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

On The Scene With Tracey Stones


Last week offered a good example of a day in the life of a free spirit. Late in the weekend, I received a message from Mike Sandvig asking what I was doing Monday. With regard to music it is usually the slowest night of the week.

That is until you are invited to the First Annual Carolina Artist Showdown Awards Ceremony, which was sponsored by House of Blues, presented by Colonial Media & Entertainment and hosted by 93.9 FM Carolina Country, covering the Carolinas from their hub in North Myrtle Beach, SC.

What a fun and exciting night for regional country acts. I was grateful to run up and take my place in line, just in time to start working on capturing the night. Sandvig was nominated for Musician of the Year for his work with Bryan Mayer Band. Mayer on the other hand was nominated for Song of the Year, Video of the Year and 2018 Male Artist of the Year.

Nothing could be more exciting for a local blogger than to be on hand to capture so many acts in one short span.

I have been to many award ceremonies in my time and with this being the first Annual, my hat is off to the Sponsors, Hosts, and all of the production team that made this Award Show a great night for so many of our hard-working country artists.

In all they presented nearly a dozen awards and invited all of those that were nominated to perform. In between each award came a new performer and many playing on the House of Blues stage for the first time in their career. That was an exciting feature for our own Award Winner Bryan Mayer, who walked away with Male Artist of the Year.

Here are the awards which were presented throughout the night and most of the winners.

2018 Carolina Artist Awards Show

Carolina Entertainer Of The Year 
Presented By The House Of Blues (Fan Voted)

The Blue Pickups Band


Sponsored By House of Blues

Song Writer Of The Year 
Presented By BMI

Cody Webb


Male Artist Of The Year 
Presented By Greg Rowles

Bryan Mayer

Sponsored By Red Wings Shoes Myrtle Beach

Duo Of The Year 
Presented By Sweet Tea & Jimmy-G

McKenzies Mill


Female Artist Of The Year
Presented By Sweet Tea

KasCie Page


Vocal Group Of The Year
Presented By Tracy Lawrence



Song Of The Year
Presented By SC Broadcasters


Music Video Of The Year 
Presented By NASCAR USA

The Blue Pickups


Humanitarian Award

Darrell Harwood

Musician Of The Year
Presented By Steve Jarrell

Sean from Trey Calloway Band


Gospel Song Of The Year 
Presented by syndicated Radio host Robby Lynn from Sunday’s Kind Of Country 

Trey Calloway Band


Live Performances by

Shawn Bilton, Faith Bardill, Sweet Sweet, Bryan Mayer, CC Martin, Darrell Harwood, Outshyne, Kasic Page, Dustin Chapman, Trey Calloway, Prettier Than Matt, The Blue Pickup Band, Stephaine Quayle, Tammie Davis, Bert Murray

In all it was a stellar night of fantastic country music, offered by regional artists home-grown here in the Carolina’s. I recommend searching out each of these talents and giving them all a listen. Most of the artists are easy to find on Facebook.

Of course the highlights of the night came every time local country crooner Bryan Mayer got an honorable mention and at the end when he won 2018 Male Artist of the Year. It was an exciting evening for the local celebrity, who opened the show with The NAtional Anthem. Not long after accepting the honorable award, the Nine North Recording Artist performed his hit song “Little Bit Naughty.”

Closing out the night with all of the performers on stage, the band jammed while the singers sang to the classic Hank Williams Jr’s “Family Tradition.”


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There are already plans in the works for next year’s event. This would be a very welcome annual tradition for local country music and the players working so hard for our pleasure!

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Rocking the Weekend Away

Feral Cat Attack in New Bern

The Feral Cats returned to New Bern last night and packed the people under the tent at Circa 1810 Bar at The Harvey Mansion last night. They offered up so many blues standards that kept the dance floor packed with hips shaking and feet stomping. The pband does not play out too often, but they are always ready for the next gig. They are excited to play weddings, private gatherings of any occasion, town events, festivals and twice monthly they enjoy playing out in new areas around the state.

To keep up with the band check them out at:

Feral Cats of NC

To hire them for your next function call Tracey Stones Productions for scheduling and details. 318-789-6929.


Thomas Knight Performs

I spent some time last week with a sweet friend with great talents. Thomas Knight is quite the Romeo of entertainers and he will be on the patio of Circa 1810 Bar at The Harvey Mansion, 221 S Front St., New Bern, NC tonight, with a host of lady friends that will offer and eclectic mix of great music. Heather Bunn, Amanda Korbee, Marron Chaplin are just some of the great singers that will join Knight under the tent for the magical music show!


