Milestones Marked by Area Music Makers

A few music makers from around our region enjoy the celebration of milestones on the music scene! Let’s celebrate these moments! Starting the celebration at home with our own, Bryan Mayer Band!

On The Scene with Tracey Stones

Though it is rare, occasionally I miss the bus. Last weekend was one of those occasions, as we know my car keeps me hovering close to home nowadays with her high mileage (399,458) and faulty replacement parts (namely the radiator and water pump.)

If I made the scene as I try to do each weekend, I would have headed down to watch the Second Annual Carolina Country Music Awards, at The House of Blues in North Myrtle Beach, on Saturday night. Had I done that, I would have a lot of great new pics to share of New Bern’s 2019 Bass Player of the Year, Mike Sandvig. 

I was on hand last year for the First Annual Carolina Country Music Awards, where Sandvig was nominated for the Bass Player of the Year. This year, he walked away with the Sweet Tea Award.

I have been friends with the bass man for more than five years. I met him not long after he came out of his retirement from music. He was the General for Big Jim Kohler and I for one, am glad he emerged back on the scene. We all benefit when people follow their dreams. Congratulations Mike!

The Bryan Mayer Band was up for several awards this year, eight in all. They walked away with a trophy for Tour Of The Year for their Little Bit Naughty Tour. Here’s to a more exciting year ahead for the country award winners!

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Pause For The Cause And Clean Water too!

Here around town last Saturday evening, Garret Biss invited friends, fans and family to take a pause for the cause and help him celebrate his 38th birthday, with a celebration that helped to raise awareness and money for a foundation he created in 2014.

One Million Goal was founded after Biss returned to civilian life following his time with the Marines. It was during his service that he traveled to so many regions, where he saw a need for a greater awareness about clean drinking water.

Since starting the nonprofit, Biss and his team have raised more than $50,000, completed 20 missions and taken several trips to Nicaragua to install filtration systems. These systems have been strategically installed at schools and other areas where they can help many in the community, including high traffic areas with young children. To date, they have installed seven systems.

To make the night fun for all, Biss invited area music makers to play for the crowd. Opening the night at 5 pm was jazz crooner John Van Dyke, next came three-quarters of the Neuse River Ramblers, who offered a bluegrass set. Gabby Christie was the third entertainer with her Batts project, closing out the night was Greenville’s talented Mandy Mears.

For anyone who missed the birthday bash and fundraiser on Saturday, but believes in this mission you can still take part in helping the cause. This year alone Biss will be taking three trips to three countries to install new filtration systems, to supply clean water to communities in Nicaragua, Malawi, and Guatemala. To help in the mission make a donation to…

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At The Gallery Presents…

Craven Arts Counsel /Bank of the Arts offered another show in their At The Gallery Series. The first in the 2019 Season featured the music of Randy Newman, known best for his movie scores. The Heather Pierson Trio offered the performance.

The trio offers Pierson on piano and lead vocals, Davy Sturtevant, cornet, dobro, guitar, fiddle, mandolin and vocal, and Shawn Nadeau on the upright bass and backing vocals.

Since their performance here last week they have headed south. Tonight they will perform in Alabama and tomorrow they will appear in Jacksonville, Florida.

Pierson, found her love for music in the simple life beginnings she knew as a kid in Kansas! That has opened her up to roaming the world and sharing songs. Keep up with her music career and band endeavors by visiting their website at:

For fans of the At the Gallery Concert Series, you can look forward to Minus 2 coming in February for the Holland-Dozier-Holland show. In March Strung together will offer the Carter and Cash show. Looking ahead to the Spring they will offer Willie Nelson by way of Blue Cactus. These events are possible thanks to Friends of At The Gallery, Cravin’ Wines and North Carolina Arts Council.

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BiPolar Express Rolls into Blackbeard’s

The Bipolar Express used the bridge to pull into town on Saturday night, with their crazy good rock show. The trio of classic rockers that highlight the 80’s hair band era of rock music, brought their show to the deck at Blackbeard’s Triple Play Restaurant.

The trio has been booking dates for the 2019 calendar year. To get them on your agenda visit them on Facebook and like their band page:

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Big Jim Kohler Heads to the Coast

The Big Jim Kohler Band brought their blues to the Crystal Coast on Saturday nights for a performance at Cru Bar and Wine Store in Beaufort, NC. The five piece band from the New Bern scene played to a full house of blues lovers.

When I read the promo for the band event made public by the venue, they deemed Kohler’s wife, Kathy as “The Secret Weapon!” When I read that I thought, “Well isn’t that the truth.” Whenever Kohler is ready to take the room to a new level, he launches into a song that will feature his bride!

