The 13th Annual Ventura County Blues Festival, Southern California’s Longest-Running Yearly Big Blues Event, returns on Saturday, April 28, to Studio Channel Islands, 2222 E. Ventura Blvd., in Camarillo. Gates open 10:00 am, music begins at 11:00 am. Tickets $30. (Pre-Sale), $40. (Day of Show). Kids 12 and under, free with paid Adult General Admission. V.I.P. Tickets $125. (online only). Festival proceeds benefits Food Share, Safety Harbor Kids and other local charities (please bring a nonperishable food item to donate to Food Share). Info: (805) 501-7122 or visit venturacountyblues.com/. Benefiting Safety Harbor Kids and other local charities. Donations welcome.
“We look forward to carrying on this tradition for many years to come,” says Michael John, Ventura County Blues Society President. “Because of the support of sponsors and the generosity of all the volunteers donating their time, we anticipate the Ventura County Blues Festival will continue to grow as it has each year.”
The Festival is dedicated to the late musician and actor, Mickey Jones.
Statement About Mickey Jones’s Passing From VCBS President, Michael John
“The Passing of our dear brother and friend Mickey Jones will leave an empty place in our hearts. Anyone who ever had the honor to meet Mickey knows what a very special human being he was. Not just because of the incredible life he lived, but the person he was. He was always there for anyone that needed a helping hand, all you had to do is just ask. He worked as hard on charity events as he did on his long successful career as a professional musician and actor. I met Mickey several years ago at a charity event which we were both involved in, we talked for a while and realized we both lived in the same town, Simi Valley. We became very close friends as we had a lot of common interests, the love of family, friends, music and a bond that lasted for many years working to support our community. There will never be another person like Mickey, he has touch the hearts of so many people.
“I believe things happen for a reason and our paths crossing was meant to be, to call him a brother and friend to me and my family was a blessing. I think it is only fitting that The 13th Annual Ventura County Blues Festival is dedicated to the man who truly made a difference in the lives of so many. We will have an all-star jam to close the festival this year which will have many very special guests. In addition, there will be an silent auction which will help the Jones family through these hard times. I ask all music fans to come out and join us in the celebration of Mickey’s life for the whole day of great music and some great surprises. This will be an amazing day, come out and celebrate this day with us while doing something positive for our community. Thank you Mickey for all you have done, your love, your friendship, your humor and your wisdom. We will always love you and keep you in our hearts forever.”
This year’s lineup features multiple former Grammy nominee, vocalist Earl Thomas; harpist-vocalist extraordinaire, John Nemeth; SoCal native daughter and longtime festival favorite, Deb Ryder; past International Blues Challenge semi finalists, Alan Wright Band; Sandy Scott & Blues to The Bone, featuring powerhouse vocalist, Sandy Scott. As per yearly tradition, the Ventura County Blues Society All-Star Jam closes out the festival, with special, unannounced guest performers.
HEADLINERS AT THE 13TH ANNUAL VENTURA COUNTY BLUES FESTIVAL
Earl Thomas: is an American blues singer/songwriter, with songs covered by artists including Tom Jones, Etta James, Solomon Burke and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins among many others. He has twice been nominated for a Grammy Award and has won the San Diego Music Award four times.
He started out playing the Arcata (Ca) clubs in the early 1980s while attending Humboldt State University. He was at an Open Mike Night at and sang a Jackson Browne number, “Something Fine” which was the start of his performing career. In the early 1990s, he moved to San Diego, California.His Blue…Not Blues album was released in 1991 and received favorable reviews, and he was referred to by one reviewer as “a pleasant surprise”. His self-penned song, “I Sing the Blues”, was a hit for Etta James. in 2016 he released Crow (Earl Thomas Music).
John Nemeth: Don’t try to snatch him back and hold him, he’s a man on the move. John Németh had already established himself among the very top ranks of blues musicians and modern soul singers when he decided to break the mold with his new record, FEELIN’ FREAKY. Németh fearlessly crushes all barriers of style and genre with an album of original songs that defies all the usual pigeonholes. Drawing from his strong influences in blues and R&B, as well as contemporary sounds in hip hop and rock & roll, John creates music that is personal as well as universal, and owes its origin to no one but John Németh. John’s songs are groove and melody-driven, laced with thoughtful lyrics and nuanced humor, and cover themes from social issues of gun violence and class values to the pure hedonistic joy of dancing, sexuality and marijuana. He creates his songs from melodies and phrases he draws from the sounds of life, from early-morning Memphis songbirds to the din of the city. For this album John brought his new songs to his great touring band, the Blue Dreamers – Danny Banks on drums, Matthew Wilson on bass and guitar, and Johnny Rhodes on guitar – so they could hone the groove and finish building the album as a group. Under the simpatico guidance of Grammy-nominated producer Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi AllStars), FEELIN’ FREAKY emerges as a modern personal masterpiece.
Deb Ryder: Born outside Chicago, Deb began appearing on stage as a young teen at her step father’s famous nightclub The Topanga Corral, where she opened for such blues legends as Etta James, Big Joe Turner and Taj Mahal to name a few. Deb’s vocals have been described as big, devastatingly powerful, whiskey-soaked, a force of nature, reminiscent of her major influences Etta James and Koko Taylor. Ryder’s stage presence is captivating, while her amazing vocals take the audience to new levels of enjoyment. Her standout performances have garnered awards and critical acclaim at festivals and venues throughout the US, Canada and Europe. She writes all her own material and the lyrics paint a gritty, personal picture of life, love and trouble with just a well crafted touch of whimsy. Deb has her eyes and her talents fixed firmly on the future. “I am excited about my career and the successes I have had, and it just keeps getting better”! Don’t miss Deb Ryder live, it’s well worth the effort! “Glorious vocals by Deb Ryder – Let It Rain is a treat from start to finish, and well worthy of your attention!” GRAHAME RHODES – BLUES IN THE NORTHWEST.
Alan Wright Band: Alan Wright is a humble man with deeply passionate music style that’s reminiscent of the blues-based rock styles of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, Boz Scaggs, as well as traditional electric blues styles of the many great legends, yet a style all his own. Wright began playing guitar at the age of nine and has never stopped. The Alan Wright band performs at clubs and major music venues throughout the U.S. A local gem with major talent, you don’t want to miss this act!
Sandy Scott & Blues To The Bone: This rising Southern California ensemble consists of Sandy Scott (lead vocals/songwriter), Pat McClure (guitar/vocals), Pete Gallagher (drums/backing vocals), and Teddy Andreadis (keyboards/harp/arranger/backing vocals. The band performs original music influenced by modern and traditional blues. In the past Scott has toured as an opening act for Joe Walsh, The Beach Boys and Sammy Hagar, among others.
13TH ANNUAL VENTURA COUNTY BLUES FESTIVAL SHOW PASSES AVAILABLE.