(Ventura, CA) – All roads lead to Ventura as the world’s best blues music and craft beer meet at the 6th Annual California Beer Festival, Mission Park, 185 E. Santa Clara St., Saturday, September 20 for the Craft Beer Heaven (12:30 pm -5 pm) and Sunday, September 21 for the Blues & BBQ Festival (11 am-6 pm).
It’s Ventura County Beer Week, September 14-21, featuring nightly Craft beer-themed activities at selected venues throughout Ventura. The California Beer Festival is now a yearly post-Labor Day event that draws several thousand people during each of it’s two distinctly different days – Saturday primarily for craft beer enthusiasts; Sunday for blues lovers of all ages permitted (children 12 and under, free).
Tickets priced as follows: Saturday’s Craft Beer Heaven, $50; Designated Driver tickets (Saturday only), $25; Sunday’s Blues & BBQ Fest (only), $30; Blues & BBQ Sample Judge ticket, $45 (Sunday only sample up to eight BBQ entries and vote for the winners); V.I.P. 3-Day Pass (Friday’s ‘Brew With A View,’ Saturday’s Craft Beer Heaven and Sunday’s Blues & BBQ Fest, $109; 2-Day Pass (Craft Beer Festival and Blues & BBQ Fest), $75. Buy tickets here. Info: (805) 351-5650. In keeping with the yearly tradition, a portion of the proceeds from each day benefit the Gen Giammanco Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides financial support to student athletes to assist in their pursuit of both scholastic and athletic success in Ventura County.
Saturday, September 20: CRAFT BEER HEAVEN
Saturday’s Craft Beer Heaven (12:30-5:00 p.m.) is one of the largest yearly beer festivals in the state, and with over 140 craft beers on tap, it’s a great place to come sample amazing craft beer from all over the world. Live music throughout the day by Rey Fresco, Dr. M and Petty Theft, the ultimate Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers tribute band. A great place to expand your mind and educate yourself on new and old styles of craft beer! Space is very limited; must be 21 years or older to attend. (Note: Beer Sampling times are from 1 p.m.-4:30 pm.).
Guitarist Tab Benoit (pictured) heads Sunday’s stellar Blues & BBQ Festival lineup. Also performing; Gary Hoey; Trampled Under Foot; Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds; Michael John & The Bottom Line; Jonathan “Boogie” Long.
Sunday, September 21: BLUES & BBQ FESTIVAL
Sunday’s Blues & BBQ Festival features perhaps the most ambitious and eclectic lineup yet, in addition to amazing barbecue from top teams throughout California (special tickets must be purchased for BBQ sampling).
Headlining the main stage is guitarist Tab Benoit, Louisiana’s No. 1 roots export. Benoit has won the dual awards of B.B. King Entertainer of the Year and Best Contemporary Male Performer at the Blues Music Awards in Memphis (formerly the W.C. Handy Awards). In 2006, he received a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional Blues. Benoit’s latest album, his seventh on the Telarc label, is titled Medicine.
World-renowned, rock guitarist Gary Hoey takes on the blues with his new album, Deja Blues (Wazoo Music Group), an album of original blues songs. The guitar aficionado tours extensively and has traded licks with the likes of Jeff Beck, Joe Bonamassa, Ted Nugent, Joe Satriani, The Doobie Brothers, Foreigner, Styx, Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, Peter Frampton, and Dick Dale.
Trampled Under Foot was originally formed as a family band consisting of Danielle, Nick and Kris Schnebelen. The trio headed to Memphis in 2008 for the IBC’s, winning first place honors. Riding the wave of support following the IBC’s, TUF took their unique style of power blues-rock to audiences around the world with a series of headlining tours and standout performances at blues festivals across the globe. In 2014, drummer brother Kris announced he was leaving the band, Danielle and Nick solicited long-time friend/fellow KC musician Jan Fairclothand then then added keyboardist Mike “Shinetop” Sedovic, turning the trio in to a four-piece and adding a new dimension to their already-stellar live performances.
Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds is a seven-piece powerhouse that put a modern spin on classic soul. The band is led by Arleigh Kincheloe (Sister Sparrow), whose astoundingly powerful voice and sly demeanor make for a spellbinding presence onstage. She is backed by the mighty force of The Dirty Birds, a flock of seven men who masterfully lay down thundering grooves and soaring melodies. Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds’ blend of seductive soul and dirty blues-rock reminds audiences why they love live music.
Southern California native Michael John and his band, The Bottom Line, have earned their spot in the blues scene. This six-piece, high-energy contemporary original blues band has played at many festivals, concert theaters and venues and shared the bill with artists including Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang, Robert Cray Band, Taj Mahal, Coco Montoya, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Bobby Blue Bland and Tommy Castro to name a few. Michael John’s strong, soulful vocals are without a doubt his main instrument while also supporting the groove with a style all his own on harmonica and rhythm Guitar.
Hailing from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Jonathon “Boogie” Long was brought up in a Southern Baptist community and at fourteen, left school to lay down his roots touring with local legends such as Henry Turner Jr. Since then, Long has shared stages with artists like Warren Haynes and Govt. Mule, Dr. John, Rockin’ Dopsie, Kenny Neal and Henry Gray. Long currently fronts his own blues/soul trio, The Blues Revolution. His soul-stomping vocals and monster guitar shredding, paired with bluesy songwriting chops, make his powerhouse performances a “must see.” In 2013, Long was support for a 4-week tour with B.B. King and also had a prime slot at the New Orleans Jazz Festival. www.californiabeerfestival.com/ventura/