Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 12/16/20 – 12/29/20

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

Breeze artwork

With most of Southern California under another lockdown, live in person music, has been put back on hold; and it turns out, both the Canyon Club at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center and Concerts in Your Car at the Fairgrounds are on hiatus until at least mid-January. You can see live performances on social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube, but for the most part, we just need to hunker down, be patient, and hope this new vaccine will be our saving grace.

I’m sorry to report that The Winery Ventura is shutting their doors by the end of this year. They had so many great live performances there the past couple of years. The building which holds their lease has been sold, and instead of pushing the agreement with the new owners, they decided to close. They are having a blow out sale which you are welcomed to support with great deals on not only their wine, but tables, chairs, plants, etc… They’ll be open Fridays 5-7, Saturdays noon-5, and Sundays noon – 2. Do note: The Grape jazz club is still scheduled to open this June barring anymore pandemic shenanigans.
One of the previously mentioned online performances will be coming from the Namba Performing Arts space on Sunday Dec 20 at 7 pm featuring Jayden Secor, Power2ThePeople, Joe Henry III, Delta by the Beach, Kris Simeon, Aaron Burch, Medicine Hat and Fred Kaplan & Robert Kyle. The money raised ($10 streaming donation fee) goes to benefit Namba which is a 501c-3 non-profit organization. Get the lowdown at
And though Jodi Farrell’s Music Studio 2020 Holiday Recital is available online. The production is a collaborative effort of her studios producing home videos to share some holiday musical cheer. You can view the recital at
Gary Best w/ Pam Baumgardner photoI reached out to local musician Gary Best for a little Q&A, and he was happy to oblige. It’s always a treat to run into Gary out and about supporting other bands and artists when he’s not playing. You might know Gary from the local Improv group here in Ventura, and seeing him perform in Los Dudes. I’ve been playing his original tunes (which are really good!) on the Pam Baumgardner Music Hour on KPPQ-LP at 104.1 FM here in Ventura.

Pam: How long did it take for you to gain confidence that you actually have skills?

Gary: I am a fearless dilettante. I never wait to have the skill to do anything. I usually dive in and learn to swim as I go. You can tell from reactions if any song works. I try to keep writing.

When did you first start writing songs?

Gary: In high school. My songwriting partner moved to my town and he played James Taylor and Cat Stevens and the Beatles. I sort of stalked him until he taught me chords and I wrote songs to impress him. Still do.

When did you start recording them?

Gary: We had a reel to reel back then and started playing with recording techniques. I started going to Nashville in the 90’s to demo songs. My first trip was with Jonathan McEuen and Jimmy Adams.

How did that evolve into playing in a band?

Gary: A dozen years ago a local group had a gig and one of their members had just dropped out. I had always done Johnny Cash at parties so I volunteered. Thus was born the legendary garage band, Los Dudes.
I always try to hang around people that know more than me.

Do you have a producer you work with?

Gary: Locally I love working with Jesse Seibenberg. He can play anything and has a wonderful ear. He always makes my songs better than they are.

What’s the Randy Parsons connection?

Gary: When I retired, I started looking for new projects. My original songwriting partner, Bruce Scism, was building guitars in Nashville so when I saw Parsons Guitar Building School I was already primed to the idea. I picked a pretty difficult build for my first and Randy was really game to give it a go. Great guy. Lucky to have him in our community.

How has the Pandemic affected you as an artist? Personally?

Gary: It’s been a boon to me artistically. I got a lot more work done in the last 9 months writing songs and painting. I’m starting a Podcast; which is exciting.
I miss seeing and hearing music and art which is how I get inspired and steal ideas. I’m a pretty social animal so I miss seeing friends.

Are you still working with your improv group? And if so, in what capacity?

Gary: The Ventura Improv Company is certainly looking forward to doing shows again. I haven’t encouraged our people to do Zoom shows. I haven’t seen many that work real well. I’m still Artistic Director, as far as I know, but the ship is in harbor.

What goals do you have in the near future…pandemic or not?

Gary: The podcast I mentioned… it was inspired by a song of mine called, “My Daddy Never Cried.” Friends sort of spontaneously started sharing stories of and about their fathers. My sister, Brenda, suggested we might have the basis of a book or collection. We should be rolling it out early next year.
Other than that, to just keep writing and producing art in my own way. It’s what I do.

It’s all holiday music produced locally and mostly original on the Pam Baumgardner Music Hour on KPPQ-LP for the next two weeks. I’ll be spinning tunes from Gary Best, Jill Martini & the Shrunken Heads, Warren Takahashi, Kelly Zirbes, Professional Americans and more. The program airs Tuesdays and Fridays at 5 pm and Sundays at noon at 104.1 FM, online at or by using the MyTuner radio app for your smart device.

Happy holidays to you and yours. Here’s to putting 2020 behind us (too many jokes about 2020 vision). I’m wishing you peace, health and prosperity, along with a hefty dose of live music for 2021. Take care, be safe and rock on.

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, and for updated music listings daily, go to

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 12/2/20 -12/15/20

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

Ventura Rocks artworkIt’s the last month of the year, a year that will go down in history where music scenes everywhere took a major hit including our quant little Ventura. But now with a vaccine or two on the horizon, let’s hope 2021 shows a slow yet steady recovery. All those venues that provided live music pre-pandemic will need your help getting back up to speed. Meanwhile, please continue to be diligent when venturing out as the pandemic numbers have risen yet again. Do your part and social distance and wear your mask to help reduce the spread of the virus.

