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Cowboy Festival Offers Free Admission This Year

| Community, Entertainment | January 19, 2018

Because of the popularity of a festival that some say put Santa Clarita on the map, it’s never too early to purchase tickets for the Cowboy Festival. This year’s annual event is more important than ever, as the community is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival, presented by Heritage Sierra Medical Group.

Dates for the four days of concerts, comedy, stunt shows and other Western entertainment are April 19-22, 2018. It will be held at the William S. Hart Park event area once again, but with a big change: This year general admission is free.

On April 21 and 22 there will be five stages of musical performances, cowboy grub, western gear and plenty of outdoor activities. Additional ticketed performances will also be held at venues along Main Street in Old Town Newhall. Prices, performers and scheduling will be announced next month.

To stay up to date on event details, “like” the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival on Facebook or follow @CowboyFestSC on Twitter. Details will soon be available on CowboyFestival.org.

Why Do We Use Oak Barrels for Wine?

| Entertainment | January 18, 2018

by Beth Heiserman

Over 2,000 years ago, a Greek historian documented that wood barrels were used for wine in ancient Mesopotamia. I have mentioned before in my article about “orange wines” that approximately 6,000 years ago wine was aged and stored in clay pots called Qvevri. Eventually, besides the clay, people started to use wood, which was lighter than clay for traveling. As the Romans were expanding their empire, they brought wine with them. At the time, wine was safer to drink than water.

As the Romans met the Gauls in the 2nd century BCE, they were already using wood barrels for beer. Oak was preferred over others, because it was softer than other woods, was waterproof, and it only needed a light toast, which made production time shorter. Within the next 200 years, people used less clay and people chose to use oak barrels for aging and storage of wine.

As time went on, people realized that oak softens and adds flavor to the wine. Cinnamon, molasses, clove, vanilla and many other spices were added aromas that enhanced the taste of the wine, and they realized the longer the wine was in the barrels, the container’s character created a complex and delicious wine. We age our red wine and our Amber Chardonnay (“orange wine”) in French Oak barrels that are a medium toast for 18-24 months.

This week is our monthly hike & brunch, where I always feature a red and white wine. This month I am pairing 2010 Reyes Syrah with my chicken sausage hash brown casserole. It has won silver medals in the 2012 Los Angeles International Wine Competition and 2013 San Diego County Fair Commercial Wine Competition, as well as bronze medals in the 2012 San Francisco International Wine Competition, 2013 O.C. Fair Commercial Wine Competition and the 2013 Sunset International Wine Competition. It has aromas of fresh raspberries, plums, dark chocolate and a taste of smoky berries. It pairs well with roast turkey with rosemary and sage dressing, manchego cheese, or chocolate cake with a raspberry filling.

Live Music

| Entertainment | January 18, 2018

Jan 18, Thurs
6:30–9p Casa de Pizza Jimmy Carnelli Sinatra style standards (not in SCV but nearby in Mission Hills) dinner reservations are a must
7–10p Bergies steakhouse Thom Teresi & Street Smart Jazz Fusion
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Jan 19, Fri
6–9pm Wolf Creek Brewery Live Music every Friday Various
8–11p Wine 661 Miles 2 Go Classic rock w/fiddle
8–12m Vincent Hill Station The Fulcos on the patio Classic rk & more
8–12m Rock Inn (Lake Hughes) Alex Ronca Rock & alternative
9–12m Valencia Wine Co Snareheads Rockin’ & dancin’
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Jan 20, Sat
6–10p Vincent Hill Station Dan Parra Folk Rock
8–12m VFW 6885 Boys Night Out band Classic rock & more
8–11p Wine 661 Sean Hughes band Classic & original
9–12m Valencia Wine Co The Grizwalds band Pop, soul & rock
9p–1a Rock Inn (Lake Hughes) Bad Donkey band Record release party
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Jan 19 & 20, Fri and Sat 9p–12m and 1/211 Sun 5–8pm Salt Creek Grille Live music
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Jan 21, Sun
10a–2p Saugus Swap Meet Two Dogs band Live music
2–5pm Valencia Wine Co Connor Pratt Acoustic
3–7pm Vincent Hill Moldy Marvin’s Open Mic Live music
5–9pm American Legion Newhall Sunday Blues Jam Large dance floor
5–9pm VFW 6885 Right Side Up Classic rock
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Jan 22, Mon
7–11p Sisely’s in Valencia Dole / Humphries R & B, indie rock
Jan 23, Tues
7–10p Bergies steakhouse Big Wilson Live music
Jan 25, Thur
7–10p Bergies steakhouse Sean Wiggins band Classic & originals
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Jan 26, Fri
6–9pm Wolf Creek Brewery Live Music every Friday Various
8–11p Wine 661 David Blasucci & Bill Cinque Classic rock
8–12m Vincent Hill Station Wildside on the patio Classic rock
8–12m Rock Inn (Lake Hughes) Michael Gabriel Live music
9–12m Valencia Wine Co Peacock & the Feathers Funk rock

Savannah Burrows Performs at BBQ to Honor First Responders

| Entertainment | January 11, 2018

When Santa Clarita thanks its first responders Saturday, there will be a number of individuals in the spotlight. Tickets are sold out for an event recognizing sheriff’s deputies, firefighters and others for bravery during the Thomas Fire, the weeks-long blaze that began Dec. 4, 2017 in Ventura County. The event will draw Santa Clarita City Council members, high-ranking law enforcement and many members of the community amid squad cars, fire engines and search lights. Rattler’s will provide a barbecue dinner.