The Bears, Offering Oldies In New Bern

It will be The Bears that bring the dinner show this Sunday from 5-8 pm under the tent. This is New Bern’s favorite oldies band and the best way I found to end a great weekend with music and fine food. Please join us for some dancing and great fun from 5-8 pm this Sunday evening at Circa 1810 Bar at the Harvey Mansion.


On Tap at The Dirty Bird

Rick Huff came to town last night with dear family friend Mollie Hunter and offered a great live music show at The Brown Pelican last night to the full bar. The duo offered many classics from singer songwriters we all know and love. One of the highlights for me was “Going To Carolina In My Mind” by James Taylor. They also offered a pretty version of Crosby Stills and Nash classic, “Southern Cross.”


Tonight’s music line up is a fun local band, that features the father and daughter works of Derrick Moore and Darria Yeager, with Mathew Kerlin on drums, some vox and even guitar from time to time. Caffeinated Soul Boogie is a talented bunch that came together at open mic nights at coffee shops. Tonight they will bring their show to the Pelican with music being offered for free from 8-11 pm. Please bare in mind, free music is never free and these players are working on their weekends off. Feel free to leave tips.



Did Someone Say Coffee?



Tonight marks the return of the monthly Open Mic Night, that is held on the first Saturday of each month at Trent River Coffee Company, 208 Craven St., New Bern, NC. All players are welcome to participate. Sign up starts at 6 pm. Music plays 6:30 – 9:30 pm. Come enjoy a fun night of great local talents.


Molasses Creek Comes to New Bern

Craven County Community College offers a series of Exploration of the Arts 



Saturday, January 27
7:30 p.m.

Back by popular demand, Ocracoke Island’s own Molasses Creek returns to the Explorations series this January. As phenomenal songwriters and interpreters of song, Molasses Creek concerts run the gamut from traditional to contemporary acoustic folk, from sweet ballads with ensnaring vocal harmonies to truly hot instrumentals.

Since their last Craven CC visit in 2013, band regulars Fiddler Dave Tweedie, Gary Mitchell and Gerald Hampton have been joined by Kim France. Kim’s captivating command of the bass, beautiful harmonies and lead vocals, organically blend with Dave, Gary and Gerald, and create a spark for the next generation of Molasses Creek.

The band performs frequently throughout the eastern seaboard and New England, and as far west as Oklahoma and New Mexico. They own and operate Deepwater Theater on Ocracoke, performing and hosting shows there and touring off the island extensively October-May. Their 14 recordings have received airplay around the world, including releases in 2012 and 2014 reaching the top 5 in the National Folk Charts. They have won awards on “A Prairie Home Companion” and have also received a nomination for European Country Music Association Band of the Year.

Event Tickets Adult $22 / Student $12


Craven County Arts Council & The Down East Folk Festival presents


If you are a fan of Stevie Wonder’s Music, I have a treat for you happening tonight on Middle St. Fans of the funk and the soul superstar, that rose to fame in the 60’s and 70’s with his unique style, can come out tonight and enjoy the music as performed by Gabriel Bello. This music series focuses on 20th Century Composers  with the focus tonight on the Music of Stevie Wonder. 

Doors open at 6 pm and  Music starts at 7:00 pm. Bank of the Arts is located at 317 Middle Street, New Bern, NC


City Laundry Offers Drag


Madame Z and The Pollock Street Drag Divas are back to host our first Pride show of 2018. Celebrate Diversity with a fun and loving crowd. It’s always a great party. Everyone is welcome! 9pm Show $8.00 Cover.


Here is What’s Brewing At BrUtopia

Last night Tiffany Elaine and Jimmy Kennedy came to town with their good friend Steve Mehan. This trio of players keeps busy along the Crystal Coast, but last night they traveled to The Bern to offer songs to friends at and fans, as they deliver the sounds you love this Friday at BrÜtopia, 1201 Highway 70 East, New Bern, NC.

 Music was offered 7-10 pm and delivered a great mix of pop, country and original music sounds.



Tonight at BrÜtopia, you are invited to enjoy the sounds of Mykel Barbee Live, as he offers his blend of Acoustic Rock, Country & Soul. Nest Cafe serves up some award-winning food. Once again this free show takes place from 7-10 pm.


Leavin’ Town


For those running around the Jacksonville area, be sure to check out Limited Engagement, when they bring it to Nick’s Black Sheep Tavern, 1140 Old Maplehurst Rd., Jacksonville, NC. Saturday night’s show starts at 9 pm and the band rocks you til midnight. This fun and funky party band recently enlisted a new member out of the Raleigh area to join the trio, so be sure to make the New Bern based party band feel welcome.



