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On The Scene with Tracey Stones

2017 Music Memories

Part Two of Four

Ye Intro of the 2017 Music Season

♦April ♣ May ♣ June ♦

At the close of the first quarter and the start of yet another music season around NC,  paperwork was filed to start a business in support of this blogs operational endeavors and in doing that,  Tracey Stones Productions, LLC,  became a viable business. This business not only publishes this music blog, but we are at your service to assist with your promotions of live music events. We are here to help venues and bands alike in the quest to bring people and music together for good times and building fond memories.

Besides keeping people in touch with the many local bands found around the coastal region, we’ve tried to introduce people to new talent, making a name for themselves from other regions around the state.

Lakota John



Kicking in the second quarter was an authentic blues talent, that hails from Pembroke, NC. Lakota John was not fooling around this April Fools Day, when he brought his blues to The Brown Pelican in New Bern, NC. He was one of the many great new blues artists I found around the state this year and I would love to see him return to the area soon. His sound is simple and playing is stunning. He brought me back to the days of Robert Johnson and evoked the spirit of Muddy Waters too. Nothing excites me more than blues music played well and this cat definitely does that. Be sure to keep up with this stringer by checking out his website via this link:

Lakota John


Hot Buttered Grits

We have plenty of local talent to beam about too, New Bern has much to offer music lovers with many bands and more venues as the months roll on. There is a great appreciation for music and the music makers around town.

It was at the inception of the second quarter that I caught wind of live music taking place at Circa 1810 Bar & Restaurant at The Harvey Mansion, 221 S Front St., New Bern, NC. (More on there efforts later in this four part series.) My first trip to the patio offered the grooves of New Bern’s own groove makers, Hot Buttered Grits. Since that night in early April, I have worked with The Grits in helping them branch out some and this year they brought their show to the Crystal Coast for the first time with a debut appearance at Off The Hook in Morehead City. The five piece jam band offers a great mix of familiar songs, that keep people on the dance floor, as well as many fun originals.

The players in the band are Jon Johndrow on guitar and backing vocals, Howard Longino on guitar and vox, Seth Smith offering lead vocals aback up as well has guitar and mandolin offerings, Chris Buttitta on bass and Zack Meadows back on drums and offering vocals tooThe band is a solid unit made up of musical friends. Most of the players call New Bern home. Only one hails from the Triangle region of the state.

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Throughout the year I probably caught up with the Grits a half-dozen times and each show left me inspired and excited for more. The band plays private parties and are also available to play at your venue in 2018. To book the band give me, Tracey Stones a call at 318-789-6929, to work out the dates and details, to bring fun music to your establishment.

To follow them on Facebook, give their band page a like by checking out this link:

Hot Buttered Grits on Facebook


Joe Brown & The Band

Joe Brown & The Band is another talented New Bern based band, that offers the funk and fun of good music each and every place they play. They deliver the message of unity through the deliverce of music that moves people. It is the feel good vibe that makes you want to dance and groove anytime Joe Brown and The Band are around. I first met Brown and heard his band last year at a bar that since closed it’s doors. They are a five piece unit that offers soul, funk, rock and R & B music for fans to enjoy.

In the days ahead the band will be ushering in the New Year at Triple Play Restaurant, 111 Williams Road, New Bern, NC. Join them on Sunday, December 31, 2017 as they bid farewell to 2017 and welcome you in to the New Year. For more details on the night be sure to call the venue in advance.

Helping to curate the sound of this machine are the following players: Joe Brown, in the front plays keyboard and sings, backing him up is a solid four players including Eric Whitehurst, bass, Denzel Willis, guitarist, *TeeBone, Percussion and Nate Keys, on drums. To keep up to speed with the band you can find them on Facebook by following this link:

Joe Brown & The Band on Facebook


Justin Castellano



If you have not heard Justin Castellano play an acoustic guitar, then you have not seen the sheer skill and ability of this extraordinary player. I have been friends with the fancy player from the simple town of Beulaville, NC for several years and after creating this blog, he took me under his wing and helped to steer me in the direction of greater opportunity.

