If the road is so hard, the pay so low and the days so long, why bother? Why even play music? Well because just as there is a demand for audiences to hear it, there is a deep desire to play for the player. It is not a feeling that can be ignored. John Lee Hooker said it best in the song Boogie Chillen, “One night I was laying down. I heard Momma and papa talking. I heard papa tell Momma, ‘Let that boy boogie -woogie cause if it’s in ’em, it’s got to come out.'”
Most musicians are out there playing their souls out not because of the awesome living it affords. Most have modest homes, with simple furnishings. Many who choose this as a career opt out of the luxuries of insurance and secure futures. They say no to regular dental and medical treatments. The reason they do it is simple enough, it is a calling from their innermost self. The sacrifices they make so that you hear their song and take it with you, is the reason they exist, breath and live. Passions drive people. It is important to connect people to their passions and hear their hearts. Everyone wants that.
These musicians are also some of the most sensitive souls you can meet. They notice things from the stage that you are not even aware of; but just think for a minute how you might feel if you drove an hour or two to go to place so to show people your skill and talent and they carried on talking among themselves like you never walked in the room? Can you imagine if you sung your heart out and played your ass off and everyone kept talking to their groups without any recognition of your performance…because this happens every night of the week in many hometown clubs near and far throughout this country. It’s actually quite sad. And part of the reason I do what I do.
I mentioned in the Advocate’s Corner last night that many things happened to cut music from budgets and the players took a hard hit in the 90’s. But like everything else, you must find a way to go on! And if playing music is in you because of that desire to connect to others through it. Then you adapt and with time so does the culture and so do the times. The good news is, most things run in cycles and the live music scene definitely goes through its cycles.
Music is a very important component to living a happier, more satisfied life. Studies have proven this to be fact. Music naturally moves you and lifts you. Some get lifted by rock or rap, some get lifted by funk or soul, some get lifted by country or the blues. No matter what style grabs you, take hold and make time in your life for it. There are players playing during the week hungry for you to hear them. Take some time and take a listen, it might fill your needs and bring you a happiness you have been missing for some time.
The reason live music has an ebb and flow, and comes in seasons is because of its feel good effects on the soul and the body. So go out and get lost in the music, tip the music makers and dance with the one you love. Go on and do it tonight!
One of the reasons I think open mic and open jam nights are wonderful is because of the opportunity they offer new talent. Look; there is risk in everything, but to me, getting up before a crowd of people to play might feel like it walks with huge risk. Open mic events help players explore ideas. They are inviting that new players might just come to watch and observe. Before long the observer becomes the player and if you stick around for the story long enough, the player becomes the host and leader of his own band.
They offer a large scale of fresh local talent usually and they are easy to come by as they take place here there and everywhere throughout the week. Speaking of such events here are a few to keep in mind for your Thursday itinerary:
The Spring, located at 3616 NC Highway 42 Willow Grove, NC, offers an open mic night each and every Thursday from 7-10 pm. All players are welcome and players of all sorts grace the stage.
Patrons are welcome to come and enjoy the local talent and great food and service for a night of fun and music. Here is how they put it on the Facebook event page:
“What’s up all my music makin’ friends out there! Come join us this Thursday for Open Mic at The Spring! Acoustic guitar, bass, and percussion are provided for anyone to use, but feel free to bring your own gear if you like. Acoustic acts and full bands are both welcome. Craft beer is on special for $3 and live streaming to Facebook is available.
There’s also free pool tables, a full bar, a nice stage to jam on, and plenty of room for all your friends. Last week we had some amazing musicians that came out and played, so bring yourself on out and get in on the jam!”
Little City Brewing & Provisions slates Thursday as their Open Mic Night. This event is hosted by Steve Holcomb. Music starts at 8 pm and the jammers play on til midnight. Come make memories while making music tonight. LBC&P is located at 400 W North St. Suite 120 Raleigh, NC.
For those closer to the coast looking to jam, pack up the acoustic vibes and head over to Bottega which is located at 723 N 4th St. Wilmington, NC. This acoustic open stage event happens from 7-11 pm, all players and talents are welcome to come jam and offer their gifts of music.
For players in around my home town of New Bern, please pack the gig bag and head over to The Brown Pelican with your talent and talented friends too. Located at 411 Broad St. New Bern, NC. They welcome local and regional player to the forefront of their bar. Jammers start about 7:30 pm and jam until 11 on most weeks. Call your friends and come make memories listening to all of New Bern’s great talent tonight.
