Vol. 13, No. 15 – Apr 22 – May 5, 2020 – Ventura Music Scene

by Pam Baumgardner
VenturaRocks.com

As we continue in shutdown mode and our town is a virtual ghost town at night (as it should be), I’ve reached out to a number of musicians to get their thoughts and updates on how they’re managing the stay home mandate.

Tommy Marsh of Crooked Eye Tommy

Pam: Are you still working your day job? 

Tommy: I was off for two weeks but I’m back to work now.

Pam: How’s the Covid-19 Stay Home order affecting you as a working musician?

Tommy: So far 20 shows have been cancelled totaling at least $3,500 in lost revenue. To date, the Ojai Blues Fest is still on for June 6th but that is subject to change. I also had to cancel my trips to both the Nashville and Cincinnati areas where I was booked in April. It’s been tough.

Pam: Is there any upside to it? 

Tommy: I have been blessed to spend time at home with Tammy which has been very nice, I’m usually so busy that it’s all a blur. I have been getting lots of sleep which is also elusive during a busy life of working and playing. I have been writing and that is always good.

Pam: What are you doing to fill the time?


Tommy: I’m working on the artwork for our new album, the theme is sort of a comic book style. We have also been getting things done around the house as well as planning our retirement to Tennessee. Plus, we’ve been watching lots of live music shows of our friends and supporting them with $ as we are able. We are so blessed, and I know many out there are not as lucky.

Pam: Tell me about the new record and when it will be released.

Hot Coffee & Pain is completed and will be released in August. It’s been a long time coming. I just got the masters and I’m VERY PLEASED and feel it is better on many fronts than Butterflies & Snakes; big guitars and big horns will be the hallmark of this one.

(Tommy Marsh and Crooked Eye Tommy are on most social media platforms as well as the official website for the band at CrookedEyeTommy.com)

Jodi Farrell, Singer/Songwriter and owner of Jodi Farrell’s Music Studio

Pam: How badly has the Stay Home mandate affected you economically?  Are you able to keep your students engaged with video music lessons?

Jodi: I consider myself one of the lucky ones to be able to continue working from home.

Although there have been a few students who have opted not to continue music lessons via Zoom, most of my students have welcomed this opportunity and are doing an amazing job adapting to this new format. I believe, just like me, they welcome any sense of normalcy and continuity in their lives during this unprecedented and upheavaled time. Being able to continue music lessons not only fulfills this desire, it also provides a sense of joy and happiness in a way only music can.

Pam: Are you doing anything to stay connected to the music scene? 

Jodi: Anytime I click on Facebook and come across someone sharing a song or streaming live music or posting a musical collaboration through Zoom, I feel uplifted. I’ve also posted videos singing songs with the intent to uplift  the community’s spirit. I am also pleased to see fellow musicians such as, Jerry Breiner and Colette Lovejoy (Déjà vu Too), Karen Eden, Mark Masson (Shaky Feeling), Shawn Jones, Alastair Greene, Jon Gindick, Kelly’s Lot, Polly Musicmuse, Karyn 805, Crooked Eye Tommy and so many others utilizing social media platforms to continue to share their music and talents with all of us.

Pam: Have you been inspired to write new music about this experience, or not so much?

Jodi: Funny you should ask, I am in the process of writing a melody to some lyrics given to me from another talented writer (and illustrator), Linda Silvestri.  It’s going to be a blues song that will make you smile. I look forward to recording and posting it upon its completion.

Pam: Would you like to add anything else?

Jodi: I would like to express my gratitude to you for all that you do in supporting live arts in Ventura. Even in this time, when no performance is able to occur in our local establishments around town, you are still working to inform, and bring the musical community together through articles such as these and in so many other ways. Together, and with music, we will get through this!

Pam: Aw shucks. 😊

(Find out more about Jodi Farrell’s music studio on Facebook and on her official website JodiFarrell.com)


Jon Gindick, Singer/Songwriter, best-selling musical
instruction author, and owner/operator of the Blues Harmonica Jam Camp

Pam: Is the Covid-19 Stay Home order affecting you as a working musician?


Jon: I’ve had to cancel five gigs and postpone my five-day Mississippi Delta Blues Harmonica Jam Camp in April; it’s a small price to pay for defeating this virus.

Pam: Is there any upside to it?

Jon: Yes, short term, I feel released from my mundane responsibilities, free to develop new songs, and time to research and create new material. Long term, we shall see.

Pam: What are you doing to fill the time?

