com/underground.

album artwork for FencesMedicine Hat was ready to roll out their most recent release, Fences, when the pandemic hit, so that was put on hold. But now Robert Ramirez and Michelle Votrian have decided to have a “better late than never” record release party on Sunday, July 18, at Winchesters. CDs will be available along with a limited-edition version of their record on translucent orange vinyl.

Tequila & Tacos Music Festival will be held over the weekend of July 24 and 25 at what is being called Surfer’s Point Live, which is better known as the Ventura County Fair parking lot, the same location where Concerts in your Car were held. The Saturday date will feature the rescheduled Vanilla Ice and Tag Team show, along with Adelaide. Sunday they’ll have a tribute to Selena & Latina artists.

Ventura Music Festival artworkDon’t forget the Ventura Music Festival limited edition this year is a 100% vaccinated event. You’ll need to upload “proof” of your vaccination when ordering tickets in order to provide as safe an event as possible for their 2021 program. July 23 is Aubrey Logan, July 24 is Time for Three and July 25 it’s Andrea Roberto. All three concerts will be held at the Pacifica High School’s Performing Arts Center. Go to VenturaMusicFestival.org for ticket information.

Quick Notes: Tuesday Blues Days are packing in the dancers at Copa Cubana in the Ventura Harbor, this month they feature Shawn Jones and other artists; Bobby Hart & Friends play Winchesters on Thursday, July 15; this month’s Dinner & Music show at Caffrodite will be the jazz duo of Tom Collins & Tom Etchart on Friday, July 16; in honor of Buena High’s reunion weekend, the Funnels and Johnny Knows No One will be jamming on Friday, July 16 at Vaquero y Mar; the Jackson Jones Trio plays Manhattan of Camarillo on Friday, July 16; there’s a free concert at Peninsula Park in the Channel Islands Harbor featuring Psychedelic Summer performing the music of the 60s & 70s on Saturday, July 17; Ray Jaurique solo release, Soul Remedy, drops July 17 with a CD release party at Cantara Cellars; and it’s a night of deep Samba Brazilian music at Namba on Saturday, July 17 with Francisco Leon.

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 5/5/2021 – 5/18/2021

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

More venues are offering more live music as we transition gently back towards normalcy. I’m grateful to see strict Covid guidelines in place at the venues I’ve frequented the past couple of weeks. I’m hearing Winchesters will be offering live music on Thursdays (along with Fridays and Saturdays), the Raven Tavern in Oxnard now has live music on the weekends, Pierano’s has been ramping up their live music roster, and more and more artists are reaching out to me sharing their live music schedules which can be found at VenturaRocks.com. You can find the week’s listing on the Ventura Weekly Music Calendar link and the current day’s line up on the homepage.


In this issue of the Breeze, I have a Q&A with local artist Tom Buenger, He first landed on my radar performing as Tom & Milo around town a few years ago. Tom has been working on original music which always warms my heart. He has his debut release Suburban Gospel this month so I thought I’d reach out and get the community acquainted with Tom Buenger.

Pam: How long have you been playing live music in the 805?

Tom Buenger: I grew up in the 805 and have always been around music one way or another. But after I left the military and settled into Ventura County in 2014, I quickly met Milo Sledge. Milo and I played a few times a week at venues between Goleta, Oxnard, Ventura, and Camarillo. One New Year’s, (2017 I think), I picked up a gig, and Milo was unavailable. I asked Teresa Russell if she would play the gig with me, and we instantly hit it off. She and I then played at least weekly until 2020 or so.

Give me the background on your musical journey.

Tom: I grew up singing. My mom has the most beautiful voice, and I was raised with her constantly singing to me. Singing, melody…just a sort of melodic communication…is even more engrained into my brain than the English language. I did not pick up an instrument until I turned 21. While in the Air Force I went to this Blues Club (Blues Central) for my 21st, while I was stationed in Alaska. There was a man playing wonderful boogie woogie blues on the piano, and I eventually asked if he would teach me a thing or two. He taught me the Nashville system, and it was downhill from there. I obsessed over piano, locking myself in my apartment on my days off until I had the basic skill (and courage) to play at a local blues jam. I got up, played my one song, it was absolutely terrible, but I loved it. I was obsessive about it and practiced not to memorize, but to understand the language of it all.

