Party Bands to Birthday Parties Rocked the Week

On The Scene With Tracey Stones

Entertainment Writers Tracey Stones NCMZ.LIVE with Sun Journal’s Charlie Hall

Picking things up where we left off last week, it is time for party bands and birthday parties as we resume in Raleigh, roll through Garner and make our way back home for more celebrations. With this Blogger turning 50 and Adam Hill rocking 40 it was a week of celebrations and music fun! Let’s do this blog thing!

Kings of the Highway Band

Last Saturday night before leaving the Raleigh area we ran into Raleigh’s own party band Kings of the Highway, who were rocking O’Malley’s Pub & Restaurant. This five-piece party band brings the good times and the tunes you love and know.

These Kings are fronted by a queen. Kathy Miller is the fun front runner on vocals and backing her are Dan Stipe on guitar, Steve Lane also plays guitar, Joe Koon back on the drums, that trio also serves as her harmony and back up vocals and John Scanlon is on bass.

According to their Facebook Page they formed in 2013, have had the steady goal of rocking crowds around the region by offering all of the fun and familiar songs they know. You can find them and like their page on Facebook by following As you look around there you will note they are booking 2019 and have just a few spots open, so to get them on your calendar it is best to visit them at
For friends and fans of the band looking for them tonight, you can find them mixing up the good time music you love at Triple Barrel Tavern. The show starts at 9 pm and the grooves go until midnight. Wear your dancing shoes and get ready for a good time tonight Fuquay-Varina!

♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

We Get SideTrac in Garner

On our way out of Raliegh early Sunday morning, we noted there was still time for one more stop before hitting the road hard for home. Rolling through Garner, we stopped at Locked & Loaded also last week. That is where we found another fun party band offering all the pop, rock, and country cover songs you love. SideTrac Band mixes the talents of Johnny Merritt on drums, Teresa Aman plays keyboards, and also offers a lead on some songs and backing vocals on others; Adam Brier plays bass, Tracey Harrell plays lead guitar and sings and fronting the band is singer Meredith Stox.

Band manager and drummer Merritt reached out to give me more details about the band. After thanking me for my hard work on the music scene, he told me this about the band. “We are a 5 piece party band that plays Rock, POP, Country Rock, Funk, and more. The core members of the band have been together since 2012. We are based out of Greene County near the Hookerton NC area. We play at clubs, festivals, weddings, private events and have all modern gear to get the job done right.”

Now Available

For those looking for a party band that knows a great variety of songs, here is one to consider. To learn more reach out to Johnny Merritt about booking the band today. You can reach Merritt by phone at 252-561-6117 or via email by reaching out to Currently, they are filling dates throughout the 2019 calendar year!

For friends and fans looking for the band tonight, you can get down with the grooves at  Da Bayou in Wilson. The party starts at 9:30 pm with music playing until it’s time to go home. So come out and enjoy some live music, a cold beer and a slow dance with your date tonight!

 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Blogger Turns 50 and Celebrates the Blues

On Sunday, February 17, 2019, I logged fifty years of living life and to honor the milestone, I invited everyone down to the Brown Pelican to celebrate with the blues and Big Jim Kohler Band on Monday, February 18, 2019. The band opened the night offering the grooves I love and then opened the floor to jammers to rock me!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Thank you to all my friends and the many music makers that showed up to rock my night. You helped me make memories I won’t soon forget and you inspired me to keep things rolling on the music scene. No one deserves more attention than the music makers that always give of themselves. Thank you for rocking me and inspiring me day in and day out.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

MidWeek Birthday Celebrations

On Wednesday we gathered again, only this time it was at the City Stage, to celebrate a couple of more birthdays. Included in the celebration was our friend Danny Sydow, who celebrated his 43 birthday with good friends April Sunshine, Deborah Shillito and Dan Phillips.

Also in the house and celebrating a milestone birthday was the incredible Adam Hill, who celebrated his 40th birthday with us here in New Bern on stage jamming with Big Jim Kohler.

