Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze – 4/12 – 4/25

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Local Music and More!
by Pam Baumgardner

This year’s California Jazz & Wine Fest was another sold-out success; it was held Sunday, April 9, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village. The event helped to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Conejo Valley. The music was exceptional, headlining was The Danny Janklow Quintet; other bands of note included the Lao Tizer Quartet, Bruce Forman’s Cow Bop, and Ventura’s own, The Barrelhouse Wailers.

Keeping with jazz, don’t miss Mike Garson (Bowie, NIN, Smashing Pumpkins) when he returns to Squashed Grapes bringing with him this time, Emmy and Grammy nominated Gaby Moreno on Thursday, April 13; Paul McCallum and Friends return on Saturday, April 15; and Gary Herbig (Harry James, Elvis, Tower of Power) and Bill Spoke Quintet be in the house on April 19.

Our local artists have been busy producing new music.  Hot off the presses is the latest CD from Hot Roux called Hometown Blues.  You can pick up a copy when Hi Hat Entertainment hosts their CD release party on Friday, April 21, at the Hong Kong Inn. You won’t want to miss this one as the band will feature not only lead man Jerry McWorter, but Ed Berghoff, Brent Harding, Jimmy Calire and Bill Flores.

Congratulations to local musician Travis Greer for landing a gig on the highly popular Criminal Minds television show on CBS.  He’s well-known for his improv work here in town as well as playing with the Los Dudes.

Eric Burdon joined Robby Krieger of the Doors for “Roadhouse Blues,” Saturday, April 8, at Libby Bowl. They then played “House of the Rising Sun” from The Animals. Tommy Marsh’s Crooked Eye Tommy warmed up the crowd.

The next One’s to Watch Productions will be held Wednesday, April 19, at the Plaza Playhouse in Carpinteria with Matt Duke, Jay Nash, Tony Lucca and Tim Curran. You can get tickets at

I caught up with Ross Emery of Roadshow Revival as he ramps up for this year’s show.  It’s going to look a lot different this time around with the whole event being held on one day and at Discovery Ventura, but he told me who the headliner is, and I promised not to tell until May 1st, but between you and me, I’m pretty jazzed about it.  Watch for social media news, and get your tickets now!

Here’s a couple of one-liner notes of interest:  Jade Hendrix will be opening for Berlin when they play the Libbey Bowl April 22; Face to Face will be at Discovery on May 7 with Bad Cop/Bad Cop opening; Paddy’s is celebrating their 23rd anniversary on April 21st with DJ Pat Harper who will be playing classic house music; the Ventura County Spring Fair will be held at the Fairgrounds April 14 – 16 with carnival rides, petting zoo and music from The Velveteen Band; and finally, I’m looking forward to hearing new music from 8Stops7, they just signed with Wendigo Records and will be back in the studio in July.

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Or would you like to submit your music for possible inclusion on my radio show? Please send all information short or long to, and for updated music listings daily, go to

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 7/8 – 7/21

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Ventura Will Always Rock!
by Pam Baumgardner

Queen Nation at Discovery, Thursday, July 2, 2015

Queen Nation at Discovery, Friday, July 3, 2015

I just had to see Queen Nation at Discovery Ventura on July 3; I was such a Queen fan back in the day and saw them live at least 4-5 times. All I have to say is the band totally nailed it!

I ran into Ventura resident Nick St. Nicolas on July 4th. Nick and the boys of Steppenwolf are responsible for such quintessential rock anthems as “Born to be Wild” and “Magic Carpet Ride.” He’s been touring with the World Classic Rockers (with members of other iconic bands) and has several out-of-state dates lined up doing corporate gigs. He’s such a classy super nice gentleman; I’d love to get see him do an intimate acoustic show sometime!

Music Under the Stars finally kicks off on July 11 with Britain’s Finest, a Beatles Tribute Band, and then on July 18 it’s Porterhouse Bob serving up New Orleans Boogie & Blues. You can find a complete listing for their summer schedule on

The summer event of the season, Surf Rodeo, takes over Pierpont Beach on Saturday and Sunday July 11th and 12th. You won’t want to miss dozens of bands all day both days on the sand, a surf competition, a bikini cowgirl competition, a cornhole contest, vendors up and down Seaward from Pierpont Blvd to the sand, food, beverages, friends, family, and of course will be representing! Go to for ticket information.