Since we capped off the open mic events in New Bern NC, we might as well start our live music options for the night in town. If you have not made it out to enjoy Vintage Thursday at The City Laundry featuring the amazing talent of Alisa Mike live from 6:30-8:30 pm, tonight’s your chance.
This offers the local folks a great choice for a nice supper and a show. You can’t go wrong with their cheese boards. They offer many other delights too as well as beer and wine. The music mix is familiar show tunes and standard jazz mixes that make you swing in time to Mike’s beautiful voice. She is live each second and fourth Thursday of the month. This show is free and your tips are encouraged for the performance.
Taking a look around the coast I found a few things that were happening tonight. First Promise Land Market, located at 909 B Arendell Ave. Morehead City NC, is hosting their grand opening. On the bill, for entertaining everyone who comes to see what they are offering, will be Acoustic Bus. They will be jamming from 5:30-7:30 pm for this special event. Come after work to check out the new kid on the block and enjoy music too.
Justin Castellano is live tonight on the patio at Carolina Home & Garden, located at 4778 Highway 24 Newport, NC. He will be offering up the great acoustic grooves from 6:30 – 9:30 pm. This is a nice place to take in a show. The cost is $5.00 at the door. They offer a nice spread of appetizers. They have wine and beer options for purchase and there is always lots of shopping and things to look at while you browse the store, the gardens and the patio.
Tonight in the lounge at Saltwater Grill, located at 99 W Church St. Swansboro NC, you can enjoy the sounds of Random Drink, featuring the talents of Arlin Tart and Veronica Welch. Come get inspired by this duo that offers all the popular tunes you know and enjoy.
Music starts at 6:30 and goes til 9:30 pm, so you are encouraged to come enjoy some great food and local talent tonight too.
An evening of fantastic folk played by a collective of Wilmington area Americana/Bluegrass bands, Stray Local and Massive Grass and more! Bring your dancing shoes! This is how the next event reads, Port City Folk Collective will be taking place this evening at Burnt Mill Creek Billiards & Wine Store, located at 2101 Market St. Wilmington, NC. The music starts at 7 pm and the good vibes keep on til 10 pm.
Coming away from the coast and heading to my north we find more folk music taking place tonight at the Turnage Theater. located at 150 W Main St. Washington, NC. They will be hosting the Folkstone Stringband this evening from 7-9 pm. Come on out and enjoy the good ‘ol Americana sounds of bluegrass and folk ,being offered by some of the hottest picking and grinning players on the scene.
Heading over to Greenville, NC we have Spazz Fest in full swing with several events taking place. The first one I found was this:
p style=”text-align:center;”>SPAZZ FEST VIII: NIGHT ONE* ft. Acirema, Witchwells, American Evil, Paralyzed In Paradise.
@ Crave Greenville Restaurant & Bar
409 Evans St, Greenville, NC
$6 / *Free w/ Golden Ticket
Doors @ 6PM / Music @ 6:30PM
>>Purchase Golden Tickets HERE:
True LEGENDS of the Greenville metal scene — this band has existed in one form or another for more 12 years! Their Americanized Swedish melo-death/thrash sound brings forth an all out non-stop aggression. Furious rhythms alongside precise, well-played harmonies and melodic leads will have your brain releasing so much dopamine you’ll swear you’ve been drugged. Their last record, American Nightmare, was recorded by the great Jamie King (Between The Buried And Me). They keep their live shows pretty limited and we’re stoked to welcome them back to play another Spazz Fest!
American Evil (Corpus Christi, TX)
American Evil is not your average rock & roll band. No whining, no complaining about breakups, zero love songs. The bands mission statement: HAVE A GOOD TIME. Today could be your last day on earth, so live Evil, and make every day the best day of your life. LONG LIVE ORIGINAL MUSIC!
Paralyzed in Paradise (Greenville)
Metalcore with incredible energy. From catchy riffs and epic solos, to up-beat choruses and intense breakdowns.
*Official Spazz Fest VIII FB event page listing ALL the good stuff:
**BROUGHT TO YOU WITH ♥ BY SPAZZ PRESENTS:
Also part of this mix we have this:
p style=”text-align:center;”>SPAZZ FEST VIII: THE GUITAR-B-CUE (THE KICK-OFF EVENT) ft. On The Water, Nu Clear Twins, The Dick Richards.