Eventually I fell in love with the Hammond organ sound; I saved and bought a Hammond B3, and played in a classic rock band while I was at the Air Force Academy where I learned how to be a good band-member and musician. After a while, I got tired of lugging a 350-lb organ everywhere, and looked for the smallest instrument I could find…the harmonica. Similarly, to piano, I obsessed, keeping a few in my car, playing and practicing harmonica for hours while in traffic and on road trips.

Then a couple years ago, I turned my time and attention to the guitar, which has been the hardest instrument for me, by far. However, it’s opened up a whole new level of understanding and satisfaction, and it really opened the door to allowing me to (1) play extended solo gigs, and (2) write my own music.

What music most influenced you growing up?

All the great music my mom and dad listened to. We would go on camping trips, and the playlist had everything from Elton John to Earth Wind and Fire, to Clapton, and so on. In high school, I discovered jazz, which led me to the blues, which brought me to gospel (sort of backwards!). And I fell in love with the gospel sound. All that said, I spent many hours listening to Ray Charles, Nat King Cole, and funny enough, Bradley Nowell from Sublime. I tried hard to emulate their voices as a kid before finding my own.

How is it you landed back in the 805?

Tom: After leaving the military, I wanted to come back to where I grew up, which is Oxnard and Ventura. It’s a pretty magical place.

Where are a few of your favorite places to play?

Tom: I cut my teeth locally, at The Waterside Restaurant in the Channel Islands Harbor. However, some venues that have been particularly good to me (while playing with Milo and Teresa) are The Red Piano in Santa Barbara, Captain Fatty’s in Goleta, and Madwest now and again. These days, I split my time playing between Oxnard/Ventura with Milo or Teresa, and solo gigs around Seattle.

When did you first start writing original tunes?

Tom: I started writing original tunes about a year ago. Until that time, I felt like I had always had some mental block, keeping me from writing original music. With COVID slowing the world down, coming through a tough personal time in life, and then finding new love, I learned that writing (for me) is all about head-space….open space, mentally, to allow my brain and body to communicate feelings I hadn’t quite understood before.

Suburban Gospel is your first release as a solo artist?

Tom: Suburban Gospel is my first release. I’m not typically one who is good at self-promotion or shouting about my successes, but I will say that I’d put the music on Suburban Gospel up against anyone’s; it’s a great album for which I’m incredibly proud. I also have another 15 songs just about complete for album number two.

What does the title suggest?

Tom: I grew up in the church, and I love the gospel sound. I’m also a middle-class white guy who loves the blues, soul…all of it. I thought Suburban Gospel sort of fit what I was going for. For some songs, I get a bit up onto my soapbox (or pulpit), while others are more songs of hope, and then others are love songs. I’m not sure what genre this album is…It’s certainly blues and gospel influenced, but I truly believe I’ve created something uniquely me. It breaks the mold of a “blues” album in too many ways to be considered blues.

What kind of plans do you have in motion to help get the word out?

Tom: I will probably hire some marketing or push toward a label. As of now, I’m hopeful the music will speak for itself, once it comes available May 14.

Where can people find out more?

Tom: Follow me on Instagram @tombuengermusic, or on my website www.thomasbmusic.com.

Closing words?

Tom: Suburban Gospel is available everywhere, beginning May 14. I have a bunch of collaborations in work, and I’m excited to share more music with the world!


Don’t forget to tune into the Pam Baumgardner Music Hour on KPPQ-LP out of CAPS Media at 104.1 FM here in Ventura where you can hear Tom Buenger’s single, “Butter my Bread” off of Suburban Gospel. My show airs Tuesdays at 5 pm with repeats on Fridays at 5 pm and Sundays at noon. You can also listen via the MyTuner app on your smart device or online at CapsMedia.org/radio.

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 4/21/21 – 5/4/21

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

artwork

More As we get back up to speed and navigate social protocols in place to protect us and others, you know, so we don’t slip back into another lockdown, please do your best to abide by the rules. I appreciated the fact that Winchesters had Will Breman read the rules before he started his set last week; he looked a bit worried when a woman got up to dance, but a waitress politely reminded the patron about the “no dancing rule.” She looked a bit put out, but sat back down. Jeez, really? Do what the rest of us do and dance in your seat! It’s a small price to pay as we get this pandemic under control.

