If life is about the highlights, then this is might be the blues highlight of the year for Randy McQuay. A talented stringer and singer that offers an authentic dose of delta blues, while paying homage to the greats, including the man he opened for when Blue Bus Entertainment brought a lesson, in the blues to Greenfield Lake Amphitheater, Wilmington, NC on Wednesday, May 9, 2018. He closed out his set paying tribute to the man who would grace the stage after him, legendary bluesman Buddy Guy. He offered a beautiful rendition of Guy’s “Feels Like Rain.”
McQuay is a blues player supported by the Cape Fear Blues Society. Last year McQuay won the local challenge to go to Memphis for the International Blues Competition and came home a winner of that competition as well. Since then life has remained busy for the blues stringer, who is married, in love with his life and expanding his repertoire by adding fatherhood to the journey.
To keep up with McQuay you can find him on Facebook by checking out this link:
For those that are not connected to Facebook, check out the area blues artist by visiting his website at:
McQuay keeps busy around the Wilmington area and ventures to points south. If you like delta blues, you will enjoy this guy a lot.
Just moments after the opening act cleared out and a following a few minor tune-ups, Buddy Guy and the Damn Right Blues Band came to call with one of Guy’s signature songs, “Damn Right I Got The Blues” which I captured on film for my readers.
Throughout the week, I have been telling everyone that I was either going to see or just saw BUDDY GUY. The only thing that stumps my enthusiasm is when someone says, “Who’s that?”
My goodness!!! Are you kidding me? Do you have some time to go back to school? I’d love to teach you a thing or two. I mean seriously, let’s talk.
Buddy Guy is a living legend in the blues world. There are not many left, in fact, he is definitely the last of the greats that this heart has loved. I learned his name when I fell in love with the Rolling Stones. It was in the middle of an interview on the radio with Keith Richards that first brought my attention to the slaying ax player! If I was to guess, I would say that was about 1981. I was 12 years old!
Following that introduction, I got my hands on some old recordings from the mid 60’s that featured the duo, Guy with Junior Wells. Those cassette tapes were my introduction to the blues and I was captivated. I was 13 and was still unaware that Stevie Ray Vaughan was getting ready to woodshed my soul! Here on Wednesday night, we saw Buddy Guy in his element, at his podium, poised and telling the crowd about his education in music and even gave a mention of his friends, The Rolling Stones while educating us all on the history of his journey.
I would first come study Guy closely during my days as a national blues reporter, just before the release of “LIVE! The Real Deal!” A live release featuring Guy with GE Smith and The Saturday Night Live Band. When my editor told me, I would be sitting down to meet Buddy Guy at a hotel in two weeks, it took about both weeks for me to contain myself enough just to do the interview. It was definitely one of the great highlights of my journey through the blues as a reporter. Back then he was eager to share stories of the greats he came to know on stage. And we covered them all like he still does today from the stage!
Some of my fondest memories of this blues player are 22 years old and probably well faded into the mind of this amazing man, but for me, they burn like visions of yesterday. This man sat down and spoke to me for 40 minutes in the lobby of a beautiful mid-town hotel and shared moments of his life with me and two of my friends.
Two months following that interview I would experience Buddy Guy live for the first time at Tramps in New York City. Again, these are moments that won’t ever leave my memory. I had media access and took advantage of crossing the line to get as close as I could. He was 60 years old and I was 27! I stood there in awe all night, especially when he walked through the crowd, stopped and addressed me with a sweet loving greeting! Not much has changed over the years, as I stood there again in complete amazement by the sights and sounds I was witnessing.
Through all of the moves and changes that life has thrown at me, I never lost sight of that tape or the words Guy shared with me that day. In fact, anytime I ever wanted to give up on writing and all of my dreams of capturing the stories of great music makers, I would take that tape out and restart my dream engine.
He told me about his days in school, and how different it was back then when he lived in Louisiana. We talked about how parents raise kids today and how kids report parents for bad behavior! He admitted not being a very good student and confessed how he never even learned to read music.
He preached a little about how he never gave up on playing and confessed how much life changed for him after he received a call from his friend Eric Clapton. “I know I was thinking about putting it down for a minute but then, that’s when Eric Clapton called and invited me to be a part of his 24 Night at Royal Albert Hall. That phone call changed my life.” Guy recalled. Following those shows, Guy would return ready to set the world on fire with his blues and his career has been on GO ever since! He would sign to Silvertone Records and release some of his greatest works! I can’t wait for the next one!
