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

On The Scene With Tracey Stones


I recently booked local guitarist  Dan Jam Phillips at Harvey Mansion for a great night of music. The pictures above captures Dan getting groovy on a jam with musical brothers Scott Carlisle and Vinny Farro. Tonight Dan will be performing live at BrÜtopia, located at 1201 Highway 70 E. New Bern, NC.  And of course, he will be joined by friends. This show is free and music plays from 7-10 pm. Dan Phillips was one of the inspirations behind NCMZ.LIVE happening. He still offers random advice which I always find valuable and resourceful for thoughtful process..


Steel Shot is the fun rocking duo out of Pamlico County who first got me thinking about the band representation part of business again. It is interesting to be a house cleaner by trade and be approach by a band manager to represent his other band. That is what happened here, in a nutshell , when singer/guitar player Shawn Mitchell asked me to consider managing Steel Shot in March of last year, before there even was a blog!

They are a fun rockin’ team that likes to have fun and laugh with their audience. They work hard on making the music that people enjoy dancing too. The other half of the duo offers the vocals and bongos of Jeremy Lowery.

The band got together when the friends were neighbors and recognized a mutual interest in music. That was more than 8 years ago and they have been working out arrangements ever since. You can find the band on Facebook.

Tonight the band will be rocking in James City at Triple Play, located at 111 Williams Rd., New Bern, NC. Music starts at 9:30 pm and the band will keep you in the groove til closing.



The Hot Buttered Grits are being served on the patio at The Harvey Mansion located 221 S Front St., New Bern, NC. This is a local and fun jam band that has a good following of supporters that love being locked in their groove. They always pack the house and keep the bodies moving and swaying to the beats they offer. They will be outside under the moon and stars tonight from 8-11 pm. Come out and enjoy their music and while you enjoy making memories with friends.


I recently ran into Arlin Tart, who performed a number with John Van Dyke’s band, who was performing on the Deck at The DoubleTree last Sunday. That’s when I learned Tart would be performing at the Thirsty Bruin, located at 224 Middle St. NC. He will be there tonight with his trio from 8-10:30 pm. This is a free show, so be sure to stop in and support local talent, local beer or just sip on local wine!



Brian Mac offers everything from Blues to Bluegrass and you can find him tonight at The Brown Pelican, located at 411 Broad St. New Bern, NC. There is no charge for the music if you are a member. To become a member it costs $1.00 for life. Stop in sign up and get down tonight with free music from 7-10 pm


Checking things out outside the area, we find one of my favorite guitar players hitting the stage at A J McMurphy’s, located at 1914 Turnbury Dr., Greenville, NC. This power trio played there on First Friday in April and they were well received by the crowd. Tonight they make their return to the stage to melt faces and rock souls like only they can do. Music starts at 9 pm and they groove til midnight. The restaurant offers a wonderful Irish menu and lots of beer and other libations to wash it all down. To keep up to speed with the amazing Adam Hill visit his website at



Just round the bend in Ayden, it is a big ol double hitter birthday party for local rocker Adrian Watts, who will be bringing his big band TrainWreck to celebrate and new co-owner of The County Line Bar and Grill, Trisha Mower. Located at 9527 Hwy 903 N, Ayden, NC…and here is what you need to know about this party:

“We will be cooking a Pig and anyone can bring a side dish! (Please comment with your sides so others will know) Party gets started at 8pm with the Pig Picking and then TrainWreck will take the Party to another level at 10pm..

Anyone that knows TrainWreck knows they keep the Dance Floor Jumping!! If you have never seen Train Wreck, well all I can say is what a treat you are in for. $10 cover for singles and $15 couples comes with all you can eat! Coldest Beverages in Pitt or Greene County and Brown Bagging is Welcome!”

 PS…I bet there will be CAKE!


I have a few options for dining with great music for anyone heading to the beach tonight. First I found that Rick Huff will be serving up the sounds at Snapperz Steam Grille & Bar, located at 3710 Arendell St., Morehead City, NC. Huff offers lots of great rock and folk and singer songwriter selections. Be sure to stop in tonight and enjoy the fresh catch on the menu or one of their outstanding steam pots. Music starts at 6:30 pm and plays til 9:30 pm.