@ Trollingwood Taproom & Brewery
707 Dickinson Ave
4PM – 7PM
$5 = ENTRY + FOOD
*Our traditional KICK-OFF event for the festival the past few years! We haul a big cooker to the outside of the venue and a real deal BBQ pitmaster works his magic, from early morning to mid-afternoon on some choice cuts of pork turning out the most succulent meaty delights you’ll ever taste! Throughout this we get a few acts to play acoustically, then a few acts to rock us plugged-in and amped up. No finer way to kick off another weekend of madness known as SPAZZ FEST!
On the Water (Philly)
On The Water are a rotating collective of self-described “oddballs, loons, and hooligans” led by Fletcher VanVliet. Music that in no way sacrifices the grizzled, rag-tag, impassioned feeling of the West Philly basements that birthed this band. They craft a jangly, raw, Gypsy-kinda romp, full of kitchen sink percussion, singalong rawkus and acoustic ease. While disparate elements abound each individual piece connects and combines into a rustic musical chemistry that borders on alchemy. Veterans of a few Spazz Fest appearances — it’s a real honor to bring these talented folks back through to wow ya’ll once again!
Nu clear twins (Greenville, NC)
The core of the Nu Clear Twins consists of singer/songwriter siblings Nathan and Melody Maxwell, who craft cosmic country-folk goodness that is touching, intimate and sometimes haunting. The recent addition o Megan Maxwell on bass and Shakin’ Bob Aiken on drums compliment already beautiful melodies with a solid rhythm section yielding aural delights that are sure to captivate any audience.
The Dick Richards (New Bern)
A forward-thinking trio of multi-instrumentalists, The Dick Richards are a diverse group as capable of warbling, rambunctious folk songs as they are punk-tinged indie rock. Expect this trio to enchant you with their acrobatic melodies and captivating tunes.
Official Spazz Fest VIII FB event page listing ALL the good stuff:
BROUGHT TO YOU WITH ♥ BY SPAZZ PRESENTS:
I also found a couple of gigs going down in Rocky Mount this evening. First up, I found Jamie Pridgen Band will be live this evening from 10 pm til 2 am at Gator’s Rocky Mount,located at 1171 Jeffery’s Rd. Rocky Mount, NC. Here is what you need to know:
“Jamie Pridgen brings his Full Band to Gators Rocky Mount Thursday March 23rd 2017. We are going to Rock the House! Join us for this amazing night! $3.00 Cover Charge starts at 9 pm.”
For those in that area with dinner and music on the mind, you can enjoy the sounds of Meredith Davis live from 7-11 pm at Westridge Grill ,located at 3639 Sunset Ave. Rocky Mount, NC. They offer a great menu, good service and live music for your supper. Come enjoy it all with your sweetie tonight!
Backseat Romeo, Ed Prophet has me considering dinner and a show this evening out to the west. He will be live tonight offering the sounds that wash down well with dinner, from 7-10 pm at Village Steakhouse & Pub, located at 5662 U.S. 70 Goldsboro, NC. If you care to call ahead for a reservation please call: 919-778-0555.
Wrapping up our dinner and a show options this evening is the talented slinger Adam Hill, who will be live and unplugged this evening at North Street Pub & Eatery from 7-10 pm. Located at 115 W North St. Kinston. This place features a great staff, awesome specials for food and drink, and they support live music each Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, while bringing in the areas hottest bands.
Come enjoy a great burger or just some spaghetti and bring the whole family since they all like music too!
If you are a bar owner or a restaurant owner looking to get the word out, invite me to your place. Let me come out, meet you and learn what makes you tick and tell the people what sets you apart. I am happy to promote venues that offer live music. If you offer food and care for a review, I am glad to come visit and try the food you are serving, to tell the community you serve.
In the weeks ahead I am going to spend more time checking out new dives and music halls, restaurants and theaters, so that everyone knows who is doing what.
Please reach out and invite me via email or find me on Facebook. I end each piece with how to get in touch with me and I look forward to hearing from you.
That is all my news and all of the gigs that I found for your dancing pleasure for the evening. 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! Thanks for keeping me informed!
Please take kindness with you today and hug strangers. Don’t forget that life is short and could end in a moment, so make sure you take time to enjoy the dance.
Send all of your event invites to me on Facebook and you will end up in the list of options in the days ahead. I can be found on Facebook by following this link
I also 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. Pictures are also helpful. I share links to band websites, so send those along as well. Thanks so much for taking the time to fill me in on the details, together we will reach the people!