Meanwhile, I’m happy to report that Grapes and Hops will reopen on Thursday, April 22, with a new menu and a couple of modifications to the establishment (including full bar coming June 1). Live music is back on the weekends with Dave Parsonage on Friday, April 23, The Swillys 2-5 and “Dive Bar” Steve Kramer 7-10, then on Sunday afternoon 2-5, it’s Shawn Jones.

Quick Notes: Jill Martini & the Shrunken Heads are back to playing Friday evenings 4-6 at the Harbor Cove Café in the Harbor; Pedals & Pints Brewing Company is looking for artists to perform at their establishment, if you’re interested send them an email drink@pedalsandpintsbrewing.com; Concerts in Your Car recently added War to their lineup for Saturday, May 29; and Caffrodite at 1987 E. Main Street has been hosting live music Saturday mornings 9 am – noon.


In this issue of the Breeze, I catch up with Bill Rotella. Bill has sent me music over the past couple of years to share on my radio show and he never ceases to amaze me with his songwriting ability, quality of sound and over all fun vibe. On his latest project, Smoke & the Earthtones delivers the vintage sound of California rock.

Pam: First off, get us up to speed on your musical journey.

Bill Rotella: I guess you could say my musical journey began at eight when my parents got me piano and drum lessons. And, there was a lot of music in my house growing up. My dad, Johnny Rotella, was a top session player in L.A and recorded with some of the great ‘60s and ‘70s artists (Zappa, Turtles, Nillson, The Wrecking Crew, etc.); he took me to sessions and concerts. So, I saw it early. He also wrote songs for Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, etc., which exposed me to the song writing process. My mom, Anna Graziano, was also very musical. Her brother, my Uncle, was Jerry Gray the famous big band arranger for Glenn Miller (String of Pearls, etc.) and she was always singing or playing piano. Hearing music all the time was the first step on that journey.

Then, in college I was playing guitar and started a Southern Rock band, Baywood. We had a large following from playing the CSUN PUB and The Palomino Club in North Hollywood. We were signed by Greenlight productions (Night Ranger) and recorded an album for them and another two albums for an indie label, Bison Records. Baywood was my ‘80’s band. When the ‘90s arrived I formed a new band, Dakota. We were signed to Budweiser and other sponsors for 10 years. We did over 100 shows a year, here and in Europe, …for 20 years. I wrote and recorded three albums for Dakota. Then I went solo for a bit recording three albums before I started a Folk ‘n’ Soul duo, Amber & Smoke in 2016. We performed more than 500 shows and recorded four albums in four years. Now, I perform and record solo and with my album band, Smoke & The Earthtones.

Where have you played in the area?

Bill: My first Ventura County gigs were at The Holiday Inn. I was there monthly in the ‘90s with Dakota. Those were great gigs. That downstairs bar would get packed and the ocean air coming through the patio doors was great…especially at 1:00 a.m. I remember meeting George Martin (Beatles, America producer) sitting at the bar. That was cool. I did a lot of gigs at Café Fiore and Bombay’s as well. In outer Ventura County I play at The Strawberry Festival, DeLiese Cellars, Café Firenze, The Collection Concert Series, Copper Blues and others.

How, when and why did you land in Ventura?

Bill: My agent at the time booked me in Ventura. I was booked a lot in L.A. and I wanted to put some miles between gigs. Not only to avoid saturation, but because I wanted fresh ears for my original music. Now, I live in Ventura County and I have family in Ventura.

Has music been a side labor of love…or your main income over the course of your life?

Bill: When the club scene was healthy, music was my only source of income for many years. However, now it requires many nets. Live performances, song royalties, merchandise sales, song placements, etc. Now I have other sources of income because I’ve chosen to gig a bit less; I recently discovered I’m not 25 years old anymore.

How has the pandemic influenced your life?

Bill: Interestingly, that lemon of a year did become lemonade. (sorry) At first it was a real drag due to cancelled shows. Then all that quarantine time led to a batch of new songs which led to a cool reunion with former bandmates who were all in town from cancelled tours. I wanted to record an album like we used to, in the round, before home studios and bouncing tracks back and forth via the internet. So, I called three of my favorite ex-band members, local guitarist Doug Pettibone (John Mayer, Keifer Sutherland, etc.), Ryan Brown, (drummer with ZPZ band/ Dweezil Zappa) and Trent Stroh (Zeppelin USA). We went into the studio, together, and Smoke & The Earthtones was born. The quarantine experience became the quarantine band and the title track of the new album -Smoke & The Earthtones.

