Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 9/22/21 – 10/5/21

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

While I’m not going to guarantee an opening date for the Grape, they are oh so very close to opening their doors to what I’m sure will be the hottest jazz club in the County. I got the grand tour and the place is amazing!!!The Grape barsideWe’ve been very fortunate to have Will Breman performing at local venues downtown Ventura (Winchesters and Grapes and Hops with a Twist) having been a semifinalist on NBC’s the Voice just a couple years ago (season 17). His mentor from the show, John Legend, just did a concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl last week and Legend brought Will on stage to perform Joe Cocker’s version of “With a Little Help from my Friends.” I spoke to Will about it and he told me, “Singing with John was literally the most perfect timing. Before the pandemic, I had bought tickets for my mom, because she was celebrating her 50th birthday. Ultimately my entire family got to go, which was wonderful. Mom and dad had zero clue [he’d be performing], and I could see them freaking out from their floor seats. Working with John in any respect has been straightforward and easy. At this point it was like catching up with a dear friend. I didn’t expect the nerves I got in the moment, but it had also been the first time in two years that I ever sang for an audience that big.” Freakin’ awesome, right?!! Will was kind enough to do an episode of VenturaRockSpot with me earlier this year, you can view it at VenturaRockSpot.com (along with dozens of other interviews). Will Breman will also be featured at the Topa Mountain Music 2021 Benefit Concert coming up at Ojai’s Libbey Bowl on October 9. Headlining the show will be the White Buffalo along with performances from Bryan Titus Trio, Lee Koch Band, Jems and more. Go to TopaMountainMusic.org for ticket information.

Social Distortion (including long-time band member and well-known musician in numerous bands around town, Brent Harding) just got added to the list of concerts for October at the Majestic Ventura Theater playing a date on Wednesday, October 6. Other shows include Drakeo the Ruler on October 1, Black Label Society on October 2, Yung Blue on October 5, two Pennywise shows, the one with the Dead Kennedys on October 7 and the one with Strung Out on October 8, and then it’s Elefante, Inspector on October 15. The venue is now requiring a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of the event you’re attending or proof of vaccination for entry. Masks are also required at all times except while actively eating or drinking.

I’m also happy to report there will be live music at Bombay’s on Saturday, September 25, starting at 6 pm in the back room and this one is all ages. With a small $5 cover, you’ll get Brian Mikasa with Ardi on drums performing new music along with opening sets from Kyle Hunt and Hol!day (Tyler Treves’ new project). It’s being branded as a listening party, so respect and give them your attention; should be a great way to kick off a Saturday night downtown.

Ojai Nest Fest scheduled for Lake Casitas on October 2nd has been postponed.

Quick Notes: Maria Calire is out touring with Martha and the Motels; with less daylight, Margarita Villa has adjusted their live music to 7-10 on the weekends; Tony Ybarra is opening for Blood Sweat & Tears at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills on September 24;
Tuesday Blues Day continues past summer at the Copa Cubana with Jerry Mcworter, Shawn Jones, Ed Berghoff and Sam Bolle; the Temptations play Libbey Bowl in Ojai on Sunday, September 26; Kyle Smith record release party will be held at the Six Chow House on Thursday, September 23; the monthly Bubbly, Brunch & Latin Jazz at the Ventura Harbor Comedy Club will feature Justo Almario, Abraham Laborial and Bill Maxwell on Sunday, September 26 was cancelled; and Surf ‘N’ Suds returns to San Buenaventura State Beach on Saturday, October 9, with music from Jacob Marquez and the Good Vibes along with Mestizo & DJ Hecktik.

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 6/16/21 – 6/29/21

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

artwork

I really thought I was clever lining up local artists for a short Q&A the past year because frankly, there was very little to write about regarding our music scene other than a lack of a music scene, but that got old fast. So, the Q&A’s were fun and interesting as I caught up with such local artists as Dan Grimm, Tommy Marsh, Will Breman, Natalie Gelman, Chulz Torrez, Guy Martin, Christine Law and so many more. We heard about how they had been holding up during the pandemic and what they had been up to and what new music they had been working on lately. (They’re all archived by the way on VenturaRocks.com) Well I had one lined up for this issue, but I got burned, and he missed the deadline, so lucky for me, we actually have a music scene starting to come back to life for me to write about now!

In my last column I mentioned how it looked like the days of Concerts in your Car were numbered and I was right, Nelly was the last show on Saturday, June 12. I was severely disappointed that Vanilla Ice with Tag Team #WhoopThereItIs was taken off their calendar, that is until I opened an email from CBF Productions and found they’ve been rescheduled to perform here in town after all. CBF Productions are the good folks who brought you Concerts in Your Car, California Beer Festival, Winter Wine Walk, and yes, the Tequila and Taco Music Festival where you can now see both Vanilla Ice and Tag Team #WhoopThereItIs over the weekend of July 24. Last year of course was cancelled due to the pandemic and previous years it was held at Plaza Park, but this year the festival will be held at Surfer’s Point at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. I’ll be honest, it will be good to walk on solid ground (as opposed to the park) after a tasting or two of tequila, and definitely after one of those fiery margaritas they have for sell. Saturday it’s the two hip-hop/rap artists, and then Sunday features tribute to Selena & Latina artists. Tickets on sale now at TequilaAndTacoMusicFestival.com.

Adam and Josh have been slowly but surely getting their new jazz club, the Grape, ready to open their doors to the general public, and the timing couldn’t be better as the county continues to reopen and allow businesses to get back to…business. I just spoke to Josh and he told me they’re looking at the second week in July. YES, FINALLY!! Now you may have seen a post on social media about a show at the Grape on July 8, but that will be a live-stream featuring Karl Hunter, Hans Ottsen, Guil Juliao and Adam Clark (Adam’s back in town for a mere week or so). Adam and Josh are working on dates for Mike Garson’s return, and I hear Doug Webb and Danny Carey are eager to play the new joint as soon as they can. The new jazz house will definitely be a feather in the cap of Ventura’s music scene, and I for one can barely wait to check it out.

Cadillac Zack has landed a new venue for his blues shows at Cantara Cellars in Camarillo. It’s recommended to get your tickets in advance so you don’t miss out when shows sell out. You can do so by calling or texting (323) 377-5291. Tickets range from $20 to $35 with all shows starting at 8 pm; doors open at 7. Currently the line-up includes Jimmy Vivino, bandleader for the Conan O’Brien show on Friday, June 25; Guitar Shorty, blues legend and Hendrix’s step-brother, on Friday, July 9; Laith Al-Saadi, brilliant guitarist and finalist on NBC’s The Voice on Friday, July 16; and Josh Smith, famed modern blues guitar genius on Friday, July 23. August dates include Chris Cain, the Atomic 44’s (formerly The 44’s), Paule Cerra and Lionel Young.

Quick Notes: Winchester’s is hosting “Burning Mask Ventura” on Sunday June 27 from 1 pm to 7 pm with live music from Two’s Company, the Bomb and Spencer the Gardener; there’s actual live music at Bombay’s on Saturday, June 26 starting at 5 pm with the Swizzlers, Vonettes and Fish Fry; catch Tuesday Blues Day evenings at Copa Cubana featuring Jerry McWorter, Ed Berghoff and Shawn Jones this month; Franck L. Goldwasser has a date at Namba on Saturday, June 19; and finally, are you’re missing a little Nardcore? Well Rock & Roll Pizza in Camarillo will be hosting Tuesday night Nardcore nights starting June 22 with Out of Trust and the Robot Uprising.

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

Ventura Rocks in the Ventura Breeze 6/16/20 – 6/30/20

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

Ventura Rocks artwork

DRIVE-IN CONCERTS IV

In each of my past three music scene columns I’ve been able to report more details on the Concerts in Your Car events by CBF Productions (California Beer Festival). The drive-in style concerts where you remain in your car tuned in to an FM frequency have been gaining popularity in Europe and now here in the States. We knew the first concert was marketed to our new grads featuring two nights starring former Ventura High School artist SuperDuperKyle. Unfortunately, the dates changed after our press deadline in our last issue, so if you thought you missed it, you can still get tickets for his rescheduled shows for June 26 and June 27.

Now if you’re wondering like I was who else they’ll be having live on stage, well I just got wind of their next show which is going on sale Thursday, June 18 for just $39 per car…ready??? It’s one of my favorite bands from the 90s, it’s none other than Third Eye Blind on Saturday, July 25! They’re back playing all the songs you know and love such as “Semi-Charmed Life, “Graduate” and “Losing a Whole Year.” Stephan Jenkins and the boys actually played the Ventura County Fair back in 2016, and they sounded as great as ever. I can’t wait to catch the show in the comfort of my own car.

photo of Stephen Jenkins

Stephen Jenkins of Third Eye Blind at the Ventura Fair 2016

Along with nationwide touring bands, Concerts In Your Cars has a summer of tribute bands lined up for Thursday nights. It will be along the line of those concerts that had taken place at the Collection the past couple of summers. The company is locking down Queen, Journey, AC/DC and Bruno Mars tribute bands. The tribute shows will be held on Thursday evenings for only $19 per car.

And finally, I mentioned in my last column I was hoping the drive-in theater style concerts would actually start featuring drive-in movies, and ta-da, it’s happening!! CBF Productions is also putting together movie screenings for film classics such as the Goonies, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and Grease which have been scheduled along with a series of theater productions of Forever Plaid, Jimmy Messina & Friends and Music of the Knights featuring the songs of Andrew Lloyd Weber, Elton John and Paul McCartney.

I heard there is more coming, especially if you have “Friends in Low Places,” but contracts are pending, so stay tuned. For all the concert and movie dates along with ticket information, go to ConcertsInYourCar.com.

MAIN STREET VENTURA EXPERIMENT

By the time this issue of the Ventura Breeze hits newsstand, the closing of downtown Ventura’s Main Street to through traffic will be in effect for at least 30 days kicking off on Monday, June 15. If it is a success and people come out and support all the restaurants and stores, there could be an additional 30 days added to the closure.

As previously reported, the City Council unanimously voted in favor of the emergency ordinance on May 18, 2020, which closes Main Street from Fir to the Mission (or Figueroa Street). If you live close enough, I would encourage you to either walk, ride your bike, or use one of the many rideshare companies, which include our local taxis, Lyft or Uber.

And of course, to keep things lively, there is nothing like live music to enhance the experience, and I understand there will be plenty to go around with at least 32 hours scheduled at press time. Go to VenturaRocks.com for listings.

VENUES REOPENING

Most all venues have reopened their doors and a handful are offering live music by either solo, duos or combos where the sound level can be kept at a level where people can still hold a conversation, i.e., you don’t have to lean in to hear someone speaking. This is especially important when a waiter comes one’s table, or you step up to the counter to place an order. Most establishments are requiring face masks while entering their premises; however, once you’re seated, you can take them off. My understanding is the wait staff will continue to don their masks while working the room.

Venues and artists tend to keep me in the loop on their schedules and so I’ve provided those listings on this page. Keep in mind, more and more are coming back on board; I’m hearing Peirano’s, and possible the Shores will have music on the weekends, and when I can confirm their line-up, I will add to the music calendar on VenturaRocks.com.

THE GRAPE

I was hoping to have solid information to report, and hopefully I will next issue, but know this, the boys are working hard and it’s full steam ahead on construction for the new jazz venue. I’m hearing August (2020) is a possibility.

Squashed Grapes closed over a year ago working through the paperwork and permitting process as well as fundraising to open the Grape. Meanwhile, Adam and Josh teamed up with other vintners (Boyer Wines and Sensation Wines) to open the Winery Ventura down on Market Street which will continue to be their main outlet for their wines. You can find live music there (all genres), with food trucks or order in capabilities, but of course what we’ve been waiting for is a jazz house with a full bar.

GUITAR AND WHISKEY CLUB

As of this month, Gail Sutton will be holding down the bass and backing vocals for Guitar and Whiskey Club. Sutton is an accomplished four and five-string electric bassist who excels in rock, blues and jazz. After having successful runs in Florida, NY/NJ/ tri state and Colorado, she landed in Southern California in 2015 when she immediately started networking and playing everywhere she could. She eventually met and teamed up with Giorgio Bertucelli who has designed and built studios for other rockers including Alex Van Halen. With Bertucelli’s help, Sutton finished construction on her own studio named Gailforce.