Castellano is the creator and host of the Facebook page Guitar Resources and offers a glimpse into how to manipulate strings and create sound with video offerings and other creative posts. I am a co-host of the page and add video and occasional posts as well. During the 2017 calendar, we featured several guitarist from NC and I was lucky enough to offer a couple sessions in the first quarter that featured  Adrian Watts, guitarist and founder of the party band TrainWreck and Hank Barbee in time for the release of Son Royale in March. There is hope of more collaboration works for the two tech geeks in the new year; should time ever allow us that opportunity.

Castellano keeps busy playing 3-4 shows each week, from the middle of our state to the coast. Tonight if you are in or around the Charlotte area, you can find Castellano offering his sounds tonight for folks at The Wine Room in Concord, NC . Music will be offered from 8-11 pm. He also takes a few trips each year out-of-state to share his music. This particular year the player headed South and made new friends in Charleston, SC, as well as numerous other areas. There are few players and none in our immediate area that offer the style that comes with Castellano. He is an inspiring talent that looks forward to offering a new recording to fans and friends next year.

One of the highlights for me this past year was bringing together the former duo, Backseat Romeo. They feature the mad skill of Castellano and the smooth essence of his best friend and musical brother Ed Prophet. The duo played a couple shows together this year and one of them was on the patio at The Harvey Mansion.

One of the other things you can bank on is getting an education from Castellano when it comes to new gear and high-tech ways of offering music to the audience. He truly is a master of sound and stays on the cutting edge of technology. He is a professor and student, learning and growing as time evolves and opportunities present themselves. To keep up with his evolution and to enjoy his great music be sure to like is Guitar Resources page and check out his website as well. That link is:

Justin Castellano Music


Tom Spellman

If there is one thing that 2017 taught me, it is that there is no shortage of talent in New Bern. In fact this town is full of crafty artisans and crazy good music makers. One of the most skilled players I have grown to know and appreciate this year is Tom Spellman. This player is a master of the craft and offers lessons throughout the week at Fuller’s Music here in New Bern. When he is not teaching the craft, he is expanding on his own skills with hours of practice.

Spellman keeps busy with several bands and variety of styles are offered  with these endeavors. Though 2017 did not prove to be the year for any of  his own projects, such as his metal band, Kill Mercy, which has been on a hiatus for some time; it did, however prove to be a busy year for other projects.

One of my favorite bands that features his skill is the Old World Music and Jazz sounds of the band Casablanca. This trio of jazzy players is based out of New Bern and features the talents of Spellman on guitar and band mates Simon Spalding on guitar and other stringed instruments and Glenn Druhot on percussion and drums.

For those that appreciate classic and southern rock sounds, be sure to catch this player with his “family”  projects. Spellman offers some of the guitar works needed for Mimic Band, which offers the music of Boston, Heart and Lynyrd Skynyrd.  I had the pleasure of checking them out in May when they played the first Spot Jam of the season in La Grange, NC. The don’t do too many shows in our state, but to learn more about the band check out their EPK released earlier this year:

Mimic Band

The other tribute band that Spellman keeps busy with is Second Helping. This ten piece band is based mostly in NC. They also play most shows on the road and out of state. I did  however catch the band a couple of months ago when they played a recent benefit for an area school. They deliver the many songs and familiar sounds of Skynyrd with great energy. I refer to both of the efforts as “Family” projects because Spellman shares the stage with his Mom and Stepdad, Laura and Chis McCalister when playing for Mimic and Second Helping.

When not keeping busy with a band, Spellman is found about town hosting music events under the name “Tom & Friends“. During these shows we get to see the skilled guitar man team up with friends and students as they offer the community music they love. You can check out this next show, next month when he performs at Circa 1810 Bar & Restaurant at the Harvey Mansion. He will be joined by friends on Saturday, January 27, 2018 with music being offered from 8-11 pm.