Were there live stream performances, or collaborations with other artists via Zoom or other platforms?

Bill: I heard fans and friends expressing their need for live music. They weren’t alone. All that distancing was taking a toll on us all. So, at the beginning of quarantine I did a series of 11 weekly Facebook concerts – “LIVE @ 5” – which were SO much like doing a bar gig. They could comment back and forth with each other as if they were sitting at a bar. It was cool for them, and me, to stay connected. I also did monthly zoom concerts for a spiritual community.

Tell me more about your most recent project.

Bill: I wrote the song “Smoke & The Earthtones” about a fictitious band that came to the rescue during quarantine, that song led me to actually create the band. The new album features the “Callifornia sound” of the ‘70s and it’s available on vinyl which also is relevant to the lyrics of the song. What are your short-term and long-term plans now that we’re hopefully (knock on wood) seeing the light at the end of the tunnel? Bill: I’m looking forward to that great energy exchange that happens from live shows. Some of my shows here, New York and elsewhere are still not re-booked but we gotta do it right. So, I’m cool with being patient.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Bill: I count my blessings. I’m grateful I had parents who shared their gift of music. So, I’m trying to do the same. My daughter Brianna played flute, autoharp and sang on a few tracks and my young granddaughter Viola appears in a few music videos, turns knobs in the studio and is already showing signs there will be more music coming from the next generation in Ventura.

If you would like to find about more about Bill Rotella and his newest project Smoke & the Earthtones, go to his official website BillRotellaMusic.com. You can view videos, read more about all his past projects as well as finding all the links for his music including Spotify, iTunes, Pandora, and more.


Don’t forget to tune into the Pam Baumgardner Music Hour on KPPQ-LP out of CAPS Media at 104.1 FM here in Ventura where I’ll be spinning the new Smoke & the Earthtones. My show airs Tuesdays at 5 pm with repeats on Fridays at 5 pm and Sundays at noon. You can also listen via the MyTuner app on your smart device or online at CapsMedia.org/radio.

And finally, the latest installment of the VenturaRockSpot has been released featuring Christine Law of Star Goes Nova. Christine is just an amazing artist having worked with so many artists in the past (Suzanne paris, Martha Davis, Charles Law & Jagged, John Baffa) and now she’s ventured into the EDM spectrum of music. Catch this episode and all the previous 27 at VenturaRockSpot.com.

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows (online or live) 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 4/7/21 – 4/20/21

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

Ventura Rocks artwork

More venues are offering live music complying with all the Covid-19 restrictions in place as we continue to move through the tiers. Of course, you need to do your part as well so we don’t ruin it for everyone…again. Wear your mask, keep socially distanced from others not in your party and don’t be rushing the stage (sort of kidding on that one). So far, I’ve seen the posts/listings for live music here in Ventura at Winchesters, Vaquero y Mar (formerly Hong Kong Inn), Café Fiore, Leashless Brewing, Prime, and Copa Cubana; Camarillo has Camarillo Barrelworks (Flatfish Brewing/Cantara Cellars), Relm Wine Beer Bistro; and Oxnard has the Shores, Surfside Seafood, and 1901 Speakeasy. You can find listings on VenturaRocks.com; I update the website whenever I get wind of any live music. It’s a bit of a crap shoot when certain venues don’t list their events on their website or on social media, but a lot of the bands let me know. When I hear, you hear.

A big congratulations to Shane Alexander for landing a national Chevy commercial featuring one of his songs, “Everything as One.” It’s featured in their Drive Safe campaign which literally gave me the chills watching it knowing how much Shane deserves to have his music featured. Very well done Shane…and Chevy!

