Interview: Nine Mile Skid

Nine Mile SkidVentura Rocks got wind that there was a new collaboration going on, a new band, serious local musicians having some fun playing the Grateful Dead – so we had to investigate.  Turns out our old and dear friend Chris Jensen is just one of the many talented artists in the band.  They had played downtown Ventura on a Saturday afternoon, and I was super bummed to have to miss having an earlier obligation to fulfill.  But I’m making it up by doing a little big of a Q&A with a few of the guys including the mastermind behind the project, Evan Grosswirth.

But before we continue, just a quick acknowledgement to Gary Sula-Goff for REPRESENTING.  God I love seeing our t-shirts out and about!!

So Chris Jensen, you’re always working on so many different projects between your photography and a couple different bands at any given time.  What do you have going currently?

Chris Jensen:  This week it’s basically three, 9MS, 50xTNT (50 Sticks of Dynamite) and Fido which is presently booking their bi-annual show TBA…Swing Cheese seems to be on hiatus.   I’m super excited about Nine Mile Skid though.

Big Dead fan Chris?

Chris:  I purchased my 3 LP set of The Grateful Dead – Europe 72 when it came out in 1972…and devoured it.

So then whose bright idea was it to create this band?

Chris:  That would be Evan Grosswirth…he’s our fearless leader.

Well Evan?

Evan Grosswirth:  I started this band about six months ago because of my passion for Grateful Dead music. I wanted to join up with others that shared that enthusiasm.  So we put together 9 Mile Skid.

What would you call the genre?  Grateful Dead tribute band?  Dead cover tunes?

Evan:  The genre would be psychedelic jam Rock…. I guess!   We are more of a Dead Cover band than an actual Tribute band…. if there’s really a difference.. With this music there is so much latitude to stretch out.  And hey, the Dead never did the same song the same way anyway so……..

Chris:  9MS play homage to the music of the Grateful a Dead…all Dead all the time…including cult favorite songs e.g. “He’s Gone,” “Cumberland Blues,” “China Cat Sunflower,” “Mr. Charlie,” “Althea,” “Sugaree”,  Eyes of the World” and others…let us know your favorite dead tune…we take requests!

Nine Mile Skid comes from The Grateful Dead song, “He’s Gone.”  What were some other titles you guys have been throwing around for a name for the band?

Evan: I kicked around a few other names but everyone liked this and we decided to use it.

What era of Dead tunes are you covering? Are you staying away from the “radio favorites”?

Evan: We really are not concentrating on any time period, just trying to choose good tunes. But we are staying away from the ones that you can hear on the radio.  But…. Truckin’ is always a favorite. You can do a pretty righteous jam on that one too.

Ventura has always been Dead friendly, more than other communities I’ve lived and worked in.  Why do you think that’s so?

Evan: I really couldn’t say exactly why.  I do know that our town has a very rich and vibrant music scene that can outshine most places in this country. I know that from all of the traveling that I’ve done by way of my job as a pilot. The  vibe of Ventura definitely aligns with the Grateful Dead vibe .   It’s a good fit.

Do you feel younger people embrace the Grateful Dead?  If yes, why?

Evan:  I am continually and pleasantly surprised to find the amount of younger people that dig this music.  I think it’s all about the soul. The younger people who this music appeals to share the same soul as the folks who discovered it originally. It’s certainly not mainstream and we kind of like that. The people who dig it, really dig it. Not a lot of middle ground.

You guys have some social media in place to help spread the word?  Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, stickers?

Nine Mile SkidEvan:  We just started playing out and we have a Facebook page that we just put up. As far as other social media,,,, nothing yet but that’s coming soon.  I kind of figured that if a person wants to check out a Dead tune on Youtube, well they are more than likely going to want to see the original band , not some , uh, shall I say, Other Ones!   But we do have Stickers!

What dates do you have lined up so far (doesn’t have to be just in Ventura)?

Chris:  Dec, 10 at Green Art People, Dec 28 at Amigo’s

Thanks boys!  Looking forward to seeing the band soon!!

Nine Mile SkidThe line up (per photo left to right)

Gary Sula-Goff (guitar) plays in Mojo Filter, The Delfinos, Arvee Park.

Paddy Marsh (guitar) Crooked Eye Tommy, The High Grade Pats, and the Lousy Drunken Uncles.

Brad Strickland (guitar) also plays with Mojo Filter and occasionally with his own jazz/rock band Fever Dream.

Chris Jensen (drums) from 50 Sticks of Dynamite, Fido, Swing Cheese.

