NCMZ.LIVE ~ NC’s Best Source for Live Music Options and Local Band News

Happy Cinco De Mayo ~ Let’s Dance

Live Music Options for Friday, May 5, 2017

Gettin Down Around Town, New Bern


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Third Act is on tap at BrĂ™topia located at 1201 Highway 70, New Bern, NC. Music starts at 7 and the duo rock you til 10 pm. This event is free admission and the venue offers great beer and an awesome staff…so stop by and start the weekend here.


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Live at The Brown Pelican located at 411 Broad St, New Bern, NC; you can kick back and relax while enjoy the music accompaniment of local stringer Buck Loy. He will be grooving you from 7-10 pm. The entry fee is an affordable free!


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There will be live music at The Harvey Mansion located at 221 E Front St. New Bern. tonight. If the weather is band you can find Dan Phillips Duo featuring and Scott Carlisle down in the bar, otherwise you can find them out on the patio as the moon rises. They will offer dinner specials to entice you to come early to eat and stay late to groove!


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Paid Time Off will be rocking The Thirsty Bruin located at 224 Middle St., New Bern, NC. Music is free for listening and they have the best beers in town, so come on out and support live and local music and fresh and local beer. The duo starts at 8 pm and play til 10:30 pm.


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The Sudan Patrol presents The 14th Annual Market Jam. A great night of music and fun featuring The Mighty Saints Of Soul, The Holiday Band, and Trainwreck! Spinning tunes to keep everyone moving in between bands will be DJ Justin Rouse from FM Radio Show “On The Boardwalk” Don’t Miss It! This is all taking place at The Farmer’s Market located at 421 S Front St., New Bern, NC. Gates for the event open at 5 pm with music starting at 6 pm. The weather might be a factor so go out prepared for thunderstorms.

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Rockin’ Around the Region

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Fiddle & Bow Presents Lightin’ Wells live tonight at Muddy Creek Music Hall located at 5455 Bethania Rd., Winston-Salem, NC on stage from 8-11 pm sharing his songs and mastering his own music.

Here is more on the artist from the FB Event page:

Mike “Lightnin'” Wells breathes new life into the vintage tunes of the 1920s and depression era America employing various appropriate stringed instruments in a dynamic style which he has developed in over thirty years of performing experience. Raised in eastern North Carolina, Wells learned to play harmonica as a young child and taught himself to play the guitar as he developed a strong interest in traditional blues and folk music. His many years of public performance began in Chapel Hill, N.C. in the early 1970s. During the following decades he has presented his brand of acoustic blues throughout North Carolina, the United States and Europe.

Lightnin’ Wells produced the first commercial recordings of the N.C. blues veterans Big Boy Henry, Algia Mae Hinton and George Higgs. He has traveled and performed extensively with these musicians and has documented their backgrounds and musical histories for future generations. He is also a lifelong student and devotee of the pioneering performers in the piedmont blues tradition which once thrived in the Carolinas, including such artists as Blind Boy Fuller, Rev. Gary Davis and Elizabeth Cotton; deceased musicians whose influence seems only to grow with time.

His first solo recording Bull Frog Blues established his blues credentials while his sophomore effort Ragtime Millionaire strengthened his association with the Carolina-piedmont style of blues. His third release Ragged But Right stretched out to explore more facets of American folk music including old-time, country, jazz, ragtime, and early popular music as well as piedmont style blues selections.

The year 2008 saw two new Lightnin’ Wells CD releases. Shake ‘Em on Down was recorded on the west coast of the U.S. and features solo acoustic renditions of piedmont and delta blues with selections from the American old-time country and popular-music catalogs for added variety. Jump Little Children: Old Songs for Young Folks was designed with the younger listener in mind. These remastered home recordings offer a wide variety of American roots music including children’s favorites, blues, folk tunes, old-time music and vaudeville.

Lightnin’ remains an insatiable student and researcher, studying the various forms of American roots music from bygone eras. He plays a number of instruments besides the guitar including the harmonica, ukulele, mandolin and banjo. He has taught blues guitar at most of the leading “Blues Weeks” sponsored by universities and teaching organizations throughout the country. He served for ten years as a board member for the Music Maker Relief Foundation which assists elderly blues and old-time musicians to meet their basic needs and continues to serve this organization in an advisory capacity. He is presently included in the North Carolina Arts Council’s Touring Artist Roster for 2008-2009 as well as the American Traditions National Roster through the Southern Arts Federation.