Interview with Max Kasch

For this issue, I caught up with Max Kasch out of Ojai. I’ve seen Max perform a number of times which included the first time at Zoey’s One to Watch contest back around 2012. He shared top honors with another local performer Derek Jennings that year. I understand the prize was an opportunity to record an EP in Santa Barbara with famed sessions and touring musician Tariqh Akoni (musical director for Josh Groban) along with a bunch of famous musicians including Doug Pettibone. For a lot of people including myself, Max landed on our radar as a young actor in the 2003 movie “Holes” alongside Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight, Shia LaBeouf and Tim Blake Nelson. He can also be seen in “Waiting”, “the Greatest Game Ever Played” and “Whiplash” to name just a few. But even with all his acting credits, music is rightfully and thankfully his passion.

photo of Max Kasch

Pam: I understand music is your passion now, and it has been for some time. I believe the first time I saw you was at Zoey’s…many years ago. Where do you typically perform in the 805?

Max Kasch: Well, truth be told, music was always the passion. It sort of took a while to circle back to it being the direction I wanted to move in. I detoured a bit into the acting world by pure chance and really only pursued it to make a living for my family.
I performed anywhere I could, really. Any place that would have me. Rock City in Camarillo, various Farmers and Makers Markets. Zoey’s was really the only place that gave me a consistent stage to work from and I loved their performers and vibe so it sort of became my main focus.

Pam: How did you first develop your songwriting skills, or did it just come naturally for you?

Max: I think it came naturally. Of course, everything needs to be honed and refined, but I like to think of the process as out of my hands really. When you’re really plugged in, writing is like pulling it out of the ether. Sort of like a conduit to some other realm. When it comes like that, it’s incredibly easy.

Pam: Do you collaborate with other artists? If so, who?

Max: I haven’t collaborated extensively as far as writing together with other artists, but Jesse Siebenberg and I work together producing my music like dancers in a tango.

Pam: That’s a great way to describe a working relationship. Did performing in front of an audience come easily with your acting experience? Or did you need to work on your stage presence and interaction with the audience?

Max: I’m still not really sure if having a stage presence was a conscious decision or something I chose to work on. It really wouldn’t matter to me playing for 3 people or 30,000. I’d do the same show either way. When I’m playing live, I suppose if I really feel like I’m doing what I need to do artistically, I feel nothing. Nothing personally, I mean. I’m neither impressing or disappointing myself. my focus is on doing the songs the way they should be done and communicating with the band effectively and hopefully the people watching or listening are feeling the presence through the music.

Pam: Catch me up on all your produced music to date.


Max: Well a few years ago I had an EP produced by Tariqh Akoni up in Santa Barbara. I did a very limited, unmastered run of CD’s for that release. To date I’ve only released one full length album with Jesse Siebenberg producing. We had a tremendous cast of players on that album that breathed some serious fire into my songs. The likes of Joey Waronker and Bob Seibenberg (Jesse’s father and drummer for Supertramp) Dave Palmer, Dave Levita, Austin Beede, Gabe Noel and Danny Wright.
Pam: How has it been this past year working as a singer/songwriter during the pandemic?
Max: To be honest it was the first time in my life I didn’t have to work. I finally found myself with time and a little money to finish this album. I really focused on writing new material and refining my craft and abilities even more. Beyond that, I didn’t do any zoom shows or live streams and it felt great not having any pressure or demand to do that!

photo of Max Kasch

Pam: What are you currently working on?

Max: Well I currently have a self-titled album “Max Kasch” live on all the streaming platforms and for sale on Bandcamp. I also have two follow-up EP’s complete. One is more of a stripped-down sort of lonesome acoustic cowboy [genre] and the other under the working title “Max Trash” which are very aggressive, experimental tracks that represent a whole other side of my musical tastes and expressions. I’m very excited about putting both out before the year’s end. I’ve compiled so much material over the last few years that it seems intuitive now to just keep releasing things.

Pam: What are your short-term goals; and long-term goals?


Max: Short term goals are to keep refining my craft of songwriting and to self record. I finally put a little money behind some gear and being able to record myself whenever, wherever. I think it’ll open up a lot of new ideas I’d like to get out quickly.
Long term I’d like to maybe pay my rent doing this for a living. Beyond that, it’s all sugar on top!

Pam: Any final parting words for our readers?


Max: Please pick up your trash wherever you go. It’s all headed for the Pacific anyway, but its goddamn unsightly.

I love Max’s parting words! You can follow Max on Instagram at maxkaschmusic or find out more about Max on his Bandcamp page: https://maxkasch.bandcamp.com/releases.