What an incredible night of music with two stellar guitar greats picking the blues. For those who have been hiding in the closet for the last few weeks, please note you can be a part of the good time and blues jams each and every week.

On Monday’s come hang with us at The Brown Pelican. Music play 7- 9 pm. On Wednesdays, the jam is at The City Stage. Music, also offered 7-9 pm. All are welcome to be a part of the second set fun.

♠ ♠ ♠ ♠

Cruising the Coast For Friday  Fun

Joey & Mason

The first stop of the night brought us to Carolina Home & Garden in Newport, NC. This is a great place to check out any Thursday or Friday night. They serve beer and wine, offer appetizers and or food truck. They charge $5.00 to enter which goes to support the live music.

Last night’s act was Joey & Mason, a couple of good friends that share a love for music. This was a great way to start things off. This duo was refreshing and great fun. Though they don’t have a lot of experience playing professionally, they are a breath of fresh air to me. Two young strummers in tune with old school music while offering their own grooves.

The duo has been jamming since the fall and has been having great fun making music for fans and followers. While speaking with the father of electric guitar play Joey Rickman, I learned he has only been shredding notes for a year now. That was inspiring and amazing to hear. His friend on acoustic and vocals is Mason Spence who has a strong voice and fun energy at the mic.

The young classic rock duo offers everything from blues to alternative rock, classic rock, funk and pop songs as well. To contact them for a booking you can send them an email at To find them on social media, look for them on Instagram at

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A Dusty Trio at The Treehouse

Cruising along Highway 24 we stopped at Treehouse Beer Company, where Hank Barbee was chilling with a Dusty Trio. Joining the skilled singer-songwriter was James Durham on saxophone and Kingfish Russell on the harmonica.

Though the trio is known to share some cover songs, this is primarily an original act offering great music for your listening pleasure. With a mix between jazz and surf music, you can get the feel for the blues and hear the beats of some funk thrown into the mix too.

Last night the trio played to a packed room of music fans that love this fun band. They rocked the crowd from 7-10 pm and offered all of the songs that fans love. Some of my favorite Hank Barbee songs have yet to be recorded. Though I am a huge fan of his first, self-titled release and even enjoy the songs on his follow up CD, Son Royale, I think the third effort will be his most charming.

Tonight friends and fans of the talented singer-songwriter can enjoy his groove while noshing on some good eats tonight at Church Street Deli, located on Church St. in Swansboro. Hank offers the grooves from 7-10 pm.

For those that are interested in keeping up with this talented group, be sure to check them out on Facebook here The Dust Parade or you can find them online by visiting their website here:

♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

Stephen Poole Gets a Little Help From A Friend

I received a message from Angela Poole, who informed me that her husband Stephen Poole would be rocking Riptidez Bar & Grill on Hill St. in Cape Carteret. The singer-songwriter has a strong voice that croons country. Last night he was joined on stage by his music brother from another mother Michael Ripley. The duo worked their way through an extensive set list.

They played many familiar songs to the full crowd that gathered for the Friday night fun. Besides rocking the country sounds, Poole offers some rock and blues numbers too throughout the night. While we were together he offered the crowd “Soulshine” by Warren Haynes and “Blue on Black,” by one of my favorite blues players, Kenny Wayne Shepherd.

Poole recently fulfilled a dream and headed South to Florida last month to try out for the TV show The Voice. Though he did not make the cut, it was a great opportunity for the singer with a very distinctive voice. Quite frankly, I am shocked he did not advance, but I am sure many great acts get looked past as these shows select acts to shape the artists for the limelight!

Poole is from Carteret County and plays around the region. His next gig will bring him back to Riptidez Bar & Grill on Tuesday, March 19, 2019. Music plays from 6-9 pm on Taco Tuesday! To find him on Facebook follow:

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Final Stop, Val’s Pub

On my way back toward New Bern, I noted that there was still time to catch the end of Ashton Ward’s gig at Val’s Pub, located in Havelock on Highway 70. When I walked in I was met with the talent of Sarah Witmer, who was borrowing Ward’s six string so to share some of her own songs with the crowd.

