The Mule and the Smoke take over Vina Robles

The Mule and the Smoke take over Vina Robles

Aug 30, 2016

Gov't Mule brought their Smokin' Mule Tour to the beautiful Vina Robles Amphitheatre on Sunday night (August 28) and it truly was a night to remember. Upon arrival, it was announced that it was going to be a general admission show, meaning everyone had access to the floor section and had the opportunity to get up close and personal with the amazing music ready to be delivered on this night. Obviously The Mule has some seriously dedicated fans, and that announcement made everyone even more jacked up, excited and ready to get into the night.

Sometimes there are shows that you leave saying, "That was really great," and then there are those shows that make you feel fully connected with the music, that from beginning to end you are completely and totally into the experience. A show that you will think about in the days to follow, relive, and understand that you will be seeing this band every time they roll through town. This Gov't Mule show truly was one of those nights of music.

I was ready to see opening act Blackberry Smoke for the first time, as I had missed them in a prior headlining show on the Central Coast at the Chumash Casino Resort this past April. There really couldn't be a better pairing for an opener with Mule than Blackberry Smoke. From start to finish the boys from Atlanta delivered their fantastic blend of Rock, Country, Bluegrass, Gospel and R&B. With influences all over the board, their appeal (just as Gov't Mule's) hits all different kinds of music lovers. I saw people with a Volbeat shirts on, a Pantera hat, tatoos, cowboy hats and denim, and plenty of tie-dye and flowing skirts. Positive vibes flowed throughout the house and besides the Smoke onstage, I smelled some other smoke in the air as well, and I suppose it probably was a Blackberry Kush, helping blend in with that other rockin' Smoke. The talented band consists of Charlie Starr (lead vocals, guitar), Richard Turner (bass, vocals), Brit Turner (drums), Paul Jackson (guitar, vocals) and Brandon Still (keyboards). All of their releases were well represented in the set, with the opening track 'Fire in the Hole,' from the 'Holding All the Roses' 2015 release, followed by 'Six Ways to Sunday' from 2012's 'The Whippoorwill' and cuts from 2009's 'Little Piece of Dixie' and their EP 'Wood, Wire & Roses.' Blackberry Smoke rocked some new tracks from their upcoming album 'Like An Arrow' as well, which you can pre-order now at 

The guys even threw in some Zeppelin with an awesome cover of 'You Time Is Gonna Come' and an amazing rendition of Black Sabbath's 'Fairies Were Boots.' Really glad I had an opportunity to see this band and it won't be the last time.

Blackberry Smoke set list:
1. Fire in the Hole
2. Six Ways to Sunday
3. Let Me Help You (Find the Door)
4. Rollin' and Tumblin' / Rock and Roll Again
5. Good One Comin' On
6. Sanctified Woman
7. Sleeping Dogs / Your Time Is Gonna Come (Led Zeppelin cover)
8. Ain't Got the Blues
9. Waiting for the Thunder
10. Fairies Wear Boots (Black Sabbath cover)
11. Ain't Much Left of Me

The party vibe was in full effect after the Blackberry Smoke set, as everyone in the house was ready for the great Warren Hayes and Gov't Mule. Hayes formed the band while still in the Allman Brothers back in 1994, and they are truly one of the definitive and extremely talented jam bands in the business. You name the artist, Warren has probably jammed with them at some point. The list is endless as is this legendary American guitarist's talent.

The band hit the stage with an amazing rendition of 'World Boss,' continuing into 'Lay Your Burden Down,' 'Steppin’ Lightly' and 'World Of Difference.' That was followed by some great covers, including The Band's 'The Shape I'm In,' Bob Marley's 'Lively Up Yourself' and Creedence Clearwater Revival's 'Long As I Can See the Light' wrapped around the band's 'Temporary Saint.'

The musicianship could just not get any better, with original band member Matt Abts on the drums, the amazing Danny Louis on guitar and keys and Jorgen Carlsson bringing the Swedish Bass fuel for the Mule.

After the CCR cover, Jimmy Kimmel Live guitar player Yoshi Yanagi came out to join the band for a truly next level version of 'Sco-Mule,' trading riffs with Warren and just blowing everyone away. This is what I'm talking about when I say some shows are great and others are just so fantastic you are awestruck. It was just amazing.

The band wasn't nearly done with their over 2 1/2 hour set, continuing with 'Monday Morning Countdown,' followed by 'Frozen Fear' that included an interlude of Led Zeppelin's 'D'yer Maker.' That was the first of two Zep tunes Mule jammed on this night, later tossing in 'Whole Lotta Love' with Bo Diddley's 'Who Do You Love' during 'Mule.'

The evening concluded with Blackberry Smoke's Charlie Starr joining in on the encore (as he has every night on this tour) for versions of Bob Dylan's 'It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry,' which was the first time they have played that together, and Bob Seger's 'Ramblin' Gamblin' Man,' with a little signature jam of Mountain's 'Mississippi Queen' tossed in for good measure. After feeling the positive vibes on the floor for most all of the show, a friend who attended with me and I watched the Dylan/Seger encore from a couple of levels up when one of the hospitable concessionaire's from the venue came walking around with a huge platter of baked goods, giving them out to anyone who wanted them. I grabbed a bacon maple twist and a couple of cookies to chow down on while the show wrapped up, feeling the contact high from not only what was in the air, but from the wrap up of one hell of a night of just amazing music. Truly a night to remember.