We’ve schedule Max to be a guest on an upcoming episode of the VenturaRockSpot which is a monthly interview show where mostly local artists out of the 805 are interviewed and they share some of their music either live, or with pre-recorded videos. You can view all episodes to date at www.VenturaRockSpot.com where you can see bands/artists such as Guy Martin, the Guitar and Whiskey Club, Bone Maggot, Kelly’s Lot, Kyle Smith and more (28 episodes to date).

And don’t forget to tune into the Pam Baumgardner Music Hour on KPPQ-LP out of CAPS Media at 104.1 FM here in Ventura. My show airs Tuesdays at 5 pm with repeats on Fridays at 5 pm and Sundays at noon. You can also listen via the MyTuner app on your smart device or online at CapsMedia.org/radio.

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows (online or live) 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 3/24/21 – 4/6/21

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

artwork

Spring has sprung and with warmer weather on the horizon, it will be a lot more comfortable supporting live music outdoors at such venues as Winchesters, Leashless and the brand new Vaquero y Mar (formerly the Hong Kong Inn). Along with the venues of course are the drive-in style concerts where you can stay in your car, or just outside on folding chairs. For all the latest listings please visit our music calendar for the daily updates.

And speaking of drive-in concerts, after a winter hiatus, both Concerts in Your Car (Ventura Fairgrounds) and the Canyon at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center are both ramping up with shows schedule in April. Concerts in Your Car has Don Pasquale from Opera Santa Barbara on April 10, Ziggy Marley on April 17 and Hippie Sabotage on April 24. Canyon Club dates are all tribute bands such as 4NR on April 2, Robert Plantation on April 3, Strange Days (Doors) on April 9 and Erotic City (Prince) on April 10.


Meanwhile, I caught up with Will Breman who appeared on NBC’s The Voice just before the pandemic hit where he made it all the way as a semifinalist on Season 17. Will calls the Central Coast home and is currently ramping up for post-pandemic shows.

Will Breman on The VoicePam: What has been the biggest impact to you personally and professionally this past year during the pandemic?

Will Breman: The hardest part of the pandemic last year was cancelling all of my national tour dates. Especially after coming immediately off of a show like NBC’s The Voice, that hit hard. I had to figure out very quickly how to make up for a lot of lost income, as well as hold on to the wave I was riding from the show.

Cancelling a national tour had to be so hard! What else was put on hold?

Will Breman: I had to delay a lot of recording plans. I have a couple projects that I’ve been sitting on top of until recording them in a studio with a group was safer to do. Thankfully though I was fortunate enough to record one of the songs I did on The Voice last year in Nashville with some legitimate studio cats, so at least something got done.

What do you miss the most?

Will Breman: I miss hugging people a lot, especially my close family. I feel like people were a lot less anxious before the pandemic. I think what I miss the most however is being able to play regularly in front of people. Doing it on Zoom is just not the same.

Will BremanHow did you work during the past year (writing/performing/recording)?

Will Breman: I had to switch to a lot of virtual gigging. I’m thankful to have an amazing manager who set me up with a lot of awesome corporate gigs that I could record from home.

Anything good from the close down?

Will Breman: I was able to go back to school. I’m in my second year of my masters in vocal techniques/performance. Now if the whole singer-songwriter thing doesn’t pan out, at least I know I have a career somewhere in opera or teaching at a higher academic level.

What are you most looking forward to doing again?

Will Breman: I’m looking forward the most to seeing, and playing, some excellent live shows. I know coming up I’m working closely with Kristen Stills and a wonderful team at Autism Speaks in hopefully setting up a festival at the Greek Theater in LA sometime in the fall. I’m also slated to open for Paul Thorn at the Lobero around that time, as well as playing Topa Mountain Music Fest. Hopefully there’s more where that came from.

Do you have a game plan coming out of the pandemic?

Will Breman: I know I want to finish those recording projects I’ve been sitting on. I’ve been taking a break from social media lately, but I’m hoping soon to get back into creating some high-quality content for Instagram, Youtube, and TikTok specifically.

For more information on Will Breman go to WillBremanMusic.com or follow him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WillBremanMusic. You can also look for Will on a future episode of the VenturaRockSpot.


