Tiny Porch Concert Summer Music Series bring live music to the mountains

The Peter Strauss Ranch Theater, part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, will again be the site of the Tiny Porch Concert Summer Music Series this year. Contributed Photo

Local music lovers can also check out the Trancas Summer Nights series

By Barbara Burke 

Special to The Malibu Times 

“We are a group of volunteers and local business owners who just love music,” said a post on Nextdoor, discussing Tiny Porch Concerts, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to the performers as well as to the national parks where the concerts are held. 

The Tiny Porch Concert Summer Music Series aims to continue the rich tradition of live music singing through the Santa Monica Mountains and it offers four outdoor concerts at the iconic Peter Strauss Ranch Theater in the Santa Monica Mountains in Agoura Hills. 

“This series is a must for anyone who appreciates high quality, original live music where artists travel from all over the country to perform,” the organization’s website informs, adding, “When you walk into the theater for the first time, you will see what we mean. There is no other place like it! It’s our own Hollywood Bowl right here in the Santa Monica Mountains, only smaller, more rustic and no traffic!”

The concerts are a huge hit and enjoy a loyal, large following. Peter Strauss Ranch is a unique theater with a rich history of entertaining. The musical community plans to keep it that way and enjoys support by sponsors from the area.

“We have been hosting these concerts for seven years now and our fan base has developed into a special group of people who all enjoy live music of the country folk and bluegrass genres,” said Xxxxxx Xxxx. “We have several creative and unique environments that we utilize as concert venues in and around the Santa Monica Mountains” 

Upcoming concerts showcase folk singer Adam Ezra, who will appear on July 14.  Fans are hoping he will talk about and possibly play “Hold Each Other Now,” which he composed for John Oates, and they also hope that he’ll discuss how he livestreamed for 500 nights in a row during the pandemic. Ezra will be joined by Mary Scholz, a celebrated Americana singer, songwriter, and acoustic guitarist based in Los Angeles. Her newest album, “Begin Again,” includes several memorable songs. Music Junkie Press aptly describes her singing, “To see Mary Scholz live in concert is to fall in love. It is the voice and the lyrics – the music that flows from the stage … you know this woman and her singing and you want to spend the rest of your life listening to her!” Wow!

The Tiny Porch Concert series will end on Aug. 11, when concertgoers will enjoy a performance by The Riverside, an energetic and engaging trio. The folk string band thoroughly enjoys playing intimate venues and loves to share traditional melodies and harmonies. Also performing that evening is The Salty Suites, a dynamic three-piece acoustic band with blazing instrumentals, soaring harmonies, and beautiful vocals. The group plays Americana, folk, and bluegrass with original composition and selected covers.

Readers who are interested can listen to this season’s 2024 performers here: tinyportchconcerts.com/upcoming. Donations and sponsorships are sincerely appreciated and proceeds benefit the Santa Monica Fund which contributes directly to the local national parks.

Trancas Summer Nights promises some great concert experiences

In western Malibu, Trancas Country Market continues its years-long tradition of offering concerts on the lawn on Friday evenings. Crowds have flocked to the concerts so far this summer and they have thoroughly enjoyed the freedom of dancing with other locals. While kids and pets frolic, locals get with the vibe of the various performing bands and bond with friends old and new.

Forthcoming concerts include Montana Shane & The Canyon Band on June 21, a collaborative music project that delighted Malibuites last year — this year’s encore will prove to be more delightful for attendees. 

Malibu’s own Indio Downey will perform on June 26 and he will share his emotional songs derived from classic rock, ‘90s pop and grunge. His recent “Plastic Rainbow” album has garnered accolades. Downey shares that his song “Dume,” produced by Dan Omelio, is “a metaphor for the fatal attraction to self-destruction.” Why the title? That’s simple, “It’s a play on Point Dume, which is my inspiration spot,” he says. Attendees hope to be inspired when listening and dancing to Indio in his hometown!

On July 5, Fallen Angels will perform, followed the next week by Jakobs Castle on July 12. The Weasels will take the stage on July 19, and the ever-popular fan favorite, Heartbreak for Petty will perform on July 26. 

The August lineup includes Lizzy Passions, who will perform on Aug. 1, Ignition on Aug. 9, and another local fan favorite, Little Dume, on Aug. 16. A greatly anticipated performance by the New Old Music Group, which sings the tunes made famous by beloved local musician Lenny Goldsmith, will delight concert goers on Aug. 23.  The ever popular Riptide will complete the Summer Series on Aug. 30.

Concerts at Trancas Summer Nights are free to all. Bands begin to play on the lawn at 6 p.m. and finish at 9 p.m. Come one, come all.  Be sure to bring your lawn chairs and the hosts invite attendees to patronize the Trancas restaurants or the Vintage Market.