With his experience, knowledge and well-honed performance skills, Lightnin’ Wells has established himself at the forefront of the traditional blues revival. His musical style is personal and energetic yet remains true to the original root form. His goal is to entertain and educate using a variety of sources, influences and techniques to express his dedication, respect and pleasure in presenting this unique American art form. Wrote one recent reviewer; “Whether you look for to performers for inspiration, education, virtuosity, or sheer entertainment, Lightnin’ Wells delivers all the above, every single time”‘


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There is a triple bill of rocking talent in store for the folks that head out to  Bessemer’s Billiards located at 1207 E Bessemer Ave, Greensboro, NC.

On stage tonight you can check out the sounds of Skulls & Whiskey, The Adam Hill Band and closing out a great bill is Trailer Park Orchestra.

Doors open at 8 pm music starts at 9 pm with the sounds of Skulls & Whiskey.  Look for Adam Hill Band to ignite the place about 10:30  before turning it over to Trailer Park Orchestra who will rock you right into Saturday morning!

Here is more on the bands and the event from the Facebook event page:

“The Trailer Park Orchestra is BACK for First Friday and we have two amazing bands with us on this special show. Making their Triad debut –Adam Hill Band and local favorites Skulls & Whiskey.

As always – no cover and plenty of drink specials !!

Come early and party late with the boys from Lot 312 !

The Adam Hill Band features Hill at the helm on guitar and vocals, with bass player Gordy George in the pocket and drummer Cecil Pittman Jr., keeping the beat. With a style that blends blues and rock progressions nicely, Hill can take you down slow or simply rock your soul like a second coming.

Skulls & Whiskey’s thundering sound will rock your soul and have you begging for more. they are a band on a mission and that mission is to “rock until their faces explode”.”



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Over at Tony’s Oyster Bar located at 107 Edinburgh Dr., S, Ste E, Cary, NC they are celebrating Cinco De Mayo  with Your Mama’s New Boyfriend providing the sounds that make you want to dance the night away. Music starts at 10 pm but come early and eat and stay late for the great music and good times.


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Live tonight at Big Al’s Pub & Grubberia located at 9306 Albemarle Rd @ Harrisburg Rd., Charlotte, NC; you can enjoy the sounds of the classic rock and roots based music makers you love, TroubleMaker will be in the house to keep you locked in the groove from 9:30 til 1:30 am. This show is free but remember free music is never free so give the band some gas money, I mean tip them well!


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Making our way to high water country this week it is time yet again for BBQ Festival On The Neuse, brought to us by Kinston-Lenoir County Chamber of Commerce. Taking place in downtown Kinston all weekend there is food, festivities, live music and fun for the whole family at the KTown BBQ Festival. 

Sunset Slush will be on hand for your entertainment to close out tonight’s festivities.


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For those looking for music after all of the street festivities end, head over to North Street Pub & Eatery to groove all night long to the southern rock and fun sounds of Mason Jar Bonfire who keep you rocking from 8 pm til 1 am. There is a $5.00 music charge at the door and the location is 115 West North St., Kinston, NC.


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Hip Pocket Band are on stage tonight at The Red Room located at 220 N Herritage St., Kinston, NC. Music starts at 10 pm and the party goes until 2 am. Get ready for fun and good times and please wear your dancing shoes.


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Checking out other regions, one of my favorite players, Justin Castellano  will be live at one of my favorite watering holes in Jacksonville, NC; Nick’s Blacksheep Tavern located at 1140 Old Maplehurst Rd. Music starts at 9 pm and Castellano will entertain you all night long.


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It is a special night at the Tarheel Opry House tonight with WRNS presenting Granger Smith featuring Earl Dibbles Jr. Opening the night of music will be Justin West Band. Here are all of the details of this event as per the Facebook Event page:

Your Country 95.1 WRNS & PRESENT:
Granger Smith Feat. Earl Dibbles Jr
With Special Guest Post Monroe & Justin West Band

Friday May 5th – Doors 8 Show 9
tickets on sale 3.6.17 at 10am!

Only at Tarheel Opry House
145 Blue Creek School Rd. Jacksonville NC 28540

email for more info!


My name is Granger Smith. Sometimes long, fancy industry bios are helpful, but other times you just need to hear from the guy actually living it, so here’s my story.