Oh! By the way, the VenturaRockSpot is a monthly interview show where mostly local artists out of the 805 are interviewed and they share some of their music either live, or with pre-recorded videos. Will Breman is scheduled to be a guest soon. You can view all episodes to date at www.VenturaRockSpot.com where you can see bands/artists such as Star Goes Nova, Jayden Secor, Medicine Hat, Jodi Farrell and more (27 episodes to date).

And don’t forget to tune into the Pam Baumgardner Music Hour on KPPQ-LP out of CAPS Media at 104.1 FM here in Ventura. My show airs Tuesdays at 5 pm with repeats on Fridays at 5 pm and Sundays at noon. You can also listen via the MyTuner app on your smart device or online at CapsMedia.org/radio.

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows (online or live) 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 2/28-3/13

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

Our community’s heartfelt thanks go out to the Ventura Music Festival for the exceptional talent they brought for the Concert for Ventura on Sunday, February 25 at Mission Park. The free family-friendly concert featured Tom Scott and the LA Express, John Ferguson and friends as well as the VC Singers and VMF Artistic Director, Nuvi Mehta. Both Scott and Ferguson call Ventura home so it was extra special having them perform. The special event was designed to help give thanks to first responders, to solace those who have lost and to celebrate our community through the healing power of music.

JD has announced the dates for this year’s Surf Rodeo and tickets are on sale now at www.SurfRodeo.org. The music line-up is yet to be announced, but know this, the earlier you purchase your tickets, the more you save. The music and surf festival will fall over the weekend of July 14th and 15th at Pierpont Beach at the end of Seaward. Sponsorships, and vendors are lining up as we speak, if you’re interested just go to their website.

I’m sorry to report that we have lost local icon, John Robert Mosby, who passed away on February 19th. Johnny, along with his wife, Jonie, performed as Mr. and Mrs. Country Music recording over a dozen albums, charting seventeen times on the country charts and won two Academy of Country Music awards in the sixties. He was also a life time member of this Academy and served a president for two years in the early 80’s. Though the two loved to tour they decided to buy a club to play in while at home which luckily for Ventura was the Ban-Dar which would continue to be our local Honky-Tonk where the likes of Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard or Johnny Cash would drop in for a spell. Johnny owned and operated the Ban-Dar for over 42 years. There will be a special celebration of his life at the Ventura Beach Club on March 11 with a jam for any musicians who would like to pay tribute.

Quick notes: Dylan Garcia has signed a management deal with Romulo Canizales and he’s gearing up to work with Grammy, Oscar nominated, multi-platinum, Diamond Certified Record Producer Ronnie King for his next single; Wrecking Crew member, Don Randi returns to Squashed Grapes for a CD release party on Saturday, March 3 and then he’ll be performing with Shari Puorto for a Hi Hat Entertainment show at the Hong Kong Inn on Friday, March 16; Tickets are on sale for shows at the Ventura Theater for Flogging Molly on March 19, Ministry on March 23 and the Descendants for May 3; Tickets are on sale for shows at Discovery for Donavon Frankenreiter on March 16 and Ozomatli on March 31; and finally, Winchesters Grill will start offering live music on the weekends starting March 2nd with Dan Grimm.

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 4/26 – 5/9

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

Neal Casal & Chris Robinson pictured. The Chris Robinson Brotherhood played the Ventura Theater 420.

Adam Lasher returns to Ventura for the first time since his stint on American Idol’s season 14. Locals will remember when he used to play in Three Man Weave band at The Good Bar back in the day. Adam’s excited to return to Ventura and will be playing a show at The Star Lounge on Friday, May 5. I’m thinking one’s life changes ever so slightly when Harry Connick Jr calls you a super star though Adam is very modest about all that. He’s certainly enjoying the extra exposure since Idol and he confessed to me that it really holds your feet to the fire holding you to a higher standard. He also embraces the fact that he was parodied on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon that season. You can view that video on Adam’s website (AdamLasherBand.com). He also told me one of the biggest perks was getting more awareness about Type 1 Diabetics as he’s been an advocate for the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation for many years.

The Ojai Bluesfest is finally here! The event will be held at the Ojai Art Center in conjunction with Crooked Eye Enterprises 11-6 pm on Sunday, May 7 featuring Orphan Jon and the Abandoned, Bleeding Harp, Deb Ryder, Michael John and the Bottom Line and Casey Hensley. Find a link for more ticket information at the top of VenturaRocks.com.