For those heading to The Market Street Pub, 143 N Market St., Washington, NC, get ready to be rocked from 10 pm til 2 am.

Market Street Pub offers live music featuring local area acts. In fact tomorrow night you can catch the classic rock favs from New Bern, The Wannabees live on stage.


Bill Is Back

That honky-tonk heart-throb that captivated my heart and inspired my soul to write about music is back on this side of the pond. If you scroll down to the first blog on this site, you will meet Bill Lyerly.

He is the road house guitar groover that boosted Super Grit Cowboy to popularity back in the day. Now spends much of his time on tour overseas in Spain half the year, where he resides with his bride. The other half of the year he returns to tour the Carolinas.

Tonight he heads to Seven Springs, where he’ll be playing at Crossroads Grill & Bar, 8136 Highway 55 W Seven Springs, NC. Music is offered from 9 pm til 1 am. Lyerly also wants us to know “This Sunday (Jan 28) Koi Pond Brewery in Rocky Mount. Start time 4 o’clock!!!!! We’re planning on a LARGE time!!”


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Youngsville has the young talent of Christina coming their way live tonight. The young talented songwriter is based in Battleboro, NC and stays busy offering her music to the western regions. Tonight she will be live for her friends and fans at Bud’s Tavern in Youngsville. NC.

It was not too long ago that I stopped out at Bud’s to meet the owner and check out the venue. If you have not been to this good time bar, perhaps tomorrow is the night. Christina plays there from 8 pm til midnight.


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The Adam Hill Band has a show tonight at Freebirds, 302 US Highway 301 (71.97 mi)
Lucama, NC. Everyone is invited to come out and get rocked right with this guitar driven trio out of Pink Pill, NC. Live music starts at 9 pm. Music Charge is payable at the door. $5.00 for single and $7.00 per couple. Come out and dance the night away with this amazing band.

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Coastal Companions

Taking a Pause For The Cause


Live music with The Fireballs and Doug (Hector) Dougherty.
Music starts at 4:00pm inside with The Fireballs.
BBQ plates with all the sides and more. Served at 5:00pm
Donations will be excepted at the door.

Larry Roberts  had a stroke not long ago and was on a long road to recovery when his struggles ended. Today the friends and family of this young man will gather to raise the money needed for his dignified and untimely burial. This benefit is to help raise money for his many expenses they recently met with this unfortunate tragedy. .
Please come out to Rookies Sports Bar, 1187 Highway 58, Cape Carteret, NCand help generate healing power. Thank you.


Justin Castellano can be found playing at The Icehouse Waterfront Restaurant, located on the waterfront in Swansboro, NC. Music is offered there from 9 pm til midnight in the lounge.

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Hank Barbee has a solo show tonight a Palate Bottle Shop, 1007 N 4th St., Wilmington, NC. Barbee says, “Super cool bottle shop in the North Fourth district with a chill vibe and live music. Come have a listen to this 1952 Gretsch guitar I will be rockin on…”

Music plays from 8-11 pm. Come out for a great night of solo Barbee at the beach.

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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

January 23 at 9:21pm

Thanks so much for and rocking around the state with me.

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Facebook Events Link

Here are all the great music options I found for you on Facebook this week. Check out all of the events here and express interest in the ones you like.

Live Music Events Around NC from Facebook

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I learned years ago that life is short and can end in an instant. I never thought much about that, to be honest until the day I woke to meet the day without my sweet friend, Lorne J McClellan.

Lorne was a talented and funny friend that I knew nearly 20 years. For nearly a decade we ran together, until motherhood changed my path. Lorne played the bass, sang, always danced with me, wrestled and did so much more to entertain me and all his friends. He was a Rolling stones fan, as much as anyone, myself included. We met in 1986 and danced the first night we crossed paths. My last memory of him was in a field in 2005 dancing at The Miracle Run.

We all lost a lot on May 6, 2006 when Lorne went to a better place far from this life  we struggle through without him.  Today Lorne would have celebrated 53 years, but never even saw 42. We lost him much too young. My pal died in a motorcycle wreck coming home, probably after a big time on Cinco De Mayo.

Since his loss I have been forced to see how short this life is and how important it is to make moments count. What comforts me most is Lorne lived everyday like it was his last. That gives me peace of mind as I try to encourage others to live much in the same way! Happy Birthday pal. This blog is for you! Cheers! Save a dance for me man!


 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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