Phantom Blues Band Toplines 2017 Ventura County Blues Fest

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Ventura County Blues Festival flyerThe 12th Annual Ventura County Blues Festival, headlined by the Grammy-winning Phantom Blues Band, throws down at Studio Channel Islands in Camarillo, California, on Saturday, April 29, 2017.

The festival lineup also features performances by blues guitarist Debbie Davies; jazz-blues guitarist Chris Cain; harp ace RJ Mischo; local award-winners Crooked Eye Tommy; the duo of singer-guitarist Jim Gustin (from Santa Clarita) and blues belter Truth Jones; and Michael John & The Bottom Line featuring Mikey Mo.

“We look forward to carrying on this tradition for many years to come,” said John, president of the Ventura County Blues Society and founder of the annual festival, in a statement.

“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,” John said.

Tickets for the 2017 Ventura County Blues Festival are $30 in advance or $40 day of show. Kids 12 and younger are free with paid adult admission. VIP tickets are $125 (available online only). Click here to order.

Festival proceeds benefit Food Share and other Ventura County-area charities (please take a food item to donate).

Studio Channel Islands is located at 2222 E. Ventura Blvd., Camarillo 93010.

More info: Call (805) 501-7122 or visit

Ventura County Blues Festival Performers 

Ventura County Blues Festival PhantomPhantom Blues Band: The Phantom Blues Band was formed as a studio band to back up Taj Mahal on his “Dancing the Blues” album. Their association with Mahal led to headlining clubs, theaters and festivals throughout the U.S., Europe and Japan, as well as being honored with two Grammys and a W.C. Handy Award. At heart, the Phantom Blues Band’s sound blends numerous musical styles including blues, jazz, R&B, gospel, rock ‘n’ roll and reggae. “Inside Out,” the band’s third album, features Tony Braunagel, Larry Fulcher, Mike Finnigan, Darrel Leonard, Joe Sublett and Johnny Lee Schell, with help from renowned session players Lenny Castro (percussion) and Joe Sample (keyboardist and founder member of The (Jazz) Crusaders). More:

Debbie Davies: “She wields an electric guitar as if it were a wand.” — Los Angeles Times

Ventura County Blues Festival Debbie DaviesDebbie Davies is an award-winning singer, songwriter and guitar player. A professional musician since the early 1980s, Davies has received 10 nominations for blues music awards, and in 1997 and 2010 won the award for Best Contemporary Female Blues Artist. Davies cut her teeth playing in blues and rock ‘n’ roll bands in the San Francisco Bay area before returning to her hometown Los Angeles in 1984, where she landed the lead guitar spot in Maggie Mayall & The Cadillacs, an all-female band led by the wife of British blues pioneer John Mayall. Davies’ 2015 album “Love Spin,” a collection of all original tunes, is at once funky, rocking and bluesy. More:

Ventura County Blues Festival Chris CainChris Cain: Chris Cain’s jazz-tinged, blues-soaked guitar and deep, warm vocals have the maturity and authenticity of bluesmen many years his senior. His expressive style is the result of a lifetime of study and the relentless pursuit of music mastery. His passion and intensity for music were ignited early in life by his mom and dad’s deep love for blues and soul. Cain’s debut recording, “Late Night City Blues” (Blue Rock’it Records-1987) earned four W.C. Handy Blues Award nominations, including Guitarist of the Year. It was, as Dan Forte of Guitar Player wrote, “…an impressive debut album by a top-notch guitarist.” The combination of his blues upbringing and his jazz studies melded to form the searing guitar style that sets Chris Cain apart and has moved him to the top ranks of the blues music scene. More:

