If I had my way, no one would suffer, more music would play and even the grown children would dance! I believe in my talents and I work hard in my voluntary efforts to build a stronger music community! I have reached the point of no turning back because I believe that we can do this…but I can’t do it without your help! Since 2015, I have been working one business so to build another. I set out with the idea of taking my time as I showed people my talents. From March 2015 until September 2018, I could afford to offer this service which was supported by my day job.
As a writer and a promoter, I feel there is an important role to fill on the music scene. I use my talents as a videographer to stream live on Facebook and my skills as a still photographer, so to collect pictures that support the words I write and publish on this site. The goal is to set out each night that I can and find live music locally. Then, when people say there is nothing to do around here, I shake my head, and hand them a card! After I do that, I find a new follower and friend on the music bus. How magnificent! Since 2016, we have been publishing a minimum of two stories each week. I do have a man behind the scenes helping me. Meet my editor, Breeze!
I am always grateful to those that take the time to read about my musical journeys. Thank you for being here. Throughout this adventure, I have done my best for musicians and music venues alike and I have done it freely, without asking for much from anyone. I am an observer and a storyteller, whose favorite subject is music and favorite characters are musicians.
As the story goes, and most people already know it, I am a house cleaning contractor. This is how I have made my living for the past 13 years. Tracey’s Clean Sweep is my third established cleaning business, over the course of my cleaning career. The reason for that is because I am a rambling soul who always follows her heart. I sold my first business in 2009 before moving to Canada. In 2010 I started my second business in Louisiana and would relocate and register my business of the same name here in NC, in 2013. I am currently working with zero employees since Florence, which also left me with zero desire to train anyone. Fact is, I was moving on before the flood.
To this day and for 13 years, I have been involved with every job. I love that my hard work is helpful to the people I serve. It’s an honest living and rewards of the instant gratification are endless. I walk into homes that are messy and when I leave they shine! That never grows old. But I do and am, daily! And the fact is, it hurts me now as I near 50 years old, so I know I won’t be able to sustain doing this work like I do, up and through the age of retirement. I just won’t! What you are witnessing here is nothing short of the backup plan.
As a rule, house cleaners are disposable since disposable income pays for their services in many cases. When I hit a lull and my son was 17 and talking college, a few years ago, I was faced with a choice. I could use my free time to get a remedial paying job to help one company with my skills or use my free time to create another business and help a music community grow stronger. Being innovative in my mind, always, I invested time in the latter and developed this site and a promotions business to support it. Tracey Stones Productions is that business which publishes this blog. You can visit my website at www.traceystonesproductions.com.
I would love to see this blog site offer daily stories from many writers, in many regions, around the state. Currently, I am only one person writing and I am working hard at two businesses, doing it with old equipment and exhausting myself along the way! I want for this to be my only work each day for the rest of my life! The only thing I lack is the revenue needed for expansion.
After dedicating two full years to the mission of promoting local music, I was exploring options of exiting the cleaning business. I was considering the sale of my house cleaning contracts to several buyers. The idea was to invest the sale of that business so to jump start this business. And then Florence came along and wiped out so much of my workload there was hardly enough work left after the water receded to keep me afloat. Today there is nothing to sell today and I really don’t care to dwell on that, because so many others around me are hurting in a far worse way.
Over the years, because of my passion for music, my following on social media has grown considerably. I can’t even keep up, to be honest! And yes, I will ask you your name ten times, please don’t be offended. No matter how many get in the zone, I want even more people on board the music bus! This build is going to take a village and I know so many music-loving supporters that I know the build is possible.
After the storm, I just wanted to help my community however I could. I delivered meals, I distributed emergency relief buckets, I went looking for items that people needed. And I went live to ask for help.
Those people, those beautiful followers of mine answered the call and sent whatever I requested! First, it was masks and gloves, then cleaning supplies and personal hygiene supplies and now it is household goods; linens, plates, lamps, furniture, curtains, etc.
The work you see here, on this site, it’s my passion. It’s my heartbeat. And I feel it is important to work for the community I serve. This is not a new path for me. This is where my life was on course to go, once upon a time, until I decided to raise my beautiful son alone. I took myself out of the game! I just could not be out in the bars until 1 or 2 in the morning, which was more the norm back then; and be a good day mom too. I stopped writing after his birth in 1998, and I stopped promoting music entirely, for a full decade, in 2005. That is when I left the music scene in NJ/PA to rebuild a life with the help of my village, my family, in NC.
I took all of the skills I learned in promoting musicians and applied it to building my cleaning business. Within months of that practice, I learned that I could make more money promoting my electric vacuum than I ever did when promoting an electric guitar. This came in handy when I looked down to see my 6-year-old looking up to me. I volunteered at his school once a week, and I built a cleaning business around putting him on and getting him off the bus. I have no regrets about putting my life on hold to watch and help him grow.
To this day, I work from 8 am until 2 pm in my cleaning business. I have cleaned homes, businesses, new construction, churches, and the highlight of it all came when I was picked to be the cleaning contractor for the film crew that filmed the A&E Series, Duck Dynasty. I did that for the first three seasons, until returning to New Bern in late 2012.
