Ventura Rocks Music Scene Column 7/13 – 7/26

Ventura Music Scene
by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com
Pam@VenturaRocks.com

This is it! After a pandemic time-out, Surf Rodeo returns to Ventura over the weekend of July 15 – July 17 at the Ventura pier with music on the southside and surf competitions on the northside at Surfer’s Point. The festivities not only include a surfing contest featuring pros and locals, the bikini cowgirl and cowboy competition and cornhole tournament, but if you ask me (which is why you’re most likely reading my column), it’s all about the live music. It will be live bands galore over three days on several stages; it’s practically non-stop, start to finish with over 40 bands scheduled! The headliners for each day are The Green, Hirie and Rob Leines on Friday, Ozomatli, Badfish, The Aggrolites & Bob Log III on Saturday, and Yachtley Crew and Highway Starr on Sunday. For a more complete music listing and to secure your tickets, go to SurfRodeo.org.

Girtty in Pink posterBy the way, on July 16-17, Gritty In Pink will be performing at Surf Rodeo and they’ll be hosting their own stage block that will feature their top artists such as Chastity Ashley or known as Neon Pony, Alicia Vigil, Kiki Wong (Vigil of War), Stundriver, Shiragirl, DJ Vashonda Sherra, Xtine Reckless and many more. Gritty in Pink said this festival in particular is very special to Shiragirl, because the Ventura community has been so supportive of Shiragirl since the debut of the Shiragirl Stage during the days of the Warped Tour. So, this feels like a full circle moment for them being able to build upon what they started on the Warped Tour by bringing the Gritty In Pink stage to Surf Rodeo!

Meanwhile for something a little tamer, Camarillo Old Town Heritage Days Midsummer Block Party also runs the same weekend July 14 – 17. Though you’ll need to purchase carnival ride tickets, there is no admission to the event which means the music is free!

Friday, July 15
6-10 pm – Acoustic DNA

Saturday, July16
Noon – 2 – Mariachi
2-4 pm – Full Clip
4-5 pm Rising Elijah
5-6 pm Bobby Hart & Old Town Boys
6-7:30 pm Mini Driver
8 – 10 pm Foster Campbell & Friends

Sunday, July 17
Noon – 2 pm The Martinez Bros with Ruben Estrada
2-4 pm Shaky Feelin’
4-6 pm Free Love Project

Poseidon Brewing has their Summer Saturday Music Series from 4-7 pm (unless otherwise listed):

July 16 – Zeke Berkley
July 23 – Steve and Sally Williams
July 30 – Mitch Bradford
August 6 – Muleskinner Revival
August 13 – The Dynasties (1-3 pm)
August 13 – Morrison Drive (4:30 – 7 pm)
August 20 – Cary Park
August 27 – Chris Murphy
September 3 – Dean & Lisa

The 2022 Heritage Square Summer Concert Season is underway in Oxnard on Friday evenings 6 – 8:30 pm. Individual seats are available for purchase day of show for $10 on a first come basis, or you can take your own blanket or low back lawn chairs seats for free unreserved seating.
Upcoming concerts:

7/15: The Impulse Band
7/22: Los Cool Arrows
7/29: Myst
8/5: Soul Machine
8/12: The British Beat
8/19: Caliente 805

Pedals & Pints Brewing Company and Tarantula Hill Brewing Company in Thousand Oaks are presenting the inaugural Down the Rabbit Hole Festival of Music and Beer on Saturday, July 30 from 11 am to 11 pm and it will feature 10 bands between the two breweries. Tickets are $60 for both venues, which includes your first beer at both locations, and a free shuttle between the two. Bands on the bill are Robert Jon & the Wreck, Beaux Gris Gris & the Apocalypse, Shaky Feelin’, Jacob Marquez & the Good Vibes, a Dustland Fairytail, OPM, Weekend Celebrity, Garrett Lee Robinson, Those Animals and Better off Blonde.

New shows added for the Majestic Ventura Theater include Concerts 4 Causes – Metal Help for Mental Help featuring Bone Maggot, Disrupted Euphoria, Sinsation and more on Saturday, July 23; Panteon Rococo on September 20; Lagwagon, Strung Out and SACK on October 6; and the Front Bottoms on October 9.

I was looking over the Boots & Brews Country Music Festival webpage and it shows Ventura is listed for August 20 with Cole Swindell, Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry, and Raelynn. But then they list Tim McGraw on October 14 and when you take a look, it’s a second Boots & Brews for Ventura which also features Michael Ray and Bailey Zimmerman. Hmmm, interesting; I hope it’s not a mistake.  I hadn’t heard back on my inquiry for clarification as of press time. UPDATE:  THIS HAS BEEN CONFIRMED!!!