Just across the way there is a fine dining option for those feeling fancy. Justin Castellano will be offering music to folks eating down by the sea. Catch him tonight at Bistro By the Sea. Located at 4031 Arendell St., Morehead City, NC; this is an excellent choice for impressing your sweetie, with fine food and awesome music. He starts warming up the main courses at 7 pm and keeps the groove going until 10 pm.

Castellano is a more than seasoned and schooled when it comes to the craft of guitar. He is truly something to see, especially if you have an appreciation for one man band and solo acts. He is always impressive and entertaining to say the least! He is one of the many acts that I assist with bookings and promotions. We also work together on Guitar Resources, a Facebook Page where we introduce the world of FB to new players in our region of the world. Thus far we have featured Adam Hill, Adrian Watts, Hank Barbee and others.  This month Justin sits down with Jayke Steel of Steel County Express.


Guitar Resources


Back in the day, long before I ever knew either player,  Ed Prophet was once a bandmate of Castellano’s. The two players teamed up for Backseat Romeo. Checking in with this player we find he is staying busy by the coast . Here is what he posted on his page for all of his fans to find him this weekend.

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Speaking of Steel County Express, they will be kicking it all weekend long. This modern country band offers today’s hits and blend it with some rock and funk to keep it interesting. They offer some of the classic country we all love too. They offer music as a duo, or full band. When I asked everyone where they were playing, this weekend here is what guitar player of the month Mr. Steel said about where to find him this weekend:
“Friday, June 2nd – The Red Room, Kinston, NC
We are rockin’ K-town Friday night!!! $5 cover, band starts around 10pm.

Saturday, June 3rd – The Howlin’ Moon The Howling Moon Saloon Goldsboro, Goldsboro, NC
No cover, cold drinks and great drink specials all night!! Band kicks off at 930pm.

Sunday, June 4th – Harbor Site Bar, Sneads Ferry, NC
Sunday Funday!!! Come on out and have a cold one and wind down your weekend!!! We play at 4 pm!!!”

Should you find yourself in any of these areas and you care to do a little boot scooting, tell Jayke I sent ya!


By the way, I ask each week where people are playing so that we can all plan the weekend better. In case you missed it on Facebook, here are week’s replies:

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This Music Business

We are all small business owners in this world of music. Most venues can be classify as such as can most bandsand most agencies representing the bands. All of the lighting and sound engineers and recording engineers own and operate a small business. All of the promoters and managers working hard, they are considered small businesses.

Rule number one when conducting business, with another business, always do it under a formal agreement if you care to protect your interests. This can be a complex document drawn up by your legal team or it can be a standard form that you have ready to email on any given opportunity. Obviously it depends upon the situation and the nature of your business.

If you are a booking agent who is representing several bands, be sure to offer contracts to venues on your letterhead. This makes you appear professional and ready to stand behind your agreement.  Make sure there is a place for the who, what, where, when, why and how much.

If you are a venue, it is not a bad idea to have a standard operating agreement with any and all house entertainment.  Afterall, since it is your venue, you have the right to set the house rules. If you are going to bring live music into your establishment, be sure you take the steps to safeguard your investment.

The best advice I can give you is do your homework on licensing, so you know the laws and set your rules in place if you are offering live music to your patrons.

If you are going to open your door to live music, be sure you are aware of the licensing fees that walk hand in hand with that undertaking. It does not matter if you are a bar, a restaurant or a coffee shop. There are laws that apply to offering music and ignorance is no acceptable reason for not knowing the law.

After you do your homework on what you will offer due to the licensing option you select, you should then set the house rules. Here are the things you want to make clear…

Are you providing lights?

Are you providing a house PA?

What time does the band start?

What time do they quit?

How many sets and for hour long?

How much time is allotted for set up?

What door is used for access to the club?

How much of the budget will be spent on entertainment?

Are you offering the band’s any food/bar tab comps?

Do you have a standard written agreement that you will use for all bands that are hired?

Are you paying your acts by cash or by check?

Will you be charging a music charge or setting up a link for pre sale tickets?

I was recently speaking with a restaurant owner who went through an unfortunate ordeal with a band. The much of the situation could have been avoided entirely had the owner had a few house rules in place.

I will be expanding more on the importance of establishing your house rules and why in a future blog. Stay tuned.

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The Link for Live Music Options Happening throughout NC

If you have Facebook you can search the many music events happening throughout the state by clicking on:

Happy Dancing


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That is all my news and music that I found for your dancing pleasure. 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, 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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