Happy Birthday, Blues Man, Let’s Celebrate You!
What a beautiful day. Today truly is a special day. Some of my favorite people in the world were born on this day, for that I celebrate!!! One of them is the coolest blues cat around these parts. Big Jim Kohler walked into my life with his music in March 2013 and changed it for the greater good in so many ways.
From 2013-2017 Big Jim played his blues to my begging ears regularly and each time he and his bride, Kathy Kohler, did that; it nourished a part of my soul that had been neglected for decades. It was enough to get me thinking about writing again. Once I scored a smartphone capable of good video in 2014, I started videotaping and taking pics. By 2015 I was publishing music news weekly and many weeks I mentioned Big Jim and his blues!
A year ago my sweet friend was clinging to life and coming out of a medically induced coma for his 50th birthday. I sat next to his bed with his hand in mine and prayed for God to keep him here with us. In my talks with God, I explained how we had more good work to do. I told God that if Jim pulled through I would spend the rest of my days trying to build a healthier music community for him to play. That mission still walks with me daily.
Now that he is on the road to recovery from his addiction to alcohol, feeling better every day and out here playing his blues for us again. I am even more inspired to see a foundation for music makers. There is a great need for a Blues Society in our area and that is in the works as part of the overall mission. Big Jim is the ambassador of it all!
This weekend Big Jim is celebrating his birthday with friends, and doing what he loves…he is playing his blues for a wedding in the mountains today. You can catch him on stage at The City Stage on Tuesday, September 18, 2018. Music will be served from 7-9 pm. To keep up to speed with the band, check out this link: Big Jim Kohler
Before we leave here running, cause walkin’ is much too slow, let me say:
Happy Birthday, bluesman!
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On the Scene With Tracey Stones
The BiPolar Express Rocked The Tarheel
A local trio of rockers, known best as The BiPolar Express opened the night of rock-driven performances at The Tarheel Concert Venue, in Jacksonville, NC. The New Bern based band features Josh Overby on guitar and vocals, Wick Wickline on bass and vocals, and Mike Lancaster on drums and vocals. They are a fun cover band offering all the great songs from the 80’s and 90’s hair band era. This alone made them a great pick for opening the night for the popular 80’s band Great White.
They are all well-rounded and talented players, who have great fun when they gather on stage. They offer classic like Ratt’s “Round and Round,” AC/DC’s “Whole Lotta Rosie” Bon Jovi, “Livin’ On A Prayer” Morris Day and The Time’s “Jungle Love,” when they want to funk you up, and even Mötley Crüe, Poison and Guns n Roses music is also featured in their setlist!
If you have not seen this rocking trio, be sure to pencil them in soon. You will not be disappointed.
Jack Russell’s Great White
Closing out the rock bill at the Tarheel Concert Venue, was Jack Russell’s, Great White. For those old enough to hold memories of the 80’s Hair Band Rock Era then you will remember this band from their chart-topping hit “Once Bitten Twice Shy”
Following the show, I did some research on the man and the band and here is what I learned, mostly from Wikipedia:
The band originated under the will of teen rocker Jack Russell, who was the drummer for the band in the early days, and Mark Kendall who was the co-founder and guitar player. They first came together under the name Highway. As they evolved they became Livewires. They ended that era by playing their last gig as Wires.
As they rocked through the 80’s they would become the chart-toppers known to us as Great White. They offered several hits including “Save Your Love” and “Rock Me” with their first album Once Bitten in 1987. Twice Shy is what gave us their greatest hit, “Once Bitten Twice Shy.”
The band continued to rock through the 90’s without any chart-topping success until they broke up in 2001.
In 2002, Russell was keeping busy with his own project, but having a hard time attracting audiences, so he got together with Kendall and asked for permission to tour under the name of “Jack Russell’s Great White.”
The following year the band would make headlines after a playing a show at a bar on Rhode Island called The Station. The sell out crowd was ready to rock the new year right, when sadly an accident turned the night to tragedy and the soundproofing in the club caught fire, leading to a blaze that claimed 100 lives. One of the lives lost was the band’s guitarist Ty Longley.