The Canyon Club at Oxnard Performing Art Center continues to add more concerts (see listings on this page), and if you’re a fan of The Beatles, then you won’t want to miss The Fab Four who have been a professional tribute band for the past 23 years. The band has a couple of CDs to their credit, including their popular HARK! Christmas CD, which features traditional Christmas songs done in that unmistakable Beatles style. They’ve also released a live concert CD and a CD of their Emmy-winning 2012 PBS special, “The Fab Four: The Ultimate Tribute.” The Fab Four plays Friday, December 4.

Here in Ventura, Concerts in Your Car has a handful of shows before a short break at the beginning of the year. Still to come this year, Iration on Friday, December 4, and then a couple of stage productions including a live drive-in opera of Carmen on Sunday, December 6, the Nutcracker from Ventura County Ballet on Saturday, December 12 (two shows 5 and 8 pm) and Santa Saves Christmas on Saturday December 19. The same venue has been offering actual drive-in movies in between concerts, and leading up to Christmas, they’ve lined up a number of holidays classics including Elf, the Polar Express, The Santa Clause, Dr. Seuss How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the Jim Carrey version) and of course, A Christmas Story. For more information on any of these shows, or ticket prices, just go to

The 3rd annual Doc the Halls, Holiday Blues show with Doc Ventura will be held virtually this year out of Namba Performing Arts space on Sunday, December 6 from Noon until 6 pm. For the cost of admission (a mere $10), you can catch performances online live from Delta by the Beach, Mark McKinney, Tom Buenger, Robert Kyle & Alyse Korn, Lucious Spiller, the Ventura County Ballet Company, Freda Ramey and Frank Barajas.

We’ve continued to produce monthly episodes of the VenturaRockSpot which features local bands and artists. You’ll want to check out our current interview with the talented Jodi Farrell. You can either go to (listed on homepage), or go directly to which includes past episodes featuring such bands as Kelly’s Lot, How to Live with Robots, Mark Masson of Shaky Feelin’, Kyle Smith, Crooked Eye Tommy and more. We currently have 22 episodes posted for your listening pleasure.

Quick Notes: The Forty Nineteens just released their latest single, “Go Little GTO” which takes the 1966 GTO out of the garage for a ride on Sunset Strip where the bandmates learned their chops; and the Mighty Cash (Michael J and Leticia) will be performing at a social distanced, free concert at Chuy’s in Simi Valley on Saturday, December 12.

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, and for updated music listings daily, go to

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 11/18/20 – 12/1/20

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

Ventura Rocks artworkThere’s no doubt about it, the drive-in theater live concert events are about the only way you can take in a full band performing live music, and of course it’s the safest way if the folks in your car are quarantine buddies, so I’m happy to see more of these events popping up such as the one in Camarillo, and before you judge, keep an open mind because this one is serving up opera! The Ventura Music Festival has partnered with POP (Pacific Opera Project) and they boldly state, “If you think you hate opera, you haven’t seen a POP performance!” It all takes place for a limited time in the United Methodist Church parking lot at 291 Anacapa Drive. Coming up over the weekend of the 20 and 21 is a double bill featuring the US premiere of two rare, comic one-act Gluck operas, La Corona and Il Parnaso Confuso. Take a chance, take the family and enjoy some opera! Get more information at

The Canyon Club at Oxnard Performing Art Center continues to add more concerts (see listings on this page) and they are typically of the tribute band variety with upcoming shows highlighting bands such as Van Halen, The Beatles, Elton John (the early years) and more.
Here in Ventura, Concerts in Your Car has Kaskade on November 20 (sold out), Bush the following night on November 21, Yachtley Crew on November 27, and Iration on December 4. They’re also offering up some opera on December 6 with a live performance of Carmen presented by Opera SB; then on Saturday, December 12, the Ventura County Ballet will provide entertainment to get you into the holiday mood with two performances of The Nutcracker (5 and 8 pm). For more information on any of these shows, go to

Namba Arts continues to host live-streaming events every other weekend out of their studios. The next one will be held on Sunday, November 22 with Delta by the Beach, Solstice, FILI, Freda Ramey, String Planet, and the Rayjay & Flattop Tom Blues Duo. These events help keep Namba alive with a cover of $10 per performance which are hosted by Doc Ventura. You can look them up on Facebook or go to for details.

Quick Notes: Camarillo Barrelworks is offering live music solo/duo again (see listings); have dinner with “Frank” at Prime Tuesdays and Thursdays with Danny D; the Swillys play Grapes and Hops the night before Thanksgiving; Teresa Russell plays Wednesdays at Surfside Seafood in Port Hueneme, and Brittney Burchett with Ben Buttner plays Four Brix Winery on Sunday November 22.

Watching the fluctuation of the number of COVID-19 cases, it’s more important than ever to be diligent when venturing out, please do your part and social distance and wear your mask to help reduce the spread of the virus.