Before getting off the stool and back to work, the bartender shared a song that she wrote just last week. That song, “Power to the People” was a moving song that got a rise out of my arm hairs. Keep an ear out for this talented girl, not only can she write a good song she has a strong voice and good guitar skills too.

Before the night was over Ward was back on the stool and offering one last song for the night. This singer-songwriter has a heavy country influence and offers many country tunes in his song sets. Some of his best songs however, are written by his own hand. Currently booking dates for the 2019 music season, you can find Ward on Facebook. Make sure you check out and like his new music page by visiting:

Coming up next month this talented singer has a couple of shows on the books. Be sure to mark the dates and make a plan to check him out soon. The stringer and singer calls Carteret County his home. He shreds strings and keeps beats at local open mics when he is not rocking his own gig.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Black History Month and The Blues

Byther Smith

Byther Smith at Silver Dollar Room, Toronto, Ont. The photograph was taken by Kasra Ganjavi and it was found on Wikipedia

I caught the talented Blues Legend Byther Smith a couple of times over the years. The first time I did it was in NYC at the Chicago Blues Club. That was a fun and intimate show, where he took some time to talk with a shy and novice blues reporter. The second time I got to see this great blues master, he was on a bigger stage, shredding notes on stage at The Pocono Blues Festival in 1994. It was a crazy good show and I knew I was in the company of blues greatness.

This Mississippi born blues player was born in 1932 and made his way to Chigao in the mid-50s and made his way to the stage by way of playing bass for a jazz outfit. Before the ’60s came to call, he was offered a shot to play rhythm guitar with Otis Rush and after that, he started to take the guitar more seriously. He would learn his craft while being mentored my many greats including Hubert Sumlin and Robert Lockwood Jr.

Still making music and touring the scene, this legend is one of the last blues greats of his era that are still out there on the blues scene. For those who are not familiar with his music, I am including a YouTube video that will help you become acquainted with this amazing blues guitarist.


Our own bluesman Big Kim Kohler was called to back up Smith on stage during one point in his career. It was about a decade ago when they got together to make music and they remain friends still today. Here is Kolher with Smith back in 2008 offering “You Treat Me Like Dirt.”

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

~ Live Music Options ~

Saturday, February 23, 2019

On the James City Side of that Confounded Bridge



BrÜtopia offers the freshest brewed beer and the good grooves of B & B Acoustic Duo, 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!


Getting Down Around Town

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


Broad Street Open Mic

Today marks the last Saturday of the month, which means tonight is Open Mic night at Broad Street Christian Church. All are welcome to come to share their talents, whether you wish to play or read, you are welcome. Sign up starts at 6 pm and music and fun begin at 6:30 pm with music being shared until 9 pm.


The Brown Pelican


The Brown Pelican hosts the return of the Raucous Brothers this evening. Come enjoy a fun night of familiar songs courtesy of this fun duo featuring Patrick Edwards and his longtime friend Paul Brion. 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


Blackbeard’s Triple Play Restaurant, 415 S Front St. The party comes courtesy of Gary Dudley and The Maxxstones

tonight, who will be rocking on the deck with all the grooves that get you going. Music plays at 7:30 pm- 11 pm. For more info please reach out and call the club at 252-635-0322.


Orringer Auditorium

Lewis n Clark perform the songs of Burt Bacharach
Benefits instrumental programs for local students.
Tickets $25.00 advance and $30.00 at the door.
Tickets at: Bank of the Arts, Fullers Music, Mitchell’s Hardware, and Carolina Creations.

Showtime 7:30 pm

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Cruising the Crystal Coast

Atlantic Beach 2016

Emerald Isle, NC

E-Club Emerald Isle

Rocking the Crystal Coast tonight will be New Bern’s rocking trio The BiPolar Express, featuring Wick Wickline on bass, Josh Overby on guitar and Mike Lancaster behind the kit. All three of the players share in the vocals throughout the set list. Tonight they play all your rocking favorites from the stage at the E-Club. Music Starts at 10 pm.