One of the youngest stars taking the stage at the Canyon Theatre Guild will be Savannah Burrows and her band.

“We are honoring the first responders to the recent wildfires who put their lives on the line each and every day,” Burrows said. “I feel so fortunate to do my part in giving back by performing for (them) and their families.”

The Santa Clarita teen, who is gaining acclaim for her vocal skills and meaningful lyrics, composed new songs for the event. She will be showing her versatility by playing five different musical instruments with her six-piece band.

“I write and perform only my original music based on my life experiences and those I’ve observed in others,” she explained.

Savannah Burrows has been booked for performances throughout the Southland, including: Friday, Feb. 3 opening for Wilson Phillips at The Canyon Club in Agoura; Feb 22 opening for The Spinners at The Canyon in Valencia’s Westfield Town Center Mall; March 31 opening for The Fifth Dimension, also at The Canyon in Valencia; and June 30 opening for Diamond Rio at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center. For tickets, visit SavannahBurrowsmusic.com.

Wine of the Week – Wine Etiquette, Part Deux

| Entertainment | January 4, 2018

by Beth Heiserman

There is some tasting room etiquette, beginning with making sure to be polite to others and share the space together. Sometimes the bar can get crowded and everybody needs to realize that when a new person or couple walks in, the wine bar server might ask you to move over slightly to open up a space. Don’t feel offended if they do. Everybody is there to enjoy a memorable experience.

I feel as long as you are nice and don’t act entitled or act like you know more than you do, you will have a wonderful time. If there is something you don’t know, ask the server. Something that isn’t a good idea, however, is to ask crazy questions that you know can’t be answered, just so you sound knowledgeable. You will come across as arrogant and annoying and you probably will receive bad service.

Be sure and ask the server his/her opinion, but don’t expect another person’s taste to be the same as yours. If there are many choices available, then you and your guest can get a tasting that is different, and you both can compare and taste more wines. But don’t assume you can be served continually, because if you appear that you have consumed too much, the tasting room staff is not allowed to serve you. You can ask for a second taste, but it may be expected that you will be purchasing that wine.

Come and see us at Reyes Winery. We are open Saturdays and Sundays 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Live Music

| Entertainment | January 4, 2018

Live Music this week in SCV! 

Jan 4,   Thurs    6:30–9pm          Casa de Pizza               Jimmy Carnelli               Sinatra style traditionals
(not in SCV but nearby in Mission Hills)  dinner reservations are a must

7–10p               Bergies steakhouse       S.R.B.Q. band              Blues band

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Jan 5, Fri          6–9pm              Wolf Creek Brewery       Sean Wiggins                Classic rk & originals

7:30–10:30p      American Legion Newhall      SRBQ, Alan Wright, TJ Butler, Artur Menezes

8–11p               Wine 661                       Jeff Ross (Badfinger)    Classic rock

8–12m              Vincent Hill Station        Mama’s Hot Sauce on the patio              Rockabilly

8–12m              Rock Inn (Lake Hughes)   Claire Holley                  Live Music

9–12m              Valencia Wine Co          Freddy Lopez trio          Blues & rock

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Jan 6, Sat         8–12m              Vincent Hill Station        Siren Valley                       Rock

8–12m              VFW 6885                     Robert Heft band          Blues & rock

8–11pm                        Wine 661                       David Blasucci (Toto)    Soft rock

9–12m              Valencia Wine Co          Mustang Brothers          Classic rock

9p–1am                        Rock Inn (Lake Hughes)   Karson City Rebels        Blues & classic rk

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Jan 5 & 6, Fri and Sat  9p–12m and 1/7 Sun 5–8pm         Salt Creek Grille           Live music

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Jan 7, Sun        10a–2pm           Saugus Swap Meet       Gypsy Breeze               Live music

1–5pm              Rock Inn (Lake Hughes)   Roby Duron & Walker Gibson Live music

3–7pm              Vincent Hill                    Moldy Marvin’s Open Mic       Live music

5–9pm              American Legion Newhall      Blues Jam                      Large dance floor

5–9pm              VFW 6885                     TBD                              Live music

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Jan 8,  Mon       7–11p               Sisely’s in Valencia         Dole / Humphries          R & B, indie rock

Jan 9,  Tues      7–10pm            Bergies steakhouse       Tommy Marsh, guest           Blues

Jan 11, Thur        7–10p               Bergies steakhouse       Deep Fried Daddys             Blues

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Jan 12, Fri         6–9pm              Wolf Creek Brewery       Live Music every Friday Various

7:30–10:30        American Legion Newhall      Fogerty band    Classic rock – Lg dance floor

8–11pm                        Wine 661                       Jukebox Heros              Classic rock

8–12m              Vincent Hill Station        Seventh Switch on the patio    Classic rk & more

8–12m              Rock Inn (Lake Hughes)   Guitar James                 Live music

9–12m              Valencia Wine Co          PULP band                   Rock & dance

 

Wine of the Week – Wine Etiquette

| Entertainment | December 28, 2017

by Beth Heiserman

I was taught that there is never a right or wrong about a wine; as long as you enjoy it, it should be great. Many so-called “wine snobs” say sometimes that if a wine has won many awards or has been rated over 90 by certain people, that is a great wine, but it’s just their opinion. Their palates are different than yours, so why should they say what you should like? You can take their advice, but don’t expect to think that every wine critic will share your palate. They may only enjoy dry wines and not fruit forward or vice versa, and you might not share their outlook. Wine is very subjective. If you like a wine, that’s all that matters.

