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

~ On The Scene With Tracey Stones ~

Tracey Stones on the Scene for NCMZ.LIVE


Last weekend was another great assortment of entertaining music, from here to there and from everywhere. It is like that every weekend. I encourage you to follow the events links near the end of my blog and find an event that calls out to you. There are events for families and for adults only crowds.

As I mentioned last week, there was a three-day function Carolina Woodstock , which was held out at The Lenoir County Fairgrounds, Friday night through Sunday afternoon. There were vendors on site and many great Lenoir County based bands rocking the bill. There were some regional and national acts on stage for our area Veterans as well.


One of the events organizers was Charlie Smith, who gives up guitar and vocals on stage with Mason Jar Bonfire. I have wanted to see this band for quite a few months and tonight I will be heading out to the Red Room, located at 220 N Herritage St. in Kinston , NC, to enjoy a great night of rocking fun with these good-hearted rockers.

Not only will I be checking in and streaming live from the Red Room with the band, but I will also be getting details on their plans to bring Carolina Woodstock back next year. This was a great pause for the cause. I look forward to meeting the whole band tonight and finding out more on what’s ahead for them.


One of the big sponsors of the event, last weekend at the Fairgrounds was North Street Pub & Eatery who, was on site serving beer for the big kids and dipping dots to the small kids out in support of our local Veterans. The establishment is located at 115 W North Street Kinston, NC .

The Feral Cats are on tap for entertainment at North Street Pub & Eatery tonight. They were one of the first bands that rocked the event, with their good offering of fun rock-based blues music. Tonight they will offer a few sets that serve up the songs you love. Music starts at 9 pm and this show is free.

~ Pause for the Cause ~



Promise Place Barn Bash is quickly approaching. This is an annual event in its fourth year, taking place at the Batten Farm on Old Airport Road. The money raised from this night of fun is used for funding our areas only sexual assault resources agency, Promise Place, located at 1401 Park Ave., New Bern, NC , serving the communities of Craven, Jones and Pamlico Counties.

Tickets for the event are for adults 21 and over and there is a limited number of tickets available. The price for this rocking great night, complete with local country grooves, is $50.00. They feed you and provide wine and beer. Capping off the night for a second year will be the tallest man in country music, and a huge hero in my heart for how he finds time for great causes often, CMA Artist and Nine North Nashville Recording artist Bryan Mayer. Bryan headlined the event for the Second Annual Barn Bash and this year he makes his return with new music to keep you dancing.

Please mark your calendars for Saturday, September 9, 2017 to join Promise Place and Bryan Mayer as they raise money for local victims affected by sexual assault. Please visit their website for more details about their work and this event. Their website for more details…


For the cool folks around the beach looking for the Bryan Mayer Band this weekend, be sure to check them out tonight at Jack’s Waterfront Bar in Morehead City. Music starts at 10 pm and they groove you til the morning hours. Tomorrow night they are on the other end of the Crystal Coast, rocking Salt Bar in Emerald Isle. They welcome you at 9 and get to groovin you by 10 pm.



~ Jammin’ For Big Jim ~

I got news that just about broke me this week. Big Jim Kohler is up against the fight of his life. This guy is a monster in my heart and not the scary kind either. He moved my soul so much when I met him, we have been friends from the first song he played to my listening ears.

Life is a funny thing. No one knows the battles we have to do in order to get through this life. Big Jim has known his share of fights with this life, but his biggest war has been with the bottle and it is war that the bottle has been winning.  I won’t even sugar coat this story because it is very serious and yet there might be some content in the true description of Jim’s story, that might help change another person’s direction in this life.

My blues brother Jim is an alcoholic. It has been a problem in his life for more than just a little while. It is one of those problems none of us know how to tackle, especially for another person. Sometimes life forces us to take a closer look at our stock closet and allows us to rearrange the way we have been living. This recently happened to Kohler when on Monday he called for an ambulance. He thought his chest pains might have been a heart attack. When he arrived, they learned he had pneumonia. A few hours into his stay his body started reacting violently to the lack of alcohol and he suffered a seizure. Today he is resting comfortably in Carolina East Hospital, where he cannot receive any visitors. Currently Big Jim is in a medically induced coma to help him detox from the alcohol.