Congratulations to Winchesters on their 20th anniversary, and a big thank you to JR for celebrating with two days of live music April 29-30! There will be no cover to catch these bands over the weekend (see VenturaRocks.com for set times): Shaky Feelin’, the Caverns, Mandex, TD Lind, Big Adventure and CRV and more.

Night Demon just released their new album, Darkness Remains, with artwork featuring our very own City Hall in the background as well as a creepy depiction of Father Serra. I got an advance listen, and was able to play it on my radio show at KPPQ-LP here in Ventura at 104.1 FM. I warn you, this one seriously rocks! Information on how and where to get your copy (including limited vinyl) can be found at www.NightDemon.net. Meanwhile the boys are off and running in support of it touring Europe through mid June; I am told they always give a shout out to Ventura wherever they play. They’ll be back home playing the Frost & Fire Festival in October.

Quick notes: Shawn Jones is back from Italy and will be at Grapes and Hops on April 28. Strange Weather returns from S Lake Tahoe for a show at Sans Souci on April 28; the Star Lounge hosts the Falling Doves on April 29 with special guest Travis Marsh; and finally, the Rouse CD release party will be held at the Hong Kong Inn on Saturday, April 29.

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 – 3/18 – 3/31

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
Ventura Just Continues to Rock!
by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com
Pam@VenturaRocks.com

Jim Monahan

Fundraiser for Jim Monahan Sunday, March 22, at Bombay’s.

With spring upon us the Ventura Harbor Village brings back music to the Carousel stage; look for Unkle Monkey on March 22 and Smokey & Friends on March 29.

Speaking of the Harbor, we got wind that Andre (805 Wine and Grill Cheese fame) has snatch up more space and will be opening an Ameri-Cubano restaurant featuring live musical entertainment most days of the week.  We’ll keep you posted, but we hear the ETA is early summer.

Tickets are on sale now for Aaron Carter at Discovery Ventura for Friday, April 24th.  There are a limited number of VIP Meet & Greet tickets as well.

The Bluegrass jam which originally started at Zoey’s over twelve years ago, then migrated to Milano’s for the past year has landed at Golden China on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month.  Gene Rubin told me, “Phil Salazar and I are usually there and the rest is any combination of the 400 who might show up to jam. Typically we get 20 to 30 musicians at any jam, which means they usually break up into 2 or three jam circles. Summers are always even busier.”

Winchesters Grill will host a fundraiser, donating 20% of food sales to Ventura Music Week on Tuesday, March 31.   Get out and support!

Brothers Fortune is the new project from Kyle Hunt.  I reached out to Kyle to find out more and he told me, “I began working on this project over a year ago and it’s been a slow process. Life gets in the way sometimes and it’s taken a long time to say that a new full length album is just round the corner! March 28th (at Bombay’s) will be our first show with a permanent full line up including Jayce Flauding, Marco Perez, John Sagar, Sean Tauber and myself. We’ve only been playing as a whole for a short while, but I’m really looking forward to gigging with these guys!”

Oh! Just a quick follow up after hanging with the crew on their Squashed Grapes float for the St. Patrick’s Day parade on March 14th; we took two trophies, Best in Category and Best in Show!!  The band rocked it with Trey O’Toole, Franklin Murphy, Rj Root, Jacob Scesney and Guil Juliao (who saved the day), but I can’t help to think us dancers helped as well (wink wink).

And finally, The Have a Heart Fundraiser for local musician Jim Monahan will be held at Bombay’s on Sunday, March 22, to help pay for the overwhelming medical bills as he recuperates from cancer and cardiovascular surgery.  Just a few of the musicians on hand to help out will be: the Jimmy Calire Trio, the Vonettes, National Cat, Restless Hillfillies, Alan Thornhill and Martin Young, Solimar, J Peter Boles & Friends and Fishfry.

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 Week: Roadshow Revival & Winchesters

Ventura Music Week saw Roadshow Revival’s a Tribute to the Music of Johnny Cash at the Ventura Fairgrounds…with Winchesters hosting pre & post parties as well as Totally Local VC’s jam on Sunday to wrap up Ventura Music Week.