Steadfast in tradition, Guy still takes the time to walk through and play to the crowd. He still does this during another staple song, the title track from his 1994 release, “Slippin’ In”
If you really don’t know Buddy Guy, or if you know who he is but still have yet to experience him live, please check out his upcoming dates and go see this man perform. He will turn 82 in July and still offers a fierce and fiery show that should be experienced by all fans of music. For it is the blues where all music is based, and this man is the finest professor out there today!
Come to downtown New Bern to participate in the festivities at the local ArtWalk businesses. Downtown art galleries and restaurants stay open for extended hours and sponsor special events every second Friday of the month!
Craven Arts Council will host a reception for Fusion Poetry: Art, to include awards and performances inspired by poetry.
One of the places you can find live music tonight is Outside Blue Magnolia, 210 Middle St., New Bern, NC. Music will be offered by Alisa Mike who will serenade you in the streets from 5-8 pm
Guitarist and fingerstyle champion, Christie Lenée will be performing tonight at Trent River Coffee Company. Located at 208 Craven St., New Bern, NC. Music plays from 7-10 pm. Tickets are $16 and available at the door. She has several more shows in the days ahead as well so here is what I found on her website:
“This unique guitar work is often compared to Michael Hedges meets Joni Mitchell and Dave Matthews, delivering profound instrumental compositions with heartfelt, consciously uplifting songs. Christie Lenée’s pieces have been showcased at the NAMM Show in Anaheim in Nashville, live on National Television and Radio, on stage with artists such as Tim Reynolds (guitarist for Dave Matthews Band), Andy McKee, Amy Ray from the Indigo Girls, and Stanley Jordan to name a few. Her album “Live at the Hideaway Cafe” was one of three finalists for “Best Album of 2014” (Indie Acoustic Project Awards), including the song “Love Who You Are” nominated for a 2016 Posi Award in the category “Songs for Personal Transformation.”
Christie’s newly released album “STAY” is a collection of hopeful, inspiring songs featuring special guest Tim Reynolds on the title track “Stay,” “Sun Shines Through” and “Journey of My Own”. The album also contains 3 instrumental pieces produced by the legendary and Multi-Grammy Award Winning Producer Will Ackerman (founder of Windham Hill Records). These glorious instrumental pieces vary, from “Soaring Over Glacier Bay” with 27 cellos and a symphonic essence, to “Sunset Rebirth” with a bamboo flute, and the simplicity of “Sweet Little Piece” on the 12 string Soprano Veillette Guitar.
The title track “Stay” shines a bright light on suicide awareness and prevention. Christie’s message is that every person is special and has something unique to contribute to this world. “I intend to translate to the listener that it’s okay to go through rough times. In those moments when you feel like running… whether from a job, a relationship, or running from life itself… Take a breath. Stay, and know that there is another way. You’re the only one who can be you.” – Christie Lenée
The new album “Stay” was released on October 1st and will be followed by expansive touring in the US, Australia, Asia, Canada and Europe in 2017.
For more check out her website at:
Inside and out music will play at Black Beard’s tonight!
On the deck outside tonight, it’s The Monterio Experience with Eric Monteiro and friends giving up the grooves that funk ou from 7-10 pm. Following their good time grooves on the outside, come inside to enjoy the music of EG Peters Band from 10 pm until 1 am.
Black Beard’s Triple Play is located on S. Front St., New Bern, NC.
Tonight at the Brown Pelican located at 411 Broad St., New Bern, Nc we find Folks Journal offering a night of local artists. Music plays tonight for free from 7-10 pm. This monthly installment features Aaron Davenport and Kelsey Barnard!
Local Artist Spotlight is a new feature at The Brown Pelican every ArtWalk Friday! (2nd Friday of each month)
Live on the patio under the moon and stars at Circa 1810 Bar & Restaurant at The Harvey Mansion, 221 S Front St., New Bern, NC it is local favorite Hank Barbee and The Dust Parade. They will give up their best selections while you enjoy the night of music and good food tonight. The show is free and starts at 8 pm with music being served until 11 pm.
Backseat Romeo brings his song selections to BrUtopia 1201 Highway 70 East, New Bern, NC this evening with music playing from 7-10 pm. Along with the fun sounds of Ed Prophet, you can enjoy the freshly brewed beer, and grab a bite to eat too thanks to Three Kings Food Truck, on-site to serve you tonight.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Directed by Keith Boyd
Produced by Nancy Hitchcock & Jessie Moore
May 4, 5, 11, 12, 18 & 19 at 7:30 pm
May 6 & 13 at 2 pm
Orchestra – Advanced: $20, Door: $22, Students & Active Duty Military w/ ID: $12,
Balcony – Advanced: $17, Door: $19, Students & Active Duty Military w/ ID: $10, (plus tax).