Quick Notes: All Music Under the Stars summer concerts at Olivas Adobe are sold out; the Ojai Band plays a free concert at Libbey Bowl on Wednesday, July 13; jazz musician, Luis Munoz, will have his final show at Namba on Saturday, 7/16, before he moves out of state; there’s a Numbskull show with Subhumans, Generacion Suicida, and Head cut at Gigi’s on Saturday, July 23; Katie Shorey does ladies of the 80s at Cantara on Saturday, July 23; and don’t forget that the Ventura Music Festival runs July 29-31 & August 5-7.

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 for all of Ventura county, go to www.VenturaRocks.com.

Ventura Music Photos – July 2022

Surf Rodeo – July 17, 2022
No Class (Photo credit: Patrick Bakody)
No Class at Surf Rodeo 2022

Surf Rodeo – July 16, 2022
Raging Arb and the Redheads
Raging Arb and the Redheads at Surf Rodeo 2022
Surf Rodeo
– July 16, 2022
Guy Martin
Guy Martin at Surf Rodeo 2022

Surf Rodeo – July 16, 2022
Sitting on Stacy
Sitting on Stacy at Surf Rodeo 2022

Surf Rodeo – July 16, 2022
Free Love Project
Free Love Project at Surf Rodeo 2022

Surf Rodeo – July 16, 2022
Fido
Fido at Surf Rodeo 2022

Surf Rodeo – July 15, 2022
Hirie
Hirie at Surf Rodeo 2022

Surf Rodeo – July 15, 2022
Rey Fresco
Rey Fresco at Surf Rodeo 2022

Surf Rodeo – July 15, 2022
The Pitts

The Pitts at Surf Rodeo 2022

Tequila and Tacos Music Festival – July 9, 2022
Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray (Photo credit: Felix Cortez)

Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray

 

Ventura Rocks Music Scene Column 6/29/22 – 7/12/22

Ventura Music Scene
by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com
Pam@VenturaRocks.com

I am amped up and happy to see the Ventura County Fair has announced their 2022 Grandstand Stage entertainment line up finally! The fair has always tried to “spread the love” by offering diverse genres for their attendees. You can’t just do rock, or country, or pop meaning you can’t please all the people all the time, but they do their best to offer a wide range of musical entertainment:

Wednesday, 8/3: Martina McBride
Thursday, 8/4: KC & the Sunshine Band
Friday, 8/5: The All-American Rejects
Saturday, 8/6: Blue Oyster Cult
Sunday, 8/7: Dia de la Familia concert
Monday, 8/8: The Beach Boys
Tuesday, 8/9: Clay Walker
Wednesday, 8/10: Cheap Trick

All concerts are included in the price of admission and start at 7:30 pm, except for Sunday which starts at 3 pm. I can’t help but hope Uncle Jesse (John Stamos) will return to play with the Beach Boys again, and I’ll be honest, my heart stopped ever so briefly when I saw that Cheap Trick would be playing; they were a huge part of the soundtrack to my high school days.

I love sharing cool news. The all-new Ventura Music Hall has committed to donating one dollar per ticket sold to community non-profits which means, they’re hoping to donate up to $40,000 annually! Their first donation of $10,000 was presented to the Ventura Music Festival during the venue’s ribbon cutting ceremony on June 16. Susan Scott, Ventura Music Festival’s Executive Director was quoted as saying, “Having a new live music venue in Ventura is a good thing and the Ventura Music Festival is delighted to be the first beneficiary of their unique grant awards to Ventura nonprofits.” I under stand their next recipient will be the Boys & Girls Club of Ventura.

The Tequila & Taco Festival will be held on July 9 – July 10 at Surfer’s Point Live at the Ventura County Fairgrounds parking lot. Along with one of my favorite libations, the event features live music with Sugar Ray, Adelaide and Smooth Sounds of Santana on Saturday, and then Bone Thugs n Harmony, la Sonora Dinamita, and Sambada on Sunday. For ticket information, go to TequilaAndTacoMusicFestival.com.

The Seabridge Summer Concert Series kicks off on Saturday, July 2, with Vinyl Gypsies, Jayden Secor, In Stone, Jazz on the Rocks and Brandon Ragan Project. The free event runs noon – 8 pm at the Seabridge Amphitheater located at 1185 Victoria Ave. in Oxnard below the Fishermen’s Catch.