Since 2011, Russell has been keeping busy, releasing music and touring. The current line up features, obviously, Jack Russell, lead vocals, percussion, Tony Montana, rhythm guitar, backing vocals, keyboards, harmonica; Robby Lochner, lead guitar, backing vocals, Dicki Fliszar, drums, backing vocals and Dan McNay, bass guitar, backing vocals.
During their show last night at the Tarheel they offered a great many of their own works, but Russell also took us on a journey of how he got into this rock n roll business and offered some Hendrix and Zeppelin samplings as well.
There are a couple of newer songs I found to be worthy of your listening time. The one song they offered last night that resonated with me was “My Addiction.” It’s a moving song with lots of truth. If you would like to check it out, just click here:
For more information on the band visit them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JackRussellsGreatWhite/
If you would rather bypass the social media outlets, you can visit them on the web: http://www.jackrussellsgreatwhiteband.com/
Getting Down Around Town
Tonight at BrUtopia, 1201 Highway 70 East, New Bern, NC, music plays 7-10 pm. On tap, they will be featuring the tunes of Mykel Barbee. The music is free, the beer is fresh and the food trucks are always on site when the music plays. Stop by this weekend to show your support for local business, local beer and local music!
Looking at the bars around town, here is what I know… The Brown Pelican has Steel County Express from 8-11 pm. The Brown Pelican is located at 411 Broad St. Admission is free but membership is required.
This weekend Blackbeard’s Triple Play Restaurant offers the music of KC and Ryal from Rural Route Romance, giving up the grooves from 7-10 pm on the deck tonight. On tap for Sunday, the Wannabees will be rocking the deck from 6:30-10 pm.
Circa 1810 Bar offers the fun music of Corey Stuart, bring back the 80’s and more! Music is offered for a $2.00 cover from 8-11 pm. On Sunday enjoy free music with Hank Barbee on the patio from 5-8 pm. They are located at 221 S Front St., New Bern, NC
New Bern’s newest venue in town, City Stage says, Saturday, September 1st “Cirque Du Smash” An Evening of Aerial Performance Art
Smash Studios presents the first in their exciting series of Cirque themed events.! Artists will perform acrobatics and dance with Aerial Silks, and the Circus Lyra, an aerial hoop suspended in the air. The musical theme for the night is of Smash Rock! Come and witness an evening of epic proportions!
Main Stage 8:00pm-12:00am
Table Reservations Recommended 252.631.5122
City Stage is a Private Club. There is a $1.00 Annual Membership Fee.
The City Stage is located at 901 B Pollock St, New Bern, NC.
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Cruising The Coast
Morehead City, NC ~
Checking things out along the Crystal Coast, there will be live music found on the deck at Off the Hook this weekend. Owner, chef, manager, Charlie Weatherby offers live music each Friday and Saturday from 10 pm until closing, 2 am. On Sunday you are invited to brunch on the deck with live music offered 12 pm until 4 pm. The menu is always pleasing and the bands always fun and rocking. The rest of the weekend offers the coastal town some New Bern talent. Saturday night brings the great grooves of Joe Brown and The Band from New Bern, NC. That shows kicks off at 10 pm. On Sunday you will be serenaded by another talented Bern boy, Ed Prophet, with music served noon til 4 pm. Off the Hook is located at 105 S 7th St., Morehead City, NC. For more info, call (252) 499-9150.
Checking things out at Southern Salt Seafood Company & Waterfront Restaurant, they’ll have New Bern’s tallest man in country music rocking you on the deck tonight from 9 pm til midnight. Bryan Mayer Band is always a fun time. Call the friends and make plans to meet for a good meal, and great times tonight!
The Cru Bar and Wine Store/ Beaufort Coffee Shop will offer a Variety show; Moulin Rouge with entertainment at 9 pm. Cru Bar is located at 120 Turner St., Beaufort, NC. Need more info, call (252) 728-3066.
Atlantic Beach, NC
There will be live music on the sand at Idle Hour Biergarten. Music is served along with the good food from 6:30- 9 pm tonight. Come out tonight to enjoy the grooves of Davy Williamson live on the sand stage from 6:30-9 pm.
Rocking Around The Region
Hey NC There is Live Music Everywhere
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
Facebook Events Link
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.
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Thanks 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 Facebook event created.
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Take kindness with you today, tip those that serve you and the music makers that rock you and hug people often and share the love. Don’t forget life is short and could end in a moment. 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!
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