Ventura County Blues Festival RJ MischoRJ Mischo: Considered by critics and fans worldwide to be in the upper echelon of today’s great harp players and singers, RJ Mischo has a discography featuring 12 solo albums on several record labels. He also appears on at least 25 CDs as a guest or on compilations with Jimmie Vaughan, James Cotton, Kim Wilson, Candye Kane, G.Love and John Mayall, to name a few. Mischo’s original songs “King of a Mighty  Good Time” and “Two Hours From Tulsa” previously topped the playlist on SiriusXM Radio B.B. King’s Bluesville. Mischo’s “Knowledge You Can’t Get in College” and “Make it Good” CDs have made the Top 50 list of Living Blues magazine’s Albums of the Year. He has contributed to two Mel Bay harmonica instruction books and is acknowledged in “The Encyclopedia of Harmonica.” More:

Ventura County Blues Festival Michael John bandMichael John & the Bottom Line Featuring Mikey Mo: Since Michael John founded the festival, he and his band The Bottom Line have performed and donated their music each year. The Bottom Line-up features John (lead singer, guitar, harmonica), his son Mikey Mo (lead guitar), Steve Nelson (electric, stand-up bass), Eddie Z (tenor, alto sax), Jeff Dellisanti (tenor, baritone sax) and Tom “T-Bone” Broderick (drums, backup vocals). The band combines family and lifelong friends, and their blend of swing/contemporary rocking blues attracts fans of all ages. They’ve received national airplay, won multiple awards and placed among the Top 10 bands in the finals for the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. More:

Crooked Eye Tommy: Purveyors of deep-seeded blues and swampy Southern rock, “Brothers Marsh” Tommy and Paddy feature big guitars and even bigger vocals. Backing their most recent CD “Butterflies & Snakes,” Crooked Eye Tommy has won “Best Blues Band” three consecutive years at the Ventura County Music Awards. More:

Jim Gustin & Truth Jones: Blues singer and guitarist Jim Gustin from neighboring Santa Clarita is a passionate and energetic performer. He has a distinctive, powerful voice – soulful and deep with a smoky rasp, and a solid guitarist known for his tone and funky feel. Gustin’s groove-oriented blues originals reveal his varied influences. His partner Jeri Goldenhar, aka Truth Jones, has been singing since she was a little girl, although, at more than six feet tall, it’s hard to imagine her as a knee-high, little red-headed child. With a big voice to match her impressive stature, Jones can belt out gospel and soul with power and authenticity rarely heard from suburban white girls. More:

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The preceding was based on a press release from the Ventura County Blues Festival.

Santa Clarita journalist, PR consultant and website producer Stephen K. Peeples began his career writing about American music and pop culture for Cash Box, the Los Angeles Times, L.A. Weekly, Circus, Picking Up the Tempo, Modern Recording, Performance, Rocky Mountain Musical Express, Rock Around the World and other publications from 1975-1977. He is a Grammy-nominated record producer (“Monterey International Pop Festival,” MIPF/Rhino, 1992), veteran record industry media relations executive (Capitol Records, Elektra/Asylum Records, the Westwood One Radio Network, Rhino Entertainment, 1977-1998), and website content manager (Rhino, 1996-1998; Warner New Media, 1998-2001). Peeples was the original, award-winning producer of “The Lost Lennon Tapes” radio series for Westwood One (1988-1990). He was music and entertainment features writer/columnist for the Santa Clarita Valley Signal (2004-2011), and The Signal’s award-winning online editor (2007-2011). He hosted, wrote and co-produced the WAVE-nominated “House Blend” music and interview show on SCV community TV station SCVTV (2010-2015) and wrote news and features for Santa Clarita’s KHTS-AM 1220 News ( and SCVTV’s (2011-2016). He served as Vice President/New Media & Editorial with Los Angeles-based multimedia pop culture company Rare Cool Stuff Unltd. (2010-2016). As a web producer, he was project manager building sites for clients including Santa Clarita Photographic Studio and Rare Cool Stuff (2013-2015). In 2015, pursuing another passion, animals, he co-founded Pet Me Happy Treats, created an all-natural treat for dogs, and co-produced the company’s website with longtime Associate Producer Paige Hagen. He still posts music-related stories and interviews because he can’t help it. For more information, email skp (at) or visit

Article: Phantom Blues Band Toplines 2017 Ventura County Blues Fest
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Phantom Blues Band Toplines 2017 Ventura County Blues Fest