Swansboro, NC

The Boro Restaurant & Bar

Offering the live sounds tonight at The Boro Restaurant & Bar will be Naked Knees, who will be making their debut tonight. Music is served from 8-11 pm. You are invited to bring the whole family and enjoy a great night of fine dining with awesome music.


Surf City, NC

The Trailer Bar!

Gene Gregory Live at The Trailer Bar is what’s up for music lovers in the Surf City Area. Come out to rock the night away with this talented singer from Wilmington. Music plays from 8:30 until 11:30 pm.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Rocking Around the Region


Durham, NC

Sam’s Bottle Shop

Adam Lee Decker Music is on tap tonight at Sam’s Bottle Shop, with music being offered early with tunes being shared from 6:30 pm until 9:30 pm.


The Blue Note Grill

The Blue Note Grill welcomes  SouLe and the SuperBand: A Tribute to James Brown & More on stage tonight. 

FEBRUARY 23, 2019 · SATURDAY * 8PM * $8

SouLe and the SuperBand deliver the stellar entertainment of the Godfather of Soul himself. With his voice and his moves, SouLe transforms into the legendary James Brown while the SuperBand plays with the virtuoso musicianship that the Godfather demanded.

Years of traveling with tribute concerts of Motown, Soul, Funk and others have honed SouLe’s talents in recreating the masters while delivering something extra. Add the smooth vocals of Black Diamond – both lead and backup –and see how she spices it up or turns down the heat.

Musical director, vocalist and guitarist Delaney Mcquaig transfers his expertise from years with the Buck Ram Platters and the Hotnuts to nuanced performances of precision caliber. Add the soulfully smooth sax of Bill Beamon, augmented with the keyboard mastery of Phil Mazarick. Hold it all together with the tightest rhythm section around of bassist Ken Smith and drummer Carrio Graham. These seasoned musicians have entertained audiences from the Queen of England and Las Vegas to Georgetown, DC regulars. They will entertain you in a way you remember long past the show.

Relive some of music history’s iconic moments with SouLe and The SuperBand. They’re passionate about delivering high-energy entertainment with precision musicianship.

℘ ℘ ℘ ℘

Goldsboro, NC

Brewmasters of Goldsboro

Brewmasters of Goldsboro welcome the sounds of Tony Lafavi, who will be sharing songs tonight from 7-10 pm. Come out to support this local artist and enjoy a craft beer and great food too.


Cooper’s Tavern

Sharing songs tonight at Cooper’s Tavern in Goldsboro, NC will be the I44 Band rocking the house. Band starts at 9 and as always, there is no cover charge! Spread the word, game on!!!!


Greenville, NC

AJ McMurphy’s

AJ McMurphy’s welcomes Brice Street Band for a night of fun music. Music starts at 8:30 pm and they groove you until 11:30 pm. This show is free and the food here is outstanding, so come early to eat and stay late to dance!


Pitt Street Brewing Company

Local jammers, Psylo Joe bring the show to Pitt Street Brewing Company tonight with the grooves going from 8-11 pm. Come out to dance and drink tonight to your favorite local acts in Greenville.


Washington, NC

Backwater Jack’s Tiki Bar & Grill

There 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.


Market Street Pub

Friends and fans of Bill Lyerly are invited to come out to Market Street Pub this evening. The roadhouse rocker will be celebrating his 66th birthday with those that gather for the good times tonight. Music starts at 10 pm.

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

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.

February 18 at 5:45 PM

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

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!

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 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 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!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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 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!

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 blogger the grateful. There are several tip buckets found on site.  All donations and tips are filtered back into the growth of this live music blog.

NCMZ.LIVE also has Sponsorship opportunities available. 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. 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!

NCMZ.LIVE offers affordable advertising opportunities. If you have a business and a wish to attract new customers, consider online advertising. Consider NCMZ.LIVE.

To find out more on any and all of these opportunities, please email 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~


♦ ♦ ♦ ♦


(318) 789-6929


Leave a Reply