From Spencer the gardener to Spencer the subject

“More Than Just a Party Band” will premiere on May 20th. | Credit: Courtesy

After an enticing short teaser at Hello Santa Barbara! Concert and documentary film event — with Independent authors Matt Kettmann and Josef Woodard, among others, on the enduring appeal of Santa Barbara-based musician Spencer Barnitz – Tickets to the world premiere of More than just a party band are now on sale. The event takes place at the New Vic Theater on Saturday, May 20 at 7:30pm and director/writer Robert Redfield said he is looking forward to showing the film, especially after the fall preview.

“I couldn’t believe the excitement of the crowd. But it’s really no surprise. I mean, the crowd loves him,” Redfield said. “Hopefully people who know Spencer pretty well will learn something from the film. And I think they will, because even his sister said she did it.”

Spencer’s sister Liz Barnitz, who performs as part of the band Spencer the Gardener, is one of dozens of well-known friends, neighbors and musicians who join Spencer to tell the story of his music and its inspirations against the backdrop of his life in Santa Barbara, London, Peru and Mexico.

While the film obviously appeals to Spencer’s legions of local fans, Redfield plans to submit it to festivals and believes it has a certain universal appeal as well. The feedback he has received supports this theory. “There are many documentaries that are local as long as the story themes are somewhat universal and understandable to people. Defining your own success as an artist is a fairly universal theme. And this is definitely one of the takeaways of More than just a party band.”

The film is one of three parts of a project involving Emile Millar and his Hello Santa Barbara! production group. Also part of the package was last November’s sold out concert at the Lobero and a new Spencer the Gardener album which will have its own after party/listening party at the Scarlett Begonia (next to the theater) following the film premiere.

“I’ve always wanted to work with Spencer; make a large, lush platter; and really blowing his fans away with his new material,” said Millar, who produced both the film and the album. “But before I pitched the idea to him, I realized this is an artist with a 40-year career and a life story of fun, youth, success, bad luck, luck, heartbreak and dedication – all components of a great documentary film, well.” we did an album AND a movie AND sold out Lobero – it was crazy but it was worth it. I am very proud of that and of the team that made it all possible.”

After the screening of the 80-minute film, there will be a short Q&A session with the director and producer. Tickets are available now at Watch the film’s trailer at

Bobby Allyn

Bobby Allyn is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Bobby Allyn joined USTimeToday in 2022 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with Bobby Allyn by emailing

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