When going to a wine event or tasting, there really isn’t a dress code. Casual dress is okay, but I wouldn’t advise shoes that aren’t comfortable. Wear something where your feet are most happy when standing. It’s a good idea not to wear cologne or perfume, because it allows your senses to obtain the most aromas. When wearing cologne, you sometimes pick up the floral notes from the perfume instead of the wine, and sometimes you can taste it when it’s very strong. My nose is so sensitive I sometimes feel I smell everything … good and bad!

If you go with a party of 6 or more, reservations are a plus. See if the winery has tasting notes and prices available to you. When a fee is charged it is usually okay for two people to share one glass and pay only one tasting fee. Wineries are limited by law to 1-ounce pours, so don’t insist on more.

Come and see us at Reyes Winery. We are open Saturdays and Sundays 11 a.m.-5 p.m., but we will also be open on Friday, December 29 from 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Happy New Year!

Live Music in the SCV

| Entertainment | December 28, 2017

Dec 28, Thurs
7–10p Bergies steakhouse Blues contest players: Artur Menezes & Celso Salem
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Dec 29, Fri
6–9pm Wolf Creek Brewery Live Music every Friday Various
8–12m Rock Inn (Lake Hughes) Robert Heft duo Blues & classic rock
8–11p Wine 661 Miles 2 Go Classic easy rock
9–12m Valencia Wine Co Barfly band Current & classic rock
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Dec 30, Sat
8–12m VFW 6885 Susan Rey & Runarounds Classic rock
8–11p Wine 661 Sean Wiggins & Cary Classic rk & originals
9–12m Valencia Wine Co Blue Baron band Blues rock
9p–1a Rock Inn (Lake Hughes) Robert Heft blues band Blues & classic rock
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Dec 29 & 30, Fri and Sat
9p–12m Salt Creek Grille various musicians Live music
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Dec 31, Sun
10a–2p Saugus Swap Meet Cold River Band Live music
Dec 31 – New Year’s Eve some live music celebrations – (most don’t need reservations, call to check):
Wine 661 Sean Hughes 8pm –
Vincent Hill in Acton Runaway Train on the patio 8pm –
Valencia Wine Co Vinyl Gypsies 9pm –
Salt Creek Grille G – 3 Band 9pm –
Rock Inn in Lake Hughes Country Roads band
VFW 6885 Chad Watson band
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Jan 2, Tues
7–10pm Bergies steakhouse Chris Cardenas, guest Blues & rock
Jan 3, Wed
6–9pm Vincent Hill Station John & Terri Live music
Jan 4, Thur
7–10p Bergies steakhouse SRBQ band Blues & more
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Jan 5, Fri
6–9pm Wolf Creek Brewery Live Music every Friday Various
7:30–10:30p American Legion Newhall SRBQ, Alan Wright, TJ Butler, Artur Menezes
8–11p Wine 661 Jeff Ross (Badfinger) Classic rock
8–12m Vincent Hill Station Mama’s Hot Sauce Rockabilly

Band of the Week – Ominous Hominids

| Entertainment | December 21, 2017

Two words, two people, one band — Ominous Hominids is everything that you think a band with that name would be. Yes, it’s experimental and, of course, there’s a ukulele.

The duo describes their genre as “high art,” and the online presence of the band is minimal, but strong. Composed of Benni and Charlie, Ominous Hominids released its first album entitled “MEN OF THE EARTH” last month, and it features four songs along with the description, “uhhhhh good as he’ll.”

For more information about Ominous Hominids, or if you are curious as to what high art truly looks like, go to https://ominoushominids.bandcamp.com/.

Wine of the Week – Petite Syrah

| Entertainment | December 21, 2017

by Beth Heiserman

Many years ago, I went to Concannon Winery in Livermore, Calif., an establishment known for its petite syrah. My father knew Jim Concannon and I had the opportunity to stay up there for two weeks to learn more about wine. He taught me everything from wine tasting etiquette to wine pairing — an experience I will never forget. Walking through a courtyard with him once, I asked what petite syrah grapes tasted like compared to the actual wine, and he reached up to the arbor above us and grabbed a bunch of grapes so I could sample some. They were sweet as sugar.

Petite syrah wine can taste like a baked blackberry pie. It was first introduced in America in the 1960s. Concannon hired a female winemaker in 1961, Katherine Vadja, which was also a first. Women were unheard of in the wine making world, in all aspects, and still are! It has been an uphill battle for me.

You are welcome for wine tasting at Reyes Winery on Saturdays and Sundays from 11a.m.-5 p.m. We have special holiday hours this year: We will be open on Friday, December 22 and 29 from 1 p.m.-5 p.m. See you soon!

