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ROCKTALK : Local Folk Singer Wins at Telluride Festival : Alan Thornhill, sort of a Ventura County version of James Taylor, brings home prize guitar from the Colorado competition.

June 29, 1995|BILL LOCEY | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Mellow and mellifluous Ojai folkie Alan Thornhill won the 1995 Telluride Musical Festival Finger Style Guitar Competition earlier this month in Colorado.

Taylor was allowed two songs in the finals. One was his own and the other a rendition of "Over The Rainbow." Thornhill won a Taylor Grand Concert Guitar.

"I entered the contest after [my wife] encouraged me and especially after I took a look at the prize," Thornhill said. "Those are about the nicest guitars being made these days, and I actually had been looking to buy one the last year. The whole thing was a real honor and a big surprise."

Thornhill, sort of a local version of James Taylor, plays regularly at The Ranch House in Meiners Oaks on Friday nights and at Lorenzoni's in Ventura on Saturday nights.

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The Battle of the Bands at Retro Metro Knight Club in Ventura, which seemed to last nearly as long as the Hundred Years War, finally ended earlier this month. The night of the finals featured Premonition, Diamond and Alkaline with the latter band taking the honors that went to Big Bad Voodoo Daddy in 1994.

Alkaline and other local bands will return to the venue on Wednesdays, the only night of live, original music at the club. It is being billed as Metro Music Awards, with a CD threatened for the future.

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Is the downtown Ventura music scene giving you the blues? Well, a new venue will be opening Friday: Joe Daddy's, formerly Smokey's, at 211 E. Santa Clara St. across from the new court house. Those rockin' blues will be happening on Friday and Saturday nights. Tending bar will be Mark Brockway, who used to work at Charlie's.

Opening-night entertainment will be provided by Blue Stew (see Night Life for a story on the band). Saturday night features the best blues guitarist in the 805 area code, Randy Rich (and the Ravens).

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Longtime Charlie's bartender and survivor of countless Raging Arb & the Redheads gigs, Drew Setterfield, died in March of complications from AIDS. Look for a benefit later this month featuring Raging Arb, Spencer the Gardener and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, probably at Nicholby's. All proceeds will go to organizations providing AIDS care.

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