1. World Boss
2. Lay Your Burden Down
3. Steppin' Lightly
4. World Of Difference
5. The Shape I'm In (The Band cover)
6. Lively Up Yourself (Bob Marley cover)
7. Temporary Saint
8. Long As I Can See The Light (Creedence Clearwater Revival cover)
9. Sco-Mule (with Toshi Yanagi)
10. Monday Mourning Meltdown
11. Frozen Fear/D'yer Mak'er (Led Zep cover)/Frozen Fear
12. King's Highway/K.H. Jam
13. When The World Gets Small
14. Slackjaw Jezebel
15. Mule (with Les Brers In A Minor tease)/Who Do You Love?/Whole Lotta Love/Who Do You Love?/Mule
16. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry (Bob Dylan cover with Charlie Starr; first time played)
17. Ramblin' Gamblin' Man/Mississippi Queen tease (Bob Seger/Mountain cover with Charlie Starr)

For more photos from the show check out Marshall of Rock on Facebook.

For all Gov't Mule news and upcoming tour dates, hit

For all upcoming shows at the beautiful Vina Robles Amphitheatre, check out

Special Thanks to Vanessa Kromer and Jennifer Anderson of Nederlander

Govt Mule Blackberry Smoke Vina Robles

Jackson Browne to perform solo acoustic benefit concert for Safety Harbor Kids at Ventura Theatre on October 4

Jackson Browne to perform solo acoustic benefit concert for Safety Harbor Kids at Ventura Theatre on October 4

Aug 26, 2016

Jackson Browne will perform a Benefit Concert for Safety Harbor Kids in Ventura, CA on October 4 as part of his Solo Acoustic Fall Tour. Tickets for the concert at the Majestic Ventura Theater are on sale now and available online at

Safety Harbor Kids is a nonprofit with the mission to enrich the lives of orphans, foster and homeless children through education in the areas of College, Career, Music and the Arts. Through its Enrichment Programs in academic tutoring, college planning, career development, internships, music and the arts, Safety Harbor Kids seeks to break the vicious cycle of homelessness, poverty and prison that have ensnared more than 80,000 children within Los Angeles County alone.

For more information about Safety Harbor Kids, please visit

For more tour details, please visit
Jackson Browne 2015 tour2

Go Go’s ‘GOing GOing GONE’ farewell tour hits Vina Robles Amphitheatre

Go Go’s ‘GOing GOing GONE’ farewell tour hits Vina Robles Amphitheatre

Aug 25, 2016

The Go Go's brought their 'GOing GOing GONE' tour to Vina Robles Amphitheatre in Paso Robles, CA. on Tuesday Night (August 23) and the mid-week show at the beautiful venue was all the crowd expected it to be. The show was just one of 18 tour dates planned for August, and was full of non stop hits, early tracks and even a Mylie Cyrus cover.

After impressive sets by Kaya Stewart (who is Producer and former Eurthymics David A. Stewart's daughter) and Best Coast, the time had come for one of the few Go Go's remaining show farewells that Vina Robles was honored to have.

They've come a long way since their early punk days in the late '70's. Not only are they one of the all time great female groups in American music, they are one of the greatest the world has seen, and that's no overstatement. Despite only putting out three albums in the 80's (and another after reuniting in 2001), the ladies have grown with their audience, who have continued to love and cherish their music along with the next generations of fans that have come along. The Go-Go’s made history as the first all-female rockers writing their own songs and playing their own instruments to have a #1 album, 1981’s 'Beauty and the Beat,' which was well represented on this night, with over half of the albums tracks performed.

The major hits from 'Vacation' were in the mix, as was a song or two from 'Talk Show,' and even a couple of songs from their 2001 reuniting album 'God Bless The Go Go's.' I particularly enjoyed lead singer Belinda Carlisle's stories of their early punk days leading into two songs from the era, 'Screaming' and 'Fun With Ropes.' One of the encore songs was a cover of Mylie Cyrus' 'Wrecking Ball,' which did solicit some negative comments from one of the ladies sitting near by, but it didn't bother me and I thought it was a good fit, although I would have preferred a more upbeat track for an encore.

The ladies have had their share of off stage drama, but have come through it to get to this pinnacle point of their careers. In 1997, drummer Gina Schock sued the other members of the group, claiming that she had not been properly paid for her contributions since 1986 and that a songwriting agreement with Charlotte Caffey had been breached. That suit was resolved by 1999. Original bassist Kathy Valentine also sued her former bandmates in 2013 for "breach of fiduciary duty and abuse of an attempt to deprive [her] of her position and interest in the group, including her right to receive her full one-fifth, 20% share of the benefits and revenues generated by the group's substantial reputation, fame, and goodwill." In early 2014, that lawsuit was settled out of court as well. Abby Travis has been the bassist for the band beginning in 2012 after Valentine's departure due to injury.

