One of the best parts of writing this blog has been getting to know so many people around the state. Along the way and with time, I have become a resourceful contact for anyone who is in need of entertainment. Though I have no real interest in making a living from booking bands, it does account for most of the earned income for Tracey Stones Productions, LLC.
Craven Arts Council/Bank of the Arts presents an annual concert series At The Gallery. This series highlights famed singer-songwriters and such as Otis Redding, which was last month. Bob Dylan will be featured next month on December 1, 2018 and this month Carly Simon. It was just before Halloween when John Burger reached out looking for a performer to cover the performance.
The originally scheduled artist for the November show had to cancel due to injury and Burger hoped for the show to go on. It took me about ten minutes to come up with a name. Local singer-songwriter in her own right Marron Chaplin, a rock powerhouse. I know her music falls into a different genre than Simon’s, but I thought for sure she could do this.
When I first reached out to Chaplin with the opportunity, she took a minute to consider the idea. After being presented the opportunity she discussed it with her biggest fan, her mom, and after some more consideration accepted the challenge. And a challenge it was. Chaplin is well versed in rock music and leans on the side of being a hard rocker at that.
Regardless of genre preference, I also knew she was a skilled and professional player. What I did not know when I reached out to the performer was, that she was honing her skills on the piano and was excited to hear that the Gallery had a piano for the performance. Following her commitment to the gig, the young mom buckled down and learned a variety of songs from Carly Simons song catalog. She offered a two-hour performance with a brief intermission in between sets.
She interacted with the audience while she fought off her nerves in between songs and opened her mind to the opportunity of grander gigs with more attentive audiences. Fact is a show at the Gallery is nothing like a more routine gig at a bar. She did great, pulling off the show with sheer talent and grace. Here is one of the selections she shared with the audience with her baby blue six-string in hand. A guitar she named after her Grandmother, Evelyn.
For fans and friends of the entertainer, you can find her rocking around town this weekend. On Friday she will be on stage and rocking The Thirsty Bruin, 224 Middle Street, New Bern, NC, with free music being offered from 8-10:30 pm. On Saturday night she will be opening the night at the Brown Pelican, 411 Broad St., New Bern, NC, offering tunes from 8-10 pm.
The good people at GEM Productions teamed up with Folks Journal, will present the 4th Annual Carolina LilyFest 2018 at The Brown Pelican on Saturday, November 17, 2018.
The evening offered five acts, including New Bern’s Family Band Strung Together opening the event at 5 pm. Mandy Mears, Sometimes Lions, Batts, and Crystal Bright all offered their talents and time for this wonderful event, that raised money for our area’s Coastal Women’s Shelter. Along with great entertainment, there were awesome items donated for a silent auction and a 50/50 drawing. The Coastal Women’s Shelter is a nonprofit that helps families live free from domestic violence.
When I first met Gabrielle Christie she was a shy teenager playing in a bluegrass band. She sort of blended into the stage set playing her guitar and giving up the spoons and fiddling with the mandolin while singing back up. The band was Merchant’s Road. About a year and a half later, we saw her on stage as the singer/bass player for the original rock band Barefoot Monty. That band had a great stint and released on 5 track EP about a year after they banded together. In fact, the band played the day show at BTM’s this summer for GEM Productions’ Bernaroo Music and Arts Festival.
Since then, she has grown into her own and is becoming a music force we all need to spend some time listening to. She is now working out her music offering with a new bands call Batts. This duo features Christie front and center offering vocals, guitar, and bass on her own efforts. Batts is going to make a great impression on the New Bern music scene.
Like with each annual event, the night closes out with a headliner from out-of-town. This year’s finale was offered by a hauntingly talented duo, that of combines the musical energies of Crystal Bright and Jeremy Haire. As per the band bio, we learn that “Crystal Bright is an Indie singer/multi-instrumentalist, composing music steeped with dark cinematic twists and international musical influences and has played over 1000 shows across the world since 2010.” The fun and mystical singer-songwriter offered a great closing set to fans, that filled the Pelican for the great night of music and making fun for The Coastal Women’s Shelter.
The band has several releases and you can find them on many social media sites, including Facebook and Reverbnation. They have a couple of gigs on the calendar worth noting. To check out their merchandise and show dates you can check out the website at:
I just have to give a shout out to Crystal Bright and Jeremy Haire for making the choice to come to New Bern, in spite of the fact that their car broke down en route to the gig. The duo got towed into town from Goldsboro, NC so to perform for the charity event. Following the show, I called AAA to try to get them a tow truck home. Given the late hour and distance, it seemed impossible to find a truck willing to take the trek to Chapel Hill at 2 am. The following morning we met in the parking lot and out of the blue, I asked Bright to turn the engine. The car cranked and I followed them well out-of-town, just about nearing Dover.
Of course, just as I was coming back into New Bern, she reached out and told me the car died and they were stuck again, in LaGrange. With that, I doubled back and carried on through Kinston, where I met them in LaGrange and once again called AAA. Parker Millar, came to the scene to collect the passengers; getting Haire and Bright back to town before Haire was due at work. The guitarist makes a living running sound at the famed Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro.
