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

Shining a Light on My Hometown

There are many wonderful features of the quaint historic town of New Bern. This is the  place I call home and love! It offers beautiful sceneries with the river at our banks, the sweetest people and a great many lessons in history. But that is not all. New Bern is also becoming a great stage for art lovers and music enthusiasts. This is especially true this weekend. There is a lot happening around town.

First and foremost we find the tradition of ArtWalk as we welcome the second Friday of July. As noted on the map which I am including, there is a lot to see and do throughout our downtown tonight. Come out and meet our painters, crafters, jewelry makers and music shakers. This monthly #ArtWalkNB has been a feature in our town for 11 years and growing stronger each month!


Musically speaking, there will be a couple of live acts to hear this evening. First, be sure, to stop by The Black Cat Shoppe, located at 246 Middle St., where you can enjoy the sounds of talents vocalist Alisa Mike with her act AEM Serenades. She will be belting out the best in show tunes, jazz and more from 5-8 pm.

Mike is also the lead singer for the fun party band Zen Pirates. If you have not heard this talented singer perform, you are missing out. She is soulful, and sassy while being a powerhouse that’s classy.



The other famed female vocalist that originally fronted Zen Pirates, will be found about town belting it out for your listening ears as well. The first time I heard Tracey Brenneman sing was during that party band’s debut invasion on New Bern. She left the band, that band and put music down entirely for a brief period of time. Now that work and home life are in balance Brenneman is enjoying her return to the stage and is ready to rock souls yet again! She will be found today after work, under her tent and with her guitar behind CAW on Broad St. Just head down past the Pelican, come up from Middle and turn down the driveway and listen for the pretty voice and sweet sounds of Brenneman from 5-8 pm.


Be sure to stop and meet the many the artists and vendors that will be filling the streets tonight.  Stop amd Talk to the writers and painters. If you have never been, tonight will be an awesome experience!

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The major special event that is going down around town all weekend is Bernaroo Arts & Music Festival 2017. With their third year about to be unleashed for us this weekend; the team at GEM Productions has a great weekend of amazing music and art vendors galore in store for us to explore. They have thought of everything. There will be beer and food vendors, artists and so much more. Tickets for Bernaroo are $15 for the day or $25 for a weekend pass.


Music offerings will be found at three locations, including the main stage found at The Isaac Taylor Garden, located at 228 Craven St., New Bern, NC.  Here is what you can find there according to the event on Facebook:

This year’s event takes place on July 14th and July 15th, with marquee events being held at Isaac Taylor Garden from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Tickets are $15 for a single-day pass and $25 for a two-day pass.

July 14th:
The Tan and Sober GentlemenHank Barbee & The Dust Parade / Bearfoot Monty
Gates open at 5:00 p.m., music starts at 6:00 p.m.


Tan and Sober Gentlemen – Based out of Snow Camp, NC this band offers a dose of edgy roots music for folks to enjoy as they groove and dance the night away. Music by this band starts at 8:30 pm 


Hank Barbee – Since meeting him just over a year ago, I have gotten to know Hank Barbee quite well. He is a class act that is so easy to work with. He is a gifted guitar player and he has an amazing baritone voice that captures a crowd. Come meet him and the Dust Parade tonight in the Garden at 7 pm.

Bearfoot Monty – This original rock act was born right here in the Bern when four friends got together to jam. Tonight they will kick off the festival we all know and love as Bernaroo. Be on hand to enjoy their set of original music. There is more to come on this band in the weeks ahead, so come out and get familiar with the act that I will be talking up in the weeks ahead.


July 15th:
Ancient Cities / J Rowdy & The NightShift / Seabreeze Diner
Gates open at 5:00 p.m., music starts at 6:00 p.m.

Ancient Cities –

J Rowdy & The NightShift –

Seabreeze Diner –

This event is still in its infancy but it has gained in popularity with each effort. The first event was held in town in 2015. That was before this blog. Last year my blog was in it’s infancy when Bernaroo came back even stronger. This year they can count on even more coverage through my effort.

This team is extremely passionate about their work of bringing the arts, music and fun to this community. They keep the spotlight on NC grown talent and bring new acts to our attention each year with their hard work. This year will be no exception. The brilliant minds behind the hard work are that of Grant Golden, who approached his good friends Bailey Evans and Terry Mc with the idea of bringing a festival to town.


It didn’t take the trio of music lovers long to get serious enough about the idea to upstart a company that would bring it all together. GEM Productions was a perfect fit and gives each member credit in the name. After their first effort was well received, they made a mission statement and have continued to build with each event. Make sure you take a minute to thanks them for their awesome efforts when you see them out and about. And if you love what they are doing be sure to send them a note. They would love to hear feedback on their efforts and welcome your willingness to get involved in helping it grow bigger and better each year! Send your correspondence to:


It’s Bernaroo tradition that a sound-ordinance can’t stop this party, so as The Tan & Sober Gentlemen round things out for day one at the Isaac Taylor Garden, the music will just be getting started out at The Brown Pelican. Wilmington’s Justin Lacy will be bringing his quirky blend of indie-folk to downtown New Bern, serving as the perfect way to wind down the evening after a night full of debauchery.

Justin Lacy’s music brings equal parts bombastic gypsy-folk sorcery and quaint, off-kilt, soft-spoken songwriting. Lacy isn’t afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve, and it shows in work like his latest album “Control Burn”. Lacy’s soundscapes are built around classical guitar arrangements that are surrounded by lush orchestration of organs, cello’s, synths, mandolins and much more. Justin Lacy will bend sound to his own will and we can expect some riveting takes on his work, as he officially brings a close to night one of Bernaroo.

Check out Justin Lacy’s music at the link below:

 I caught this talented singer/songwriter and stringer at Wang Dang Doodle in May, where he shared the bill with Justin Castellano. I believe New Bern will embrace him. Find him tonight at 10 pm at the Dirty Bird, located at 411 Broad St., New Bern, NC.


There are some other options for live music tonight after ArtWalk wraps up. Our first stop is at The Harvey Mansion, located at 221 S Front St., New Bern, where we find Feral Cats rockin’ the blues away from 8-11 pm. This four piece rockin’ blues band is based out of Kinston and have been making a name for themselves since taking to the scene at the start of the year. Come out and enjoy some great music under the tent on the new patio area outside the Harvey! Meg Wetherington will be slinging drinks and Amada offering service with a smile.


The local, young and talented stringer Aaron Davenport will be entertaining folks at The Thirsty Bruin, located at 224 Middle Street, NC. He will be offering his music selections live from 8-10:30 pm. He is quite energetic and covers a lot of genres in his music stylings. There is no charge for this event.


Just over the bridge, but still in New Bern you can find my friends The Wannabees who will be live at Triple Play. Located at 111 Williams Rd. This band takes to rocking all your favorite classics from 9:30 pm til closing!


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Answering the Call

Each week I ask where everyone is playing in the days ahead…here is what folks said this week:

12 July at 06:17


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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. 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:

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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