After making their crowd funding goal on Kickstarter.com, the hard-working men of Reluctant Hero have been in the studio with Roger Camero to record their EP All is One. B Willing is almost done with his new full-length, an exploration into his human condition, with a little help from producer Erin “Syd” Sidney (Pullmen, Hotels and Highways). Willing will reprise his roles as various legendary folk singers in Rubicon Theatre’s production of Lonesome Traveler in April/May, then he and Sidney will also join Australian singer-songwriter Mia Dyson on a West Coast tour in May and possibly a trip across the pond in early summer. Ventura’s Mayors of Garratt is currently working on demos and looking for the right person to produce its EP.
Thousand Oaks band Bullet Made Statues has released its EP Autumn, the first of four “seasonal collections” to come. (Sound familiar?) The band will play The Viper Room in Hollywood on Feb. 11 and Bombay in early March before heading out to SXSW. Another band that seems to be playing its cards right is Royalush. Self-described as “spiritual punk” (we couldn’t find evidence of either), the band performs catchy rock along the lines of Velvet Revolver. Having recently opened for Steven Adler at the House of Blues, and with its video for “American Cliché” receiving a healthy number of views, Royalush appears to be on the move. Brotheryn Studios has earned a Grammy nomination for Best Long Form Music Video for its work on the film Big Easy Express, featuring Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and Old Crow Medicine Show. Good luck, guys!
Promoters Jan and Jerry McWorter of Hi-Hat Entertainment have partnered with Peirano’s in downtown Ventura to present The Gypsy Blues Room on Thursday nights. Hi-Hat has been staging extremely successful blues and Americana shows for a few years at Yolie’s on Friday nights, so expect the same level of talent and ambience. The Patio at Players Casino is also jumping into the live music game with an impressive lineup of local music Fridays through Sundays. Brad Buley and Kyle Swan’s highly touted Ojai Jamboree nights in Ojai have moved from the Village Jester to The Deer Lodge. “A spontaneous music showcase featuring invited guest musicians, bands and singer-songwriters,” according to Buley, the evening often includes an artist live-painting the event, similar to what Green Art People does at its Short Attention Span Theater shows. The next Jamboree will be on Thursday, Jan. 31, featuring Rooster Ra.
Based on Craigslist employment ads (always an excellent source for facts), the space formerly known as Crave Lounge, formerly known as Karma Lounge, formerly known as The Drink (and on and on), is reopening under the name Fuego. No one was available to verify at press time. Brian Parra is bringing back his somewhat legendary all-ages Livery shows. Using the same format and venue — three to four local bands and occasional touring acts, Sunday nights, 6-9 p.m., $8, in the Ventura Improv Company space — he’s billing it as “Saturday Night Sound presents The Old Livery at the Ventura Improv Company.” The first show will be Feb. 24, featuring Dirty Rice, Spartacus and The Grittys. Parra says the Improv’s Tom Mueller is “the unsung hero of the Ventura music scene.”
Hurtin’ and Helpin’
The music community can always be counted on to help friends in need, and that’s been particularly apparent recently with a big show of support for Tory DuVarney, owner of Handsome Devil clothing, who suffered a severe eye injury in a surfing accident, and Shannon Martinez, a bartender at Sans Souci, who is in need of a kidney transplant. After expenses, $8,000 was raised for DuVarney, who his wife Christie says is getting better all the time. Another fundraiser for DuVarney will be held on Feb. 10 at The Tavern with performances by Todd Hannigan, Xocoyotzin Moraza and Hey You. Earlier this month, a fan of nardcore legend Agression learned that bass player Big Bob Clark was in dire straits. Clark’s troubles have apparently reached a dark crescendo, leaving him homeless and suffering from liver disease. Harmon set up a crowd funding page online that within days raised more than $1,000 toward getting him a room in a house for a fraction of what he was paying to stay in a seedy Oxnard motel. Harmon says his spirits are truly lifted by the show of support.
NoteWorthy is a monthly column dedicated to developments in Ventura County’s music scene. If you have a tip, write to Michel or give her a call.