Evan Grosworth (bass) has played with The Preachers and many others around town…you’ve undoubtedly heard Evan at the Wed blues jams at Bombay.

Roy Katnic (guitar) plays in Deadiquette and the Laundry Love Band.

Always to be sure to check in with calendar listings for all future shows of Nine Mile Skid!

Nine Mile Skid

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze – 11/26 – 12/9

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
Getting into the Swing of Things
by Pam Baumgardner

Ventura Jazz OrchestraIt’s good to have Alistair Greene back after hitting the road with Mickey Thomas and Starship earlier this month. Thomas is the voice behind such hits as “Jane,” “Find Your Way Back” (Jefferson Starship), and “We Built this City” as well as “Sara” (Starship). Greene told me, “I’m very fortunate to have the chance to play with such a legendary singer and band as Starship featuring Mickey Thomas. I’m filling in for my buddy John Roth who is on tour with Winger at the moment. Mickey and the band sound amazing, and it’s a blast playing all those great hits from his career. He still sounds like he did in the 70s!”

Nothing like a big band dance to get you into the holiday spirits! Ventura Jazz Orchestra’s Holiday Swing soiree with the vocal stylings of Donna Greene will be at the Poinsettia Pavilion on Friday, December 5, featuring great songs from all eras you can dance to. Call for ticket information at (805) 648-1143.

Speaking of a throwback to a “simpler” time, The Saloon BBQ at 456 E. Main Street will be throwing a bash also on Friday, December 5, with a Prohibition Repeal party, “The 21st Amendment Jubilee”. There will be beverage specials all day long with live music starting at 8:00 with The Rachel Sorsa Band and their 1930’s style of jazz.

Chris Jensen from 50 Sticks of Dynamite gave me the head’s up about a project he’s been working on with fellow Ventura musicians, Evan Gosworth, Roy Katnic, Paddy Marsh, Brad Strickland and Gary Sula-Goff. It’s a Grateful Dead tribute band called Nine Mile Skid. They have a couple of dates lined up including December 10 at Green Art People, then on December 28 at Amigos’s on Main Street.

Under new ownership, Rock City Studios in Camarillo will be pulling out all the stops for their grand re-opening on Friday, December 5, with the national touring act, Dead Sara. The Galvanized Souls will open the show.

The Golden China is offering more music more often along with their nightly Karaoke. Thursdays continue to offer swing, Fridays have a DJ with Cumbia music and now Sunday evenings will be devoted to Reggae. Don’t forget they have an open mic night Tuesdays starting at 6:00 with the back line provided.

The whole family will enjoy the street fair along Main Street in downtown Ventura on December 6. What a great way to get unique gift ideas for the holidays including the highly prized t-shirt! The Winter Wine Walk kicks off at 4:00 with snowfall at California and Main beginning at 6:45. Music will be provided by The Bomb, The Midnight Band and the British Beats.

And finally, congratulations to Todd Hannigan on his recent marriage to artist Brigette Lopez. They tied the knot in November in Ojai. I can’t wait to hear the music she’ll be inspiring out of him!

If you have any music related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing?  Send all information short or long to

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 – 11/12 – 11/25

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
Ventura Music
by Pam Baumgardner

Brothers GowVentura Music Week doesn’t roll around until June, but a couple of meetings have already taken place and though the City hasn’t offered a budget to help out, we’re moving forward with several fundraising events taking place over the next few months. With a shoestring budget in the past and a handful of volunteers, this event has shaped up and grown over the past couple of years but there is much work to be done to achieve the committee’s vision. And yes, while it is a celebration of how cool our music scene is, it’s more about getting the word out about what Ventura has to offer not only to visitors, but to our own community. Our venues should be packed. Our artists should be celebrated and supported. That is the purpose behind this event.

Brothers Gow will return to Ventura in support of their 4th studio release, “Reflections” at Bombay’s on Thursday, November 20. The band’s high energy eclectic fusion of rock, funk, jazz and reggae is totally contagious. I recent spoke to Kyle Merrill (guitarist for Brothers Gow) about their return to our fair city and I asked him about what people can expect at the show and Merrill said, “We love to make people dance! We have an energetic stage presence fueled by powerful vocal harmonies, complex arrangements, and ripping guitar solos. To top it all off we have an awe inspiring light show run by our very own Matt Collier AKA MC6.” You can see complete interview at

The 14th Annual 4-Kids-2Kids Toy Drive will be held on November 22 at the all new Ventura Beach Club at 281 West Main Street. The music lineup features some of our favorite musicians including Ray Jaurique and the Uptown Brothers, Tommy Marsh and Bad Dog, The Guy Martin Band, Mojo Filter, Preston Smith and harmonica wizard Jon Gindick. Special honorary guest will be Nick St. Nicholas, founding member of Steppenwolf. A ten dollar cover and a new unwrapped toy will get you in the door.