For those looking for the band in the days ahead, look for them at The Brown Pelican, 411 Broad St., New Bern, NC, on Monday when they jam from 7-9 pm. All are welcome to join the jam, sign up at the door. On Wednesday they will do it again at The City Stage, 901 Pollock St., New Bern, NC, also from 7-9 pm. Big Jim will perform in front of the Black Cat Shoppe on Middle St. during ArtWALK next Friday 5-8 pm.

True Blue Rocked The Royal James

True Blue is a duo from The Crystal Coast, that shares their blues and rock riffs with fans far and wide. Chris Lee Sr offers harmonica and vocals and Mark Hibbs manages the strings and sings too. On Saturday night I caught the duo rocking fans at Royal James Cafe in Beaufort.

You can find them together again rocking at The Boro Restaurant and Bar, 109 N Front St. in Swansboro, NC. Music plays from 8-11 pm. Tonight you can catch Mark Hibbs rocking Cru Bar and Wine Store. He shares songs from 8:30 – 11:30 pm. A little more on that below.

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~ Live Music Options ~

Friday, February 1, 2019

On the James City Side of that Confounded Bridge



BrÜtopia offers the freshest brewed beer and the rocking sounds of the local classic rock stringer Bruce Lynch.He will be jamming from 7-10 pm. Come out and support local music, while you enjoy the freshest new beer on tap!


The Bruin Craft Beer and Wine

The Bruin Craft Beer and Wine welcomes the weekend with free music being poured from the stage, courtesy of popular singer and stringer Rick Huff. Free music plays from  8-10:30 pm.


The Brown Pelican


The Brown Pelican hosts the music of Brian Mac tonight. The solo acoustic stringer will share songs from 7-10 pm. This show is free. 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 Spare Change tonight who will be rocking on the deck. Music plays 7:30 pm- 11 pm. For more info please reach out and call the club at 252-635-0322.


City Stage New Bern

City Stage New Bern welcomes Dueling Pianos tonight with music starting at 8 pm. There is a $5.00 music charge at the door.

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Cruising the Crystal Coast

Atlantic Beach 2016

Cedar Point, NC


Appearing at Treehouse Beer Company be sure to catch Big & Rich offering live music from 7-10 pm tonight. Come out and welcome in the weekend by enjoying a cold beer and country grooves.


Riptidez Bar & Grill welcomes live music to the stage tonight!. Music is offered from 9 pm until the midnight hour. Come enjoy the end of the week with great music on Hill St. by the man from Pink Hill, formerly of Potter’s Hill, the talented Adam Hill.


Newport, NC

Tonight in the garden at Carolina Home & Garden, you can enjoy the romantic sounds of 4EverAll. They will be offering the music from 6:30-9:30 pm. Food, beer and wine is on site for consumption, with live animals and so much more. $5.00 music charge is collected at the door.

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Beaufort, NC

Cru Bar & Wine Store/ The Beaufort Coffee Shop presents Mark Hibbs, Fri. Feb 1, 8-11 pm, No Cover. Join us for live music performed by this talented player, offering American roots music: folk, blues, and some rock and roll.

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Now or Never will be performing live tonight at The Royal James Cafe, 117 Turner St, Beaufort, NC. Music is served from 9 pm until midnight. Burgers are served all day, make sure you get one when you are there tonight!

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Rocking Around the Region

Raleigh, NC

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Gen-X has a show this evening at The Big Easy NC, they play the grunge and 90’s rock that grooves you. Check them out tonight offering the sounds from 10 pm until 2 am.

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If you are looking for a fun night out, Lauren and Curtis would love to have you join them at Sola Coffee Cafe tonight at 7:00pm. The night is free although Sola would certainly love to sell you a beverage and/or something to eat. Hope to see you there!! And just for fun, here is the bio Sola will be using for their in-house advertising:

Lauren and Curtis have been playing music together since August of 2016, mostly in church settings, but also at open mic nights and other venues. Lauren is a Durham native who cites Ingrid Michaelson, Adele and Lauryn Hill among her musical influences. Curtis is a transplant from Western Canada, who wishes he could play guitar like John Mayer and piano like Bill Evans.”

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Greenville, NC

Rural Route Romance will be rocking them at the Buc tonight. Buccaneer Music Hall welcomes the popular party band that offers the country grooves you love. Come boot scoot tonight from 9 pm until 12 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.

January 28 at 4:48 PM2

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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!

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.

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!

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Keeping up with the Blogger

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Feel free to invite me to your events.

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Tracey Stones Productions

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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!


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~Tracey Stones, Writer~

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