Ventura Music Scene
by Pam Baumgardner
I really thought I was clever lining up local artists for a short Q&A the past year because frankly, there was very little to write about regarding our music scene other than a lack of a music scene, but that got old fast. So, the Q&A’s were fun and interesting as I caught up with such local artists as Dan Grimm, Tommy Marsh, Will Breman, Natalie Gelman, Chulz Torrez, Guy Martin, Christine Law and so many more. We heard about how they had been holding up during the pandemic and what they had been up to and what new music they had been working on lately. (They’re all archived by the way on VenturaRocks.com) Well I had one lined up for this issue, but I got burned, and he missed the deadline, so lucky for me, we actually have a music scene starting to come back to life for me to write about now!
In my last column I mentioned how it looked like the days of Concerts in your Car were numbered and I was right, Nelly was the last show on Saturday, June 12. I was severely disappointed that Vanilla Ice with Tag Team #WhoopThereItIs was taken off their calendar, that is until I opened an email from CBF Productions and found they’ve been rescheduled to perform here in town after all. CBF Productions are the good folks who brought you Concerts in Your Car, California Beer Festival, Winter Wine Walk, and yes, the Tequila and Taco Music Festival where you can now see both Vanilla Ice and Tag Team #WhoopThereItIs over the weekend of July 24. Last year of course was cancelled due to the pandemic and previous years it was held at Plaza Park, but this year the festival will be held at Surfer’s Point at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. I’ll be honest, it will be good to walk on solid ground (as opposed to the park) after a tasting or two of tequila, and definitely after one of those fiery margaritas they have for sell. Saturday it’s the two hip-hop/rap artists, and then Sunday features tribute to Selena & Latina artists. Tickets on sale now at TequilaAndTacoMusicFestival.com.
Adam and Josh have been slowly but surely getting their new jazz club, the Grape, ready to open their doors to the general public, and the timing couldn’t be better as the county continues to reopen and allow businesses to get back to…business. I just spoke to Josh and he told me they’re looking at the second week in July. YES, FINALLY!! Now you may have seen a post on social media about a show at the Grape on July 8, but that will be a live-stream featuring Karl Hunter, Hans Ottsen, Guil Juliao and Adam Clark (Adam’s back in town for a mere week or so). Adam and Josh are working on dates for Mike Garson’s return, and I hear Doug Webb and Danny Carey are eager to play the new joint as soon as they can. The new jazz house will definitely be a feather in the cap of Ventura’s music scene, and I for one can barely wait to check it out.
Cadillac Zack has landed a new venue for his blues shows at Cantara Cellars in Camarillo. It’s recommended to get your tickets in advance so you don’t miss out when shows sell out. You can do so by calling or texting (323) 377-5291. Tickets range from $20 to $35 with all shows starting at 8 pm; doors open at 7. Currently the line-up includes Jimmy Vivino, bandleader for the Conan O’Brien show on Friday, June 25; Guitar Shorty, blues legend and Hendrix’s step-brother, on Friday, July 9; Laith Al-Saadi, brilliant guitarist and finalist on NBC’s The Voice on Friday, July 16; and Josh Smith, famed modern blues guitar genius on Friday, July 23. August dates include Chris Cain, the Atomic 44’s (formerly The 44’s), Paule Cerra and Lionel Young.
Quick Notes: Winchester’s is hosting “Burning Mask Ventura” on Sunday June 27 from 1 pm to 7 pm with live music from Two’s Company, the Bomb and Spencer the Gardener; there’s actual live music at Bombay’s on Saturday, June 26 starting at 5 pm with the Swizzlers, Vonettes and Fish Fry; catch Tuesday Blues Day evenings at Copa Cubana featuring Jerry McWorter, Ed Berghoff and Shawn Jones this month; Franck L. Goldwasser has a date at Namba on Saturday, June 19; and finally, are you’re missing a little Nardcore? Well Rock & Roll Pizza in Camarillo will be hosting Tuesday night Nardcore nights starting June 22 with Out of Trust and the Robot Uprising.
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.