The D’Vine Wine & Jazz Bar in Victorville was packed for the last Songwriter Showcase of the winter season. It was held on Wednesday, February 19. Wine and words were both flowing freely during the evening. Serious performing artists, both local and out of the area, performed work in several music genres, a book excerpt was read and an activist spoke about a cause.
The first performance was by Southern California recording artist, singer/songwriter Maggie Vee and producer/musician Nathan Paul, starting the evening off with original songs that are divinely inspired. Described as a new sound, they invented the term Fringe Folk, for their early acoustic guitar music. Recent reviews call them bold and distinct; adult independent and alternative; and being jazzy, bluesy and country in root, morphing into a flurry of atmospheric cerebral fusion.
Next up was Al Anthony, who sang some country tunes and announced he has a new CD out, called Liar. He’s been in the industry for many years. Background Singer, Ms. Rebecca Sue, co-writes songs with Al. The Al Anthony Band plays originals as well as cover tunes, and performs around the desert, mountain and surrounding areas.
Following him was Chuck Roberts, a SoCal native who has been on the music scene since Reagan was President. He is now a featured writer and performer on Dog Tales, a independent syndicated show running on over 120 stations across the country. He writes and performs story-based work, in a “Took the wrong turn to Nashville and got lost in the Inland Empire” kind of way.
Animal rights activitst Randall Massaro gave a short talk about what’s happening in his world, and how the government is using tax-payer money to round up and kill wild horses and burros in the desert. He also discussed the killing of wolves in Idaho and surrounding areas up north, and presented some ideas on how musicians can help his cause.
Comedian Renee Foss, a 72-year-old author of the newly-released book Leaving Life Today? Tomorrow? Or Yesterday? She read an excerpt, about a group of young men and women who gather for a special dinner hosted by friends, and with their eyes on the distant future, make a promise to themselves. Will anyone keep the promise?
To finish off the event, local Hesperia-based band The Blue Henrys performed their signature blues songs and some spiritual works from their new repertoire. They are a premier rockin-rhythm band that covers many blues styles from all eras, including Chicago style and anything with a great sound. They have been together for many years and offer a professional show and work ethic. Find them on You tube for some live concert footage … Crank it up!
The evening was an enjoyable and relaxing event with artist networking, and it was entertaining to watch artists present their original material and have fun with it. The opportunity to act out new work and get feedback from their peers, provides an outlet for the creative spirit to prepare for future work. The audience, whether artists or musicians or neither, gets a glimpse into the creative process.
Several Songwriter Showcases are held each year at D’vine Wine & Jazz Bar. Call M-vention Productions for more information, at (760) 684-9093 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Victor Valley College Performing Arts Center presented their annual show, An Evening of Comedy & Magic, to a sold out audience. From toddlers to seniors, everyone was mesmerized by the four entertainers of the evening. These four magicians, illusionists, inventors, and decepters, had the enthusiastic audience participating to try to figure out…how do they do that?!
First on stage was international favorite, Brandon Scott. His razor swallowing and pouring water into a dry newspaper, had the crowd following his every move. Brandon was an eclectic magician, floating his assistant in air, then putting her in a box and skewing her with swords from all sides.
Following Brandon was the witty original, Eric Bass. This energetic inventor wooed the audience with unique card tricks and a Superman Velcro thing that will have us guessing for days… how did he manage that? If that was not enough to keep us talking, Eric ended his act with snakes popping out of cans, synchronized to a melodic symphony.
Next up on stage was the hilarious, young and hip magician, Joel Ward. A lot of his tricks contained fire and awed us with doves turning into balloons, or was it balloons into doves? Joel finished with an oldstyle Houdini trick, locked in a box and trading places with his assistant, who jumped out instead!
This magical night ended with Arthur Trace, a dry witted trickster. This quick handed artist created an illusion that made us believe he bit into an apple, but really he didn’t… or did he? While the crowd was contemplating who bit the apple, they were also fixated on watching this genius create a masterpiece with colored little round balls that became almost a Picasso painting.
Next year I will be bringing my two boys to this wondrous night of magic and illusions.
The Sweetwater Outlaws is an Wild West reenactment team that is actively seeking new members. The group is based in the High Desert of Southern California. They are family-oriented and have a lot of fun depicting life in the Old West of the late 1800s. Members dress in period correct attire, and promote gun safety with demonstrations and education before each performance. They have their own town and encampment, which are used for performances during events. The group is fully insured and is a member of the Reenactment Guild of America.
They are available for hire to perform at public and private events such as parades, festivals, chuckwagon cookoffs, encampments, gunfights, shotgun weddings, chamber and community functions.
They perform at no charge for U.S. Military personnel and their dependents.
The Sweetwater Outlaws will be performing gunfights, skits, and living history at these 2014 events (in California unless otherwise noted): Whiskey Flat Days, Kernville (Feb. 14-17); Bishop Mule Days, Bishop (May 20-25); Gilman Ranch and Wagon Museum Wild West Days, Banning (June 7-8); Old Miners Day, Big Bear (June 14); Big Bear Chili Cook Off (July 12-13); Shoot Out on Whiskey Row, Prescott, AZ (July 25 -28); Stage Coach Days, Banning (Sept, 5 – 7); Calico Days Parade, Calico Ghost Town, Yermo (Sept. 27); Mojave River Days, Helendale (Oct. 4 -5); Helldorado Days, Tombstone, AZ (Oct. 17-19); and 49ers Encampment, Death Valley National Park (Nov. 14 – 15).
For more information about the group, or the events calendar, contact Lauren Hood at (760) 504-3157. Visit www.SweetwaterOutlaws.com, or “like” Sweetwater Outlaws on Facebook. Email: LaurenHood@SweetwaterOutlaws.com