Softer Sounds


Not all concerts showcasing rock ‘n’ roll acts are ear-splitting experiences with amplifiers roaring.

Case in point: the 11th Annual Henson’s Acoustic Music Festival.

Saturday afternoon, 11 music acts will gather at Camarillo’s Dizdar Park for a showcase sure to please fans of bluegrass, rock, country-western and blues.


“It originally started out almost exclusively as a bluegrass festival,” event organizer Mike Fishell said. “We started small with just a few musicians who wanted to gather and have a concert.”

Initial concerts were greeted by a surge of fans, and today organizers have broadened the festival’s musical base.

“It’s grown and grown. We no longer narrow it to bluegrass,” Fishell said.

“I mainly concentrate on scheduling acts from Ventura County,” he said, adding that the lineup includes some of the area’s finest performers. “We wanted to showcase quality, original songwriting, and this is a heck of good group of musicians.”

The afternoon’s acts include Paul Sanchez, Steve Elmer, Kim Loucks, J.D.’s Last Ride, Garage-A-Saurus Wrecks, The Kind, Those Darn Guys, Jason Underground, The Ukalaliens and Santa Barbara’s David West.

It’s also a family affair for Fishell.

“My sister Mary Kay Fishell will perform a tribute to Patsy Cline,” he said. (Mary Kay is also lead singer for the band, The Convertibles.)

Why an acoustical concert?

“There just aren’t that many places around here--beyond the bar scene--to play acoustic,” Fishell said.

“People love it. It’s big. There are no gimmicks, no gadgetry. Just an honest performance. There’s no faking it with wild sound effects.”

Concert-goers are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch and refreshments. The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Dizdar Park is on Glenn Drive just off of Ventura Boulevard in Camarillo. For further information, call 486-8742.