Live Music this Week!

| Entertainment | December 21, 2017

Live Music this week in SCV! 

Dec 21, Thurs    6–9pm              Vincent Hill in Acton      Siren Valley                   Acoustic

7–10p               Valencia Wine Co          Mike & Billy Duo                       “Snareheads” Acoustic

7–10p               Bergies steakhouse       Susan Rey & the Runarounds Classic rock & more

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Dec 22, Fri

6–9pm              Wolf Creek Brewery       Live Music every Friday Various

8–12m              Vincent Hill Station        Big Coyote on the patio           Country

8–12m              Rock Inn (Lake Hughes)   String Theory                Christmas party

8–11pm                        Wine 661                       Chris Ralles & friends    Classic rock

9–12m              Valencia Wine Co          Helen Wheels                Classic rock & dance

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Dec 23, Sat

5–12m              Hideaway in Kagel Cyn  Various bands – Fundraiser for canyon residents

8–12m              VFW 6885                     Big Coyote country       Christmas party

8–11pm                        Wine 661                       Chris Ralles & friends    Classic rock

9–12m              Valencia Wine Co          Blue Baron band           Blues rock

9p–1am                        Rock Inn (Lake Hughes)   Saloontics                   Tribute band rock

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Dec 22 & 23, Fri and Sat  9p–12m and 12/24 Sun 5–8pm Salt Creek Grille           Live music

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Dec 24, Sun

10a–2pm           Saugus Swap Meet       Brothers & Others          Live music

2–5pm              Valencia Wine Co          Bill Horn                                    Smooth guitar

3–7pm              Vincent Hill                    Moldy Marvin’s Open Mic       Live music

5–9pm              American Legion Newhall      Blues Jam                      Large dance floor

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Dec 26,  Tues    7–10pm            Bergies steakhouse       Eliot Witherspoon, guest       Classic rock

Dec 27,  Wed    6–9pm              Vincent Hill Station        Miles 2 Go                    Classic easy rock

Dec 28, Thur       7–10p               Bergies steakhouse       Blues contest winners: Artur Menezes & Celco Salem

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Dec 29, Fri

6–9pm              Wolf Creek Brewery       Live Music every Friday Various

8–12m              Rock Inn (Lake Hughes)   Robert Heft duo                        Blues & rock

8–11pm                        Wine 661                       Miles 2 Go                    Classic easy rock

9–12m              Valencia Wine Co          Barfly                          Classic rock & dance

 

New Year’s Eve            suggestions – (some have advance ticket sales):

American Legion Newhall      Captain Cardiac & Coronaries    7pm –

Wine 661                                    Sean Hughes                            8pm –

Vincent Hill in Acton               Runaway Train on the patio   8pm –

Valencia Wine Co                      Vinyl Gypsies                            9pm –

Salt Creek Grille                        Live music                                9pm –

Rock Inn in Lake Hughes       Country Roads band

VFW 6885                                 Chad Watson band

Artist of the Week – Healing Vibrations

| Entertainment | December 15, 2017

If you’ve ever wanted to take a break from the stress and noise of everyday life, all you ever had to do was go online and tune into Healing Vibrations.

No, holding your cell phone and calling it several times from another phone just won’t do it – not those vibrations. With releases such as Dharmic Chants and The Power Within, these meditative “vibrations” are described online as “reflect(ing) higher consciousness.”

Chris Cornelius, founder of Healing Vibrations, describes himself as an intuitive, otherwise referred to as a “psychic empath.” Cornelius is a Santa Clarita-based vocalist and musician specializing in numerous indigenous Middle Eastern instruments. With over 17 years of musical experience, Cornelius previously studied under Turkish/Egyptian musician Omar Faruk Tekbilek, and describes his genre as pop/new age, ambient/meditation, and world fusion.

According to his website, the music of Healing Vibrations is designed to promote exactly what the name promises: healing. Cornelius has uploaded over a dozen albums, including an album composed of cosmic ringtones, along with other spiritual tunes.

For more information about Healing Vibrations, visit https://healingvibrations.bandcamp.com/.

Wine of the Week – Hard Cider

| Entertainment | December 14, 2017

by Beth Heiserman

Fresh cider is not filtered, while apple juice is filtered and pasteurized. After cider apples are pressed, the cider begins to become carbonated, turning to hard cider as it ferments. Though cider apples are the main source, many other varietals are commonly used now. I have seen brands that use Northern spy, Cameo, Granny Smith and many others. Just like grape wine, we have single varietals and blends.

Hard cider is considered by the Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to be a fruit wine; therefore, producers must have a winery license. And depending upon the amount of CO2 added, it can be considered sparkling wine. Most of the ciders I have tried have an alcohol level below 8 percent. Most commercially manufactured cider is pasteurized, which removes any contamination from unwanted bacteria and extends shelf life. The addition of sugar, juice concentrate or extra fruit juice before the second fermentation increases the alcoholic percentage.

In the UK, cider must contain at least 35 percent apple juice and France requires 100 percent, while in America it must have at least 50 percent. Many producers add hops and other fruits to the process for a different taste. I enjoy the addition of hops; it makes a delicious, complex beverage.

