A Week Full of The Working Blues Keeps Us In New Bern

On The Scene With Tracey Stones

I stayed around town all week working for New Bern Now, Ledger Magazine and NCMZ.LIVE but that did not stop me from finding music all around our beautiful town.

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On Saturday, I made my way to town to check out The Neuse River Rambles. Surf, Wind and Fire owner Danny Batten is one of the unsung heroes of our community. After Florence left him with damage to his home and business, Batten became some of the hardest working boots on the ground for this community. Actively meeting with business leaders and citizens while planning new ways to revitalize our downtown and jump-start his own business; he is a great asset and positive force for our community.

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Batten is not only a business owner but a banjo player too. When we first met Batten here in the blog, it was 2016 and he was playing with Merchant’s Road Band. Nowadays he is pick’n notes and offering harmonies for The Neuse River Ramblers. Last Saturday marked their third performance and it was rather a charming way to welcome St. Patrick’s Day Weekend. Quite frankly, anytime you can find your way downtown and discover live music, it is a wonderful thing!

Business Development Makes #DowntownNBRocks

In his spare time, Batten squeezes in early morning meetings in an effort to help jump-start New Bern’s come back, post-Florence. One of the groups that meets and plans revitalization projects for downtown is the Downtown Business Council.

I was recently invited to an events-planning meeting, where I learned there would be more live music coming to the downtown.  That is always thrilling to report. You will be able to keep up with the news and developments of this new series, that is being deemed Saturday Sessions through Folks Journal. They will be partnering with the DBC and Swiss Bear, all working in conjunction with The New Bern Parks and Recreation Department. To present us with FREE LIVE MUSIC,for all that visit and shop New Bern.

Though ncmz.live won’t be involved with these music events, I can tell you that next month is already scheduled and a press release was issued. Here are some of those details as per that release, so that you can get an idea of what is in store for us!

Saturday Sessions

The Saturday Sessions in Bear Plaza are rotating music and art weekends located in the heart of downtown New Bern, North Carolina. Saturday Sessions run from 1pm-5pm and begin Saturday April 6, 2019 and will run every Saturday until Mumfest weekend in October.

The first Saturday Session programming on April 6 includes live music by Sometimes Lions, a Greenville based duo singing and playing your favorite covers. They feature their own original songs, sponsored by FOLKS Journal, courtesy of Toyota New Bern, playing from 1pm-2:30pm. The second half of the Saturday Sessions is sponsored by Swiss Bear, Inc. and will feature original music from the singer/songwriters of the Carrboro, NC based North Carolina Songwriters Co-op. Renowned bluegrass band Neville’s Quarter will be playing from 3pm-5pm. More information about the band is available online at www.nevillesquarter.com and on the North Carolina Songwriters Co-op website at www.ncsongwriters.org.

Not Just Music, Art too

April 13, 2019 will be the first Art Saturday during Saturday Sessions in Bear Plaza. This program runs from 1pm-5pm and will feature an assortment of local artists. Local YA author Leslie Tall Manning will be having conversations and selling her books. Chris Wagner from The Sanctuary Gallery will be selling his work and demonstrate air painting alongside fellow gallery members. Local wellness guru and Kundalini yoga instructor Jenn Prem Arjan Pittman will be selling her holistic handmade jewelry. Artist and West Craven Middle School teacher Noël McKelvey of Blissworks will be demonstrating and selling her handmade whimsical card creations. Hope Baucher from A Hopeful Balance Yoga Studio will be providing instructors and classes in basic yoga and restoration poses. Reiki master and massage therapist Catherine Ould will be providing chair massage and reiki treatments.

Special Saturday Sessions children’s programming is available. Between 1pm-5pm the second and fourth Saturdays indoors at the The Next Chapter Books and Art and the first and third Saturdays outside of The Craven Arts Council/Bank of the Arts. Children of all ages are encouraged to paint #downtownNBrocks and hide them around town. The Craven Arts Council/Bank of the Arts will also be the host location of Saturday Session Storytimes,, held the second and fourth Saturdays at 1pm and 3pm. Please join us as books about community, nature, and neighborhood are shared alongside beautiful local works of art on display.

