On The Scene With Tracey Stones
2017 Music Memories
Part Four of Four
The Close Out of the 2017 Music Season
♦October ♣ November ♣ December♦
The Blues Is All Right!
As we wrapped up part three we ended on the blues, I am back to talk about some of the other blues bands I had the pleasure of meeting and seeing this year. With writing this blog, I get to study schedules of festivals. Much like the Summer Season, the Fall offers many awesome music filled festivals as well.
The first one I caught in the final quarter of this music filled year was the North Carolina Seafood Festival in Morehead City, NC.With a strong background in covering the blues, when I notice it on an event schedule it gets logged with a star.
I ended up attending the festival after I was called in by Charlie Weatherby who needed a band for the day time rocking in his beer garden. We brought Adam Hill Band to the party and after he got my day started with good rocking outside Off the Hook.
Following Hill’s early afternoon show, I stayed for the remainder of the evening, enjoyed several bands and even fireworks. The weather was awesome and the music was great all day and night.
The Carolina Swamp Dogs
There was one new band I heard, that caught my attention and has held it ever since. Based out of Jacksonville the Carolina Swamp Dogs were playing a Kenny Wayne Shepherd song when I walked up to their set under the tent. It was “Everything Is Broken” that dragged my attention away from 3 Day Weekend’s load in.
This trio of players are unique in they’re set up and delivery of authentic rock and blues music. On vocals percussion and harmonica I met Gary Oles. Talk about a band of badasses. These retired Marines have a combination of 85 years in service to our great nation. Now they play the blues and stay true to the authenticity of the music and deliver it in a raw and rugged way.
Oles howls like the wolf and brings blues enthusiast back to such greats as Robert Johnson and Howlin’ Wolf. The other bulldogs backing him also add to the unique delivery are Tommy Langlois on guitar and vocals, as well as kick and snare drum which he beats with his feet. On the other side of the stage we find Matt Ingram on bass.This blues trio doesn’t play out often but when they do they bring a show.
Following their strong set of fun blues music, I caught up with the band and invited them to New Bern. Last weekend the band played on the patio at Circa 1810 Bar at Harvey Mansion. It is always a good vibe on the patio when the blues is alright! The band will return to Circa 1810 in 2018! You can keep it here to find out when!
The Carolina Swamp Dogs are available for Festivals and Community Events. They like to keep their shows family friendly and enjoy making the whole family dance.To get them at your next community event contact them today.
New Bern’s Rock Beats The Coast
I was excited to see New Bern rockers 3 Day Weekend on the bill and closing out Seafood Festival on Saturday night. Here again, we find a group of veteran rockers that only get together a few times a year. Generally for festivals, community events and the guys are also known for putting together some great fundraisers, to help community charities and even local families in need.
The five piece band offers two guitars, drums, bass, keyboard and deliver classic rock songs that bring the audience back in time to when life was carefree and dancing was easy. It is always a pleasure to catch them as they offer all the fun rock from the 60’s and 70’s classic rock era that makes us shimmy and shake.
The se guys havebeen rocking the New Bern scene since their onset 12 years ago. One gig they have been hosting each year is a New Year’s Eve Party at Monette’s Grocery Store on Old Cherry Point Road. That is where you can find the boys rocking tonight. Admission to party is $10. Doors open at 8 pm and the party goes into the New Year.
The last event I found them closing out was a fundraiser in New Bern that featured three acts and a fun time for all that came together for an area family.
When Overby’s coworker Lynwood Goff was diagnosed with a terminal disease, he gathered with his music brother and created an event that would fuel the young family with hope. Not long after Goff became a father, he was diagnosed with cancer. It wasn’t long before the cancer took hold of Goff and Overby took hold of organizing hope for the family.
The community concert was held at The DoubleTree by Hilton in New Bern and featured music by the duo Take Two, the rocking trio BiPolar Express and classic rock band, 3 Day Weekend.
The community gathered for a great night of fun while raising money for the family. It was a heartfelt effort with heartwarming results. Lynwood’s wife was so appreciative for the efforts extended for her family. It was a heartwarming night for rocking!
More Festival Fun
MumFest Music Moments
I have lived in New Bern for more than a decade but have not really paid much mind to MumFest. That changed this year, with dedication to this blog, as I noted the many music acts that were found around town throughout the weekend. One thing that warmed my heart was that most genres of music were represented.
MumFest Country Music
Caroline Dare was one of two country acts I caught during the weekend. I first met this young entertainer in 2014 when she played at the Promise Place Barn Bash, opening the event for Bryan Mayer. The 16 year old singer has caught much attention in her young career and has the promise of youth and talent working in her favor. If you have not seen the talented singer-songwriter take some time to see her soon. In just three years, she has become a seasoned player more confident at the helm of her budding career.
The other country flavors we found at MumFest we Rob Lightner and Nathan Shaffer who offered a great variety of classic country and familiar rock favorites. Both acts performed on stage under a tent that was set up on the corner of Craven and Front Streets.
