Author: Dave Gil de Rubio

LEARNING EXPERIENCES | Eric Johnson reflects on success, songwriting and the fickle nature of the music biz

PICTURED: Eric Johnson comes to the Ventura Theater on Jan. 19. Photo by Max Crace   by Dave Gil de Rubio and Alan Sculley for Last Word Features   For Eric Johnson, it didn’t take long for him to see how fickle life in the music business can be. Coming off an acclaimed debut, Tones, Johnson earned considerable notice among guitar fans for his playing prowess and ability to craft compelling instrumental rock compositions. He went into his sophomore effort, Ah Via Musicom (1990), wanting to earn his stripes again, having moved from Warner Brothers to Capitol Records. “Things...

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HOPE, HEALING AND THE HITS | Melissa Etheridge brings new material and old favorites to the Ventura County Fair on Aug. 2

The last time Melissa Etheridge was in a recording studio was for the 2016 collection Memphis Rock and Soul, a collection of Stax/Volt-inspired covers that paid homage to a number of different soul artists, including William Bell, The Staples Singers and Otis Redding. The 2016 presidential election and much of what happened in its aftermath proved to be the kind of shock to the system that immediately sent Etheridge into the studio. The result is the recently released The Medicine Show, the 15th studio album by the Kansas native. “I started thinking about this new album in 2016 when...

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NOTES FROM GROUND ZERO | Dead Boy Cheetah Chrome reflects on 40+ years of punk in NYC

Punk may be considered a young person’s game, but someone obviously forgot to tell Dead Boys guitarist Cheetah Chrome. As someone who made his hay during the halcyon days of late-1970s punk, the Cleveland native has seen plenty go down the pike since the late Joey Ramone convinced owner Hilly Kristal to let the Ohio outfit hit the stage at New York’s CBGB. While frontman Stiv Bators left this mortal coil in June 1990, it didn’t stop Chrome and fellow founding member Johnny Blitz from commemorating the 40th anniversary of its 1977 debut, Young Loud and Snotty. The result:...

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CULTURAL EXCHANGE | Celtic Woman to bring story, song and spectacle to TOCAP

Irish culture is in good hands whenever Celtic Woman takes the stage. It’s been that way ever since the all-female musical ensemble was founded by David Kavanagh, Sharon Browne and David Downes in 2004. With Downes a former musical director of Riverdance, the onstage spectacle has always been a priority, but never at the expense of the music. In the time that the quartet (which was originally founded as a quintet) has been entertaining audiences around the world, millions of albums have been sold and they’ve become a staple of annual PBS fundraising drives. For 2019, the gaels have...

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MAN OF MANY TALENTS | The numerous creative outlets of singer/songwriter Marshall Crenshaw

To say Marshall Crenshaw is a rock and roll enthusiast with a deep and broad appreciation of the genre is an understatement. Casual fans may remember the bespectacled singer-songwriter from his early-1980s earworms “Someday, Some Way” and “Whenever You’re On My Mind,” when he was in fairly regular rotation on MTV. Or for his cameo playing 1950s legend Buddy Holly in the 1987 biopic La Bamba. But the Michigan native’s passions have had him pop up in far more corners of the music industry. In addition to hosting The Bottomless Pit, a radio show that airs on New York’s...

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  1. Open Juried Art Show

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