History tells us that cider has been here about 1,000 years or more and in America, as early as the 1600s in Jamestown. In 2010, New Hampshire considered cider to be the official “state beverage.”

Live Music This Week in Santa Clarita

| Entertainment | December 14, 2017

Live Music this week in SCV!
Dec 14, Thurs

6–9pm Vincent Hill in Acton Z – Band Country, rock, blues
7–10p Vincenzo’s Newhall Skip Spiro’s little big band Jazz band
7–10p Bergies steakhouse Carmen Grillo! & Stunt Road Classic rock & more
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Dec 15, Fri

6–9pm Wolf Creek Brewery Live Music every Friday Various
8–12m Vincent Hill Station Seventh Switch on the patio Classic rock
8–12m Rock Inn (Lake Hughes) Alan Wright duo Blues & classic rock
8–11pm Wine 661 Jeff Ross & Bill Clinque Classic rock
9–12m Valencia Wine Co Snareheads Classic rock & dance
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Dec 16, Sat

5–12m Hideaway in Kagel Cyn Various bands – Fundraiser for canyon residents
8–12m VFW 6885 Emerald City Rock band
8–11p Wine 661 Sean Hughes Varied covers & orig
9–12m Valencia Wine Co Peacock & the Feathers Funk rock
9p–1am Rock Inn (Lake Hughes) Alan Wright band Blues & classic rock
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Dec 15 & 16, Fri and Sat 9p–12m and 12/17 Sun 5–8pm Salt Creek Grille Live music
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Dec 17, Sun

10a–2pm Saugus Swap Meet Seventh Switch Live music
1–5pm Rock Inn (Lake Hughes) Natalie Wattre Live music
2–5pm Valencia Wine Co Jim Hagen Jazz
3–7pm Vincent Hill Moldy Marvin’s Open Mic Live music
4–8pm American Legion Newhall Blues Jam Large dance floor
5 – 8pm Wine 661 Lance Allyn Rock & Holiday classics
5–9pm VFW 6885 Rob Staley band Country
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Dec 18, Mon 7–11p Sisely’s in Valencia Dole / Humphries R & B, indie rock
Dec 19, Tues

7–10pm Bergies steakhouse Frank Christopher, guest Classic rock
7-10pm Bethlehem Lutheran in CC Jam for Jesus – annual Christmas concert
Dec 20, Wed 6–9pm Vincent Hill Station John & Terri Live music
Dec 21, Thur

6–9pm Vincent Hill in Acton Siren Valley Acoustic
7–10p Bergies steakhouse Susan Rey & Runarounds Classic rock & more
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Dec 22, Fri

6–9pm Wolf Creek Brewery Live Music every Friday Various
8–12m Vincent Hill Station Big Coyote on the patio Country
8–12m Rock Inn (Lake Hughes) String Theory Christmas party
8–11pm Wine 661 Chris Ralles & friends Classic rock
9–12m Valencia Wine Co Helen Wheels Classic rock & dance

Artist of the Week – Sean Arison

| Entertainment | December 8, 2017

This one time, at summer camp, Sean Arison picked up an acoustic guitar. After learning a few chords around the campfire, he began his songwriting journey — and the rest is history.

As of last week, Arison released his latest experimental album, Happenstance, which can be heard on Bandcamp. So far, the solo artist has created six albums, all of which he describes as “music to fall into.”

The meditative musician was not always the cool, grounded artist he is today. Growing up in Santa Clarita, Arison was considered an outcast, often rejected by his peers. “I was pretty heavily bullied in school, and being an only child I had a lot of time to myself to think,” Arison said. “I feel my experiences of my childhood and teenage years in Santa Clarita have helped to shape my perception of life by giving me perspective and understanding towards the pain of the world, and the pain others may feel.”

Arison describes his experiences finding peace as a primary influence in his songwriting. “I have developed a unique sound which truly comes straight from my heart,” he said. “To me, my music fills a void and takes up a space that nothing else I have ever listened to also occupies, and that is a very special attribute.”

As for pursuing music professionally, Arison is still figuring it out. “I intend on continuing to improve myself and my music and going with the flow of life,” he said. “No matter what, I will always carry a love for music with me, wherever I end up.”

For more information about Sean Arison and his music, visit https://seanarison.bandcamp.com/.

Did You Know Santa Clarita Has a Hard Cider Maker?

| Entertainment | December 7, 2017

by Beth Heiserman

For many years apple juice was considered apple cider, which is an unfiltered and unsweetened non-alcoholic beverage. Some people call it soft or sweet cider. Hard cider is fermented.

In Santa Clarita, Brown Partington of Brown Knows Cider, a member of the Sierra Pelona Vintners Association, has been making cider for about three years. He is aiming for the spring of 2018 to have his first commercial batch for the consumer market. He will start with growlers and kegs, then to bottles. He has three varieties he is starting with: a traditional “Playin’ Jane” (which has amazing aromas); a blend with hops called “Hop on this Honey”; and another blend called “Love Potion” made with assorted berries. He started making cider with the intention to have a product that is “natural” without adding a lot of preservatives. His website is Brownknowscider.com.