Libbey Bowl’s website has been updated which now lists all the great concerts for the summer. If you’ve never taken in a show there, do yourself a favor, select a concert and go for it. It’s such a relaxing space surrounded by oak trees, and after 5 pm the temperatures drop to a comfortable level where a light sweater may or may not be necessary by the time the show is over. Their annual free Independence Day concert will be held on Sunday, July 3 at 6 pm, but all other ticketed events begin at 5 pm with opening acts and the headliners usually by 7 pm. Here’s just a few shows lined up:
Friday, July 8: Stephen Pearcy (Ratt)
Saturday, July 16: Oingo Boing former Members
Sunday, July 17: ABC
Friday, July 22: the Zombies with Rooney
Saturday, July 30: Grateful Shred (Ojai Valley Land Conservancy benefit)
Sunday, July 31: Grateful Shred (Ojai Valley Land Conservancy benefit)

Other Libbey Bowl concerts coming up include Three Dog Night, Michael Feinstein, Air Supply, Bruce Hornsby, Richie Kotzen, Blood Sweat and Tear, Starship with Mickey Thomas and more.

It looks like Pedals & Pints Brewing Company and Tarantula Hill Brewing Company in Thousand Oaks are presenting the inaugural Down the Rabbit Hole Festival of Music and Beer on Saturday, July 30 from 11 am to 11 pm and it will feature 10 bands between the two breweries. Tickets are $60 for both venues, which includes your first beer at both locations, and a free shuttle between the two. Bands on the bill are Robert Jon & the Wreck, Beaux Gris Gris & the Apocalypse, Shaky Feelin’, Jacob Marquez & the Good Vibes, a Dustland Fairytail, OPM, Weekend Celebrity, Garrett Lee Robinson, Those Animals and Better off Blonde.

Congratulations to John and the crew at Leashless Brewing on their 5th anniversary. John has been consistently offering a place for people to enjoy live music Thursday through Sunday while providing their certified organic beers. To celebrate, they’ll be offering up three days of epic local reggae starting with Jacob Marquez and the Good Vibes on Friday, July 8, on Saturday, July 9, it’s Heavy Rotation, and then on Sunday, July 10, Levi acoustic.

This 4th of July, the City of Ventura brings back the downtown Street Fair along with the Pushem-Pullem parade which starts at 10 am. This is the only parade I’ve seen, where there are more people in the parade than viewers. Participants are invited to bring their bikes, scooters, strollers and wagons as long as they’re not motorized; it’s quite charming. The theme this year is “2022: Red, White & Blue!” Afterwards, the street fair typically offers a number of bands playing throughout downtown from 10 am – 4 pm.

Quick Notes: Jodi Farrell’s next singer/songwriters’ dinner event at Pierano’s is Wednesday, June 29 with Dylan Brehm, Marina Miller, Emma Wright, Tamara Varney, Jodi Farrell, Luke Hannington, Ella Robles and Aaron Burch; your last chance to catch Luis Munoz before he leaves California will be on July 16 at Namba; Mario Calire is on the road with Jewel this summer and their first week out had the band performing on Late Night with Seth Meyers (Monday 6/13); Surf Rodeo runs July 15 – 17 on the southside of the Ventura pier, get tickets at SurfRodeo.org; the 27th season of the Ventura Music Festival runs July 29 through August 7; and the November 25 show with AFI at the Majestic Ventura Theater is sold out.

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Please send all information short or long to Pam@VenturaRocks.com, and for updated music listings daily, go to www.VenturaRocks.com.

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 6/15/22 – 6/28/22

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

Summer officially arrives with the summer solstice on June 21 and with it a whole lot of special events involving music. From Surf Rodeo to Tequila & Taco Festival, from Conejo Valley Days to the Ventura County Fair, this summer promises to make up for lost time when we missed out on special events during the pandemic and then last year’s slow and cautious return to just getting out and about.

Conejo Valley Days will run from June 16 – June 18 with Mike Scully and the Weary Travelers, Psychedelic Summer, Fat Daddy Special and other bands performing throughout the weekend; this one ends with a John Denver sing along with Rick Shuler on Sunday. For all the band schedules, and ticket and parking information, go to ConejoValleyDays.us.

Surf Rodeo runs July 15 – July 17 with over 40 bands including Ozomatli, the Aggrolites, the Green, Rey Fresco, Aquadolls, Yachtley Crew and of course Raging Arb and the Redheads. For the complete lineup and the lowdown on tickets, go to SurfRodeo.org.

The Tequila & Taco Festival will be held on July 9 – July 10 and will have Sugar Ray, Bone Thugs n Harmony, Adelaide, and more on the big stage. This event will be held at Surfers Point Live in the parking lot at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. For ticket information, go to TequilaAndTacoMusicFestival.com.

The Ventura County Fair runs August 3 – August 14 and I have to say that this has got to be the latest the fair has ever released their Grandstand concert schedule, I’m told artists’ management won’t authorize the publicizing of their bands until later this month…so standby. VenturaRocks.com will post as soon as the lineup is announced otherwise, I will report it in the next issue of the Breeze.

