From Blues and Bikes then Blueberries to Blues and Spikedrivers ~ Our Music Scene is Thriving NC!

On the Scene with Tracey Stones

Tracey Stones, Contributing Writer
Tracey Stones ~ Blogger, and Music Journalist Photo Credit: Robert Dumon

I found the Blues in New Bern and enjoyed Blueberry Fest in Bridgeton, before hitting the road to find more blues in the Mountains of Asheville, NC. At the end of the journey, I concluded that our state is thriving with live music and many players are looking for your support.

Big Jim Blues and Bikes

The Big Jim Kohler Blues Band took a pause for the cause and played for all the riders that hit the road to raise money and awareness for the MS Beach Bike Run, presented by Flythe’s Bike Shop and hosted at Harley Davidson of New Bern. It was a beautiful afternoon for the ride and the band was in full swing to welcome the riders back for lunch. For those interested in seeing the Big Jim Kohler Band soon, look for them at the Circa 1810 Bar at the Harvey Mansion, 221 S Front St. in New Bern, next Friday, June 29, 2018. Music will play from  8-11 pm on the patio.



Bridgeton Blueberry Fest and a Big Live Music Tent

Steel Shot Opens the Day’s Music Offering

Since revitalizing the Bridgeton Blueberry Festival three years ago, two groups in charge of helping that event become the success it is today, have truly worked hard in bringing the festival back and making it back bigger and better for the town. The festival was a long-running tradition for several decades before the interest quelled years ago.

Since then, the revitalization committee formed and got together with the town and worked hard to bring it back better than ever. It would seem in the three years I have been covering it, the event gets better each year still.

I made my way through on the second day of the two-day event. When I arrived I was welcomed by the sounds of Steel Shot. The Pamlico County duo was rocking the crowd under the huge tent, offered by the festival sponsors at Riverside Automotive Group and BearTown Tents. 

For fans and friends interested in catching up with Steel Shot, the duo has three shows over the next several days. Starting out tonight, they will be jamming at Coral Bay Club. Music will be offered from 7-10 pm. On Tuesday, June 26, 2018, the music brothers will be giving up the grooves at the Arendell Room. Music starts at 9:30 pm and stays rocking til midnight! The final show in the next seven days will take place on Thursday, June 28. They are the music entertainment for the Atlantic Beach Sounds of Summer Series. Music starts at 5 pm.


Bryan Mayer Comes Home to Headline Blueberry Festival

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Closing out the 2018 Bridgeton Blueberry Festival was New Bern’s own Bryan Mayer Band. The Nashville recording artist has been keeping busy throughout the Spring playing more local venues. The band will be hitting the road for a brief Summer Tour starting in July, so if you see them out on the road, NY and PA people, please be sure to hug the tallest man in Country Music. He is from the South where they raise them sweet.

Friends and fans from around our way can keep time with the band tomorrow after the awards ceremony for the Great Raft River Race. The band will close out that event, which is being staged at Union Point Park. Music for the non-profit community event will include four area bands. Saltwater Gold will open the day, The Wannabees will follow at 1 pm. 3Day Weekend will rock at 3 pm and Awards will be resented at 5 pm before Mayer and band offer the final show!


Abe Reid Howls with a Harp and Delivers the Delights of the Blues for fans in Asheville, NC

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The first time I caught the name Abe Reid it was on Facebook, after watching a video that someone had posted. That was nearly three years ago. I have been saying I want to go see this awesome blues caterer since. Instead, I just watch Facebook feeds and reminds myself I need to go see Abe Reid soon.

After doing my debut podcast, where I talked about this blog and mentioned how it covered the state, I decided the next day it was time to head to the mountains and see this wild child of the blues. I am grateful for social media every day. Not only did I find Reid there, but I got to share him with all my friends around here.

What a tremendous player, with enormous emotion and talent, poured into his shows. I drove more than six hours to see him and I floated home the following six with hardly any sleep. Just music moving through me and new friends making the trip worthwhile.

It was just about a month ago that I met Appaloosa Redd at the Greensboro Blues Festival, hosted by the Piedmont Blues Society. His band rocked it in the street that Sunday afternoon. Since then I have spoken to Redd a few times by phone but wanted to spend more time hearing his tales of owning the renowned Red Lion Jazz and Blues Club, in High Point, NC. He booked acts for 14 years as he looked after the lovers of live music.

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For the love of music

Once I decided to travel west I called Redd and asked if he’d accompany me on Saturday. When I announced the destination was going to be Jack on the Woods in Asheville, NC, he was excited to take a journey home. This was the range where he was raised and the night ended with making music with a dear friend, he had not seen for a good time after a while.

Redd used book Abe Reid and the Spikedrivers years ago so it was great to witness the music brothers share the stage for a few songs and hug for several minutes too. It was a great time hearing the two jam and Reid’s rhythm section filling it out. JP Morgan kept the beat on drums and Dave Hampton worked out the bass parts. Reid is a skilled blues harp player and not too shabby with the six string. His lyrics and delivery are raw and emotional. If you have not seen them yet…the time is now. Check them out on Facebook by following this link:

You can also check out their website by visiting

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The State of Music at a Glance

Getting Down Around Town New Bern, NC

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For those looking for music about town tonight, we’ll first check things out in James City and find Tommy Duzan, Sr. is on tap for music entertainment at BrÜtopia, 1201 Highway 70 East, New Bern, NC. Music plays from 7-10 pm. Nest Cafe will be on site to serve the supper and tasty treats you crave.