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Speaking of Banjo Playing Business Owners

This seems to be a trend when you look about our wonderful town, Banjo playing business owners. I was speaking with George Oliver not long before press time which brought the idea to mind. Oliver is another stellar citizen actively involved in helping the rebuild of the town.

It was nice talking to Oliver about some comedic business with Walk-In BathTub, and while we were on the phone he told me about his family’s show last weekend at Bank Of The Arts, where At The Gallery featured the music and story of June Carter and Johnny Cash.

The performance went so well that they have decided to bring it again to the community. This time they will perform on Friday, June 7, 2019, at The New Bern Civic Theater. Mark your calendars and make plans to be a part of a wonderful night of music and stories. This performance will be a fundraiser for the New Bern Civic Theater itself.  That is great news and another example of how Oliver and his family work overtime in assisting and serving our community.

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Mondays Means Blues at The Brown



Things were swinging when I got to the Dirty Bird more accurately know as  The Brown Pelican on Monday evening. Chirs Buttitta was back on the bass and a few more guitarist joined the fun. Some of those that I caught on the carpet this week include, open mic host and guitarist for 3rd Degree Bern, Brian Mac; solo player, Randy Moore, plus Tommy Duzan Sr. Hammering out the harmonica was Lee Tibbetts and kicking in the drums was Tom Parker. Big Jim was leading the charge and before I left I was jumping and jiving about!

This weekly offering has been a wonderful pick me up for New Bern and its music lovers. Thank you for coming out and showing your support for this weekly blues offering. We look forward to bringing you more fun nights from New Bern. This weekly blues treat is now followed up with HONKY TONK TUESDAY. That is the night made for all you country jammers. Mike Watkins is offering this weekly treat and all are welcome to come out and share the love.

When we come back tomorrow to finish out our fun week, we will stop here for open mic Thursday as well. This means that The Dirty Bird aka The Brown Pelican is now offering live music 5 days a week! ROCK ON!! Big thanks to bar owner Heather Haiss for all she does to support live music!


Mid Week Blues Bites


For those that like to dine and drink their blues away, you should consider joining Big Jim and the guys at The City Stage New Bern. That is where Kohler offers his mid-week session of blues education. Opening the stage to jammers to join him after the first set, this is always a fun and inspiring way to spend Wednesday evenings. Fun is found here from 7-9 each Wednesday!


Currently, we are working on raising funds for Big Jim Kohler to lay down some tracks. The blues master has been on a healing journey for the past 18 months. Along the way, he has regained his strength and found his focus. He has remained sober and committed to living a healthier life.

Since arriving here in New Bern, Kohler has not released a new disc. With a new lease on life, the blues-man is ready to keep busy in the studio and on the road. To date, we have raised just over $1400 of the $4000 needed to get the disc done. For those interested in helping to fuel the mission please direct your contributions here:

Big Jim Kohler’s Kickstarter Campaign

For friends and fans of the blues-man, you can come to hang out at Sara’s Big Apple, where he will be offering songs from 6-8 pm tomorrow evening. We hope to see you there.

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~ Live Music Options ~

Friday, March  22, 2019

Getting Down Around Town

There is always a reason to head to town and gather for some fun. Tonight’s reason: LIVE MUSIC!

The Brown Pelican

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The Brown Pelican hosts an evening of music with Paid Time Off, featuring Rick Huff with Mollie Hunter Belet offering songs from 7-10 pm. Come enjoy a fun night of familiar songs and wonderful originals by this popular, local jam band. Free music is never free and neither is the gas to get there, please tip the music makers that you meet.


Blackbeard’s Triple Play Restaurant


Blackbeard’s Triple Play Restaurant, 415 S Front St. The party comes courtesy of The Backyard Groove, bringing the music to life tomorrow night on the deck, with all the grooves you will love. Music plays at 7:30 pm- 11 pm. For more info please reach out and call the club at 252-635-0322.


