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

Check out Part Three of Four on the Music Scene in 2017. Here we find ourselves in the height of Festival season meeting many bands and Celebrate with a bit of the blues! Plus A NEW CALENDAR. Come see!


On The Scene With Tracey Stones

2017 Music Memories

Part Three of Four

The Height of the  2017 Music Season

♦July ♣ August ♣ September ♦

In the Heat of the Summer I met

The Hot House Quartet

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The Hot House Quartet caught my attention this summer with their music when I saw them at The Brown Pelican. It was not only my love for jazz sounds that caught my attention, more it was that this band is that they are serving in the US Marines Corps.

The band is one of transition of sorts, as they are all serving so we have the pleasure of hearing from the members not on a tour of duty. The heroes I met this Summer includes: Chris Schott, trombone,  John Larson on piano, Harry Willard on guitar, Dan Webber on bass and Mark Gulotta on drums.

I saw these guys a couple of times this summer. One time at The Brown Pelican and the last time in late September at BrUtpoia. I just have to take my hat off, place it over my heart and salute them.

To keep up with the band visit their Facebook page by visiting:

Hot House on Facebook


GEM Productions, New Bern’s Diamond Music Team

In the height of the music season we find lots of festivals and fun community events in cities and towns all around our state.  The one I kept a close eye on was 2017 Bernaroo Arts & Music Festival. Brought to New Bern, NC by GEM Productions. This independent music promotions team is one local company that intrigues me and evokes a good spirit in me.

I love the work they do, I love their support of local North Carolina music. They bring all genres together throughout the year while bringing new talent to our town. Bernaroo is their largest offering, but they deliver talent to our clubs throughout the year. Not only are they supporting live music and local artists, they are coaches and promoters too.

When they choose their causes to participate in they show up with a great show that raises money for the charity at hand.  Closing out its 5th season, which often marks the make or break threshold; Bernaroo is something this blogger sees being a big part of our town and its music history.

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This year’s event took place on July 14th and July 15th with marquee events being held at Isaac Taylor and Live at The City Laundry. Tickets were $15 for a single-day pass and $25 for a two-day pass. Tickets went on-sale on Thursday, May 11th at 12:00 p.m.

Official Bernaroo After Parties will take place at The Brown Pelican and LIVE at The City Laundry respectively, while various venues throughout downtown will host free live music and art galleries throughout the day on Saturday, July 15th.

This was the line up from this year’s festival and links to the bands we met.

July 14th:

Tan and Sober Gentlemen –

A high energy Celtic bluegrass folk band with funk and fun beats that cranks up the energy in any room or atmosphere. They are infectious and fun. This was the first time I had the pleasure of hearing the band and walked away buying a CD which I still enjoy often.

Hailing from Snow Camp, North Carolina, the Tan and Sober Gentlemen pioneer a sound they call “Celtic punk-grass.”  Raw and unfiltered, this style is a blend of hard-driving, dance-able roots music from both sides of the pond, delivered with a punk edge and whisky-fueled abandon.  They are particularly noted for their rip-roaring live show, featuring all sorts of on-stage shenanigans, audience engagement, and above all tremendous energy.  As far as folk music goes, the Tan and Sober Gentlemen are the best drinking and dancing band you”ll find.

Hank Barbee –

Becoming more known to the New Bern crowd, Hank Barbee & The Dust Parade performed in support of the mid-Summer Festival. They offered a strong set with a full band and drew in the crowd with their fun and crafty original selections. They set up their store and sold merchandise during and following the bands performance. Barbee had new shirts, bracelets made from recycled guitar strings, and several discs for sale at the show.

Bearfoot Monty

Opening this year’s event was our hometown’s own original rock band Bearfoot Monty. They had a success first year and proof of this was their appearance opening this annual festival. They sold T-Shirts and stickers all in support of raising money for a recording. With several fund raising events which followed Bernaroo for that effort have paid off. We will hear the new release from Bearfoot Monty at the turn of this new year ahead. The band recently finished laying down the track and the mix is done too. Look for the product January 20 and more news on its release here.

I was not able to attend the full second day, but I did catch the singer-songwriter showcase at The Brown Pelican on Saturday July 15 where I saw 6 of the featured singers. Following the showcase more fun shows were offered at Live at The City laundry where the following bands rocked the stage:

Ancient Cities –

J Rowdy & The NightShift –

Seabreeze Diner – 

 For more information on 2018’s event or to get involved contact Grant Golden or Bailey Evans at

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Carolina Woodstock Arts & Music Festival

In the high heat of the Summer I headed out to catch the first day of a two day event held at the Lenoir County Fairgrounds. It was the first Annual Carolina Woodstock Arts & Music Festival.

