The watering hole stages of Bakersfield can be an unpredictable environment for bands creating original music week in and week out.

Just ask the members of blues rockin’ duo Heavy Vinyl, who, after forming almost three years ago, are finally beginning to feel the audience love intensify. Often paired with an eclectic grouping of other local acts, the pair seem to find a way to roll with the hand they’re dealt. They got the talent, the songs, the energy and, yes, the hair. Who could ask for anything more?

In discussing crowd reaction — ahead of a recent Saturday night appearance at Sandrini’s with fellow indie outfits Crime Bison and the 08 Orchestra — guitarist Tomas Medina was mildly optimistic.

“Absolutely terrible — that’s why we need to be in the paper. No, the reaction has been incredible. We keep getting more and more opportunities to play and we love seeing the crowd rock out.” 

Oh, the confidence of youth.

I’ve often felt that when a young musician cites the blues as foundation of their musical upbringing all will be well with the world. Once again, Medina, 21, didn’t disappoint.

“Our genre is blues, garage rock/revival. Think if Jack White sought relationship advice from Janis Joplin.”

You had me at Janis.

With a demo release (“Let Those Who Have Ears, Hear”), produced by Bakersfield musician Logan Archer, along with a semi-regular slate of shows every month — even booking two guys for a show isn’t that easy — Heavy Vinyl should be added to your list of Bakersfield bands to catch.

“We have a catalog of over 50-plus songs and growing,” said drummer Glenn Matthews, 22. "It seems like we just can’t keep up with our material sometimes."

To get more acquainted with the band, find them at, on Instagram @heavyvinylofficial, Bandcamp, Snapchat and Twitter.

Stay tuned.

Bakersfield Jazz Day

Hot on the heels of news that Bakersfield College would offer music majors expanded jazz studies as an option, it’s perfect time to talk about the upcoming Kern County Music Educators’ Jazz Day, which returns to campus on April 12.

According to the BC Jazz official website (, the all-day event will feature student jazz ensembles from throughout Kern County performing in the Simonsen Performing Arts Center Indoor Theater, with a showcase performance by the BC Jazz Ensemble. This year’s head clinician will be Adam Benjamin, a Grammy-nominated pianist with the band Kneebody and director of jazz studies at University of Nevada, Reno. Benjamin will give a public masterclass and perform with the BC Faculty Jazz Ensemble. All events will be held in the indoor theater.

The event runs from from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the full schedule will be available soon. Admission is free and open to the public.

But wait, there’s more.

Jazz fans can rejoice that the website for the 32nd annual Bakersfield Jazz Festival, coming April 27 and 28 to the CSUB Amphitheatre, has been fully updated with information on all acts scheduled to perform. Tickets are on sale now at For more information, visit

Matt’s pick

T.S.O.L., 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jerry’s Pizza, 1817 Chester Ave. $10. 633-1000.

Nothing like a good ol’ fashioned punk rock show on a Tuesday night to help you get through the rest of the week. Headlined by SoCal punk pioneers T.S.O.L. — featuring original members Jack Grisham on vocals, Ron Emory on guitar, bassist Mike Roche and keyboardist Greg Keuhn — the show also marks the kick-off to the veteran band’s latest West Coast tour. The band’s latest release, “The Trigger Complex,” their first in eight years, is what I expect the band would sound like had they stayed together before briefly becoming a pseudo-hair metal band in the late '80s. Thankfully, that’s all in the past now and back to punk it is, and the band is in fine form.

Old and young fans should expect a lot of the classics (based on previous set list postings), and plenty of onstage banter from Grisham, who’s also authored four books, and even has his own Instagram page dedicated to his photography @jackgrishamphoto. Also appearing is the bizarre Downtown Brown, Infirmities, and Bakersfield bands Tanked and Carcinogenz. Highly recommended and all at a very affordable punk rock price.

(2) comments


Followed your advice and checked out heavy vinyl. I'd like to know more. I haven't visited Bakersfield in years, but it's good interesting to know there's a jazz and punk music fan base in the southern san joaquin. I thought there would be more country music. TSOL at a pizza parlor? whoa. thanks


Old peoples article written by an old person. Need some energy here.

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