An infamous tale, Sweeney Todd, an unjustly exiled barber, returns to nineteenth-century London, seeking vengeance against the lecherous judge who framed him and ravaged his young wife. The road to revenge leads Todd to Mrs. Lovett, a resourceful proprietress of a failing pie shop, above which, he opens a new barber practice. Mrs. Lovett’s luck sharply shifts when Todd’s thirst for blood inspires the integration of an ingredient into her meat pies that has the people of London lining up… and the carnage has only just begun!
Tickets can be purchased by calling 252-633-0567 or by stopping by 412 Pollock Street T-F 10 am to 4 pm. The theatre box office window will open starting 1 hour prior to the start of the performance for walk-up sales only. Tickets can also be purchased online by visiting www.newberncivictheatre.org/current-production.
Hoppy Hour this Friday: flights of Legion Brewery from Charlotte. Urban Street Eats serving dinner & Music by Pure T starts at 7 pm. Enjoy the Biergarten. Dog Welcome, Kids until 7 pm. Harrika’s Brew Haus is located at 911 Cedar Point Blvd., Cedar Point, NC. Come celebrate the weekend with live music and fresh air and good beer!
Crystal Coast Brewing Company welcomes Little Cecil tonight for the live music offering. This classic rock stringer offers a good mix of tunes that will have you grooving tonight at the beach! CCBC is located at 219 West Fort Macon Road, Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. Live music is offered from 7-10 pm.
Over the causeway, we go to Morehead City and see that there is a pianist scheduled to perform at Promise Land Market this evening. Come enjoy the chops of Alex tonight as he tickles the ivories from 8:30 pm until 10:30 pm. PLM is located at 909 B Arendell Ave, Morehead City, NC.
Heading over the bridge again, we work out way into Beaufort and find New Bern’s own John Van Dyke and Blue Moon Jazz live tonight at Cru Bar and Wine Store / Beaufort Coffee Shop, 120 Turner St., Beaufort, NC. Music is free and offered from 8-11 pm.
Genre-defying Americana rock roots band Milagro Saints (out of Raleigh NC) is currently recording their latest album “signs” To be released spring 2018 on moon caravan records
The 6 piece band of multi-instrumentalists is the perfect match for evoking the wide-ranging writing of lead singer-songwriter SD Ineson.
The 9 tracks on the album cover flavors of Dylanesque folk-rock ragged swampy blues stomps, cosmic Americana ballads, 70’s style pop rock, And funky improvised extended workouts (think Stevie Winwood’s Traffic) With instrumentation featuring lap steel, trombone, accordion, & Hammond organ, spread over a guitar-based roots rock foundation.
These guys make a lot of noise in their practice room!!
Tonight they will be on stage at The Blue Note Grill located at 709 Washington St., Durhan, NC. The show starts at 9 pm but all are encouraged to come early for some great eats!
I will actually be back tomorrow with more on this venue and a jam I visited last week.
The 8th Annual Carolina Strawberry Festival is on schedule for major FUN! Friday night, join us for the Strawberry Jam from 6-11! One price for Midway carnival rides, Free music and entertainment from the local Johnson Boys, Band of Oz, Teen Festival; BBQ Cook-off, Wings & more, Beer & Wine Garden, Strawberry vendors, etc. Then on
Saturday we do it all again….and add vendors, 5k, fair food, helicopter rides, Knights in Shining Armor, Dare Devil Dog Show, Classic Car Show, Little Miss Strawberry Pageant, BBQ Sandwiches and Strawberry Shortcake, Beer & Wine Garden, FREE music from Harvey Dalton Arnold and the Polar Bear Blues Band…TrainWreck…All My Rowdy Friends Hank Williams Jr Tribute Band, and Chocolate Chip & Company Band off the strand at Myrtle Beach! Get ready to dance, play and party!!!!
Learn more at http://
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
Thanks so much for sharing your events for everyone interested in rocking around the state with me in support of live music.
Here are all the great music options I found for you on Facebook. Check out all of the events here and express interest in the ones you like.
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 that said, confirming with the venue is always the safest route.
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 to follow. You will receive an email each time we publish.
I appreciate my readers, the musicians for sharing their days off working hard for us, and the venues who open their doors and build stages and dance spaces for our happy feet to celebrate and support local music.
Thank you to each of you doing your 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 that I count on, 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 the love. Don’t forget that life is short and could end in a moment. Hug the ones you love and enjoy the dance.
Party safely my 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!
Thanks for reading!!!
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