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, and for updated music listings daily, go to

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 11/4/20 – 11/17/20

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

Graphic of Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze I guess it was bound to happen, and it finally did on Halloween when the first Concerts in Your Car was cancelled with a notice going out. “Aaron and Sully have made the difficult decision to cancel the remainder of their American Drive-in Tour. We know you are disappointed, and understand the challenges in touring nationally during a pandemic. We hope to have all of this behind us soon.” Of course, all tickets holders should receive full refunds within 5-7 business days. I have to admit my heart skipped a beat and a cold sweat hit me when I drove by that evening on my way home from a friend’s house in Ojai. The parking lot was empty and dark, and I thought to myself, “Did I get it wrong?” Did I list the wrong day on It’s hard enough running a venue and booking artists let alone trying to do that during a pandemic. So, hats off to the crew behind the scenes. By the way, there are still a number of concerts and movies up until they’ll be offering “Holidays in Your Car” through the end of the year with just a handful of dates dark. No live music as far as I can tell, but it should be quite the visual sight with over a million animated lights for the whole family to enjoy. Meanwhile, they still 311 with two shows on Saturday, November 14, the sold out Kaskade show on Friday, November 20, and Bush on Saturday, November 21.

The next New West Symphony online concert, A Tour of India, takes place on Sunday, November 15, which will include a live Q&A with Maestro Michael Christie. The musical program will explore the influences that Indian and western classical musical traditions have upon each other. More information and tickets can be found at

The Ventura Music Festival is celebrating Beethoven’s Birthday with two admission-free online shows, Sundays, November 15 and 22 at 4 pm with pre-recorded live performances by pianist Adam Golka. Remarks by Artistic Director Nuvi Mehta accompany each program and an interview with Golka is planned. To reserve your spot, go to

Namba Arts will be hosting another live-streaming event out of their studios on Sunday, November 8. This one features Kris Simeon, Delta by the Beach, Richard Aufrichtig, Power2thePeople, Aaron Burch Band and Fred Kaplan & Rob Kyle. These events help keep Namba alive with a cover of $10 per performance which are hosted by Doc Ventura. You can look them up on Facebook or go to for details.

Quick Notes: Caffrodite Community Collective is now offering live acoustic music with limited seating; Ken Devoe plays Copa Cubana Saturday and Sunday afternoons; and Winchester’s is expanding their music to include both Thursdays and Sundays. Artists who have released new music include Colette Lovejoy’s self-titled debut and Alastair Greene’s “The New World Blues” produced by Tab Benoit.

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, and for updated music listings daily, go to

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze – 10/21/20 – 11/3/20

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

Ventura Rocks artwork
We’re wrapping up October and music is finally resuming, albeit on a slow and cautious path. Heeding warnings and following the new guidelines is not available for all restaurants and venues as they don’t have the space to give up, specifically 20 feet to keep artist apart from patrons. Be patient, it’s happening.

When I first reported that the Beach Boys were playing Concerts in Your Car on Friday, October 23, I mentioned that John Stamos had played drums with the band in the past, so he just might show up. Well while checking for the latest Concerts in Your Car updates, the listing now has the Beach Boys with special guests John Stamos, and wait for it…Mark McGrath lead singer of Sugar Ray who has also co-hosted Extra (formerly on NBC). Other shows to look forward to include the former members of Oingo Boingo on Saturday, October 24; the voices of Godsmack & Staind, Aaron Lewis & Sully Erna together for the American Drive-in tour on Saturday, October 31; two shows on Saturday, November 14, with 311; and already sold out, Kaskade on Friday, November 20.

The New West Symphony is presenting a reimagined 2020/2021 season; and since you can’t be with them in the concert hall, they’re taking New West Symphony to you with eight virtual mini-festivals this season. “Tour of Japan” took place from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and the Kavli Theatre at the Bank of America Performing Arts Center on Sunday, October 18. The next couple of performances are “A Tour of India” on November 15, and “Violins of Hope” on January 24. Details and ticket information will be listed four weeks in advance of each show at

The newest episode of the VenturaRockSpot has been posted and the video can be found on the homepage of This time around I interview Hunter Ackerman of Hunter and the Dirty Jacks who have played Grapes and Hops here in Ventura and a number of venues in Ojai including the Deer Lodge and Topa Mountain Winery. Again, many thanks to Michelle Hoover and GWC Productions for producing the show.

The mission statement for, and the reason I write this music scene column has changed very little over the past 11 years, the mission is to stimulate the economy by promoting venues who offer music thus supporting local musicians and those who come here to play. It becomes very tricky to maintain this objective during a pandemic. Please do your part and support the venues who are offering live music and please for the love of all that is good in the world, practice safe distancing and wear your mask when not eating or drinking. We can get Ventura back to rockin’ again, but you have to do your part.

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, and for updated music listings daily, go to

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 10/7 – 10/20

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

artworkVentura’s music scene is far from rockin’ but at least the process of healing has begun and the County/City is allowing music once again as long as venues follow their strict rules to keep everyone concerned safe. Though I shared it in my last column, it bears repeating what is allowed, “Live solo or duet (from same household) singers/musicians can perform outdoors at restaurants, bars, or wineries. The soloist/duet must stay at least 20 feet away from patrons and not amplify the music to the point where people have to lean in to be heard. The live music cannot cause people to gather. It should be for the benefit of the business patrons who are already seated and not to attract people to gather around the performers and/or stage. All other local and state guidance must be followed.”

Stepping up to the plate to date here in town are Leashless Brewing, Winchesters, Bombay Bar and Grill, the Winery and Copa Cubana. I’m as diligent, if not more than most, when it comes to taking the virus seriously. I hope all venues will heed the rules and ensure there is space between the musician (s) and the patrons. Not all venues have the luxury of the extra space needed, which is sad, but at least we’re on the road now to heading back to more live music.