Jon: I’m giving lessons online, advertising my seminars, providing customer service,
playing music, creating videos, reaching out to old friends, and trying to figure what to do with myself next. Luckily, I have a good teaching and publishing business, so my finances have not been damaged.

(Find out more about Jon’s music and Harmonica Camp on most social media platforms and on his official website Gindick.myshopify.com)

Licity Collins, Singer/Songwriter

Pam: How badly has the Stay Home mandate affected you economically?

Licity: I have complex feelings about the stay-home mandates. We’ve all lost a lot. For many people the reasons might feel theoretical. For me it is not. One of my two best friends in the world contracted the novel coronavirus and came down with COVID-19. She is in one of the high-risk categories. So, my “stay home” time has included a harrowing two-week vigil of holding back tears every day worried for her life while she walked the slow intense path through a “mild case” of the illness which was actually quite brutal. I am grateful for her life today, knowing she has just recently recovered. Her voice has never sounded so sweet. I am happy to stay home so that as few people as possible must go through that illness or that vigil. 

I am also hoping that the powerful exposure of the massive flaws in the music economy will, in the end, benefit musicians. We all know that the industry was broken. We lost our ability to earn money through our recording sales in the MP3 transition, leaving only performance as our main way of making money. That system was also starting to fall apart, with smaller musicians expected to play too many shows for free, concert ticket prices getting so high, and major artist fees becoming unaffordable for even the largest festivals. It is my deepest hope that this challenge we are going through will shine a light on the devaluing of music— and correct it. I hope that musicians will begin to receive our true value for all we do. 

Pam: What are you doing to stay connected with the music scene?

Licity: I have been really focused on staying connected to my community of supporters and fans. I‘ve been sending frequent messages of love and inspiration to my email list and creating new intimate opportunities for them to connect with me and each other.

In asking for donations (which everyone is) I’ve made the decision to pass along 22% of my donations to working musicians in need. I know that many of lead artists have fan bases that we can turn to for support. But a lot of the amazing band members that make us sound like rock stars don’t have that kind of name recognition. I’ve been able to pass along a small amount, and I hope it has helped. 

Pam: Have you been inspired to write new music about this experience, or the opposite? 

Licity: I need a lot of mental space to write music. This time has been anything but that! In addition to worrying/trying not to worry about my friend and my income, I have been extremely busy creating new ways for people to connect to themselves, me and others, as a part of all I do as a music maker. I am very excited to announce those new projects in the coming weeks. 

Pam: Would you like to add anything else?

Licity: You know I’m a big advocate for love. This time is an opportunity for us to choose love, in every moment. Choosing love looks like so many different things, but this time there is a major focus on unselfishness, while understanding that we have to care for ourselves and our own needs. This is one of the greatest challenges of humanity—to understand both our individuality and interconnectedness.

(Find out more about Licity on social media and her official website LicityCollins.com)

Guy Martin, Singer/Songwriter and owner of BlackCouch Studio

Pam: Are you still working your day job?


Guy: Most definitely; my day job is a general contractor.

Pam: How’s the Covid-19 Stay Home order affecting you as a working musician?

Guy: Well for me, the timing of this pandemic hasn’t affected my gigs at all, simply because I have been focused on building the new BlackCouch Studio for the last 6 months.  I had done a few sit-ins and benefit performances in between, but lately I haven’t pushed any Guy Martin Band shows at all.  So, when Covid-19 hit, the only thing that really changed was the social interaction.

Pam: Is there any upside to it?

Guy: On a personal level, somewhat.  Now is the time to get those nagging little things done that I’ve never made the time to do before.  On a global level, there is definitely a silver lining in this dark cloud; the world has a common enemy that we are fighting together as one.  I do think that after the chaos is over, people around the world will have a renewed outlook on what is important in this life. The downside is I miss my immediate family and close friends.  I’m tired of having to use mobile devices and technology to communicate.  I would love to have a physical hang, and get together soon.  Nothing beats that.

Pam: What are you doing to fill the time?

Guy: I have a list of to-dos that I’m stoked to get done.  And BlackCouch Studio has a small list of things as well.  I just re-wired the BlackCouch Studio’s entire preamp section to exactly how I want it.  I have the time to analyze what my perfect workflow should be like in a recording session and make any necessary adjustments to accommodate that. I also now have the time to try and set up and record more social media content, both for Guy Martin Music and BlackCouch Studio.  Will it get done how I want?  Probably not, because I am my own worst critic and usually get in my own way.

(For more information go to GuyMartin.com and BlackCouchStudio.com as well as on most social media platforms)

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.

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