NCMZ.LIVE ~ NC’s Best Source for Live Music Options & Local Band News ~ Friday, December 2, 2016

Tracey’s Weekend Runaround ~

I kicked off my long holiday weekend by checking in with The Adam Hill Band, who had a gig last Wednesday evening at Nick’s Blacksheep Tavern, located at 1140 Old Maplehurst Rd. in Jacksonville, NC.

I never saw Hill in a trio formation. In fact, I had only seen him with Solid Ground. From talking to him and watching his FB feed however, I noted quickly The Adam Hill Band was a central focus. Finally having a moment and the courage to ask, I queried Hill as to why he would even bother with a cover band?

Solid Ground is an older band effort that Hill was already moving away from when it got rejuvenated! And though he agrees that the band is great, especially with the addition of Donna Storey on vocals, his heart and his attention is being paid fully to his own music and band.

There has never been any question in my mind about his talents. I saw it at Jean’s Place in Havelock, NC back in July, the first time I saw Solid Ground. I never even knew Hill existed in the world, but I knew that the singer they hired was bad ass and by the time the night ended my world was rocked and my soul satisfied. I was excited! It was all because of Hill’s guitar playing. It’s just not everyday ! That is all I can say!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016 marks the first calendar day that I got to see all of Hill’s raw talents on display.  Hill’s vocals make him a powerhouse on many levels.  His song writing will grab you and the way he expresses it with six strings and a voice is mind-bending as he bends them strings and drops jaws all around the room.

In the end, I got to check out a fairly new establishment in Jacksonville, NC and meet the owner Nick Nichols. Retired military man, who has worked in many of trades, bought the place back in February  of this year. There are a couple of pool tables for the players out there and live music for the enthusiasts.

I can say  without hesitation, is it was worth the trip for a night of fun and live music. Hill that plays guitar like very few I have seen and I have seen many! Too many to even count or remember! It excites me to see talent like that, just as much as it confuses me. Thing about it is  that Hill is not garage band or bar band material. When I think about his caliber, I see and hear him in theater settings, not bars. Therein lies the confusion, my brain tells me I should not be able to walk into a bar for free but rather buying a ticket through Ticketmaster!

Given that gut feeling, I decided while feeling Thankful for Thanksgiving, on the ride home, I would commit to helping help Hill’s career. Giving back is what life is all about! If you have a trade or a talent and it helps someone, always share it! I remember when someone gave me a platform in the form of a website, to help me start my business in 2010 when I settled in LA. It was a previous customer and friend who believes in me with all her heart. She lives here  in NC. Years later I meet someone who definitely needs a platform and bigger stages for his music to reach more people. Last weekend I started that platform for him by building a website.  Look for for more on Adam Hill in the days ahead by visiting at I should have it published in the week ahead.


Friday offered a great day and fine opportunity to be beach bound. So a friend and I hit the trail and enjoyed sometime on Atlantic Beach before enjoying some time along the Morehead City Waterfront. We checked in at Ruddy Ducks in the late part of the afternoon, sometime between lunch and supper. When we emerged from enjoying a great meal, I was drawn to the sounds of a man playing the blues. That was when I met Rick Klein jamming on a bench. This cat made my day with his Kansas City Blues. Be sure to look for him next time you are down that way.


When I returned to the New Bern area, I started my rounds at The Brown Pelican .Where I enjoyed the original Paid Time Off with Rick Huff, Mollie Hunter and Jenna Leigh Huff.  When I walked in, plenty of people were digging their folk fuel rock selections and dancing the night away!

Before turning in for the night, I headed over the bridge to check out Big Jim Kohler Band live at Triple Play Restaurant. There wasn’t nothing but the blues going on when I got there. Big Jim was having a good time with his band and the crowd. This man don’t care much about nothing but the things he loves. And let me tell ya, he loves his family, his guitar and the band backing him up! Always with a smile and ready to play, Big Jim is still my favorite straight ahead blues dude around here.


Not to be repetitive, but sometimes when a bar has a band cancellation, they call me and ask if I know of anyone. I was called on Wednesday on my way out to Jacksonville and told them I will have Adam Hill for Saturday. After thinking it over, during the holiday, and just after, hearing Hill with a band behind him, I was ready for more! And not more turkey leftovers either, I was ready for more band! So, while I was out,  I approached the bar for a raise and we called in a band late Friday night for Saturday’s show. Making it a working night for us all, we had a great fun at The Brown Pelican. Hill was offered a great show with a stage full of musically talented friends, including his bass player  Gordy George,  local drummer, Steve Hill and local guitar staple Dave Nicholls.