I was born and raised Texan, and I’m proud of that. I grew up along with 2 brothers, a couple of yellow labrador retrievers and parents that stayed together because they loved each other. My life changed when I was 14 years old and decided I would teach myself to play guitar. This was motivated by two things: I thought the guitar would make girls pay attention to me, and the fact that George Strait played one. By the time I turned 15, I was performing weekends on small town stages in North Texas, and doing my best as a fan club member to attend every George Strait concert within driving distance. Playing high school football was an important rite of passage for me, along with hunting and fishing, but the dream of a music career consumed me. At age 19, I was satisfied with enough songs I had written to make an album. As a freshman at Texas A&M, I was able to scrape together some studio money by pre-selling the album to friends around campus. For being just a kid, that album did pretty good. It landed me a songwriting deal with EMI Music Publishing in Nashville, and the following year, I took the leap to Tennessee.

My time in Nashville was important. I absorbed the craft of songwriting from some of the best, learned my way around studios and recording gear, (which paid off for me later) and cut my teeth on countless stages as both a singer and as a steel guitar player for other singers. After four years, I had a shelf full of song demos, a little bit of music business know-how and a strong conviction to move back to Texas, finish my degree at Texas A&M, and start a band.

Moving back to College Station was basically starting over. The gigs were hard to book and when they did, nobody showed up to watch. But I was happy and felt creative. I saved money by making albums out of my house and using my band. We wore out vehicles from two pickup trucks, to a suburban, to a van and then another van. The trailers we towed got bigger, and ever so slowly, so did our crowds. I learned how to use a camera & some editing software for making homemade music videos and we made lots of them.

My little brother, Tyler joined me in 2008. He traded a pretty good job at the bank to jump in an old van and sell t-shirts in honky-tonk dive bars. I think he did it not only because he shared the same vision as me, but also because his competitive nature was excited about proving a bunch of people wrong. And that’s exactly what we did. Together we conspired and worked from the ground up with the goal of not only building an artist, but a brand. We embraced social media, searched for connection with fans, studied our predecessors and ignored our doubters. The good shows helped pay for all the bad ones, and the songs that sold helped fund all the others that didn’t. We put communities first, knowing that without the people, we were without a job.

We created alter egos through videos to help promote the music and that’s where Earl Dibbles Jr came from in the summer of 2011. It started as a short, funny video that my brothers and I filmed where my parents live in Central Texas, but it turned out to be something that completely changed the shape of my career. I actually like to think of it as an “intentional accident” because as planned, the video went viral and became a huge promotional tool for my music, but we had no way to know if it would actually work. Especially since many of my videos before it never caught fire.

In the early morning of April 16th 2013, I woke up and checked the iTunes store on my phone with tired eyes. I was absolutely shocked to see my new album, “Dirt Road Driveway” sitting at #1. Things were rapidly changing on the road too. We were seeing sold out shows in markets we had never played, and a passion in fans unlike anything I had seen before. After independently releasing 7 studio albums, 1 live album and 2 EPs, I finally signed my first record deal in 2015. I met some great people at Broken Bow Music Group in Nashville who sought us out, believed in my dedication and wanted to take what I was already doing, and magnify the message. We worked together not only as colleagues, but as friends on the same mission. Within only weeks of the signing, my debut single “Backroad Song” was a hit a mainstream country radio faster than any of us expected. On February 14, 2016, the single became the most played in America as it topped all the mainstream radio charts. This was a lifelong dream for me both as a singer and songwriter. The following month, my first national debut album, “Remington” hit stores.
A few years ago, I was standing with my boots in red, sandy Iraqi soil watching a beautifully majestic Middle Eastern sunset, when one of my band members asked me, “Can you believe music got us here?” No, I can’t. What a journey its been since I decided to chase this crazy dream. We’ve played 10 countries, 3 continents, even the White House a few times, and I still can’t believe it all started with a few guitar chords. I have a song called “Sleeping On The Interstate” where I wrote, “Connecting map dots like poets and prisoners, trying to live more like a lover than sinner, slave to dreams so far away.” That’s me. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the music business, it’s that you don’t really choose this life, you are this life. That’s the truth no matter if you’re selling albums or not. I do what I love and love what I do, and there’s no sweeter freedom than that.


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A local New Bern talent, James Ford will be live for the dinner accompaniment of those at Marina Cafe this evening. Located at 110 S Marine Blvd., Jacksonville, NC. Ford offers a wide variety of songs that are easy on the ears. Come rock with him from 8 pm til 12 am.


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Live tonight at Buccaneer Music Hall located at 2120 E Fire Tower Rd., Greenville, NC you can have fun enjoy the country sounds of Real Rowdy Boys live from 10 pm til 1 am.