Just added to Concerts in Your Car (CIYC) at the fairgrounds here in Ventura is the band 311 which pretty much defies being pigeon-holed into one genre. Hip hop, rock, reggae, funk, in a nutshell? Flat out danceable fun. The band is playing two shows on Saturday, November 14. The other two venues for CIYC have ramped up and I’m happy to report that all bands playing in Arizona or San Diego have or will be playing here locally.

New music on the scene includes Star Goes Nova, a project by my good friend Christine Law who is known as a bassist supporting such acts as hard rockers, Tantrum back in the day, and her husband’s band, Charles Law & Jagged and Suzanne Paris. She calls it melodic bass and dubstep cinemata EDM (Electronic Dance Music) and she sent me the single, “The Apprentice.” Another good friend has been hard at work producing music on her own for the first time, Sally Williams of the Swilly’s and she worked with Doug Pettibone and Taras Prodaniuk; she sent me her single called “Suffering.” And finally, Bill Rotella is about to release a new album next month called Smoke and the Earthtones, he sent me a single off of it called, “The Other Side.” I’m super excited to share all three songs on the Pam Baumgardner Music hour (episode 119) which airs Tuesdays and Fridays at 5 and Sundays at noon, and will run 10/6 – 10/18 at 104.1 FM, KPPQ-LP out of Caps Media.

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, and for updated music listings daily, go to

(post deadline: RIP Eddie Van Halen, you changed Rock ‘n’ Roll forever and took it to the next step.

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 9/23/10 – 10/6/20

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

Ventura Rocks artwork

There is a fabulous resource as we navigate all the do’s and don’ts during the pandemic. It’s the website and it has a “roadmap” to reopening and states, “Live solo or duet (from same household) singers/musicians can perform outdoors at restaurants, bars, or wineries. The soloist/duet must stay at least 20 feet away from patrons and not amplify the music to the point where people have to lean in to be heard. The live music cannot cause people to gather. It should be for the benefit of the business patrons who are already seated and not to attract people to gather around the performers and/or stage. All other local and state guidance must be followed.”

Don’t you agree that sounds fair, though I’m not sure most venues have an extra 20 feet of empty space to spare. But let’s see how it unfolds and hope each City gets on board, and with any luck at all, we can enjoy our local artists while supporting our favorite venues hoping they’ll provide live music again at such venues as Peirano’s, Winchesters, Grapes and Hops, Leashless, Boatyard Pub, Bombay’s, etc….

Meanwhile the crew from Concerts in Your Car continue to add acts including Slightly Stoopid, Chris Janson, the Beach Boys, Aaron Lewis & Sully Erna, and two shows with DJ Snoopadelic. Most shows start at $99 per car and as I reported before, you get to decide the volume as you run control on your own system in your car (yes, the radio). And per their website (, they’ll be opening a venue this month in Del Mar, and next month in Phoenix, Arizona. [add after print deadline: 311 two shows on Saturday, November 14]

Down in Oxnard in the Oxnard Performing Arts Center parking lot, the Canyon Club continues to line up acts, mostly of the tribute band variety, but I just saw that Jon B. (Jonathan David Buck) is currently schedule to perform October 17. This is the first show where the ticket price per vehicle has gone up from $39 to a hefty price of $175 – $200 per car. Grammy nominated Jon B. has written songs for artists such as Michael Jackson and Color Me Badd as well as performing on hit records with Tupac and Babyface not to mention his record Bonafide going Platinum.

The newest episode of VenturaRockSpot has been posted (you can find it on the homepage of as well as at which features my interview with Kelly Zirbes and Perry Robertson of Kelly’s Lot. We discuss the history of the band, their newest release called Another Sky and I not only play their latest music video “Butterfly,” but they perform a couple of songs live as well. It’s a fun interview, I think you’ll enjoy it. And many thanks to Michelle Hoover, producer extraordinaire, for another fine job.

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, and for updated music listings daily, go to

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 9/9/20 – 9/22/20

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner

Ventura Rocks artworkThe City and surrounding areas are still not allowing live music in venues, not even outdoors unless it’s one of the drive-in style and you’re in a car, or at least next to your car in a parking lot. Concerts in Your Car in the fairgrounds parking lot continue to add shows including Robby Krieger of the Doors, the Dirty Heads and Cypress Hill.
The Canyon at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center (parking lot) seems to be focusing on tribute bands with the exception of a punk show on the 19th. They’re calling them Carpool Jam Concerts with tribute bands featuring the music of Metallica, Madonna, Journey, Doors, Billy Idol and more.

Q&A with Dan Grimm – EP: Before the Floor

I’m always jazzed to hear local artists have new music they’ve been working on and have a new CD or EP to share; such is the case with Dan Grimm and his new EP called Before the Floor. As co-owner of Carbonite Sound out of Ojai (along with Jason Mariani), Grimm not only has some amazing resources, and contacts, but yes, talent, and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention his dry sense of humor.

Pam Baumgardner: This is your fourth release after Average Savage, Ventucky and Corvus Crow, correct?

Dan Grimm: Yes exactly

Is there a backstory on the EP title, Before the Floor?