The 2022 Rock the Collection concert series features four dates with family friendly tribute bands: July 27 it’s Twisted Gypsy (Fleetwood Mac), August 10 they have DSB (Journey), September 28 it’s the Long Run (Eagles) and October 19 they wrap it up with Bruno and the Hooligans (Bruno Mars Tribute). The free Wednesday night concerts run 6:30 – 8:30 pm; be sure to bring beach chairs and blankets to sit on.

I just saw that tickets have gone on sale for a two-day benefit for the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy at Libbey Bowl featuring full days of music both capped off with a full three hour set by Grateful Shred on July 30 and 31. You can find out more at OVLC.org.

If reggae is your thing, then you’ll want to be downtown Ventura for Reggae Sundays at Café Fiore 5 pm – 9 pm. The series is now running through September 4 and will feature such bands as Urban Dread, Babylon Rockers, JanGala Roots and Free Love Project.

Speaking of which, tickets are on sale for the September 10th Roots 805 Jam in Port Hueneme at the Oceanview Pavilion. Bands on the bill include Tomorrows Bad Seeds, Kyle Smith, Jacob Marquez and the Good Vibes, Synrgy and more. Tickets available on EventBrite starting at $30 for general admission.

Lonesome Traveler: Generations is currently running at The Rubicon Theatre through June 26. This musical event features multiple generations of artists who come together to celebrate the unifying power of song. The concerts feature the dynamic vocals and awe-inspiring instrumental talents of Lifetime Grammy Award-winners George Grove (formerly with The Kingston Trio for more than 40 years), Rick Dougherty (formerly with both The Kingston Trio and The Limeliters), and Jerry Siggins (best known as the lead singer of The Diamonds). These legendary performers are joined onstage by favorite folk and gospel singer/musicians from Lonesome Traveler and I Dig Rock ‘n Roll Music, along with fresh young artists new to Rubicon audiences. Lonesome Traveler: Generations tickets are available at RubiconTheatre.org.

The Billy Howerdel of a Perfect Circle date got postponed to Sunday, July 24 at the Ventura Music Hall due to immigration issues; tickets will be honored for the rescheduled date. I thought I’d highlight just a few of the venue’s upcoming shows which include Jerry’s Middle Finger on July 29, Aaron Lewis and the Statelines on August 25, Switchfoot on August 28, and the Fabulous Thunderbirds on September 7. I’ve seen Kim Wilson of the Fabulous Thunderbirds play several times here in Ventura at different Hi Hat Entertainment blues shows, so it will be great to see him belt out such tunes as “Tuff Enuff” and “Wrap it Up” when they play. Wilson was nominated for Best Traditional Blues album for his solo album, Take Me Back this year. Be sure to bookmark VenturaMusicHall.com to keep in the loop on all their shows.

Quick Notes: the Legendary Wailers play Ojai Libbey Bowl on Thursday, June 16 and Gov’t Mule on Sunday, June 19; Dan Grimm plays the Vine on Friday, June 17; Area 51 will have folks dancing at the 34th Ojai Wine Festival on Saturday, June 18; Shay Moulder plays Anna’s Cider in Santa Paula on Saturday, June 25; Punk show at Gigi’s on Saturday, June 25 with iDecline, SRA, Romper and more; and tickets are on sale for Black Flag at the Ventura Theater for Saturday, October 29.

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Please send all information short or long to Pam@VenturaRocks.com, and for updated music listings daily, go to www.VenturaRocks.com.

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 5/4 – 5/17

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

There are a number of special events lined up as the weather gets warmer and most of these events will be held outdoors including KHAY Fest on Sunday, May 22, at Surfer’s Point Live (Ventura Fairgrounds) with Josh Turner, Dylan Scott and Tenille Arts. You can find all the ticket information at on the CBFProductions.com website.

Winchesters Grill on Main Street in downtown Ventura is celebrating their 25th anniversary with an outdoor party featuring live music from CRV, Brandon Ragan Project and Ray Jaurique & the Uptown Brothers. The fun starts at 1 pm and goes all day Saturday, May 21.

Ozomatli has been added to the Surf Rodeo music lineup along with Bob Log III, the Aquadolls, Sitting on Stacy, Hirie, Sik Sik Sicks, Death Lens, Badfish, Yachtley Crew, and more. It will be great to hit the sand once again for a weekend of great music, surf competitions, the cornhole tournament, and some serious people watching. Tickets are on sale for July 15 – 17 at SurfRodeo.org.

The Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Festival has been rebranded as the Happy Face Music Festival and it still falls over the Memorial Day weekend on May 28. Headlining will be Mike Campbell the Dirty Knobs along with performances from Sam Morrow, Hardcastle and Kelly’s Lot. Get ticket information at HappyFaceMusicFest.com.