I have to admit being a fan of all three, I’m totally looking forward to the Tequila and Taco Music Festival on July 18 and 19 at the Collection in Oxnard. Foreverland, 14-piece tribute band to the music of Michael Jackson, will be performing. Other bands include Caliente Band 805, Instone, Zeal Levin and the Bomb. For more information you can go to

A couple of touring/studio notes: Mario Calire hits the road this summer drumming for legendary singer-songwriter and two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Stephen Stills. Shawn Jones has been touring Italy and Switzerland but he’ll be back late July, he’s also been recording new material. The Pullmen have been working on their latest Beast Records release, “Going Dark;” they’ll be returning to Europe for a Fall France tour this year.

And finally, while catching 8Stops7 at the Pierpont Inn on July 2, I caught up with Chris Jay of Army of Freshmen, and longtime writer for the VC Reporter. We reflected on the state of music in Ventura and how there are ebbs and flows, venues come and go, bands peak then disappear, and through it all, supporting Ventura’s music scene are a number of media including The Ventura Breeze, The VC Reporter, The Ventura County Star and of course websites like What a privilege it is to be a part of such an amazing music scene. Ventura will always rock!

If you have any music related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing?  Send all information short or long to, and for updated music listings daily, go to .

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 6/24 – 7/7

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Roadshow to Surf
by Pam Baumgardner

Xocoyotzin Moraza and Wyatt Hull of Hy Brasil, Saturday, June 20, at Bombay's.

Xocoyotzin Moraza and Wyatt Hull of Hy Brasil, Saturday, June 20, at Bombay’s.

Before we get into what’s coming up, let’s cover what came down recently: Saturday, June 20, Margarita Villa had D. Henry Fenton who featured Dave Krusen on drums. Yes, the Dave Krusen who was Pearl Jam’s original drummer on their debut release TEN. The Bob Bishop Band played at Saloon BBQ with Jon Woodhead on guitar; Woodhead has toured with the likes of Maria Muldaur and Leon Russell in recent years, they’ll be back soon. And as expected, local talent have once again been collaborating on new material and the result is the highly anticipated Hy Brasil who made their Bombay debut to a packed house on the 20th. You will want to watch out for this band which includes Xoco and Jenkins from Rey Fresco, and Wyatt Hull on vocals. Haunting vocals, rhythmic grooves with music that builds and before you know it you’re captivated and can’t help but move with the band; yeah, these guys nailed it. I’m looking forward to when they release their EP to the masses.

A Celebration of Joni Mitchell featuring Kimberly Ford takes place Sunday, July 5, at the Ojai Art Center as a part of the Jamming at the Art Center Series. Ford is backed up by George Friedenthal, keys; Lee Rollag, guitar; Tom Buckner, saxophone; Tom Etchart, bass; and Charles Levin, drums.

Typically Squashed Grapes has shows scheduled Wednesday – Saturday, but on Sunday, June 28, they’ll have a special performance of Doug Webb featuring Danny Carey of TOOL; and while we’re on the subject of the Grape, Skip Spiro’s 10-piece jazz band will include the amazing Dave Tull on drums, Thursday, July 2. Tull has toured with Chuck Mangione, Maynard Ferguson and others.

I have to admit, I’m really looking forward to 8Stops7 performance on Thursday, July 2, for the Pierpont Inn Summer BBQ & Concert series. I asked Evan Sula-Goff (singer) if they’d be toning it down for this one and he said, “A rough estimate…we’re just a bit louder than Neil Diamond.” Gotta love Evan. He also added, “We’ll be playing two long sets. That pretty much forces us to look at our entire catalog and bring in some tunes you haven’t heard us play in a while.”

Two major events at hand are Roadshow Revival June 27 and June 28 with their Tribute to the Music of Johnny Cash at Mission Park Downtown, and then Surf Rodeo descends on Pierpont Beach for two days of surf, and music on July 11 and 12 with a wide variety of genres from the likes of Pato Banton, GrooveSession, Bob Log III, Brothers Fortune, Rainbow Girls, Honey Owl, Raging Arb and the Redheads along with a dozen or so more bands. Go to their official websites for tickets and more details at and

If you have any music related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Send all information short or long to, and for updated music listings daily, go to .

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze – 8/20 – 9/2

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Ventura Music Just Keeps Rockin’
by Pam Baumgardner

Jake OwenWho else was a little sad to see the fair close this year?  High on my list of favorite shows at the fair were Deep Purple, Beach Boys, Seether and I absolutely loved the Barenaked Ladies; but I admit, I was quite smitten by Jake Owen who packed in the arena with his brand of new Country.  Very well done Fair!

We said goodbye to Jeff Hershey and the Heartbeats as they did their farewell show for Music Under the Stars at Olivas Adobe.  Hershey was on fire and the boys in the band -better known as The Heartbeats – kicked it up a notched entertaining the crowd and going out in style.  Thanks for the memories guys!

Sometimes you just never know how cool it is (and a privilege I might add) to see someone play until you ask, “Who are these guys?”  Well I’m glad I did as the second act warmed up Friday, August 8, as a part of the Ones to Watch series at Bombay Bar and Grill.  I asked Steve Hoganson (Zoey’s) who the guitar player was and he told me Doug Pettibone plays guitar for John Mayor.  Cool, right?  But then he went on to inform me that his bass player, Taras Prodaniuk plays with Dwight Yoakam and drummer Toss Panos with Robben Ford.  What an amazing set these guys did too.

Alrighty then, let’s take a look at what’s coming up that you won’t want to miss.  August 23 and 24 is the 5th annual Spencer Makenzie’s End of Summer Block Party.  Once again shutting down the city block outside Spencer Makenzie’s Fish Company, the event features two stages of music from the likes of Aaron Orbit, Derek Jennings, TresCoustics, Rey Fresco, Shaky Feelin’, Ventura Social Club, Resination and  The Ska Daddyz.  There will be tons of music both days along with their famous Throw Down (corn hole) tournament for some nice prize money.

And then for three days over Labor Day Weekend, August 29 through August 31, it’s Bombay’s 30th annual Beach Party where they bring the beach to the bar creating one heck of a party, with over 25 bands and 6 DJs featuring all genres of music.  With three stages of music (inside and out), the party will feature appearances from 8Stops7, The Rubberneck Lions, Bloody Mary Morning, New Liberty, Mandex, Raging Arb and the Redheads, Rey Fresco and tons more.

And then finally, Rachel Flowers will be giving a free concert at Ojai’s Libbey Bowl on Sunday, August 24, as a part of the ongoing documentary being produced by local filmmakers.  Flowers is an amazing talent who has been blind since birth and playing music since the age of four. Take the family and be a part of this incredible event. Concert starts at 6:30 pm.

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

Evan Sula-Goff – 8Stops7 – Speaks Out

On Wednesday, January 29, 2014, I spotted a post from Evan Sula-Goff of 8Stops7 on Facebook. He had shared a link entitled “It Seems Bands Don’t Make Money Off Touring Either” from    I read Evan’s comments which began with “This is exactly why we only toured one week last year.”   His post is important and it concerned me that so many people may have missed it, so with Evan’s permission I have copied and pasted (and yes added a photo or two) so it can be more easily located on the web.

billy-os_002From Evan Sula-Goff:

This is exactly why we only toured one week last year. The idea that touring is a vacation is so laughable. Touring can be fun in a very humans against the elements sort of way, but a 36 hour drive straight to the gig, trying to sleep sitting straight up on a shared bench seat, loading equipment up two flights of stairs is not anyone’s definition of leisure. That’s why it makes no sense that a week long tour can cost the same out-of-pocket as a family week at the Grand Canyon, a Mammoth Ski Trip, Disney World, or whatever else we classify as leisure–more often than not, it costs more. And if you’re like anything like me, it takes years to save up for one of those options. How do we tell our families and/or our over-worked selves that we spent our vacation fund on three shows in Nebraska (no offense to Nebraska, it’s a beautiful state). We do it because we believe in our music, and believe in our fans; because we desperately want to make good on our promise to bring our music to the people who have supported us across the nation, and the world, but we just simply can’t afford it. There is definitely something to be said about paying dues and what-not, but if the silver-est lining is $13-20 a day for each band member, how many bands/people do you know of that can sustain like that for longer than a few years. And don’t get me started on records. Yes, they are cheaper to make than they were 10 years ago, but a great sounding record still costs about 15,000 for recording, mixing, mastering, and Print. And yes, independently you can potentially get more money from each sale than you could ten years ago, but ten years ago, the top-selling records were selling 2 to 3 million records their first week, now they top the charts with an average of about 20-30,000. We spent 14-15,000 out-of-pocket to produce Fables, we have 3000 fans on FB and a mailing list of about the same, we completed a successful pledge-funding campaign, earning over $7,000 gross (netting about $4,000) and we still have yet to make back half of our investment. I guess that means that less than 1400 of our 6000+ active fans have heard the record–we all know that is not the case…

My cynical prediction: all the new recorded music, and all the tours coming through our towns will be made up of people born into money, backed by someone born into money, or someone resourceful and fortunate enough to have made a killing doing something else entirely, and inexplicably deciding to spend some of that money on trying to start a band  Not to say wealthy people can’t make great music, but that will be it…all Vampire Weekend (no offense, good band), no Boss, no Bob. Blue-collar heroes will be too busy focusing on endeavors that actually stand a chance of getting food on their, or their family’s table.