Dan: Yes! There is a story to Before the Floor aka “Before the floor so rudely interrupted…”
Dave Palmer was playing the Vine in Ojai, and a bunch of friends and musos were hanging out, as was the former owner of one of the all time great Old School Ojai gourmet restaurants. He’s an 70-80 year old gentleman and has never lost his elegant french accent. He was clearly flirting heavily with a random young lady and frankly to our surprise, he appeared to be captivating her. I remember his teeth had the tale-tell wine purple coting and he was clearly the jovial throws of a few bottles of something nice. We were right next to him and young lady at those standing tables when he blacked out and dropped like a brick. With a little help up he was quickly back on his feet and to my great surprise uttered “So, as I was saying before the floor so rudely interrupted me” and went on as if nothing had happened at all. That was one of the all time great spontaneous lines I’ve ever heard and I knew I had to make a musical painting of that incident.

How would you say you’ve grown, or evolved? First with your songwriting, and then with the recording process.

Dan GrimmDan: Songwriting growth is tough to answer. There are those songs that the universe writes and you are a passenger for, and there is the crafter-grind that turns out songs through effort. The spontaneously written and finished ones are gifted to you and there is little to work on other than whatever innate melody/chord structure, and form skills have been slowly growing. The grinder songs… I guess I can say I’m writing more pointedly for purpose and delivery instead of just for therapy like you do when it’s really just for your own mind’s maintenance. So at this point, I feel like you could point me at a topic and I could likely make something or several somethings that fit the need and don’t completely suck.
Relevant to this collection of songs, though, some are very very old and the growth is the sound in studio and how I work with Dave Palmer, who continues to become more and more a main musical compadre and influence. “Space Black” was a song I liked and I wrote in college in 1999, but it took me this long to find the right composition. This version was a bunch of people in a room getting very weird and nailing something I had never been able to ask for in words before.

Tell me about the players on this EP.

Dave Palmer was the first person I asked to get involved and help produce with me. He heavily influenced the sound and within the industry he’s known to be the kind of gifted dude he was for this album and so many songs on the radio like “Feel it Still” by Portugal the Man, De La Soul, Chris Isaak, Cardi B, Bruno Mars, and more than I can even name drop. His heavy foray into movie scores was a major influence on the approach, as well. Very importantly, I also asked him to assemble the other players. His piano and synth, which are largely live, always move the song but he’s never pushy with his own parts. He had decades of songs to choose from in my library and while I knew Before the Floor had to be on this one, he had us drop two additional songs to ensure the guys had a fun day in studio, (which we did).

Matt Chamberlain was my main target for drums. He’s really hard to get and luckily just loves Dave, because I was repeatedly told only A-list cats can hope to see him show up for sessions. He’s on Bob Dylan’s new album Rough and Rowdy Ways that is garnering so much attention, and he’s been the go-to guy for Pearl Jam, John Mayer, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, The Who, Stevie Nicks, and the list literally goes on and on.
From the iconic snap on “Can’t All be Loves Songs” to the absolute genius on “Space Black Night,” he was everything I had hoped for and more. Jokingly, Palmer suggested he never repeat patterns on the lengthy Space Black Night cut, he said “I can probably do that, let’s try.” He then proceeded to nail it for two consecutive takes, which completely blew my mind, and one of those takes is the cut we are releasing.

Tim Young is probably most famous for having his own Queer Eye makeover as the shaggy guitar player in the Late Show band with James Cordon. He’s also been Beck’s live guitar player, and worked with Lady Gaga, Cher, Sting, Alisha Keys, Kermit the Frog, and many more. The solo on “Before the Floor” was played on his cigarette case amp, which is literally electronics installed into a single pack of cigarettes. The tone he got out of it is really cool and I had never seen one used before that.

Jonny Flaugher is a very bad man on bass. He’s got a very groovy pocket, and he can be busy without being pushy or disappear in the ether while supporting the song with a really nice low tonecraft. I dug his work with Ryan Adams and he’s also sort of the anthropomorphic representation of New Jersey. My truck door might still be holding a grudge from the after-recording celebration, but I’m already plotting to get him in on a bunch of recordings in the future and I stay in touch with him regularly because he’s a lovely guy on top of how talented he is on bass.

Jesse Siebenberg is a long-time friend and collaborator who plays most instruments better than most folks who just play one thing. He played steel guitar on “Can’t All Be Love Songs” just as he did for Lukas Nelson and Lady Gaga for the movie A Star is Born with Bradley Cooper. He is also the current lead man of Supertramp and son of Supertramp’s drummer Bob Siebenberg, as well as nephew of Thin Lizzy’s guitar player Scott Gorham.

I’m loving “They Can’t All be Love Songs,” I played it on the latest episode of The Pam Baumgardner Music Hour on KPPQ-LP. You must be super proud! Tell me the back story on this one.

Dan: This one was written in my most productive period as a writer when I was writing for the band milEs and living completely nocturnally in Los Angeles. The verses are extremely literal and true, but the inspiration came from the fact that the band’s singer and other writer basically only wrote love songs. The rest of the band wanted me to break that pattern, so I wrote a song about not just writing love songs… that I guess wasn’t really a departure from love songs, but it was an inside joke topically.

Jesse wasn’t supposed to play on the EP, but he came by for a listen and liked “Can’t All Be Love Songs” so much he wanted to sit in with the band. His lap steel parts on the solo sections were played live with Tim’s amp side by side, so they both had to nail the synchronized guitarmony parts without making any mistakes, as we could not edit the guitars separately.

This song and the whole album were live tracked, so everyone played as a live performance band instead of layer by layer. That has always felt more like music to me as I know and enjoy it, but it’s becoming the exception in the modern industry. We had a really good time recording all these songs and the day went by way too fast. Usually a day in the studio means late into night, but in this case, we took 2-3 takes per song… cut a few solos over again, added another layer of Dave in some select spots, and then went wine tasting by late afternoon. It was nuts.

Too funny!! I would have loved to be a fly on the wall for that session! So where do you find your inspiration to write songs. Is there a typical way for you? And are you always writing, or does it come and go throughout your life?

Dan GrimmDan: The plan is to always be in the midst of writing songs, though sometimes I don’t get whole songs so much as a line, or verse, or something that ends up being a bridge in a separate song later, or just a concept for a song or album. Inspiration comes from all over the place… the only time I’ve ever had writer’s block is when I’ve locked myself in a room to focus on writing songs for too long and actually robbed myself of outside stimulus. I try to have lots of processes to keep out of ruts. I do have a go-to strategy to drive inspiration though, I frequently switch dominant hands for long periods of time to rewire my brain. Thank god for computers because I’ve found my handwriting awful both left and right handed.

During these pandemic times, how are you planning to get the word out on your EP? All the usual outlets?

It will be on and that’s probably it. Artists are getting robbed blind by basically every service except maybe the non-streaming form of apple music and band camp, so I want to control all my material completely. I already can’t make a living off of album sales, so I’m not motivated to try to stay in the public eye and play the exposure game. For consumers streaming is great, but it’s been more damaging than Napster in my opinion.
Twitter: @dansgrimm

And finally, here’s the “op-ed” portion of my column: I don’t want to get all Footloose on the City, but what a lot of people could use right now is live music to soothe our nerves. Outdoors, social distancing, no slam-dancing, in fact, how about no dancing at all, and all the while wearing a face mask when not sitting, eating or sipping on a beverage? I’m not asking for special favors, but the venues are already set up and serving outdoors, so why not let us patrons enjoy some jazz, folk, or blues? I know all the musicians in the area would love to work again. End of op-ed.

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, and for updated music listings daily, go to

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 8/26/20 – 9/8/20

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner


Moorpark has thrown their hat in the ring and the City has hosted a handful of live drive-in style concerts at Arroyo Vista Community Park (4550 Tierra Rejada Road). They’ve hit a couple of bumps in the road and had to cancelled their most recent one, but let’s keep our fingers crossed for their next scheduled concert on Sunday, September 13 featuring The Trip with Rock ‘n’ Roll from the 60s to today. The show runs 6 -8 pm and the cost is only $20 per car; preregistration is required which can be found on the City’s website at on their Parks & Rec’s page.

The Canyon at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center continues offering reggae on Sunday evenings dubbed Reggae Knights as well as other shows coming up such as Little Willie G (the voice of Thee Midniters) on Friday, August 28, Queen Nation on Saturday, August 29 and Led Zeppagain on Friday, September 4.

And of course, our own drive-in concert venue here in Ventura at the Ventura Fairgrounds continues to offer live shows with Fitz and the Tanrums on Saturday, August 29, A-Trak, Ruckus and Tay James on Sunday August 30 and Tower of Power with Los Lobos on Sunday, September 6. For the FAQ and ticket information as well as other dates for movies and such, go to the official website

Another Sky – Q&A with Kelly Zirbes of Kelly’s Lot

The uber talented Kelly Zirbes of Kelly’s Lot never ceases to amaze me with her seemingly never-ending supply of energy and creative outflow. She is always working on new projects, writing and performing and keeping in touch via social media as much as possible with her fan base. She sent me her latest release called Another Sky which only solidifies my opinion of this woman. Kelly and Perry from Kelly’s Lot will be my next guests on the VenturaRockSpot (, but meanwhile, I thought I’d ask her a couple of questions for the Breeze.

Pam: I’m mostly familiar with your blues releases, how would you describe the genre of this release?

Kelly Z: Another Sky is mostly a Contemporary Folk and Americana release.

Doug Pettibone, Kelly Zirbes and Perry Robertson

Was this something you’d been working on, or did the recent pandemic, social unrest, or elections have a part in your songwriting choices?

Kelly Z: I had already written these songs when the pandemic started but two songs were written about the frustration in politics today. “Freedom” was written about how extremism robs you of your freedom and “Hurricane” was written about the madness of a divided country. We had also written an Irish jig for Ventura’s Saint Patrick’s Day parade but that was canceled. Back in March I didn’t think these songs would be recorded for a couple years. We were planning on doing a full band blues recording but because we were locked down it was going to be difficult to get everyone together to work out the parts. So, we decided to try and do something acoustic and we reached out to our neighbor Doug Pettibone to see if he would like to co-produce and play on the project. He was on board having had lost a few jobs himself.

So then, who all gets producing credit

Kelly Z: It was recorded in Doug’s studio in Oxnard and in the Kelly’s Lot studio in North Hollywood.

Who all were involved in the project and in what capacity?

Kelly Z: Deciding and arranging what instruments we wanted to put on these songs was very organic. We first started with Doug and Perry both on acoustic guitars; Doug then added pedal steel, slide guitar, and mandolin. After that the songs started to feel a certain way and we could hear what was missing. We also wanted to make sure we included every member of the band on at least one song and that helped fill in many gaps. Art Mendoza on drums, Matt McFadden on bass, Rob Zucca on guitar, Bill Johnston on clarinet, Aviva Maloney on penny whistle, Frank ‘Cisco’ Hinojosa on harmonica, Jeri Goldenhar doing some background vocals and for standup bass we used Paul Kennedy and David Grover. We brought in Aubrey Richmond on violin and Phil Parlapiano on accordion to round it all out. We ended up with two duets featuring Doug Pettibone and Rick Monroe from Nashville.

You’ve been sharing a lot about the song “Butterfly;” what’s the inspiration behind it?

Kelly Z: “Butterfly” was written the day after Prince died. Like I do every once in a while, I have asked my fans on Facebook to give me a word. Butterfly and Purple came up right away and the song was written rather quickly. As I wrote it, I remember thinking of my mom and my brother and so many musicians we have lost in the past couple years. It is a song to lift up someone form the grief of losing a loved one or maybe even a musical mentor.

You’ll be hosting a CD release party at Four Brix?

Kelly Z: Yes we are doing a live online acoustic concert at Four Brix Winery in Ventura (Friday, August 28). Because of Covid, there will be no “in winery” audience. It will be a Facebook live concert hosted on the Four Brix Facebook page. They are offering a meal and wine for pickup to enjoy during the concert at home or in your backyard. We are both promoting it on Facebook and through our mailing lists. If you want more info call the winery at 805-256-6006, visit the Facebook page or email them at

Is there anything else you’d care to share?

Kelly Z: It feels good to go back to my singer/songwriter roots and do an album of folk, roots rock and americana. Luckily Doug and Perry guided me through this in a way that brought out a deeper yet brighter version of my songs. They are both great at arranging and even participated in some of the writing. I also brought in my team from other releases, mixer Fred Paragano, mastering engineer Mike Michner and graphic artist Evie Cook. You can buy the CD or a download at my website KellysLot,com or a download at iTunes on August 28. It will also be on Spotify, Apple Music and a few other online platforms.


Congratulations to 50 Sticks of Dynamite on their 10-year anniversary together as a band.
Alastair Greene will have a new release this October called The New World Blues produced by Tab Benoit. Dan Grimm has a new EP ready to release, as does the Colette Lovejoy Band; details coming soon.

Tommy Marsh’s Crooked Eye Tommy CD release party was a bittersweet affair as he introduced the band’s sophomore release, Hot Coffee and Pain, but the show was also his final show as a resident of Ventura County. We wish him well on his new adventures as he and Tammy pack up and move to Nashville. But not to worry, he assures us that he will return for shows after this pandemic is over.

And finally, Serena Ropersmith just sent me new music to play on the Pam Baumgardner Music Hour. She recently released Sideways which was mostly inspired by her experiences at Ventura High School (she now attends Cal Poly) and she plays piano on every song. I love that her dad is Kent Bones, drummer for Birdbrain, and he plays on a couple of her songs and it was recorded with Armand (Night Demon, New Liberty) at the Captains Quarters.

Don’t forget my radio show airs Tuesdays and Fridays at 5 pm and Sundays at noon at 104.1 FM here in Ventura on KPPQ-LP, or you can use your smart device and listen using the MyTuner radio app or listen online at

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, and for updated music listings daily, go to

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 8/12 – 8/25

Ventura MusVentura Breeze logoic Scene
by Pam Baumgardner


Just so you know, the Concerts in Your Car season won’t last forever, probably as long as the good weather lasts, oh, and the pandemic. But I am happy to hear they’ll also offer shows in Arizona without packing up and leaving Ventura. By the way, did I call it or what in my last column? Yes, they did add a couple more dates with Grammy winning alt rock band, Switchfoot, on Saturday, August 15 and certified double-platinum country music singer/songwriter, Tracy Lawrence, on Friday, August 21, as well as a comedy show, two performances on Friday, August 28, featuring none other than David Spade & Rob Schneider.

I did notice the Rubicon’s Jimmy Messina & Friends was no longer posted on the website so I asked my sources and then confirmed with Karl Hunter, sax player for Big Bad Voodoo Daddy that they would be replacing those dates, and it’s true! So, you can catch Ventura’s own Big Bad Voodoo Daddy August 17, 18 and 19 from the safety of your own car.
Looking ahead to next month, the Ventura Music Festival will host a show with the Grammy and Emmy winning Gordon Goodwin’s Little Phat Band on Thursday, September 24. You can expect a high energy program from swing to funk to Latin to pop with Vangie Gunn on vocals.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

For the FAQ and ticket information as well as other dates for movies and such, go to the official website


Crooked Eye Tommy will have their official CD release party down at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center where they are holding their own version of a drive-in style concert. The party is scheduled for Friday, August 21, with Joey Delgado from the Delgado Brothers, Guy Martin, Jon English and Jim Gustin & Truth Jones. According to the online evite, each car will have two parking spaces, one for your car and the other to set up camp in, and unlike the Ventura drive-in style concerts, food and beverages will be available along with restrooms. Tickets are available via Eventbrite.

I can’t say enough about this CD; the sophomore release from Crooked Eye Tommy really captures the band’s talent both as musicians and as singer/songwriters. Tommy has a winner on his hands.

Crooked Eye TommyPam: What’s behind the title of Hot Coffee and Pain?

Tommy Marsh: The title came about one morning when I woke up with bad back pain. I had been working in the yard the day before and apparently overdid it. I sat down with my morning coffee and under my breath mumbled “Hot coffee and pain.” The words sort of rang in my head and a song started.