Meanwhile you can catch the Guitar and Whiskey Club every Sunday afternoon online during their Clubhouse shows on their Facebook page. Many thanks to Jeff Donovan and Jennifer Wylde for having me on as a guest last month. It was a hoot!

YOU CAN HELP

In the interest of supporting local musicians whose incomes have been drastically reduced, and even in some cases stopped completely due to the COVID-10 crisis, please consider reaching out via social media and support one of their livestream concerts and/or performances and make a donation if you can. I’m loving the intimate setting some provide, albeit awkward at first as they’re so used to immediate feedback (cue the applause), but they’re catching on and they do read the comments as they come in on their feeds.

And if you’re not one for watching livestreams, then consider a small purchase of one of their CDs, or a t-shirt or coffee mug. Every little bit helps. Of course, you may find yourself too strapped to help out, so perhaps you might consider just reaching out and letting your favorite artist or band know you’re looking forward to seeing them again soon.

COVID-19

It still seems surreal that we’re living through a pandemic which has changed the face of Ventura’s music scene. It’s going to be some time before we’re crammed together on a dance floor dancing up a sweat to our favorite cover bands. It’s going to be some time before the Majestic Ventura Theater holds packed houses in front of our favorite bands. And it’s going to be some time before our festivals and events can be held where large audiences amass. I understand the frustration, but we got to hold the line and do what’s right.

And finally in closing, BLACK LIVES MATTER.

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 4/24 – 5/7

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

It’s always a treat when Noel Paul Stookey from the iconic folk trio, Peter, Paul & Mary, performs at the Rubicon Theatre.  Stookey brings his dry wit and love of humankind in a show called “In These Times” on Sunday, April 28. His appearances always sell out, and this one did as well, so I’m happy to report there will be a second concert on Monday, April 29. I wonder what he’ll talk about.  Hmmm.

The local crew from Army of Freshmen have new music available this month, it’s an EP called “At the End of the Day” featuring acoustic tunes. That one drops April 26; the next day, they’ll perform “unplugged” up in Goleta at The Imperial sharing the stage with Nerf Herder.

Eco Fest not only provides over 80 exhibitors, green education ideas with helpful tips, and children’s activities, but they also offer great music throughout the day. This year they’ll have two stages of music with D.on Darox and the Melody Joy Bakers, Ventucky String Band, Anchor & Bear, Shay Moulder, the Midtones and more.  The annual event will be held at Plaza Park (Santa Clara and Chestnut) on April 27 from 10 am to 4 pm.  Eco Fest is free to the pubic with a bike valet available for those doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint.

Gigi’s will be hosting a couple of shows featuring bands from out of the area.  First on Monday, April 29, it’s Radio Active (Tokyo, Japan), The Wankys (Leicester, UK), Eel (Pittsburgh, PA) and No Divide (Santa Barbara); and then on Friday, May 3, they’ll have MOB 47 (Sweden), along with Phobia, Wichaven and Zoloa. I’m glad to see promoters taking advantage of this space again for live music.

Quick Notes: Amber Olive of Amber & Smoke has a new side gig with the band Mini Driver; Margarita Villa has live music every weekend now, Friday through Sunday; Ray Jaurique and friends play The Blue Room on Wednesdays in the Harbor; Show Me the Body from New York play with Enemy on Thursday, April 25, at the Tavern; Norman Baker out of Seattle plays Namba on Friday, April 26; playing the Sewer for the first time, it’s The Guitar & Whiskey Club on Saturday, April 27; The Popravinas perform Saturday, May 4, at Dargans; Club 805 hosts The Darkside (Cosplay) on May 4; and Robin Trower plays the Ventura Theater on Sunday, May 5.

Congratulations to Adam and Josh for getting the Planning Commissions unanimous approval during their public hearing April 10.  It was a standing room only crowd with so many people speaking in support of opening The Grape Jazz Club.  Now, a little construction upgrades and hopefully the next time I write about the Grape will be to give their opening date.  Well done boys!

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.