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Live Music Options

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Rockin’ Around the Region


Come join us for a brand new acoustic based Open Mic on Saturdays from 8-11P M at Pourworks Beer and Wine Shop, 900 E Six Forks Rd, #120, Raleigh, NC!
Pourworks has a comfortable and friendly lounge to enjoy a wide selection of unique craft beers and wines from NC and around the world. They have $3 glasses of wine on Monday Wine nights, half priced beer on Tuesday Pint Nights, Bingo Nights on Wednesday, and Yoga Sip and Stretch on Saturdays. There’s also a large selection of games to play and two large HDTVs for all your favorite games.


The Wilmington based blues band, David Russell & The Port City Blues Band will be heading inland tonight to offer their music talents to the crowd that gathers at Rock Harbor Grill, 132 S. Fuquay Ave Fuquay-Varina, NC. Music starts at 8 pm and the music is awesome. This is a big band blues outfit that captures the authenticity of the music and it’s appeal.




Grit,  guitar and great grooves are on the menu tonight at Scooter’s Bar & Grill, 1911 Sego Ct, Raleigh, NC. The talented player will offer the music tonight from 7-11 pm





Speaking of grit and guitar, Adam Hill will be unplugged and rocking tonight at Crossroads Grill  & Bar, 8136 Highway 55 W, Seven Springs, NC. He offers the music from 8 pm til midnight. Come get rocked before Christmas with the sounds of Adam Hill Music.




Since we are on the subjects of favorites, be sure to catch Built For Comfort Band who will perform live tonight for the crowd at AJ McMurphy’s, 1914 Turnbury Dr., Greenville, NC, tonight. This show is free and the music is awesome. Come dance your Christmas blues away from 7-10 pm tonight!

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Cruising Along the Coast



4EverAll wants to help you take care of all of the music lovers on your list this Christmas season. The romantic duo of husband and wife team, Chris and Allie Whitaker, has a new disc out in time for Christmas. You can get you copy at their show tonight. The duo will perform for all at Trading Post Southern Food & Spirits, 8302 Emerald Drive
Emerald Isle, NC. Music plays from 6-9 pm. Grab a date and don’t be late.



Following your romantic dinner you can keep the good times going with more music and dancing to the music of Zen Pirates. They New Bern based party band with unwrap all of your favorite songs that make you dance so you can forget about the Christmas blues and dance the night away. Music is offered from 10 pm til 2 am at The E- Club, 8102 Emerald Dr, Emerald Isle, NC.




It is the fun music of Steel Shot live tonight at Southern Salt Seafood Company & Waterfront Restaurant, 701 Evans St., Morehead City, NC. Music is offered from 8-11 pm by the talented Pamlico County duo that offers all genres of fun sounds.



More New Bern based talent will be rolling toward the coast as we find Blue Moon Jazz, who will perform live at Cru Bar & Wine Store The Beaufort Coffee Shop, 120 Turner St. Beaufort, NC. Music is offered from 8-11 pm from the new stage recently built.



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Getting Down Around Town New Bern



New Bern’s Patrick Bliss will offer the guitar works for the folks that gather this evening at BrÛtopia, 1201 Highway 70 East, New Bern, NC. One site to serve the good tastes you crave will be Nest Food Truck. Come dance to the songs you love and dance with friend.



Celebrating 10 years of serving our community, tonight at Halftime’s Pub & Grub, 3325 Dr M L King Jr Blvd., New Bern, NC. The fun and festivities include an ugly sweater contest and great music being offered by the talented Bryan Mayer. The good times and great music start at 8 pm.’





For the folks who are feeling like funk and fun, be sure to catch the Carteret County based band The Spread, tonight at The Brown Pelican, 411 Broad St., New Bern. They will rock the house with their brand of groove music from 8-11 pm. This show is free.



The final show I found about town for tonight is the one that I booked at Circa 1810 Bar & Restaurant at The Harvey Mansion, 221 S Front St., New Bern, NC.

Back in October i met a band that performed at the NC Seafood Festival and asked them to come play for my friends in New Bern. Tonight the band, Carolina SwampDogs make their New Bern debut. They are blues trio the offer a blend of rock and blues music, served up in a very unique way. I hope you can come enjoy the blues tonight under the tent. The music will play from 8-11 pm.

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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

 December 19 at 8:38pm

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Live Music Events Around the State

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


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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:

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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