City Stage New Bern


Holden Dixon:
Holden is a songwriter, and multi-musician, from Chocowinity, NC.

His band, “Holden Dixon & The Straightlines” will be bringing an Alternative Rock sound you don’t want to miss.

$5.00 Cover Charge Music starts at 8 pm.


On the James City Side of that Confounded Bridge




BrÜtopia offers the freshest brewed beer and the good grooves of Caffeinated Soul Boogie live, who will be sharing songs tonight and jamming from 7-10 pm. Free music for your listening pleasure. Come out and support local music, while you enjoy the freshest new beer on tap!


The Garage


There is a new place opening today that will host music, games, and fun for the whole family. The Garage will open their doors today and offer live music tonight with Tommy Duzan, Sr. rocking the blues. Music starts at 7 pm.

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Cruising the Crystal Coast

Atlantic Beach 2016

Morehead City

Promise’ Land Market

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Ed Prophet will be rocking the stage at Promise’ Land Market with music being shared from 8:30-11:30 pm.


Beaufort, NC

Cru Bar & Wine Store/ The Beaufort Coffee Shop


Cru Bar & Wine Store/ The Beaufort Coffee Shop  

Joey and Mason, Fri Mar 22nd, 8:30-11:30 PM, No Cover

Join us for live music by local musicians, Joey and Mason. They play originals and covers along the lines of classic blues and rock. These guys will be sure to surprise you with their talent! Come check them out!!


Royal James


Cecil Gillikin offers the music at Royal James in Beaufort tonight. Check him out on the stage, sharing songs you know and love to sing along to from 8-11 pm.


Swansboro, NC

The Boro Restaurant & Bar

Offering the live sounds tonight at The Boro Restaurant & Bar will offer the music of Flipside! Great food, great music, great ambiance! Join us on Friday! Music starts at 8 pm.


Newport, NC


4EverAll will be in the garden to entertain fans and friends that gather. Music is offered from 6:30-9:30 pm. There is a $5.00 admission or the music. They have appetizers to taste, and serve beer and wine as well.


Cedar Point, NC

Riptidez Bar & Grill

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Barefoot Wade has a  show at Riptidez Bar & Grill this evening. Music plays from 9 pm until midnight!


Treehouse Beer Company


Treehouse Beer Company will be serving the country sounds of Big and Richard this evening from 7-10 pm. Come out and enjoy a fresh cold brew and enjoy live music as we welcome the weekend.


Surf City, NC

The Trailer Bar!

The Trailer Bar welcomes Snow Duo tonight, for the fun and music for music lovers in the Surf City Area. Come out to rock the night away with this talented local entertainer. Music plays from 8:30 until 11:30 pm.

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Rocking Around the Region


Durham, NC

The Blue Note Grill

MARCH 22, 2019 · FRIDAY * 9PM * $10

Touring and playing for many years, Armand brings years of experience and loads of talent to the stage. High energy blues and R&B. Get here early for this one..oh, and bring your dancing shoes!

Joining Armand will be Carter Minor, Jim Henderson, FJ Ventre, Kelly Pace, and Becky Beeston Lenchek.

After a nearly a two decade apprenticeship playing behind the likes of Skeeter Brandon, Walter “Lightnin’ Bug” Rhodes and Nappy Brown, Chapel Hill, NC based guitarist Armand Lenchek assumed the role of bandleader with a vengeance on his solo debut, Everything I Need. He’s back again, still in front of the rotating crew of blues breakers he calls Bluesology.

Although he can shred with the best of them, Lenchek has mastered one of the most difficult skills in any guitarist’s repertoire: restraint. He plays every note he needs t, and not a note more. Sometimes that’s a blistering fury, sometimes it’s a laid back shuffle but every time it’s just what the song calls for.


Greenville, NC

AJ McMurphy’s

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Summer Collins will provide the entertainment tonight at AJ McMurphy’s, with music being offered from 8:30- 11:30 pm. You are invited to come early and grab a bite to eat, and stay ’til later for the serving of live music.


Washington, NC

Backwater Jack’s Tiki Bar & Grill

For are some live music choices up to our North tonight. There is a new room to welcome the bands during the winter months at Backwater Jack’s Tiki Bar & Grill. And that is where music is served from 7-10 pm each Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. On Thursdays they welcome all players with a Low Key Open Mic night, hosted by Brian Burke. On Fridays and Saturdays it’s the finest local acts on the list to entertain you, while you dine and drink and unwind.


The Wine Crate


Jessica Hudson and Thorne Wiggs will offer the music tonight at The Wine Crate. Besides wine, they have all the top shelf brands of beer and liquor, and a wonderful menu for noshing. Live music plays from 7-10 pm.


Market Street Pub

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Maddie Rean offers live music this evening at The Market Street Pub. Showtime is at 10 pm. Music offered until the break of day, or at least 1:30 am!

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Answering the Call

Checking things out around the rest of the region, I ask my Facebook followers each week where we can go to hear them play. This is what they said this week.

March 18 at 4:44 PM

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Do you like live music videos? Check out my Live Stream Page on Facebook.

Tracey Stones Live on Facebook

Searching for more events around the region:

Events on Facebook


Thank You for Reading!

Now, PLEASE, Please go out and support live music tonight!  Always call the club in advance to confirm what you read here is true. Many times events change without anyone updating the changes publicly.

I am dedicated to making sure you know where to go to find live music. If you like this blog please sign up and you will get an email each time we publish.

I appreciate my readers, the musicians and the venues who all do a part in keeping live music alive! Give us a like and tell your friends about our mission by sharing this page on your social media pages.

Thanks to the many bands and clubs, thanks for keeping me informed!

When you walk out the door tonight, take kindness with you. Be sure to tip those that serve you and don’t forget the music makers that rock you!

Hug people often and share the love. Make sure you take time to enjoy the dance. Please party safely sweet people! We love having you here with us! Rely on your sober friends, call a cab or sign up to Uber around town tonight!

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Keeping up with the Blogger


Follow me on Facebook:

Feel free to invite me to your events.

If you have a budget for advertising, please consider promoting your next event here!

Do you need music for an event you are planning? Consider the services of:

Tracey Stones Productions

I read emails daily. You can send those to:


Please include the day, the date, the time of the event, the time of your scheduled performance.

Be sure to mention what time doors open and the price of tickets.

Pictures are helpful. You may send links to band websites so I can post those as well.

Thanks so much for helping me reach the people!


~ Support Live Music ~ Support This Blog!

Tracey Stones at work live streaming


You are the reason I look forward to writing this each blog week. The readers are the ones I count on to support this movement the most. Thank you for taking the time to read this site. Knowing that you use this site to find live music thrills me. Thank you!

There are many ways for people to help keep the blog going. If you have a business, you can affordably advertise here on this site. There are many ways of doing so. From simple links to commercials, we can promote you here! We offer video ads, print ads, and feature advertising. The opportunities are truly endless.


If you are a reader, who likes the content of this blog and you have a few dollars to spare, you can always tip the grateful blogger. There are several tip buckets found here on this site.  All donations and tips are filtered back into the growth of this live music blog.

NCMZ.LIVE also has Sponsorship opportunities available. This is a duel offer. If you have an event and would like media coverage for the music portion, please consider NCMZ.LIVE as a reputable music source for promoting your next event.

Tracey Stones Productions, LLC, is currently seeking corporate sponsors to host this site and community events. If you are the CEO of your organization and wish to invest in the arts and music promotions, please consider NCMZ.LIVE as the place to be!

To learn more on any and all of these opportunities, please email ncmz.live@gmail.com today or call the number below.

This site is a free service to support live music. Most often it is published twice weekly as a gentle reminder for people to get out and support live music.

Support the mission. Your donations will help fuel the growth of this informative live music blog. All contributions are appreciated. Thank you for your support!

~Tracey Stones, Writer~

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(318) 789-6929



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