Every year for Hanukkah I make sufganiot, which are fried jelly donuts. The oil used to fry them is reminiscent of the oil miraculously burned in the ancient temple in Jerusalem. I prefer baking instead of frying, so I choose a baked, low-fat alternative. This year I made Brown Knows Cider Apple Donut Holes and served them with a raspberry sauce. I went to a Hanukkah party and one of the ladies literally licked her plate.

Live Music This Week!

| Entertainment | December 7, 2017

Live Music this week in SCV!

Dec 7, Thurs
6–10pm Vincent Hill in Acton Lance Allyn Varied & classic rock
6:30–9pm Casa de Pizza Jimmy Carnelli Sinatra style traditionals
(not in SCV but nearby in Mission Hills) dinner reservations are a must
7–10p Bergies steakhouse Big Coyote Country
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Dec 8, Fri
6–9pm Wolf Creek Brewery Live Music every Friday Live music
7–10p Backyard Grub n Brews Mod-U-Lates Classic rock w/ sax
8–12m Vincent Hill Station The Fulcos on the patio Family band
8–12m Rock Inn (Lake Hughes) Sean Wiggins duo Classic rock & originals
8–11pm Wine 661 Jeff Ross & Steve Fekete Classic rock
9–12m Valencia Wine Co PULP band Classic dance rock
9p–1am Doc’s Inn Frankly Speaking band Classic rock
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Dec 9, Sat
6–10pm Vincent Hill in Acton Crystal Whiskey Country
7–10p Backyard Grub n Brews Nomads band Classic rock
8–12m VFW 6885 Cold River Classic rock & country
8–11p Wine 661 David Blasucci Classic rock
9–12m Valencia Wine Co Stone Soul Classic rock & motown
9p–1am Rock Inn (Lake Hughes) Joe Ferraro band Classic rock & blues
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Dec 8 & 9, Fri and Sat 9p–12m and 12/10 Sun 5–8pm Salt Creek Grille Live music
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Dec 10, Sun
10a–2pm Saugus Swap Meet Midnite Crisis Live music
1–5pm Rock Inn (Lake Hughes) Matt Loewy Live music
3–7pm Vincent Hill Moldy Marvin’s Open Mic Live music
4–8pm American Legion Newhall Wumbloozo & Toy Drive 2nd Sunday SCV Blues Society
5–9pm VFW 6885 Lee Harper band Country
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Dec 11, Mon
7–11p Sisely’s in Valencia Dole / Humphries R & B, indie rock
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Dec 12, Tues
7–10pm Bergies steakhouse Steve & Ryan Arklin, guest Classic rock
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Dec 13, Wed
6–9pm Vincent Hill Station Miles 2 Go Classic easy rock
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Dec 14, Thur
6–10pm Vincent Hill in Acton Z Band Country, rock, blues
7–10p Bergies steakhouse Carmen Grillo! & Stunt Road Classic rock & more
7–10p Vincenzo’s Newhall Skip Spiro’s little big band Jazz & blues
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Dec 15, Fri
6–9pm Wolf Creek Brewery Live Music every Friday Classic rock to current
8–12m Vincent Hill Station Seventh Switch on the patio Classic rock
8–12m Rock Inn (Lake Hughes) Alan Wright duo Blues & classic rock
8–11pm Wine 661 Chris Ralles & friends Classic rock
9–12m Valencia Wine Co Snareheads Classic rock & dance

Artist of the Week – Brandon Richards

| Entertainment | December 1, 2017

Who has two arms, two first names, and two independently-released records entitled “Sad” and “Happy?” If you guessed local indie artist Brandon Richards, consider a career in Psychic Criminology, because that would be frighteningly accurate.

If there’s anything to learn from the names of Richards’ first two online releases, it’s that he gets to the point. Brandon Richards made his online debut in March of this year, releasing his first album, “I Don’t Even Play Guitar: Songs Played On A Ukulele.” In June, he put out his second album, “Professional Disappointment.” His most recent albums, “Sad” and “Happy,” featured album art of Brandon Richards as a child, looking both happy and sad.

To find out more about Brandon Richards, or to check out his discography, visit https://soundcloud.com/brandonrichardsmusic and https://brandonrichardsmusic.bandcamp.com/.

What is Port Wine?

| Entertainment | November 30, 2017

by Beth Heiserman

Port is a Portuguese fortified wine which must be made in the Douro Valley in northern Portugal. It is generally consumed as a dessert wine, as it can be very sweet and decadent. There are several types of port: red, white, rosé and an aged style called tawny port, plus there are dry and semi-dry varieties. Fortified wines may be produced anywhere in the world, but only those from Portugal can be labeled “port.”

Ruby port is the least expensive and most widely produced type of port. After fermentation it is stored in tanks, and premium ruby is aged in barrels for at least four years. Aged tawny ports are wines aged in barrels that have gradual oxidation and some evaporation. Because of the oxidation, it is golden in color and tends to have nutty notes. This can be aged for 10, 20, 30 or more years.

There is also a colheita port, which is a single vintage wine fortified and aged in tawny style for at least seven years. On the label, instead of noting the number of years it was aged, it includes the year the grapes were harvested. On our Sweet Serenity label it states it is a 2009 Muscat, and although we didn’t age it for seven years before bottling, it would be considered a vintage port. The Reyes Winery Sweet Serenity won a Gold Medal & Best in Class in the 2014 Long Beach Grand Cru and a Bronze Medal in the 2014 Los Angeles International Wine Competition.