The Ventura Harbor is once again offering their “Wine, Dine & Jazz” series through the month of November on Sunday afternoons Noon – 3 pm. You can still catch Hans Ottsen & Friends on the 16th and Justin Claveria Trio on the 23rd.

I’m looking forward to one of my favorite events of the year the Ventura Winter Wine Walk which is coming up on Saturday, December 6, downtown Ventura. The day begins with a street fair at noon with vendors and live entertainment (free to the public) and then the wine walk commences at 4:00 with snowfall at California and Main streets from 6:45 to 8:00. Musical entertainment will come from The Bomb, The Midnight Band and the British Beats. If you’d like more information and or to get your tickets before they sell out, go to

And finally, congratulations go out to Discovery for getting through the City’s permitting process. Now let’s get back to having live music, permanently!

If you have any music related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Send all information short or long to

Brothers Gow

Brothers GowOriginally out of Flagstaff, AZ, Brothers Gow are currently bassed out of San Diego and will be making their third appearance in Ventura.  With an eclectic fusion of rock, funk, jazz and reggae, the band’s contagious energy is sure to win over more fans with their next gig Brothers Gow Reflectionsin Ventura at Bombay’s on November 20.

Brothers Gow just released their 4th studio album called “Reflections” and is currently touring through the Western US states from Arizona and New Mexico to Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and California.

Ventura Rocks:  We’re looking forward to the band’s return to Ventura later this month (November 20) at Bombay’s. For those who aren’t yet familiar with the band, describe your sound and what they can expect at one of your shows.

Kyle Merrill:  Thanks! We’re really excited to be returning to Ventura! As far as the band goes we play an eclectic fusion of rock, funk, jazz, and reggae. We love to make people dance! We have an energetic stage presence fueled by powerful vocal harmonies, complex arrangements, and ripping guitar solos. To top it all off we have an awe inspiring light show run by our very own Matt Collier AKA MC6.
Brothers GowVentura Rocks:  The band does pretty well touring. How often do you get out on the road?

Merrill:  We try to hit the road once every two months, but with our new partnership with Hoplite we hope to be on the road as much as possible!

Ventura Rocks:  Tell us about how you came to be a Hoplite Entertainment Artists and what does that mean for the band?

Merrill:  We have been searching for a booking agent for a long time now. A booking agency needs to see that you can sell tickets in your hometown, and that you’ve been touring and paying your dues on the touring circuit. It is very difficult to land a booking agency. In today’s music industry getting a booking agent is more important than a record contract. The money is in live shows and not in CD sales. We pride ourselves in our live shows and want to play for as many people as possible and Hoplite will help us make that happen!

Brothers Gow

Ventura Rocks:  We always love hearing how bands give back to the community. You guys started a non-profit called the Brothers Gow Music Foundation. What do you hope to accomplish with it?

Brothers GowMerrill:  With budget cuts in schools more and more arts and music programs are being cut. We feel that art and music are crucial for a child’s development. If we wouldn’t have had band and music classes in middle school and high school I don’t know if we would be doing what we are today, and following our passion. Even if kids aren’t going to pursue music and art as a career it still helps them learn valuable skills for the real world. We have donated 18 guitars and ukeleles to our local OB elementary school. We are in talks with the nation wide not for profit, Guitars in Classrooms, about donating guitars to them. Our goal is to take donations from the different cities we tour in, and donate guitars to schools in those cities.

Ventura Rocks:  How can people keep in contact with the band? What types of social media do you keep up with?

Merrill:  We stay very active with our Facebook and Instagram accounts. We also post a lot of videos to our youtube channel. Not just concert videos but funny videos and our own day in the life reality show, “Life of Gow”

Instagram Handle: Brothersgow
People can also check out our website,

Ventura Rocks:  Anything else you’d like Ventura to know?

Merrill:  If you come out to our show, you’re gonna have a good time! This is not just a group of guys playing music, it’s a performance with a full light show that will leave people feeling great!

Brothers Gow:
Alex Gow Bastine – Keyboards/Vocals
Ethan Wade – Guitar/Vocals
Kyle Merrill – Guitar/Trumpet/Vocals
Nathan Walsh-Haines – Drums/Vocals
Carson Church – Bass