Last week I was invited to Earl Jones Music School in Jacksonville, NC where I met with John Jones to learn more about the place that has been inspiring and teaching people how to play music since 1975. Located on Center Street, this warehouse studio is run by the founder’s son. Raised around music is whole life, he got serious about making it a profession about 20 years ago when he came on board to teach full time.
They offer lessons to kids, teens, adults and seniors because it never too late to pick up and play. They teach all genres, styles and techniques including: country, bluegrass, rock, christian, blues, jazz and classical. Whatever your pleasure, they can teach you how to lay it down.
What caught my attention was the true compassion I felt from Jones when it comes to teaching the students, not only how to play, but an interest in showing them the ropes of the business itself. We agreed in conversation that so many bands focus on learning their set lists and getting the music down, but there is so much more to it than compiling and learning the set list that you are going to give to the people. And so often, bands are not ready for the harsh realities of the live music scene; because unfortunately it is not all glitz and glamour like they show us on television. Often when taking the road of becoming a lifetime music maker places you front and center in the School of Hard Knocks and most are not prepared for the realities of it all.
Jones is also passionate about the community connection that comes with music and puts together concert opportunities for the students of the school. He helps to keep the community informed about music with a segment on Raeford Brown Show on Thunder Country 96.3 FM. His segment is called Music Mondays and I attached a clip of last week’s show. Music Mondays Basically Jones helps to lighten the Monday morning mood, plays a few tunes and talks about the music around our area. I told him it would be great if we could work out a quick call in with me to tell folks what is coming up in the Zone each week. Nothing better than joining forces with people who share similar passions.
All in all I had a great visit checking out a place I might never know existed if it were not for my urge to know who is playing where and when! If you live or work in the Jacksonville area give them a call and set yourself on a path to playing. The phone number is 910-353-6633. You can check out their web site at http://earljonesmusicschool.com// or find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Earl-Jones-Music-School-136044582061/?pnref=lhc
Fun times were found all over the city streets of New Bern on Friday for Art Walk/Crawl Nothing more exciting than live music filling the streets, nnd finding support of local artists everywhere. How nice that it is becoming a natural part of New Bern’s cultural traditions. Pictured below are the works of two artists on display at The City Laundry on Pollock Street. They will have their grand opening next week. Look for details in this week’s installment of NC’s BEST Live Music Regional Rundown!
With never knowing where I am going or what I am doing, until I am in the thick of things, we started off at the Deck Party at The Double Tree. See, that way parking is convenient and we can all congregate for a cocktail to map out our unknown plans. (Photos Below)
On Friday’s you can enjoy the sounds of CK Entertainment spinning your favorite dance and beach music favorites. After leaving there on Friday, June 8th we strolled up Middle Street and happened upon a trio of groovers at Bern Square. (Photo below) I enjoy young fun talent.
From there I could hear the bellowing blues of Kathleen Kolher calling me down to The Black Cat Shoppe where she and her husband Big Jim Kohler. Have a little listen of this duo and you will celebrate the blues!
From there we shuffled on over to the corner of Front and Middle Street to grab a bite from the food truck in the Beer Garden outside BTM. We enjoyed our burgers and fries while listening to the talented sounds of Wick Wickline who jammed from 6-9 PM. (Photos above).
Our next stop brought us to The Brown Pelican which featured two great shows for the ArtCrawl. First up was rocking folk sounds of Dan Phillips with Al Gleeson from 5:30-8:00 followed by James Ford (Photos above) who closed out the night with has cool versions of known classics, including a few of my favorite dance standards, like Wagon Wheel and Everyday I Have The Blues, for examples.
Heading back up Middle Street we popped in on Rick Huff (Photo below) helping all the fine folks at The Thirsty Bruin enjoy a great night of craft beer, tasty wine and fine music.
Our final stop for the night brought us down Pollock Street to have a sneak preview of The City Laundry set to open next week. We enjoyed the gallery set up, the warm feel of the coffee shop and the nice set up for live music which will be a feature here for each ArtWalk/Crawl. On Friday we were treated tot he smooth jazz sounds of Casablanca. (Photos below) These New Bern players are professors at their craft and it is always enjoyable to hear them work their magic together.The trio features Tom Spelling on guitar, Glenn Druhot on drums and percussion and Simon Spalding on violin, mandolin and more than a trio of other string instruments.
If have never been around town during the second Friday of the month, consider this your formal invitation to check out our talented little big town!
On Saturday, June 11, we started at The Double Tree again so to hear the rocking sounds of Little Cecil & No Credit. (Photos above)
This four piece rockin’ blues band hails from Beaufort and were the featured entertainment for the afternoon live music on the deck That is a regular thing each Saturday from 2:30-5:30 PM.Next Saturday offer the grooves of The Pamlico Sound Machine.
From here we headed to Washington to check out their annual Summer Fest. We walked the streets and enjoyed all the great smells of fair foods and the sounds of kids laughing and enjoying the rides. Don’t forget this great little town offers live music in the streets each month from now until October. With water all around, it is a beautiful place to enjoy a quick getaway.
Next up, we headed over to Backwater Jack’s Tiki Bar & Grill to grab a bite to eat and enjoy the rocking rhythms of COTTON AND THE CWT BAND. They played many blues standards and mixed in fun classics along the way for the rockers that enjoyed the night air and cool cocktails. This five piece band offer a fat sound complete with harmonica, percussion, a strong rhythm section and two talented players with six strings. They hail from Raleigh and can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/243490949144836/?ref=br_tf
On our way into town I happened to notice the sign of The VIP Club in Chocowinity, NC and it stated that Billy Lyerly Band was live. So, of course when the music stopped at Jacks, I asked the entourage if they’s like to stop in and say hi to Bill? AND, of course they did!!
I was glad to we stopped because Lyerly introduced me to Jimmy the new owner of the club. (Photo above) He took over the place about ten months ago and is happy to keep focus on live music. We will being hearing more about who is ahead in the Regional Rundown.
Well folks that about finishes the recap of my shenanigans this weekend. Hope you come back on Wednesday to plan out the weekend ahead! Peace and love and thanks for sharing this dance!