It was an event held to celebrate and raise money for Lenoir County Veterans and the great attraction was the menu of live music being serve throughout the three-day event.

Here is the recap of that amazing good time which ran in the August 19, 2017 Issue of NCMZ.LIVE:

I arrived just in time to kick my weekend of in high gear with an Adam Hill Empiricism…this band freaking rocks…and their original music melts my soul. I walked up to Hill offering his own song. “What’s Left” and before closing out a stellar set the band delivered this number as well:

The One by Adam Hill Band

I only caught about half of the band’s set. They were originally slated to close out the night, but due to having an early gig today, the band switched positions in the roster and rocked the crowd long before the sun thought about setting. It certainly did my soul good to see these boys set the stage on fire with their fierce set of guitar driven rock.



Next up we all got down with the Kinston based blue band, Feral Cats. This quartet of talented players offers Kim Kornegay on drums and vocals, Greg Howard on bass and vocals, Sam Zouari on guitar and vocals and Scott Carlisle on lead guitar. They offered boogie numbers like “Hip Shake” and “Big Boss Man” and even took us “Down to the River” and through even the jungle in their full set of awesome music.

To keep up with these cool cats from Kinston known as The Feral Casts, be sure to visit their website at:


The Wicked…wha?


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Next up we got a good dose of 90’s pop style music with rock infused throughout with The Wicked Shimmies who offer a fun set of great favorites that not every band offers. They offer mostly 90’s and more current music in their set but they also stepped back to give up some Dead Flowers by The Rolling Stones. This is another Kinston based band that is fairly new on the scene.

To learn more you can follow the band on Facebook by checking out and liking their band page:


The Shady Melons

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Next up we got a dose of soul blended with some funk and even rock grooves courtesy of The Shady Melons. Another new band on my radar coming out of Lenoir County. They gave up a great set of modern music with the ability to bring us back in time as well. This is a great band with lots of soul for the offering. I enjoyed their set immensely. They also feature a few player familiar to Roman Sams fans. Matthew Hart on guitar and vocals and David Brown on guitar. So it seemed almost fitting to have Samantha Holland finish out their set with them before she took to the stage with her band The Roman Sams.

To become more familiar with The Shady Melons, you can find them on Facebook at


The Roman Sams

Closing out an extraordinary night of great local music, one of my favorite classic rock party bands brought it front & center. The Roman Sams never disappoint. I found this band down in Morehead City last year and get even more excited about them each time I have the pleasure of seeing them. They always deliver an unfiltered show of solid rock classics and they offer Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, Journey and so many other bands most groups don’t attempt to cover, and they pull it off with ease with the seasoned Samantha Holland at the helm and Matthew Hart on guitar and vocals David Brown offering lead guitar, Trey Horton on bass and Joey Gillette on drums.

To keep up with this band be sure to check out their Facebook page :

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All sound production will be done
By Lee Gargano and G & G Audio for this event

Information about vendor spots can be found at

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Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band Comes to Durham, NC

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For the past 22 years one name has become a force on the blues circuit. Kenny Wayne Shepherd broke onto the scene at 13 soon after appearing on a stage in New Orleans. By the time he was 17 years old Shepherd released his debut release on Giant Records.

Ledbetter Heights shot up to Number one and replace the players greatest inspiration on the blues charts. Stevie Ray Vaughan has been a driven force in his style and genre appreciation. Much like SRV, KWS has stayed true to keeping blue music the focus of his life on the road. He is an amazing slinger and it was an honor and privilege to see him so up close when he rolled into Durham in support of his new release.

Lay It On Down was released in Europe in July and here in the states in August. Right after its release the band hit the road in support of their ten track effort that also soared to number one on the blues charts where in remains. It is there for good reason. Every song on the release is great. The only thing missing is an instrumental.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd has shined a bright light on the blues ever since the golden child of the blues guitar world made his mark. He has a family and faith backed business operation and he stays very busy on the road and in the studio.

His other love is classic and or fast Mo-par cars.  Since reconnecting with the artist on Facebook I have taken the time to retrace the past 20 years since I left the music scene. What a wonderful experience it has been getting to know all of the blues I have missed.

No matter what disc you select, no matter what show you get to see…It is sure to be good money well spent. To keep up with all things Kenny Wayne Shepherd, join his website and keep up to date. He has a lot of great shows already booked for the year ahead and he always keeps it interesting and humble. He really is a pleasure. Check him out today.

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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 26 at 9:47pm

These events and so many more are available now on the new calendar app which I posted on the side of the page and as a page tab in the menu above. Be sure to visit all of the pages and look for big changes here in the NEW YEAR!

Thansk so much for and rocking around the state with me. Come back tomorrow for part four of four as we close out the year with rock great bands from around New Bern and the region.

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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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