Those that brought the rock were all familiar names. They were all the hometown rockers we love. While many were attending the pre-mum fest concert on the Palace lawn, I was hanging with the players that were rocking around town.
On the bill at The Brown Pelican was a double feature, featuring two local players. First there was Dan Jam with none other than Dan Jam Phillips leading the way. He was joined by Scott Carlisle on electric guitar, Al Gleason on acoustic and vocals, Dan Jam Phillips on guitar vocals and an occasional percussion. From 5-8 pm they rocked the early crowd, with many great classics for the 60’s and 70’s. They were also joined by local chef and caterer Vincent Farro who offers great music too. Buck Loy then rocked The Brown Pelican on to finish off Friday Night. Aaron Davenport gave the grooves to folks gathered at Thristy Bruin.
Limited Engagement kept the party going on the patio at Circa 1810 Bar at The Harvey Mansion.
The rocking trio Limited Engagement also played on Saturday afternoon. They played under a tent that was added last minute on the corner of Broad and Middle Streets. James Ford lead singer and guitar for LE, also performed under the tent solo during the festival.
Next up, I swung by the Isaac Taylor Garden to check out a new band in town, Caffeinated Soul Boogie. A trio of players that are now my new example of why, players looking for bands mates need to attend open mic nights. This band came together via the monthly open mic night held at Trent River Coffee Company. On vocals is Darria Yeager, assisting on acoustic guitar is her father, Derrick Moore and back behind the kit and occasional on acoustic and vocals, is host of the monthly open mic night Matthew Kerlin.
The final rock band that I caught all weekend made their appearance on Saturday. Joe Baes Project is a fun rocking trio based here in New Bern and they took to the Miller Lite stage to rock friends and fans under the tent. I met this band soon after I started writing the blog and caught them several times this year. Tonight the band returns to the place they celebrate Halloween. Come celebrate the New Year with them as they rock BrUtopia tonight 9 pm til 12 midnight.
Also spotted around town that weekend was rocker Tommy Duzan Sr. One of the great things about this city is that there are strummers and stringers all about and the one I found in Bear Plaza was Duzan, He is an awesome talent familiar to the streets of New Bern. When I passed him by, he was deep in the blues and giving my soul some much-needed music therapy.
There was plenty of big band, brass and jazz to be found at MumFest. Some of the bands I caught included the Onslow Winds Band. They offered a great set of standard at Bank of the Arts on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday I enjoyed the sounds of Casablanca. They performed on the patio at Circa 1810 Bar at The Harvey Mansion. They entertained a brunch crowd on the final day of the festival.
Offering the jazz inspired rock sounds Sunday evening on the patio was Hark Barbee & The Dust Parade. That made for a fine dining experience following a fun weekend..
John Emril brought his blues to town for MumFest. He kicked off the final day of the event under the tent on the corner of Craven & Front Streets. That was a fine Sunday find, listening to this singer songwriter offer such a soulful and authentic offering with slide and steel guitar. This artist was another new blues player that I met this year that truly grabbed me with his talents.
Here is more on the artist found under the bio section of his music page:
John Emil, an accomplished singer/songwriter, guitarist, and a master of slide guitar, has delivered showstopping performances at major music festivals. Some include The Telluride Blues and Brews Fest, the Lake Occonee Music Fest, the Florida and South Florida Folk Fests, the Decatur Blues and Bluegrass Festival.
Equally adept with the acoustic Hawaiian lap steel guitar and dobro, Emil first appeared on the South Florida music scene in 2000. Fans hear haunting, subtle hints of Delta bluesmen Son House and Blind Willie Johnson. Emil ultimately creates a unique style all his own by integrating country blues, folk, bluegrass and lush Hawaiian sounds into his repertoire.
To keep up with the artist and catch him in a town near you, check out his website:
There were even a couple of bluegrass offerings during MumFest. Giving up those grooves were first, the family band, Strung Together. They played a fun set at Bank of the Arts on Saturday afternoon. Not long after they finished their set I checked in with Carolina Sky. They came as a duo to play on the patio for lunch at Circa 1810 Bar at the Harvey Mansion.
There was plenty of funk and soul offered on Saturday night for the festival . Closing out the day on the Miller Lite Stage on the corner of Craven & Front Streets offered the sounds of Soul Psychedelic. They were a fun and funky party band that made many groove to the popular hits they played. They offer familiar songs from the 70’s and 80’s known to make people dance.
Closing out a full night of fun with funk and soul offerings also was Joe Brown and The Band who played under the tent on the patio at Circa 1810 Bar at Harvey Mansion. Joe Brown and the Band always bring a fun show when they play. In their music they promote unity and love.
That is always a welcome message, and when set to the right music it makes people groove and even fall in love. Check out Joe Brown & The Band ring in the new year tonight at Triple Play Restaurant, 111 Williams Rd., New Bern, NC. Cost is $10.00 with music offered 10 pm til 2 am.