Why did your sophomore release take longer than Butterflies and Snakes?

Tommy: We started it in late 2017 and recorded some of the base tracks (I think you were there for some of it). Anyway, as things happen when recording at a bad-ass studio and, to be frank, I ran out of money. Over the next couple years many things happened. The Thomas fire, the mudslide, etc, etc, etc. They were very emotional times. It seemed like waiting was the right thing to do. We again worked on it last year and finally we got it done early this year. Life happens!

Tell me about the musicians on this one.

Tommy: I produced this one with Tammy (life partner) and the help of Charlie McClure an old friend and drummer on Hot Coffee and Pain.
Paddy Marsh on Guitars & Vocals
Craig Williams on Sax
Samuel Correa on Bass
And me of course (Guitar & Vocals).
Teresa James is a guest on the song “Baby Where you Been,” a duet I wrote. She sings and plays amazing piano on that track.
Jimmy Calire is also on this album playing saxophone and organ.

Who gets writing credits?

Tommy: Paddy and I both wrote 3 songs each for this album and we chose 3 covers for the album.

Do you have a favorite song on Hot Coffee and Pain?

Tommy: My favorite song on the album is an old song, and it’s not one that I wrote, it’s Paddy’s song, “The Time it Takes to Live.” It has significant meaning to me because some of it was directed at me at a time when I was deep in the throes of addiction. This fact did not come to my attention until years later after I was free of the drugs and it is a strong reminder of those times. Though they were bad times for me the redemption story of “Time it Takes” is a very real and personal reminder that I defeated that enemy and prevailed.
Time waits for no man
Wheel turns in the sky
Let us live while we can
Gotta take the time
The time it takes to live

I know you have a CD release party here locally “drive-in-theater” style at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center, but what else are you doing to get the word out during this unexpected pandemic?

Tommy: We were signed to Blue Heart Records from Pennsylvania earlier this year which has been amazing. They have been very helpful in getting the word out. Sallie Bengton is an absolutely, unbelievable life force. So grateful for this partnership.
We have also contracted the Blind Racoon Agency in Memphis as our PR firm for this release. They work with lots of amazing artists. Betsie Brown is truly an industry leader and we are honored that she has chosen to work with us this cycle.

Much like everyone else we are in the wait-and-see mode as far as what we will be able to do as far as live performances goes but I think it is too early to tell how the California music scene will fare post COVID.

You’re getting airplay/spins?

Tommy: The a fore mentioned Blind Raccoon agency has done a fantastic job getting the recording out to radio outlets who have been kind enough to play it. The Roots Music is the world’s largest independent radio airplay charting organization; they receive airplay charts from thousands of terrestrial & internet radio stations. They have a wide range of airplay charts from rock to blues, country to bluegrass, and as of this morning Hot Coffee & Pain is #9 on the Blues Chart. We post airplay on our Facebook page for those interested. The record has been played on every continent on earth already and it hasn’t even been released to the public yet! We are pretty stoked to say the least.

Hot Coffee and Pain is your best work hands down. How are the critics responding?

Tommy: Well so far, we have had some very positive reviews from a few blues music magazines and websites. Lots of very kind words; we are so grateful for each of them.
My thanks to Tommy for taking the time to answer these questions. You can find out more about the band at and via all the social media outlets.


I’m always looking for more music to share, new or old, and if you have something you’d like to have played on FM radio (and worldwide as we’re on the internet), just drop me at line at I like to thank Kelly Zirbes, Jay Allred and Chris Rowlands for always keeping me in mind and sending me their singles as they knock ‘em out; Kelly sent me Kelly’s Lot’s latest single, “Butterfly,” Allred sent “Nika” from Last Rock Empire and Rowland a homage for all the waitresses and bartenders around the world called “Barmaid” from Professional Americans. You can hear all these tunes and more on The Pam Baumgardner Music Hour which airs at 104.1 FM in Ventura. Each show runs for two weeks debuting on a Tuesday at 5 pm, with rebroadcasts on Friday at 5 and Sundays at noon.


The Ventura Music Festival continues to share a video weekly highlighting artist in a series they call VMF’s Music Connects digital festival. They are accepting submissions and all genres are accepted from classical, to pop to roots, to jazz and everything in between. The most recent video featured an amazing cover from Django Allstars and their brand of swing jazz. All previous videos are available for viewing as well and all absolutely free at

I’m not embarrassed to admit it at all, because I’m still a little giddy that Bernie Dresel took the time to post a Happy Birthday wish on my Facebook page last month. We had a quick back and forth about his gigs here in Ventura; I told him I was hoping he’d make it back when the Grape opens their jazz club. Bernie is most notable for performing and recording with the Brian Setzer Orchestra and Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band (yes, the band playing Concerts in Your Car on September 24).

And finally, for the powers that be, music lovers here in town are looking forward to getting out and seeing our local artists play once again, albeit in a safe environment and hopefully while the weather is still great. Let’s get real, if an artist, duo or small ensemble while playing outdoors, with social distancing in place and where everyone who is not eating, drinking or singing on stage is wearing a mask, places everyone at no greater risk than if they weren’t playing at all. Music is healing; music can bring us up when we’ve all been down and stressed. And please don’t ever forget that a vibrant music scene is one of the defining aspects of this town and surrounding areas. We’re nowhere near vibrant, our music scene is hanging on by a thread.

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, and for updated music listings daily, go to