Our 2009 Muscat dessert wine has been aged into an old world style dessert wine and has just the right touch of wood. It has aromas of burnt caramel, dried apricots and candied ginger. It pairs well with soft cheeses after dinner or cinnamon sugared zeppolli.

Live Music

| Entertainment | November 30, 2017

Live Music this week in SCV! 

Nov 30, Thurs

6–10pm                        Vincent Hill in Acton      Michael Gabriel                         Contemporary, stirring

7–10p               Bergies steakhouse       John Davis & friends     Fogerty, classic rock


Dec 1, Fri

6–9pm              Wolf Creek Brewery       Karli Webster & Lexington     Live music

8p–12m            Vincent Hill Station        Morgan Ridge on the patio     Country

8p–12m              Rock Inn (Lake Hughes)   Jimmy White                 Country rock

8:30–11pm        Wine 661                       Colene & Co                 Jazz, swing, R & B

9–12m              Valencia Wine Co          TBD                              Classic rock


Dec 2, Sat

7–10p               Backyard Grub n Brews Floyd Rhythm Crew       Classic rock

7:30–10:30p      Sweetwater Café           Debbi Lee band                        Classic rock & blues

8–12m              VFW 6885                     Breakfast with Barbie     Classic rock

8:30–11p           Wine 661                       Gigi Worth & Guy Thomas     Classic rock

9–12m              Valencia Wine Co          Vinyl Gypsies                Classic dance rock

9p–1am                        Rock Inn (Lake Hughes)   Right Side Up band       Classic rock

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Dec 1 & 2, Fri and Sat  9p–12m and 12/3 Sun 5–8pm      Salt Creek Grille           Live music

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Dec 3, Sun

10a–2pm           Saugus Swap Meet       Two Dogs band                        Live music

1–5pm              Rock Inn (Lake Hughes)   Roby Duron & Walker Gibson Varied, fun

3–7pm              Vincent Hill                    Moldy Marvin’s Open Mic       Live music

4–8pm              American Legion Newhall      Blues Jam                     Large dance floor

5–9pm              VFW 6885                     Henry Becker band        Country

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Dec 4,  Mon      7–11p               Sisely’s in Valencia         Dole / Humphries          R & B, indie rock

Dec 5,  Tues     7–10pm            Bergies steakhouse       Sean Wiggins, guest artist     Classic rock & originals

Dec 6,  Wed      6–9pm              Vincent Hill Station        John & Terri                  Live music

Dec 7, Thur

6–10pm                        Vincent Hill in Acton      Lance Allyn                   Varied & classic rock

6:30–9pm          Casa de Pizza               Jimmy Carnelli               Sinatra style traditionals
(not in SCV but nearby in Mission Hills)  dinner reservations are a must

7–10p               Bergies steakhouse       Big Coyote                   Country

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Dec 8, Fri

6–9pm              Wolf Creek Brewery       Live Music every Friday Classic rock to current

8–12m              Vincent Hill Station        The Fulcos on the patio          Family band

8–12m              Rock Inn (Lake Hughes)   Sean Wiggins duo         Classic rock & originals

8:30–11pm        Wine 661                       Jeff Ross & Steve Fekete      Classic rock

9–12m              Valencia Wine Co          PULP band                   Classic dance rock

9p–1am                        Doc’s Inn                      Frankly Speaking band  Classic rock

 

Band of the Week: Reggae-Nomics

| Entertainment | November 22, 2017

Established three weeks ago, Reggae-Nomics is composed of two community college students who recently purchased a “Best of Bob Marley” compilation album from Best Buy. Together, the two band mates combined their love for tossing newly acquired junior college political science curriculum into conversation, with their new appreciation of “authentic Jamaican sounds” to create the most interesting thing going on in their lives at the moment: Reggae-Nomics.

Although the musicians of Reggae-Nomics barely began practicing last week, the group plans on performing at several local open mics, publicly stating that they have high hopes to “make it big” by October of 2018.

“In our three years of attending College of the Canyons, we’ve learned a lot about what’s going on in the world. Reggae-Nomics is not just two 20-year-olds making music in their parents’ living room while drinking Smirnoff without using coasters on brand new IKEA furniture. We are spreading a message of love and understanding – and we are not afraid of the consequences of sharing these radical ideas.”

The band members are hoping to start a music festival in Santa Clarita that is “sort of like Woodstock, but maybe in a parking lot if [they] can’t get the permits.” Unaware of the amount of work it takes to put on something as large as a music festival, the lead singer of Reggae-Nomics also stated that they hope to get a few celebrity guest appearances in the line up. Eddie Murphy and Bernie Sanders have yet to reply to their invitations.

Reggae-Nomics is planning on releasing their first EP by December 1. For more information about Reggae-Nomics, or if you are brave enough to listen, visit their SoundCloud page at https://soundcloud.com/reggae-nomics.