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Chasin’ Fame will be search for the next good time tonight at Rider’s In The Country located at 5701 Randleman Rd,. Randleman, NC. There is a cover charge for this event but all ladies are free before 9:30 pm. Music kicks in at 9:30 and rocks you til 2 am.


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Come out to the 2017 Vanceboro Strawberry Festival May 5th & 6th.

May 5th, Friday 5pm-10pm
May 6th, Saturday 9am-4pm

Carnival Rides ~ Crafts Vendors ~ Food Vendors ~ Live Music ~ Parade Saturday @ 10am

Friday May 5th Strawberry Jam: Youth Night
Friday Night May 5 @ 6pm
Strawberry Jam: Youth Night
Youth all around the Vanceboro area will be performing Friday night of the festival.

•Lambs Care Students
•Vanceboro Farm Life Elementary 2nd Grade Students
• West Craven High School Drumline
•West Vanceboro Church of God’s Drama Team – Ablaze
•Hannah Chandler, Mady Smith, Ashley De Arcia and Hannah Meo
• Plus other local talent

Following the Youth performances,
Pleasant Hill Men’s Group will sing for the festival.


Saturday May 6th: 3 Degrees East, Lewis n Clark, One Promise Gospel, Bogue Sound Band / We Are _____. & Shelton Lyrical

Saturday May 6
(Approximate times)
10:45 One Promise Gospel (Contemporary Christian)

11:45 3 Degrees East (Country & Rock from the 70’s to Today)

12:45 Lewis n Clark ( Expedition – A journey through vintage music. A little country, a little jazz, and lots of great music)

1:45 Bogue Sound Band ( Americana: Old Time Rock n’ Roll, Retro Country, Folk-Rock)

We Are _____. ( Contemporary Rock Worship)

2:30 Shelton “Lyrical” Davis ( Contemporary Gospel, Hip Hop)

Bogue Sound Band / We Are _____. will be play about 1:30 on Saturday.


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Lipbone Redding will be live on the pebble stage this evening at Backwater Jack’s Tiki Bar & Grill. Located at 1052 E Main St., Washington, NC.; this place serves up great food and a good time with live music outside on stage from 7 til 10 pm. Come out and enjoy the folk and roots based sounds of Redding and enjoy the night as we usher in the weekend!

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~ Cruisin’ Along The Coast ~

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It is a Cinco De Mayo Party going down at Floyd’s 1921 featuring the sounds of the loving duo 4EverAll live from 5-8 pm. Come out and grab a good bite to eat and enjoy the soothing sounds of this fun duo. They play great originals and familiar music too. Floyd’s 1921 Restaurant and Catering is located at 400 Bridges St., Morehead City.


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Just over the bridge you can find some jazz tonight at Cru Bar & Wine Store/The Beaufort Coffee Shop located at 120 Turner St, Beaufort, NC; where they open the room to Back Room Jazz. Music starts at 8 and they entertain til 11 pm. This event is a free music event, but again I remind you tipping musicians is appreciated.


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Tiffany Elaine will bring her duo featuring guitarist Jimmy Kennedy to The Royal James Cafe  tonight which is located at 117 Turner St., Beaufort, NC. They offer up the country and pop sounds you enjoy from 9 pm til midnight.


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Popping back over the bridge to Morehead City for a late show we find Steel County Express live at Jack’s Waterfront Bar located at 513 Evans St., Morehead City, NC. Music charge is $10.00 and the music starts at 10 pm and lasts til 2 am. Come get the boot scooting done at the beach y’all. SCE plays all your favorite modern country hits


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Live tonight at SALT Bar located at 325 Mangrove Dr., Emerald Isle, NC they offer a smoking hot show with  Gary Lowder & Smokin’ Hot! Doors open at 9 pm

We are pleased to have Gary Lowder and Smokin’ Hot back on our stage !
Gary Lowder & SMOKIN’ HOT are known as a Soul, R&B party band based out of North Myrtle Beach , SC. Their musical repertoire covers decades of hits from your favorite artists and genres of music including soul, rhythm & blues, funk, reggae, jazz standards, country, 50, 60’s and Carolina Beach Music. In addition of performing some the most current hits that are topping the charts today, the group has had many successful chart topping hits on local radio and internet stations across North and South Carolina , Virginia , Georgia , and Florida. Gary Lowder & SMOKIN’ HOT .. are comprised of multi-talented musicians who have come together to produce incredible performances each and every time they take the stage.

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That is all my news and 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.

IMG_8940Send 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:

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!


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