Tickets went on sale May 1st for the 27th season of the Ventura Music Festival which will run July 29 – 31 and August 5 -7. All the performances will be held at the Ventura College Performing Arts Center except for the popular free concert at Mission Park on Wednesday, July 27. This year it will feature Adaawe, an all -female acoustic, vocal and drumming band performing a contemporary world-fusion mix which will be fun for the whole family. Be sure to bring blanket or low-chair for comfortable seating. You can find more information on all performances at VenturaMusicFestival.org.

Quick Notes: A Bar Called Country has cancelled all live bands and opting once again for DJs; the Ventura Harbor Comedy Club’s 1st annual Harmonica Festival for May 15 has already sold out; Tony’s Pizzaria is firing up their Sunday Funday Beach Parties live music 3-6 and their reggae Thursdays start on Cinco de Mayo with Forbidden Fruit; Don Randi and Quest (Wrecking Crew) is back for repeat performance at the Grape, Saturday, May 7; Caffrodite monthly dinner & music features Déjà vu Too on Friday, May 13; X plays the Ventura Music Hall on May 11; and 311 plays the Majestic Ventura Theater on Thursday, May 12.

Finally, it is with a heavy heart that I send out my sincerest condolences to the Ventura jazz community as we mourn the passing of local artist, Hans Ottsen. His grace, talent, and sweet soul will be forever missed.

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Please send all information short or long to Pam@VenturaRocks.com, and for updated music listings daily, go to www.VenturaRocks.com.

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 7/1/20 – 7/14/20

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

Ventura Rocks artwork

NOTE:  The deadline for this column was just before the County shutdown all bars and prohibited indoor music.

PLAYING THE GAME

I’ve spoken to a number of venue owners the past couple of weeks as they tread lightly doing their best to follow the guidelines in place to operate safely in this time of COVID-19. And without naming names, I know several have had to stop the music (literally) to remind patrons that wearing masks is mandatory in their establishment unless you’re seated at your table. Social distancing is being enforced and whether you think the whole thing is a conspiracy theory or not, it’s their business, literally! They can make up whatever rules they want to secure their venue, but the bigger issue is that they’re actually enforcing what has been mandated by the governor of California. Do you want them to be closed down by code enforcement? Of course not! So, I beseech you to please wear a mask, because if you don’t you’re going to not only put their business at risk, but you could pass along the virus not even knowing you’re a carrier.

We all want to get back to normal. We all want to hang out, and give hugs and hearty handshakes to old friends while taking in our favorite bands, but we’re nowhere near that point yet. If you feel strongly enough about not wanting to wear a mask, then please stay away and listen to music at home. There are plenty of live streaming concerts still being held.

NOT BACK TO NORMAL

Reopening doors, following safety guidelines and trying to get back up to speed may not include live music at this time for a lot of venues. I understand (she says with a pitiful lower lip pushed out trembling ever so slightly). The priority is paying the rent and the staff and rebuilding a clientele. So, don’t forget to support all your favorite music venues whether they have live music or not yet. If we do this right, and we do this together supporting where we can, we will live to see another robust economy with a booming music scene.

PLAYING SAFELY

And while we’re on the submit of live music in venues, let’s take it from the perspective of the musician. Not all artists feel safe enough to get back out there to play live. Trust me, they want to, but their better judgement is keeping them away for many reasons. You have your favorite bands, and solo artists, well why not reach out via social media where most of them have accounts. Let them know you miss them, and if you can, buy their music and some merchandise if available to show your support.

DRIVE-IN CONCERTS V

John Jorgensen Bluegrass

John Jorgensen’s Bluegrass Supergroup

SuperDuperKyleIn each of my past four music scene columns I’ve been able to report more details on the Concerts in Your Car events by CBF Productions (California Beer Festival). This past weekend Ventura finally saw a large-scale concert with SuperDuperKyle kicking off the series over the weekend of June 26 and 27. Kyle, a former Ventura High School graduate, was well-received as he gears up for his album release on July 17, See You When I Am Famous.

I’m not going to lie; I am so relieved to hear portable bathrooms are now available as they were not when they first launched this series. Under their FAQ, the Concerts in Your Car website made it clear no restrooms on site, no getting out of your car, and you could not leave the event early. As a female, let me just say “THANK YOU GOD!” I just couldn’t wrap my bladder, I mean head around that one! Gratefully, we don’t have to worry about that now.