Adam Hill is the featured guitar player throughout December,  for Guitar Resources Page on Facebook. You can check out his music on YouTube, by finding his library at AdamHill1979. By the end of the weekend you will find him at

In the month ahead Hill will be back at The Brown Pelican on Friday, December 23, 2016. with The Adam Hill Band. They will rock the room from 7-10 pm.

Live Music Options Friday, Dec. 2, 2016 ~

Around the Region:

It’s a fun night with two bands and great burgers in Cary tonight, at Abbey Road Tavern & Grill. The Johnny G Band is live from 5-8 pm. Please note, starting at 9 pm Kevin Olson takes his show to the people! For more info check out the ad above.


Snapback a modern country band will be making their debut at Woody’s Sport’s Tavern, located at 8322 Chapel Hill Rd., Cary, NC. They get the party started about 9:30 and rock them country jams til 1 am.


Before leaving the Cary area, I should also tell you that Crush will be live tonight at Tony’s Oyster Bar, located at 107 Edinburgh  S. Ste 129, Cary, NC. Showtime is 10 pm and the fun last until closing time!


Speaking of which, John Grogan reached out to me to let me know, Closing Tyme, has a show tonight.They are a great country band for all you traditional two-step country cloggers. They will be live at Halftime’s Pub & Grill in Leland, NC. Show starts at 9:30 pm  and they will groove you til 1:30 am.


Along The Coast ~

All events seem to be coming out of the southern shores region of the state this week. So starting things off in Wrightsville Beach, doors will open at 8 pm tonight over at The Palm Room, located at 11 E. Salisbury St., Wrightsville Beach, NC.

Kicking off the live music at 9 pm you can enjoy the grooves of Mac & Juice, followed by David Dixon Trio. There is a $7 music charge at the door, but bring a food donation and you will save a couple of bucks while helping out those in need!


Dos Eddies has a show tonight at Liberty Tavern, located at 7976 Market St., Wilmington NC. They get the music started about 8 pm and will rock you til 12 am. For more info on the place or the band visit these sites:
Liberty Tavern

Dos Eddies


Also down around that way we have

Live Music with Kelly & Travis of Lunar Tide Acoustic will be offering your favorite tunes by Fleetwood Mac, Johnny Cash, Journey, Tom Petty, Dolly Parton, Pat Benatar and many more at Rack Em Darts & Billiards, located at 415 S College St., Wilmington, NC. They will be rocking he room from 9 pm til midnight!!


The Fritz will be live for two nights this weekend at The Whiskey, located at 1 S Front St., Wilmington NC. Showtime for both nights is 9 pm and they will rock the room til 1 am!


Closer to home and along the coast Justin Castellano will be entertaining the diners at Bistro By The Sea, located at Highway 70 East, Morehead City. Castellano performs from 7-10 both Friday and Saturday evenings. He is such a skilled player, no matter how many times you dance and dance with him, each show is unique and fun.


Getting Down Around Town New Bern~

The Home Builders Association of Craven and Pamlico County are putting on their Old Hollywood Christmas Gala. The event is taking place at The New Bern Riverfront Convention Center. Featuring an evening of cocktails, butler-ed canapes, a plated dinner, gourmet dessert and a safe ride home. Plus dance the evening away with one of NC’s hottest bands, Liquid Pleasure with Kenny Mann. This is a 21 and over event.


Over on Middle Street you can find Hank Barbee hammering out a great number of fun and upbeat selections between 8:00 – 10:30 pm  at The Thirsty Bruin.

Now is a great the time to get familiar with this artist. He has a lot going on with his career, including a new release he is working on the finishing touches before release early next year. Before all of that and later in the month, this singer/songwriter out of Richlands is going to be doing great things with our New Bern based Craven County Habitat for Humanity. On Saturday, December 17, 2016 Barbee is teaming up with a couple of other genres of artists, for an eclectic night of talent and fun, all on display as they raise money for a local family. Did you know that it cost about $80,000-$85,000 to build a Habitat home so that means this event will need a village.