That was the Louisiana chapter and it was there that I cleaned for one of the coolest people I ever met. Sidney Wilhite’s home was over 18,000 square feet and I loved cleaning every square inch of it. It was like a museum and people did take tours of it on the regular. It took two days a week to clean it all and every week I learned something new!
Mr. Sidney is the only person I ever met with a cannon on his front porch and a lion that needed dusting.
As exciting as it might be to hear about all the toilets I have scrubbed, I truly get a thrill out of telling people about music. Music is healing and promoting it is something I was doing before I graduated high school.
The highlights of my published writing career are mentioned on my bio page and my greatest dream remains to heal the world with music. Bringing people together for the celebration of music is my only mission in this next career. I feel it is a worthy mission because we are one hurting society, with many different pains holding us back from being our true self! There are plenty of needs and causes out there and many hearts can mend with help of music.
I mention all of this because I now need the help of my community to get this to the next level. And I promise if you help me get it there, not only will the tip jars and donations links disappear, but I will be paying it forward for the rest of my days. Not just by paying it back to you in my services, but your friends and neighbors and their friends too!
I feel like my efforts have already paid it forward for the venues and the bands that I cover. Lately, though, my field of dreams keeps growing but my reality keeps closing in on me. It’s just a rough spot I guess. I am currently driving a 2002 GMC Yukon with nearly 400,000 miles on it. Last week a musician who seeks my attention asked me in an off-handed way when was I going to make it out to see his band near Winston Salem. I understand he has been inviting me out for 10 months and, as much as I would love to say tomorrow, I have to rather admit that I am stuck in town because I can’t get out of here.
My car repairs are far more than I can afford and I’m pretty sure that they are not worth it either. Some days we just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other and hope for the best. I know I did my best in freely putting 200,000 miles on my truck chasing music and telling people about it! Now she is tired and I am even more exhausted trying to keep her.
My biggest hopes today are finding a local car dealership to consider NCMZ.LIVE as a great advertising outlet, and support my efforts with a better running, good on gas vehicle. Something that is cheaper than $65 per tank and offers more than 14 miles a gallon, would mean improvement! History notes, that I will drive their product all over the state and talk about them on my journey as I thank them each step of the way!
It is my next biggest hope that the readers and those that have benefited from my efforts would consider helping in the expansion. We can grow this to be an app for finding local live music but that takes revenue to make it happen. I will gladly advertise your business to build that revenue. Another way to help, for those who don’t have a business to advertise, is filling the tip jar. http://Paypal.me/ncmz Every little bit helps! I know that once I have what is needed to get this off the ground, we are going to rock the world!
The road ahead is rather exciting and I am thrilled that you are a part of the journey. As far as I can see, there is a lot of work to be done and more hands always make for lighter work. Thanks for being here and hanging out. You make the journey more fun and I thank you!
The reason I started things off differently today and put the light on myself for a change is that Charles Tendell encouraged me to put my story out there! It happened on Thursday night. I was invited to the Charles Tendell Studios to be a guest on New Bern Live. It was a nice opportunity to share some of my dreams and visions for this community I love! Before leaving the studio, Tendell encouraged me to reach out to people and tell them my story! I know one thing, I dream daily about bringing healing vibes to people through the fun of music. For anyone interested in checking out that interview, please follow this link and join me in dreaming big and healing with music!!! It really will take a village to get us to the next level of growth and development.
I truly appreciate all of the love and support my followers offer me in my missions with music. I look forward to where this path will lead us all! We are going to do great things and be an example for the world to follow.
As we concluded above, I have been hovering around the home base for a few weeks now, due to car repairs that are needed for safe travels. Luckily there are lots of people around here to love and many music makers to talk about!
I started things off last night, just over the bridge in James City. That is where we found Big Jim Kohler rocking the crowd at BrUtopia, with his steady rhythm section and soulful bride. Along with offering the freshest beer, friends gathered and brought toys for the Marines on hand for the Toys for Tots drive. Before the night ended the box was overflowing. What an awesome town we call home! It’s was a wonderful reminder that there are a lot of kids who will need toys this year, so please give generously if you can!
Also adding to the groove last night was the harmonica player from Colorado, Lee Tibbetts, who came out on Wednesday night to jam with Kohler. His reaction to being in the presence of Kohler is one I can relate to. I remember moving back to town in 2013 and stumbling upon Jim in Swansboro, NC. It was then I turned my attention back to my true love for music. This is why I rallied for this man’s life and health last year when he fell ill. He inspires my path and helps me grow.
To check him out for yourself, stop out this month for one of his Wednesday night blues offerings at The City Stage. The band plays from 7-9 pm.
The night was billed as Seth Smith and Friends for those who don’t know, Smith is one of the players with The Hot Buttered Grits, New Bern’s jam band. Smith was joined by his grits counterpart John Johndrow on guitar and his friend Beth D’Angelo, offering bass and vocals. D’Angelo also plays with the band Cigar Box Jesus & The Revelation.
Beyond the folk sound and bluegrass selections were the fun jams that everyone enjoyed. It was a fun night with like-minded friends sharing the stage!
The first duo we heard at the front of the room was that of XOXOK, a duo featuring the soulful vocals and melodic guitar sounds of Keenan Jenkins and the twistedly talented beats of Joe MacPhail. This duo got together about two years ago and have some fun when given the opportunity to make music together. The Carrboro based outfit has a Facebook page which you can visit by clicking:
Next to the stage front came The Oblations. This Carbrro act has played around town several times in the past couple of years. They are a talented act offering the talents of Joe MacPhail on drums keyboards and vocals while his music brother from another mother, Daniel Fields offers the guitar parts and adds vocals as well. They were introduced to us by our friends at GEM Productions.
What’s exciting about this talented unit is that you are watching two guys on stage while looking for the full band. Fields work out the bass and guitar parts with his handcrafted six string, made for him by his father. Meanwhile, in the other corner, MacPhail offers keyboards and drums while knocking the vocals out too.
Both of the groups featured at the dirty bird last night offer music that takes the soul on an original journey. If you ever make your way to Carrboro be sure to keep an ear out for their efforts. You will be entertained!
I made it out to Blackbeard’s Triple Play in just enough time to hear the last couple selections offered by The Saltwater Gold Band. This group hails from Oriental and offers the sounds of classic rock that people love. They also write their own music and mix up the night with some fresh works created by their guitar player, Chris Daniels, and lead singer Mark Hoff.
To keep up to speed with this band and to keep up on their events like their band page on Facebook:
Tonight at BrÜtopia, Nest Cafe will be serving the supper and snacks you crave, and the beer will be fresh and cold. You can welcome December with the fresh sounds of Sam Lewis, who rocks’em from 7-10 pm. Remember it is the holiday season so support live music and tip music makers when you can! Every dollar counts.
The Brown Pelican, 411 Broad St., opens it’s doors to local acts each week. Live music kicks off each Thursday with open mic. Sign up at 7 pm and music starts at 8 pm… All are welcome. On Friday they generally welcome awesome acoustic acts to entertain the crowd. On Saturdays, the bar is always rocking with the areas hottest bands.
Tonight it is the rocking sounds of Gary Dudley and The Maxxtones.
This free music offering will take place 8-11 pm. The Brown Pelican is a private club. Please sign up and pay your annual $1.00 fee to rock every weekend with the cool kids!
Blackbeard’s Triple Play Restaurant, 415 S Front St, offers live music each Friday and Saturday night on the deck. This week you can rock to the pop tunes offered by Ravenz Bru on Saturday night. Music starts at 7:30 pm. For more info please reach out and call the club at 252-635-0322.
Here is what is happening this week as per a message I got earlier today:
12/1 Sat – Sleeping Beauty, an original Bellydance Drama
Colleen M Wilde, Sahra DeRoy, Kaitlyn & the fabulous ladies of Mazagat, will be retelling this timeless fairy tale as you have never seen!
There will be a special Pre-Show featuring local & regional belly dance artist. Vending by Trav’s Tie Dyed Treasures & Art by Claudina Madrid, henna by Mehak Minhas.
Doors Open @ 5pm
Pre-Show starts @ 7pm
Main Show Starts @ 8:30pm
Karaoke Party Stars @ 10pm
Tickets (In Advance)
$8.00 (General Admission)
$10.00 (VIP Guaranteed Premium Seating)
12/4 Tue – Pub Trivia TRIVIA TUESDAYS!!
Come and test your Trivia skills for an opportunity to win great prizes and have fun with friends! It’s all about bringing people together! Our Kitchen and Bar will have some tasty offerings to complement the evening. Stick around after the event and enjoy our friendly bartenders and interactive jukebox! Starts at 7 pm.
Tues @ 9 pm (after trivia) – City Stage Karaoke
Brush up your vocal skills and get ready to take center stage! Everyone is a star at City Stage! Bring your friends for a night of fun with the coolest folks around!
12/5 Wed – Big Jim Kohler
With a unique style all his own, Jim Kohler is one of the last true blues players. Having played for over 20 years with blues legends, Jim has created a killer sound that everyone will enjoy!
7 pm Showtime – There is no cover charge – Artist Donations Encouraged.
12/6 Thu – Popular local singer Alisa Mike serenades us with jazz standards from the Great American Songbook, as well as other classics through the years and ones in the making. Her dynamic vocal range, artistic phrasing, and interaction with the audience make for a delightful evening! 7 pm Showtime – There is no cover charge – Artist Donations Encouraged.
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
Here are all the great music options for you on
Facebook this week. Check out all of the events here and express interest in the ones you like.
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 publically.
I am dedicated to making sure you know where to go to find it. If you like this blog please sign up and 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 by sharing this page on your social media pages. To the many bands and clubs, thanks for keeping me informed!
Take kindness with you today, tip those that serve you, the music makers that rock you! Be sure to hug people often and share the love. Make sure you take time to enjoy the dance. Please party safely 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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performance, Also mention what time doors open and the price of tickets. Sending along
pictures is helpful. You may send links to band websites so I can post those as well.
Thanks so much for helping me reach the people!
You are the reason I look forward to writing this each week. The reader is the one who supports this effort 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!
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