Back to the business at hand, joining forces with CBF Productions is the Ventura Music Festival as they present John Jorgenson’s Bluegrass Supergroup. On Thursday, July 16. I love that Concerts In Your Car is being so diverse with the genres ranging from rap to bluegrass to alternative rock to country, there literally is something for everyone! And if you are a fan of bluegrass music, then you won’t want to miss Grammy-winning guitarist, John Jorgenson (Desert Rose Band, the Hellecasters) who will be joined by fellow music legends Herb Pedersen (Desert Rose Band, Laurel Canyon Ramblers), Mark Fain (seven-time Grammy-winning bassist) and Patrick Sauber (Laurie Lewis band).John Jorgensen Bluegrass

Patrick Sauber, Mark Fain, John Jorgenson, Herb Pederson

I have a quick Q&A following here, but for more information on all the concerts and movies and for purchasing your ticket got to ConcertsInYourCar.com.

Q&A with JOHN JORGENSON

Pam: I’m loving the creativity of our music community; what was your initial response to doing a drive-in concert?

John: Indeed Ventura is a very creative community, and as a musician I feel quite comfortable living here.

When Nuvi [Nuvi Mehta, Ventura Music Festival Artistic Director] asked me to play the drive-in concert for the Ventura Music Festival I was thrilled. I have performed in so many varied venues over my 40 plus years as an entertainer so to get asked to do something new and challenging is rare, surprising and fun. In the last few months most of my contact with my band members has been to cancel or reschedule gigs, so to get to tell them about one that’s actually going to happen was great too.

Pam: What can people expect from your show?

J2B2 is an excellent ensemble both instrumentally and vocally, so people can expect world class singing and playing first of all. Our material ranges from very traditional bluegrass to newer songs from some of the best songwriters of our time. Our goal has been to bring meaningful lyrics into the mix of virtuosic picking and tight vocal harmonies. Hopefully the audience will laugh, wipe a tear or two, think a bit differently, and drive home with smiles on their faces.

Pam: Do you see more of these type concerts on the horizon?

John: Well, I sure hope so! The chance to get out and enjoy a performance from the safety of your own car while still feeling a bit of community and a shared concert experience is extremely rare if not impossible. Here is a way forward!

Pam: Musically speaking, what had you been doing during the shutdown?

John: Since the shut down I’ve been mostly using the time to go through my musical archives of older formats and transfer tapes, as well as organize memorabilia I’ve amassed over the years. I have also done a few remote recording sessions and contributed to a worldwide orchestral and choral collaboration. It’s definitely a time for all performers to rethink and retool.

SURF RODEO

I spoke to JD Drury just a few weeks ago and being the optimist that he is, he was still holding out that Surf Rodeo could in some form or another be pulled off this summer or late fall, but the word came out shortly afterwards that Surf Rodeo is officially off for 2020; JD hung in there hoping for a miracle, but alas…it wasn’t to be. The official post on social media: “It is with heavy hearts that after several conversations with the City of Ventura and State Parks, due to Covid-19, we will not be able to party on the beach this summer. We love you and we miss you! WE WILL BE BACK 2021!”

CROOKED EYE TOMMY

Album artworkTommy Marsh dropped off a copy of Crooked Eye Tommy’s sophomore CD, Hot Coffee and Pain which is scheduled for an August release. It was recorded in Ojai at Carbonite Studios with Grammy-winning audio engineer, Jason Mariani (Joe Bonamassa, Robben Ford). You know I’ll be spinning a couple tunes on the Pam Baumgardner Music Hour at CAPS Media’s KPPQ-LP, and we’re working on having Tommy be a guest on the VenturaRockSpot which you can view on the Ventura Rock’s YouTube channel. If you loved their last release, Butterflies and Snakes, well you ain’t seen nothing yet! Holy smokes, they hit this one out of the park! More details coming soon.

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Please send all information short or long to Pam@VenturaRocks.com, and for updated music listings daily, go to www.VenturaRocks.com.

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 7/17 – 7/30

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

The Ventura Music Festival’s annual free concert will be held once again at Mission Park with Incendio (high octane Latin guitar) on Thursday, July 18, show starts at 5:30 pm. The festival’s final performances will be held at the Ventura College Performing Arts Center with Joey Alexander Trio on July 19; Ranky Tanky on July 20 and Rastrelli Cello quartet on July 21.

The Ventura Fair opens August 2; this is just a reminder, if you want to take in more than 4 concerts (which are included in the price of admission), you should consider getting a WOW pass before the fair opens which gets you entry everyday saving you beaucoup bucks. See full lineup and ticket information at VenturaCountyFair.org.

Just a head’s up, Spencer Makenzie’s Annual End of Summer Block Party falls over the weekend of August 23 – 25. Don’t miss their free concert which will fall on Saturday with Johnny and the Love Handles, Dave Rae and Mandex.

I am loving all the local punk bands supporting T.S.O.L. at the Ventura Theater on Friday, July 26; just a few of the bands include Stalag 13, Ill Repute, The Grim, and The Robot Uprising.

Tequila and Taco Music Festival returns to town over the weekend of July 20 and 21 at Plaza Park with Bruno and the Hooligans, a tribute to Bruno Mars, along with Instone, Sambada, Adelaide and Upstream. Find out more at TequilaAndTacoMusicFestival.com.

Music Under the Stars series continues on Saturday nights at Olivas Adobe with Sound Effect (sold out) on July 20 and Rodeo Drive on July 27. Know this, all final shows for the rest of the summer are sold out.

Quick Notes: Munch at the Museum this month features Sandi Ellen Anderson on Thursday, July 18 (11:30 am – 1:30 pm); Pyrate Punx has a show at Hong Kong Inn with False Confession, 3 Day Holocaust, Civil Conflict and Trash on Thursday, July 18; Alpine Camp Band plays Leashless Brewing’s Vtown Get Down Festival on Saturday, July 20; Bad Religion sold out for their show at Ventura Theater on Friday, July 19; Ventura’s Psychedelic Summer debuts at Oak and Main on Friday, July 19 (dress up!); Jen Staves returns to Ventura with her Bluzfish Trio on Sunday, July 21 at Plan B Wine Cellers; Actor Jeff Bridges performs his music at Discovery on Wednesday, July 24; The Garage welcomes Tanglers out of Vancouver on Friday, July 26; And the Caverns return to town with a show at Saloon on Friday, July 26.

Many thanks to JD Drury and his crew for pulling off another amazing Surf Rodeo. Of course, I miss them at Pierpont Beach where I could park at home and walk over, but I’m loving the vibe at the Pier.

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. For updated music listings daily, go to www.VenturaRocks.com.

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 5/22 – 6/4

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

Surf Rodeo has finally announced their headliners for each day! First, it’s The Expendables (reggae) for Saturday, July 13, and then it’s Hepcat (ska and reggae) for Sunday, July 14. Don’t forget that the two-day surf and music festival lands in a new spot this year at the Ventura Pier. JD Drury has always been a strong supporter of local music, case in point, you can catch loads of local bands including Hy Brasil, Stoneflys, Honey Owl and Kings Revenge along with JD’s Raging Arb and the Redheads. There will be 30+ bands along with surf and cornhole competitions, and cowgirl & cowboy bikini contest…hey wait! A cowboy bikini contest? How did I miss this before??? Get tickets and more information at SurfRodeo.org.

The 4th Annual Ojai Blues Fest at Ojai Art Center will be held on Saturday, June 1, with another amazing lineup of blues artists. The doors open at 1 pm with music from Kelly’s Lot, Orphan Jon and the Abandoned, Crooked Eye Tommy, Rae Gordon, Laurie Morvan Band, then a grand finale set featuring an all-star jam. Acoustic sets will be played in between to keep the day moving; tickets available online at OjaiBluesFest.com

Tickets for the Music Under the Stars concert series this summer are available only through Ventura City Hall. Several shows have already sold out, but you can still get tickets for Sound Effect on July 20, Rodeo Drive on July 27, Four Lads from Liverpool on August 3 and Identity Theft on August 10. I’m happy to see people are scooping up tickets, but it’s a little baffling why the City doesn’t set up an online page to purchase tickets; you still have to call to get yours during their regular business hours.

Quick Notes: the May 23 Good Charlotte show has been cancelled at the Ventura Theater; Jon over at Leashless will be hosting the Listening Room Open Mic weekly on Tuesday nights until further notice; Big Adventure has landed a Wednesday night residency at Oak and Main; you can find out what psychedelic jazz funk sounds like when Los Retros and Evolution Burger play Concrete Jungle on Friday, May 24; Ventura College Performing Arts Center hosts El Bracero, a Mariachi opera on Friday May 24; River Ripley, RyMi and the Martians along with Tattered Angels play Namba downtown on Saturday May 25; and Topa Mountain Winery will have live music with Bryan Titus Trio on Memorial Day, Monday, May 24.

The Pam Baumgardner Music Hour returns to KPPQ-LP at 104.1 FM after a short hiatus following the passing of my father Gilbert Sanchez. Airdates are Tuesdays and Fridays at 5 pm and Sundays at noon. You can also listen with the MyTuner app for your phone or online at CapsMedia.org.

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. For updated music listings daily, go to www.VenturaRocks.com.

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 2/13 – 2/26

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

I am so happy to hear that Surf Rodeo is on again for this year and I just found out it will be in a new location moving from Pierpont Beach to the Ventura Pier. No word on bands yet, but you won’t want to make any vacation plans for the weekend of July 13 and 14.

Another festival will be testing Ventura out, it’s called the Lantern Festival which will be held on Saturday, February 16, with live music from Cardiod, Nightgown and Pretty Polly. This family friendly event will of course feature hundreds of lanterns hanging, yours is included in the price of your ticket which range from $29 to $75 for VIP passes. I found this one on Facebook.

Holy moly, don’t even think I’d forget about Valentine’s Day. Okay, the long and short of it goes like this, we have lovey dovey to total animosity. Let’s start on the lovey dovey side with the Toni Jannotta Jazz Trio at Vintura at the Wine Rack, Bryan McCann at Café Fiore, Warren Takahaski Varon Thomas at The Cave, The Gypsy Blues band continues their weekly residency at The Blue Room next to the Comedy Club in the Harbor, there’s the weekly Bluegrass jam at the Boatyard Pub at the Harbor, then for the harder side of the coin, it’s Danko Jones and Nashville Pussy at Discovery and finally HeWhoCannotBeNamed and the Devros at The Tavern. Good luck!

Quick Notes: Jerry’s Middle Finger with The Alligators will be at the Golden China on Saturday, February 16; El Rey Cantina is hosting a fundraiser for The Young and Brave Foundation with Timmy Curran and Friends performing on Saturday, February 23; Several local spanning several genres have pulled their resources for a Notes for Notes fundraiser at the Ventura Theater on Saturday, February 23, featuring Astreyas, Disrupted Euphoria, Doc Martin Band and Eleven Point Two; a roots rock band out of Portland called Wanderlodge will be working their way through town with a handful of dates including one at Made West Brewing on Saturday, February 16, Topa Topa Brewing Co. on Thursday, February 21, and Winchesters on Friday, February 22; and a Johnny Cash Birthday Bash with the Mighty Cash Cats and Silver Threads will be at Bombay’s on Sunday, February 24, the show starts at 6 pm with no cover charge.

Finally, huge congratulations to Teresa James & the Rhythm Tramps for earning a Grammy nomination for this year’s Best Contemporary Blues Album for her 10th album, “Here in Babylon” as well as a huge shout out to Jesse Siebenberg who worked with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper on “Shallow” with Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real. “Shallow” won the Grammy for Best Song Written for visual Media and for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.

Do you have any music-related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing? Please send all information short or long to Pam@VenturaRocks.com, and for updated music listings daily, go to www.VenturaRocks.com.

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 4/25 – 5/8

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

It’s out with the old and in with the new, but not just quite yet. Before their final week of jazz music in their current location, Squashed Grapes played host to none other than Michael McDonald, yes that Michael McDonald of the Doobie Brothers and a brilliant solo career which has spanned more than 45 years. The intimate, by-invite-only setting was held Sunday, April 22. What can I say? I love this town.

And speaking of their final week, Adam and Josh of Squashed Grapes have a stellar lineup of jazz before closing their doors while they work on the new location on Main street next to Yolanda’s. Wednesday, June 25 it’s Hans Ottsen Quartet with special guest Jacob Scesney; on Thursday it’s The Ray Mehlbaum Quartet; on then finally on Friday, Doug Webb returns with drummer Danny Carey (TOOL) for a huge sendoff party.

The Ventura County Blues Festival will be held this year at the Studio Channel Islands on Saturday, April 28 with Earl Thomas, John Nemeth, Deb Ryder, Alan Wright Band, and Sandy Scott & Blues to the Bone. There will be an after party with Crooked Eye Tommy at El Rey Cantina in Camarillo.

Jeffrey Willerth, is the new director of Namba and he plans to utilize the facility at 47 South Oak Street for what is called the “Music Speaks” series. The first installment will be held on May 5 with Conjunto Tenocelomeh, a band rooted in the Son Jarocho Mexican folk music of Veracruz. Also this month, they’ll have CG Ryche, an amazing percussionist, brilliant showman and filmmaker who will perform and share his inspiring story focused on the importance of ‘perseverance’ as it relates to musicians; Duane Tudahl, author of “Prince and the Purple Rain Era Studio Sessions 1983-1984” who will explain how he got his hands on the daily recording reports from the Studios Prince visited; and Tim Wickham, a Ventura local with boundless appreciation for Hammond Organs will bring a few of his prized Hammonds and play in a trio in a historical salute to this renown musical instrument. For tickets and information go to NambaArts.com

And finally, if you haven’t already done so, don’t make any out-of-town vacation plans over the weekend of July 14th and 15th; in fact, plan for a “Staycation” for this year’s Surf Rodeo. JD Drury has started to announce the music lineup and I’m super jazzed to learn that not only will Shwayze and The Untouchables be on the bill, but the Long Beach Dub Allstars will be headlining (group features former members of Sublime). I understand a lot more bands will be added over the next month or so but we know that Highway Starr, Kyle Smith, Rising Son, Yachtley Crew, Zepp Heads and of course Raging Arb and the Redheads will be on the bill.

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.