Barbee will provide the musical portion of the show. In between his musical sets, Meg Wethington will deliver poetry and perform spoken word art like you have never quite seen before, all while area painter Laura Gammons captures it all during a live painting. One which will in turn be donated to the family that has been approved for the home. Both Gammons and Wethington have participated in other charity events for our local Habitat office. So, when Gammons and Barbee discussed doing a live art ~ music show, it wasn’t long before they realized it was very close to the holidays and decided it should be to benefit someone. Once Gammons spoke with the spoken word queen of the Bern, they easily decided on Craven Habitat for Humanity.

There are many ways the community can help. There will be an angel tree on site with simple requests on them that you can pick. You can donate on-line throughout the month of December by visiting, or you can donate on site that night. Gammons‘ works are also being featured in the Brown Pelican throughout the entire month. If you select one of her beautiful pieces, 50% of the sale will go to this event. For the music enthusiasts in the crowd, you can buy either of Hank Barbee’s CD’s or his bracelets that are made of recycled guitar strings. These pieces of art themselves are hand crafted by Barbee’s talented mom. 50% of any items purchased that night will go to the event. The other way you can help is by tipping the bar staff big that night. The Brown Pelican will match tip donations for the night! Another way you can help is by support out local Habitat Re-Store on Pollock St. The items that are donated and sold there, help to build these area homes. The final option is for anyone in the market for a new car. Riverside Subaru located on Highway 70 East, New Bern, has picked Craven County Habitat as their local charity for the National Share the Love Event. That means if you buy your car there you can pick CCH and Riverside Subaru will donate $250 in your honor! That’s a pretty sweet deal.

The Way Family have two young daughters ages 4 and 1. This family came to know about Craven County Habitat after their a relative was approved for a home. Habitat for Humanity is a great organization that helps families get on their feet and become home owners. It allows kids to get out of the rough parts of town and in a safe home where they flourish.

Our local Habitat has built 61 homes and that has helped more than 120 children stay safe. That is something to feel great about! If it inspires your soul and you would like to help, please donate during this season of giving. You donations are tax-deductible. So if you are feeling moved please mark the calendars for December 17, 2016 and meet us down at The Brown Pelican from 7-11 pm.


Speaking of Meg Wethington and The Brown Pelican! HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the wonderful bartender and beautiful poet and artist in her own right. She will be celebrating her day tonight at The Brown Pelican where she works. On hand to perform you can check out Bobby Hurff and Gypsy Surprise while they rock the room from 7-10 tonight. Sounds like a great choice to celebrate and dance.


Big Jim & Kathleen Kohler

The Kohler’s will be live for those enjoying dinner at Triple Play Restaurant tonight. Located at 111 Williams Rd. You can enjoy a great set of the blues to go with any of the fine food on the menu. They start jamming about 6 and wrap it up about 9 pm.


Just down the road and across the street you can catch Spare Change on stage tonight, as they rock Bambooz II, located at 1100 Highway 70 East. They get the show started at 10 pm and rock you til 2 am. This is the newest hot spot around. There is a $5.00 membership for the year and a music charge at the door for each event hosted here. Anticipate having lots of fun with the best bands around, right here in New Bern. Open Friday and Saturday nights, Dale Overbee has worked overtime bring music into our area. After a recent tragedy that had skeptics wondering, Overbee turned around, redesigned and stepped up the game for live music in town, yet again! Way to go Dale and thanks for all that you do for our town!


The final few events I have to share with you, are taking place at our local theaters. First you can find The Nutcracker on stage at the New Bern Civic Theater. Those tickets are $15 for adults, kids 12 and under are $12. This event will take place tonight and tomorrow at 7 pm and again this Sunday at 2 pm. If you have plans this week but hope to see it, they are offering the same schedule next week. This is a wonderful production and a staple for the holiday season. The NBCT  is located at 411 Pollock Street, New Bern.


Live and on stage at Rivertowne Players Theater, located at 514 Hancock St., is offering the production of White Christmas starting this evening at 8 pm. There will be another show tomorrow night at 8 pm and a show this Sunday at 3 pm. This same schedule will happen again next week as well. Tickets for this show are $13 in advance and $16 at the door. Students cost $10.


Well kids that is where you can go to dance tonight. Sorry it was a bit late. I hope what ever you pick, you have a ton of fun and enjoy the dance. Please take kindness with you and tip wait staff and music makers generously. It is the season of giving and these folks give all year for less than half of what minimum wage pays.

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