Live Music

| Entertainment | November 16, 2017

There are several opportunities to go out and enjoy live music this week in SCV!
Nov 16, Thurs
6–10pm Vincent Hill in Acton Z – Band Country, blues, rock
7–10p Bergies steakhouse Deep Fried Daddys Classic rock, blues, fun6:30–9pm Casa de Pizza Jimmy Carnelli Sinatra style traditionals
(not in SCV but nearby in Mission Hills) dinner reservations are a must
——————————————————————————————————————————-
Nov 17, Fri
6–9pm Wolf Creek Brewery Live Music every Friday Classic rock to current 7p–11p Backyard Grub n Brews Mod–U–Lates Classic rock & wild sax
8–12m Vincent Hill Station Wildside on the patio Classic rock, R&B
8p–12m Rock Inn (Lake Hughes) Guitar James Live music
8:30–11pm Wine 661 Miles 2 Go Classic oldies & country 9–12m Valencia Wine Co The Grizwalds Pop, soul, rock
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Nov 18, Sat
6p–10p Vincent Hill Station TBD Live music
8p–12m VFW 6885 Soundwaves band Classic surf & oldies
8:30–11p Wine 661 Jeff Ross & friends Classic rock
9p–12m Valencia Wine Co Snareheads Stones to Prince
9p–1am Rock Inn (Lake Hughes) Controlled Chaos Classic rock & country
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Nov 17 & 18, Fri and Sat 9p–12m and 11/19 Sun 5–8pm Salt Creek Grille Live music
——————————————————————————————————————————-
Nov 19, Sun
10a–2pm Saugus Swap Meet Urban Soul Live music
1–5pm Rock Inn (Lake Hughes) Sean Wiggins Classics & originals
3–7pm Vincent Hill Moldy Marvin’s Open Mic Live music
4–8pm American Legion 507 Blues Jam Large dance floo
5–9pm VFW 6885 Mary White band Country
5:30–8:30p Vincenzo’s Newhall Meridian SCV band Live music
——————————————————————————————————————————-
Nov 20, Mon
7–11p Sisely’s in Valencia Dole / Humphries R & B, indie rock
Nov 21, Tues
7–10pm Bergies steakhouse Alan Wright, guest artist Blues & rock
Nov 22, Wed
6–9pm Vincent Hill Station John & Terri Live Music
7–11pm Valencia Wine Co Mike Fitzgerald & Billy Davis Live music
Wine 661 Ron Suffredini Classic rock
Nov 23, Thur Happy Thanksgiving!
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Nov 24, Fri
6–9pm Wolf Creek Brewery Live Music every Friday Classic rock to current 8p–12m Rock Inn (Lake Hughes) Michael Gabriel Live music
8:30–11pm Wine 661 Chris Ralles Classic rock
9–12m Valencia Wine Co The Copycats Classic rock

Band of the Week – Apollo 69

| Entertainment | November 10, 2017

If you weren’t alive when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon (or when Stanley Kubrick directed the moon landing), you can still experience the next best thing, right here in Santa Clarita.

Apollo 69, a psychedelic punk/rock band from Santa Clarita, was established by Andre Shahjanian, Nate Ramer, Zach Lindquist, and Tyler Bernstein after the friends began making music last summer.

Last month the group released their debut album, “Homemade Honey,” and after one month of Sound Cloud exposure, their single, “Flowers,” has been played over 2,000 times.

According to Andre Shajhanian, the album name came from the crude practice of irrigating their throats with honey before singing. “We used to down honey before we sang so we could hit the notes,” he explained.

So far, Apollo 69 has played two concerts, and the group is planning additional performances for the coming months. To find out more about Apollo 69, visit www.facebook.com/Apollo69band. To find out the truth about the moon landing, ask the band after one of their shows.

The Myth Behind the Title of a ‘Reserve Wine’

| Entertainment | November 10, 2017

by Beth Heiserman

Many people think that there are certain descriptive words that people look for on a winery’s label, like reserve, estate grown, single vineyard, old vine, etc. This past week, I had someone ask what our “reserve wines” were.

In the U.S., “reserve” doesn’t theoretically mean anything. When applying for label approval from the TTB (Tax and Trade Bureau) in our country, reserve is nothing more than a brand name. “Estate grown” sometimes is synonymous with reserve, but it isn’t supposed to be; you can be both. For instance, Reyes Winery wines are estate grown and, yes, I can consider them a reserve wine in the sense that we oversee and assist in the whole process to make sure the quality is the best, from growing to bottling.

The term “reserve wines” most likely started in the cellar when winemakers would hold back or “reserve” some of their wine from a certain good tasting or favorite vintage. In this day and age, the insinuation of a reserve wine is that it’s a higher quality wine that has been aged longer. But the reality is, you’ll find most wineries that use the term really do put their best product into their reserve wines.

When creating a label, you never know if it will be a reserve type of wine until after it’s bottled and labeled. You may, two years later, see an additional sticker that says “reserve.” For instance, Reyes Winery’s 2011 and 2012 Syrah that has won Double Gold medals from the San Francisco International Wine Competition means that now I could add that second label saying “reserve.” We generally put aside a certain number of cases in the cellar, so that a few years later, when the inventory in the tasting room has been exhausted, we will bring out a certain quantity to share with our customers.

Robert Reyes, our winemaker and owner of Reyes Winery, said his favorite is the 2009 Syrah. Even though it didn’t win the prestigious awards, it is now part of our “reserve” or “library” wine list which is for members now, unless it’s on the monthly wine list in the tasting room.

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