They are true survivors and innovators in the crazy world of music. A salute to Belinda Carlisle, Jane Wiedlin, Charlotte Caffey and Gina Schock for bringing this goodbye to their fans. Wiedlin has mentioned their may be a special Go Go gig on occasion, but don't count on a full tour going forward.

Los Angeles may be the Go Go's town, but they will always be welcome in Paso Robles.

The Go Go's will wrap up their tour for what should be another amazing night of music and memories at The Greek in Los Angeles on August 30. For more info and everything Go Go's visit:

For all upcoming shows at the beautiful Vina Robles Amphitheatre located in Paso Robles, CA. visit

Special Thanks to Vanessa Kromer of Nederlander.

Go Go's Farewell tour 2016Go Go's 2016 image by Kelly at Thinking Cap Design Co.

Rock n’ Roll Royalty Steve Miller and his Band shine at Vina Robles

Rock n’ Roll Royalty Steve Miller and his Band shine at Vina Robles

Aug 17, 2016

Another of the most recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class came to Vina Robles Amphitheatre on Sunday Night (August 14), as Steve Miller and his Band brought their vast catalog of classics to California Wine Country.

The man is a true American music legend, having a multi-generational appear that started in the late 1960's with psychedlic blues, continued with his straight ahead rock variety dominance in the 1970's, and even morphing into the popular pop leaning material of the 80's. It was all represented in a evening of music that can't be matched by many artists in this day and age.

Fun fact about Steve - his parents Bertha, a jazz-influenced singer, and his pathologist father, George, who was also a jazz enthusiast and amateur recording engineer were great friends with Les Paul and his musical partner Mary Ford and they visited often. Les heard Steve when he was four "banging away" on a guitar given to him by his uncle, and encouraged Miller to continue with his interest in the guitar and "perhaps he will be something one day." He has more than exceeded that and has had a guitar in his hand most of his entire life.

Steve and his great band played tracks from all the eras, but well represented the stuff he is most well known for from his 'Fly Like An Eagle,' 'Book Of Dreams,' and 'The Joker' albums.

He also shared stories from his time in music over the years, including the fact that after he moved out to San Francisco from Texas (after living in Chicago immersing himself in the blues, then to New York for a stint), he has played the legendary Fillmore Auditorium over 100 times!

Miller was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year, and he touched on the controversy surrounding it, adding to his words at that time that the experience was "unpleasant" and "they (the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) need to respect the artists they say they’re honoring, which they don't." Not only is Steve's music acumen top level, so is his business one, as he truly cares about artist's rights and eliminating unnecessary B.S. in an increasingly B.S. music world.

J.Geils Band frontman Peter Wolf brought his Midnight Ramblers for an entertaining opening set with tracks from his new album 'A Cure For Loneliness,' and even a few J. Geils tunes tossed in, including an interesting bluegrass take on 'Love Stinks.'

For more on Steve Miller and all upcoming tour dates, visit and visit for all upcoming shows in the heart of beautiful California Central Coast Wine Country.

Special Thanks to Annisha Hinkle and Vanessa Kromer of Nederlander.

Steve Miller Band Vina Robles 2016

Ziggy Marley & Steel Pulse bring the Rasta to Wine Country

Ziggy Marley & Steel Pulse bring the Rasta to Wine Country

Aug 15, 2016

Ziggy Marley brought his 2016 Summer tour to the beautiful Vina Robles Amphitheatre in Paso Robles, CA for the first time on Friday night (August 12), and filled the venue with positive vibes that will continue to resonate for quite some time.

Ziggy has taken the legendary Steel Pulse out for this portion of his tour, and the British Reggae legends delivered with an awesome hour long set of the positive protest music that has made them who they are, and who they continue to be.

After starting his amazing musical career with some of his brothers and sisters in the Melody Makers in the 1980's, Ziggy is now touring behind what is his newest self-titled and sixth solo album. The new material sounds beautiful live, with he and the band opening the set with the fresh track, "Start It Up." The show continued with more amazing music from his Melody Makers days, the best of his solo career, and selections representing his legendary Dad, Bob, with "One Love," "Is This Love," and "Could You Be Loved." The message and music wrapped up with another fresh track, "Love Is A Rebel." Admittedly I hadn't heard much of the latest album, but I will make it a point to get it and live with it going forward.

It's been quite the legacy that Ziggy has more than lived up to, continuing his father's worldwide vibe of peace and positivity and everyone felt it at Vina Robles on this night, with an epic show that had an underlying message of freedom for the common man.

For more on Ziggy's new album, upcoming tour dates, and info on his new "Ziggy Marley and Family Cookbook," inspired by the Jamaican meals Ziggy enjoyed growing up with an updated healthy spin, visit

Visit for all upcoming shows in the heart of beautiful California Central Coast Wine Country.

For more photos from the show, check out Marshall of Rock on Facebook.

Special Thanks to Annisha Hinkle and Jennifer Anderson of Nederlander.

Ziggy Marley vina robles 2016