IT is expected that he will remain this way through the weekend and possibly longer. Once he is strong enough to be released from the hospital he will enter a rehab where the hard work will begin for our sweet friend. This is going to be a long road for this man. He has physical ailments that need attention and some of those ailments might require surgery for his hand and his knees. Big Jim has no medical insurance and will not be able to work for the near future.

The last time I saw him, he and his wife were playing at The Harvey Mansion and my pal did not look good. When he went on break I went and sat with him to talk. He said to me plainly,  “I just want to live to see my next birthday.”  Pain was etched in his words and they touched my heart so deeply I prayed immediately as I placed my arm on him. Kohler’s 50th birthday is one week from today and I pray everyday that he lives to see it.

Currently I am talking to many people about organizing a campaign that offers a series of events that will help fund this family through this difficult time. On Sunday afternoon I will be holding my first committee meeting at The Harvey Mansion from 5-8 pm. There is a special reason I am planning these events there…Jim’s musical brother from another mother Justin Castellano will be on the patio offering the sweet guitar sounds I love to hear. I want to make sure Castellano gets in on this as well as everyone else who knows this family and is willing to help. That is why the meeting is a gaping three hours…to give people time and flexibility.

This first meeting is a planning and development meeting that will start a foundation for Jim Kohler. Also we will organize many events for this campaign. I will ask music makers, business owner, venues operators and anyone else who loves music and our local blues guitar God, Jim Kohler. So please stop out to be a part of this initial meeting of the minds.

I have faith in prayer and I have an army of talent willing to rock for a great cause. Having said that, I am doing everything in my powers to ensure Jim will awake to know he has an army of love and support pulling for him and helping him celebrate his next year. Hopefully many more in a sobering fashion! This is the cause Tracey Stones Productions will gladly support and back with all of the time and energy it take to help this family and my friends, The Kohlers.

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Getting Down Around Town ~ New Bern


Starting things off, where I will wrap up my weekend with music we find Paul Picard, live tonight on the patio at Harvey Mansion Circa 1810 Restaurant & Bar. Located at 221 S Front St., New Bern, NC. They offer live music under the tent each Friday and Saturday from 8-11 pm and on Sunday’s each week from 5-8 pm. On the menu this weekend are three talent stringers. Tonight we feature the local tunes of Picard. Tomorrow we welcome Raleigh’s own Jake Potter to the stage for his second performance and on Sunday as mentioned above we have the coastal talent of Justin Castellano on display for the dinner crowd.


Live tonight at The Thirsty Bruin Craft Beer & Wine Store you can enjoy some great local beer and the homegrown talent of Wick Wickine, live from 8-10:30 pm. Located at 224 Middle St., New Bern NC, this establishment offers live music each Friday night for your after work week enjoyment. This show is free, but feel free to tip the music makers you see here.



Another show that will be taking place on Middle Street is happening at The Red Shoe Gallery. It features Andrea and Phil Owens who will perform their eclectic mix of jazz, jazzy show tunes and originals, along with keyboardist Brandon Shamar. B.Y.O.B. or enjoy a glass of ours. Please, feel free to pass a dish. Reservations Required. $20.

Call 252-670-7736. Doors open at 7:00 Show starts at 8:00



Offering up the good guitar riffs of familiar songs at The Brown Pelican this evening will be Cecil Gilken. This talented player offers everything from beach sounds to blues, classic rock to soul. Come out and wind down with a beer and sweet sounds that start at 7 pm and play til 10 pm. This show is free and this establishment, a private club…but you can be a member with your $1.00 fee and application. Located at 411 Broad Street, New Bern, NC, the dirty bird offers live music on Thursday when they host an open mic night, on Friday’s they play from 7-10 pm and on Saturdays they rock from 8-11 pm.


Live at The City Laundry, located at 901 Pollock St., New Bern, you can find a double bill of great rocking original talent featuring the Boone based sounds of Arson Daily and the New Bern born sounds of Bearfoot Monty. Doors open at 7 pm and the show starts at 8 pm. Admission for this show is $7.00 at the door.


The last option I found around the New Bern for tonight is over the confounded bridge. Live in James City it is the rocking sounds of Solid Ground. It has been a while since we saw this rockin outfit around New Bern, but they will be in town tonight to rock you right, at Triple Play located at 111 Williams Rd. New Bern, NC.

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Answering the Call

New Bern is not the only place to find music! Each week I ask where everyone is playing in the days ahead…here is what the fine folks told me this week:

22 August at 18:13

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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!

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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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