Fact is, they could have been towed back to Chapel Hill when they were on their way, but being the professional players they are, they made the gig with minutes to spare and worried about their fate later. These behind the scenes stories are the best parts of this life. Big thanks to A+ Towing for recovering the vehicle and returning it safely to Chapel Hill.
The most beneficial shows for a blogger is a benefit with many bands. This is always my favorite kind of event to cover. Last weekend I ended the week on a good note with great music and all for the sake of raising money for Pamlico County Middle School.
Following the wrath of Hurricane Florence in September the children of this school have been displaced with their school rendered unsafe. In an effort to raise the funds needed for the repairs, Pamlico County High School Band Director and Educator, Mr. James Durham put together a benefit which took place in the AH Hatsell Auditorium at Pamlico County High School.
When he is not busy sharing knowledge with students, Durham can be heard swapping notes with any number of area bands. In fact, the sax player performed with four out of the five bands that were on the bill last Sunday, November 18, 2018, for the event he organized, Band Together For Hurricane Relief to Fix PCMS.
I invite you to come back tomorrow to hear all about the bands that played for the worthy cause. Before we go, I will leave you with the last song of the night. The hard-working Hank Barbee ran sound all day, including for his band The Dust Parade who ended the show!
After three years of dedicating myself to the local, live music scene you have shown me my work is important and gave me the inspiration and help to fuel the mission further with your generous contribution. On this, the Eve before Thanksgiving, I want you all to know how grateful I am for each and every one of you who help me keep the dreams alive. We are not only giving my dreams a life, but we are keeping a light shining on the superstars that rock us every weekend. Those entertainers work hard and I like working equally as hard trying to cover as much as I humanly can.
Since the night before Thanksgiving is generally one of the biggest bar nights of the year, I decided that publishing tonight was much needed and necessary for those looking for the music tonight.
The Adam Hill Band returns to Nick’s Blacksheep Tavern 1140 Old Maplehurst Rd, Jacksonville, NC. With music starting at 9 pm Hill and the boys will rock you right into Thanksgiving Day.
Another fine, rocking band out of the same is The Roman Sams, offering the best in classic rock. They have a gg tonight. They will be rocking the Red Room 220 Herritage St., Kinston, NC; starting at 10 pm. Music plays until 2 am and there is a music charge payable at the door.
John Toppings brings his acoustic show to fans and friends that gather at Village Steakhouse and Pub.
Music is served from 7-10 pm. This will happen in the bar. This music service is free, so please feel free to tip the music maker this Thanksgiving!
Rudino’s Rooftop host live music each Wednesday and tonight is no exception. Come out to enjoy the sounds of John Briggs from 6-10 pm.
Brewmasters welcomes TripleWide Band to host the pre turkey day jam jam tonight! Come join the fun from 7-10 pm
-November 21st 8pm- 12am
-Age 21 and up starting at 7:30pm
-$10 cover starting at 7:30pm
The Junction is looking forward to hosting a good ol country throwdown with the talented stringer and singer Jonathan Parker. The fun starts at 9:30 pm and he will have you boot scooting until just past midnight.
The Plank Road Band will perform this evening at Robinson Ferry Restaurant & Spirits. Music starts at 8 pm and the rock ya goot until 11 pm.
Offering his latest song as well as several we have all come to know and love, Bryan Mayer will be performing live at Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar – Morehead City NC. Music is served from 7-10 pm, The food is always worth enjoying, the beer is cold and tonight the free music will be amazing.
Steel Shot will provide the rocking tunes you love tonight at The Boro Restaurant & Bar. Music is served from 7-10 pm and the food here is also delicious enough to impress your date.
City Stage New Bern offers music fans a good dose of the blues to break p the mid-week monotony. Come out to enjoy the Big Jim Kohler Band live on stage offering their brand of blues to the crowd from 7-9 pm. This show is now a weekly offering which will be followed by an open jam that welcomes friends and music makers to join the fun. All are welcome to attend. Bring our instruments and come out to play tonight. The stage opens for the jam at 9 pm and music plays until closing.
Since we end our run around in town with a jam it reminded me to look into other open mic and open jams that might be happening and here are a few I found for you ambitious music makers looking to get out and rock em tonight!
Starting things off in Avon, Turner’s HIgh Moon Bar welcomes jammers to the stage tonight from 9 pm until 1 am.
This open mic night at Imurj is hosted by Brian Jones and all are welcome to attend. Sign up starts at 8 pm and the jams last til the midnight hour.
The Second Row opens their stage to jammers each Wednesday night. Music starts at 8 pm and all are welcome to come out and enjoy!
Coyote Music Den welcomes jammers to come to show off tonight from 6:30 pm until the music stops.
Sugar Magnolia Cafe welcomes you out tonight as well. Jammers are welcome to sign up at 6 pm and the jam rocks from 6:30-9 pm
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.
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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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~Tracey Stones, Writer~