It’s one o’clock in the morning so, consider this my Jerry Maguire-esque mission statement:

– Clubs, start charging covers, and giving decent guarantees, or the only bands you will have willing to play are bands who will gladly play for nothing, because they are desperate and most likely not very good. People will stroll in to find you have booked the worst band on the planet and they will never show up again.
– Promoters…promote the club. Stop relying on booking bands who can bring all their friends, so they and all their friends can pay the venue for the privilege of a place to hang. Your place is not that cool, and eventually everyone will go back to their own living rooms, backyards, and garages for cheaper beer and less of a drive.
– Bands, stop playing for free*, you are ruining it for every one. Play the obligatory introduction gig, but after that never play there again until they offer at the very least a few free drinks and 1-300 bucks. Get it in writing and expect a boost in pay each time you are back until you have reached the union cap (on an aside, why the h don’t we have a gig union). If you are like us, and people have to take off work, drive an hour or two to gig on weekends, $100 doesn’t even break even. Bottom line: expect what you are worth, accept nothing less. *There will come a time when playing for free for publicity will be without a doubt worth it, for example, the club has a built-in crowd and you’re doing your first or second gig there, or the gig is ahuge outdoor festival with lots of potential merch customers, just don’t be sold across the board on the free publicity thing, most of the time, it’s truly bullshit.

8Stops7– Fans, so you’re not going to pay for anything you can get for free, I get it. Growing income gaps between the rich and the poor, dying/extinct middle class, lay-offs, insurance woes, I get it. All I ask is two things: 1) that you remember the money to even break even on a poor man’s art has to come from somewhere. If you want your favorite starving artist to continue producing recorded music, and continue touring there has to be a give and take. If you can’t afford merch, or just don’t want anything, and if you’ve already got the album for free and downloaded to every single device you own, if you don’t live in their neighborhood so can’t make it to a local show, send them $1 in an envelope with a note. If you can make it to a local show, and especially if you got in for free, you can assume they aren’t being paid fairly. Walk up and hand them a buck or two. Let them know you appreciate what they do. At this point a buck from each of our fans would go a long way. We could tour for a month and cover a ton of ground. 2) Don’t let the fact that music is free, cause you to treat it, even subconsciously, like it has no value. If you like something, “run” to your favorite “record store”, download that sh#$, and eat, sleep, and breathe it in for a week at least. Check their “interwebs”, like their page, etc. Don’t do yourself the disservice of saying, “Hey that’s pretty cool, I’ll eventually give it a listen when I get around to it.”

My less cynical prediction: if we all (clubs, promoters, bands, and fans) work together the music scene will resurface in a very sustainable way.

Wow, didn’t know I had all that in me. With great trepidation I have chosen not to proofread it again, and believe in good faith that my sincerest intentions, of rejuvenating a dying scene for the benefit of everyone, have come across.

Good Night.



Baker’s Dozen Movie Set – (Betting on Baker)

(5/4/16: This just in….movie title officially changed to THE BET)
(3/5/14: Just announced, movie title officially changed to Betting on Baker)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Chris Jay and Aaron Goldberg of Army of Freshmen have started filming for the screenplay they wrote called Baker’s Dozen.  The movie is being shot entirely in Ventura using some legendary wrestlers and calling on some of their best buds from local bands here in town. got out to check out the action and got a number of great photos while filming was taking place at Camino Real park.

We caught up with Evan Sula-Goff of 8Stops7 who had kids in tow.  He told us he was super excited that his left foot may have been included in one of the shots taken yesterday.  He just smiled that famous smile of his and said, “I’m just glad to be able to help Chris.”

Yes we are.

See Polly Hoganson MusicMuse interview with Chris Jay.


8Stops7 at Billy O’s

Monday Night Residency at Billy O’s October 2013.  Ventura’s music scene even ROCKS on Monday nights if you care to venture out!