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For those that didn’t know, there is a pig roast happening tonight at the Farmer’s Market, located at 421 S Front St., New Bern. This is to usher in the fun and festivities of the Great Trent River Raft Race, with good times scheduled to take place throughout the day tomorrow.

Setting the mood meter to fun tonight, the Men About Town duo featuring stringers Bruce Cornford and Howie Nelson. Tonight they will add Jake Ross on drums to open the night and welcome all players in town to come join them as well. Tonight the trio are playing for tips under the bill of Coin Operated Band! Come show your support and pitch a few bucks, not pennies!

For full details on tomorrow’s event, please visit:


Black Beard’s Triple Play hosts Steel County Express for country music fans. They’ll have ya boot scooting out on the deck from 7-10 pm. Following their show, you are invited inside for the classic rock fun of the Wannabees. They dish out the set list from 10 pm til closing.


 The Roman Sams are scheduled to be rocking the patio from 8-11 pm at Circa 1810 Bar & Restaurant at the Harvey Mansion. Located at 211 S Front St., New Bern, NC, they offer free shows on the patio each weekend.


Over on Middle St. you can listen to Paid Time Off, while relaxing with the freshest new brew. FREE live music is on tap at The Thirsty Bruin, 224 Middle St. from 8-10:30 pm. Come enjoy some Jenna Huff music and delight in the first weekend of Summer!

Live tonight at The Brown Pelican you can catch Dan Jam Phillips and his many talented friends grooving from 7-10 pm. If you play or practice playing, you are welcome to pack up the gig bag and come sit in tonight. The BP is located at 411 Broad Street, New Bern, NC.


Cruising Along the Coast


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Beaufort, NC

Dick Knight will perform live at Cru Bar and Wine Store, Beaufort Coffee Shop, 120 Turner St., Beaufort, NC. Music will be offered for free from 8:30-11:30 pm. Please remember, free music is never free and these players are working hard for you on your time off! Please share the love and tip them tonight!


Just across the street, you can check out Core Sound with Cecil Gilken. They will be rocking the Royal James Cafe 117 Turner St., Beaufort, NC tonight from 9 pm until midnight. If you like classic rock and awesome hamburgers, then come hungry and leave howling. I love this juke, joint come to see why tonight!

Morehead City, NC

Summer Blast Off Friday Night Market June 22nd 5 pm to 8 pm.
They are excited to be hosting great local vendors and will have 3 different food trucks to choose from as well!! Join them for the live music, fun, and friends!

For those looking for vendor opportunities, here is a lead: This event is still accepting vendors of any and all things, food trucks, and. musicians/bands. If interested in being part of this summer kick-off, please message here or text/call Sunni 252-725-5020. Vendor fee will be $10 for the evening and open to all vendors.


Grooving the folks from the stage of Promise Land Market, 909 B Arendell St., will be Barry Charlton. Come to enjoy a cocktail and share a dance with the one you love tonight, with music playing from 8-11 pm.


The Red NOT Chilli Peppers will be rocking the deck at Southern Salt Seafood Company and Waterfront Restaurant, 701 Evans St. Offering live music featuring the sounds of the Red Hot Chili Peppers from 10 pm till 1 am.


Just across the street, stop in to say hey to my friend and yours, the owner of Off the Hook, located at 105 S 7th St. Charlie Weatherby will be working with staff after he finishes up dishing out the delicious food specials being served tonight. After the kitchen dims from dinner, the stage lights up and tonight you can catch the grooves of  Brother Pearl, rocking from 10 pm till 1 am.


Atlantic Beach, NC

Live tonight at Crystal Coast Brewing Company (Atlantic Beach Taproom) come to enjoy the music of Irish Robinson. He will perform live from 7-10 pm. The music is free, the beer is fresh and the establishment is fairly new, so come to show your support of local beer and local business, while supporting local live music!


Emerald Isle, NC

New Bern’s beloved rockers, The BiPolar Express will be rolling to the E-Club 8102 Emerald Dr. to rock soul right tonight. Check them out rocking from 10 pm til 1 am.

Cedar Point, NC

New Bern’s own Patrick Bliss will be sharing songs with the friends that gather at Harrika’s Brew Haus tonight, with beer being poured all night and tunes flowing from 7-10 pm


Swansboro, NC

The final show in around the Crystal Coast is The Adam Hill Band, rocking Carteret County Speedway tonight from 8-11 pm. The band is enjoying a fun summer, setting out on tour with Second Helping, the Lenoir County-based Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute Band. Last week they rocked new friends in Logan, West Virginia. Before the tour is done, they will play dates in GA and FL as well. Keep an eye on that road show check out

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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

June 11 at 6:52pm

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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.

Live Music Events Around NC from Facebook

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 Thanks for Reading!

That is all the music news that I have to report today. Please go out and support live music!  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.

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 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!

Please find me on Facebook by following this link:

Feel free to invite me to your events. If you have a budget for advertising, please consider promoting your next event with me.

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, what time doors open and the price of tickets. Sending along pictures are also helpful. I also share links to band websites, so send those along as well. Thanks so much for helping me reach the people!

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