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Great Surprises of 2017
Tracey Brenneman Returns to the Stage
When I met Tracey Brenneman over a year ago she was singing in a band and about ready to step back from playing on the music circuit. When music is a part of your soul however it is hard to keep away. Brenneman returned to the stage offering solo acoustic sets and a few duo offerings with music brother, Simon Splading. When I last met with Tracey she informed me that come 2018 she will be coming back to the scene with a full band. She has the players lined up and rehearsal are taking place now. Once the band has a name and is ready to reveal themselves, I expect Tracey will reach out to be so I can bring you the news. One of the most moving moments on the scene happened when I walked into Trent River Coffee Company to hear Brenneman offer the song” Me Too,” a song she wrote in response to the Hash Tag that went viral this fall.
BiPolar Express Steals Bloggers Heart!
In the middle of Spring last year, I was invited to the home of Wick Wickline. He wanted me to have a listen to a new band. Emerging on the scene last August as The BiPolar Express, they offer all things rock to all crowds they meet. They specialize in high energy rock vibes that became popular in the 70’s 80’s and 90’s. The band in all is comprised of Wick on bass, and vocals, Josh Overby offering vocals and guitar and Mike Lancaster supporting vocals and drums.
When I sat in on rehearsal, I loved the energy and set list. What I did not know is that they would become my favorite party band. I love these guys.
They have a fun show that features great sound and lights and they deliver energy and fun.I helped them break out of the area this past year and enjoyed seeing them branch out even farther. Besides catching them at the benefit that Overby organized at the DoubleTree in October, I caught them out of town as well. They played a couple of shows at Off The Hook in Morehead City this Summer. More recently at the Red Room in Kinston. You can catch the band in a few weeks at The Market Street Pub. Save the date. They rock the house Saturday, February 3, 2018. To keep up with the band like them on Facebook:
Budding Artists Bloom in Bearfoot Monty
It has been a rather fun and inspiring year watching New Bern’s own original rockers Bearfoot Monty. This quartet came to be just about 18 months ago. Lead singer and guitarist Justin Hargett approach Gabrielle Christie about the idea of forming a band after an open mic Christie was hosting at 2016 Bernaroo Arts & Music Festival.
Liking the idea, the duo teamed up with a couple more area players and BM was born. Hargett and Christie compose most of the material before bringing in the band to finalize the works. This band ends the year with a finished recording and looking forward to a new release in the early part of the New Year.
The rockers will be rocking into the New Year tonight at one of their home base bars. Catch them at The Brown Pelican tonight Taking the stage earlier in the night to get things warmed up will be the Take Kindlies. It was at the Dirty Bird earlier in the year that the band kicked off a fundraising event to raise money for their new release, so it seems like a great note to end the year here.
The Good Gatherings of GEM Productions
At the start of the last blog I told you about the music promotions team know as GEM Productions. They are bringing great music to our town via events that highlight the talents of many artists from around our great state. Another thing this wonderful music team does is to pair up with local business to raise money for community causes. Case in point was 2017 Lily Fest held in November at The Brown Pelican.
These events are well promoted and organized. This event was for the Coastal Women’s Shelter. The event hosted a menu of great female talents. Along with local crooners, such as Alisa Mike, Tracey Brenneman, and Holly Parkar, the night offered a great close with the phenomenal Laura Reed offering her blues while featuring blues sister and long time friend, Miquela De Leon on guitar.
GEM Productions organizes many fundraisers throughout the year. They look for help from our community in making these events a success. To get involved you can email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can keep up with their events check out their website by following this link:
Peace Soldier Nation
Another music production company doing great charity work for our community is that of Peace Soldier Nation. The classic rock cover band is led by Bobby Hurff who has played with many known names in his time on stage. He recently reunited the band he made popular in the 90’s more recently with a new cast of players who made their debut at the Craven County Fair this fall. The next event they played was one Hurff hosted for our local Veterans on Veteran’s Day. Rockin For Relief was held at the VFW and offered a list of local rockers and great food. The money raised went to RCS for a Veterans Program that assists in keeping our Vets off the streets.
Since their debut the band has made a few appearances around town and in fact will be rocking the town folks tonight as they welcome the New Year with a gig on the patio at Circa 1810 Bar at the Harvey Mansion. Music plays tonight from 9 pm til midnight and concludes with a champagne toast.
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Answering The Call
Checking things out around the rest of the region. I ask my Facebook followers where we can go to hear them play. This is what they said this week
These events and so many more are available now on the new calendar app which I posted on the side of the page and as a page tab in the menu above. Be sure to visit all of the pages and look for big changes here in the NEW YEAR!
Thanks so much for and rocking around the state with me. Come back next year for more music fun and memories shared.
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Thanks for Reading!
That is all the news and music that I found for you 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 for said gig.
I hope you get out and enjoy the sounds of live music sometime soon. 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 and share love. Don’t forget that life is short and could end in a moment, so make sure you take time to enjoy the dance. Please party safely people! We love having you here with us! You rock, so don’t roll the car! Rely on sober friends, call a cab or sign up to Uber around!
Send all of your event invites to me on Facebook, so I know where you are playing in the days ahead. I can be found on Facebook by following this link:
I also read emails daily. You can send those to: