We Visit Oriental, New Bern and Swansboro for Music Fun

On the Scene With Tracey Stones


There were many good times to be had last weekend and I found a few worth talking about on my journey of chasing music. Not only was there music here in town, but also it was found in a few coastal towns along the way, as well. In fact, I kicked things off in Oriental and closed things out in Swansboro, NC.

Pickin’ the Blues and Pouring Brews and Raising Funds

We start things off where we last left off. Which means on Saturday afternoon, it was off to Oriental where Big Jim Kohler offered his blues for the school! Pamlico Community College Foundation hosted a fundraiser at The New Village Brewery, where they poured pints and raised money throughout the day for future scholarships, for the students attending the community continuing education center.

Many turned out to enjoy the free pizza, home-brewed beer, and good blues. Inside they had a room set up with items for a silent auction. They offered artwork, posters paintings and so much more.

Before the night ended Foundation president, Michelle Noevere offered a few words about the importance of the Foundations work, in providing funds for books and supplies to students in need. Also speaking on behalf of the work done by the foundation was a student benefiting from the scholarship.

Mid Week Blues Is Now a Thing

As for Big Jim and his blues, the man has been staying busy since his recovery from a serious bout with pneumonia last year, that sobered the six string player right up! After boozing and bluesin’ for a lifetime, the song maker is now sharing his blues with a sober mind, a gleam in his eyes. With each show, Kohler openly shares the mastery of his craft with grace and flow.

Today the Big Jim Kohler Band is Big Jim on guitar and vocals, his wife, Kathy Kohler offering vocals,  Chris Buttita on bass and Tom Parker on drums. They have been working out songs since they came together this past Summer and seem to have a lot of fun picking the blues together!

You can come and check out the band each Wednesday night at City Stage, 901 B Pollock St, New Bern, NC. Moving forward the band will be opening each Wednesday evening with a two-hour dinner set from 7-9 pm. Following the dinner show, the open jam will begin. Opening the stage to all friends and players that enjoy jamming with Jim, this is your invitation to joining the Big man in the weeks ahead.

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Marron Chaplin Debuts at City Stage

When I got back to town last week, I headed over to check in with Marron Chaplin. She was setting up for her debut show at the City Stage. So I wanted to be on hand to go live when she got started, in the hopes that more people would come to see her performance.

For those who are not familiar with the NYC based player with a strong voice and guitar skills to match, she is currently calling New Bern home base and is enjoying life as a mom to her young daughter. These days the singer-songwriter spends her days at home, enjoying her daughter and learning new music. Her days of taking time off from music are coming to an end, as the new mom is ready to roll with more new music for her awaiting fans.

You can support the artist by checking out her latest recording project. One she is happy to personalize for you, her fan! To read more and sign up to support her music follow this link:

Support Local Artist ~ Marron Chaplin

I presented the music maker with a challenge a few weeks ago, which she graciously accepted. Tomorrow night she will be offering a two-hour program of Carly Simon music during a performance at Bank of the Arts. Tickets for the show at $20 for member and $25 for non-members. To get your tickets; follow this link:


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Stairwell Heats Up the Deck with Hot Rock Music!

We learned one good way to beat the early cold weather blues, is to get rocked! This is exactly what happened last weekend when Stairwell set up on the deck at Blackbeard’s Triple Play for their show on Saturday night. With temps dipping down to the 40’s it was a challenge for the band but the fans rocking with them made it worth the effort.

Stairwell has New Bern roots, with original member and lead singer Jeremy Monette standing at the helm of the band. But really, their story started and developed in Greenville, NC. They have been rocking the scene for more than a decade and still get excited to bring the rock music for all to enjoy! Stairwell was founded by Jamie Rawls and Mark Richardson in 2007. Mark decided to take a leave of absence from the to pursue personal interests.

Currently, the band offers the talents of  founding members Jamie Rawls guitar, and vocals; original member Monette, on point with the lead vocals,  drummer Jeremiah Shawn Pierce, who has been offering the beats since 2015, Fred Watkins on bass, who joined the band in June 2017 and coming on board this Spring,  Jason Lawing on guitar.

Besides offering familiar songs that run the gamut from rock to pop to hard rock to funk, the band also offers a great variety of original tunes that truly help them shine as a band. They will be rocking the fans in Washington next. Mark the calendars for their appearance at Market Street Pub on November 30, 2018. Music rocks from 10 pm until 2 am.

For those looking to keep up with the band, support them and learn more be sure to visit their website at


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3rd Degree Bern Rocks the Dirty Bird

Bouncing around town makes the night the most fun. So following my fun times with Stairwell at Blackbeards, I headed over to The Brown Pelican to check in with Third Degree Bern. As one might note by the name, they are a New Bern based cover band offering the fun rock, pop, and blues hits that everyone knows and loves. Rounding out their sounds are local stringers Brian McDowell offering lead guitar and vocals, Tom Davis plays guitar an offers the lead on vocals, Chris Morden plays bass and holding the sticks is Rich Diemetre on drums. For friends and fans of the band, you can find them rocking Taberna Country Club on December 6, 2018. Save the date and get ready to rock into the holiday season with this fun quartet.

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Soothing Music at Mullet Fest

I had a Sunday morning brunch meeting at The Church Street Deli, Pub, and Inn located on Church St., Swansboro, NC.  While I was there I got to enjoy the music offerings of Robert Gasperson. This young pianist is a classically trained player and vocalist who is looking to branch out a bit more. With composing on his mind, the singer-songwriter is looking forward to making his own music as the days unfold.

He already offers a full variety of cover songs to fill hours of sets lists for shows. He is available for hire for anyone in need of music for their club, private party, wedding or special celebration. I first met Gasperson at a showcase performance for The Earl Jones School of Music where Gasperson is a student. It was a nice way to welcome the day, listening to familiar music coupled with good food and excellent company.

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First Stop James City!


Checking in with our friends at BrÜtopia, located at 1201 Highway 70 E, New Bern, NC: Tonight you can come out and enjoy the sounds of  Caffeinated Soul Boogie. This is a fun band with original music and familiar favorites. Come to show your support for the local artists rocking out the sceneTomorrow night it is the acoustic sounds of the talented Irish Robinson, who is on his way to becoming a dad this week. What a great thing to celebrate. Be sure to congratulate the music maker when he comes to town tomorrow. As always, the music is free, the beer is fresh and the weekend awaits. Come out and celebrate! Music is served from 7-10 pm.


Thirsty Bruin Tonight

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On stage tonight offering the music at The Thirsty Bruin, 224 Middle St., New Bern, NC will be Tommy Duzan Sr. He will be offering songs from 8-10:30 pm. This show is free for all, but please feel free to tip your bartenders as well as the entertainment on tap to rock you.


The Brown Pelican


The Brown Pelican, 411 Broad St., opens it’s doors to local acts each week. Live music kicks off each Thursday with open mic. Sign up at 7 pm and music starts at 8 pm… All are welcome. On Friday they welcome awesome acoustic acts in, to entertain the crowd. On Saturdays, the bar is always rocking with the areas hottest bands. Tonight it is the local stringer and singer Kristie Lynn offering songs from 7-10 pm.

Tomorrow night, come early and take a pause for the cause courtesy of GEM Productions. Carolina Lily Fest 2018 kicks off at 5 pm, with New Bern’s family band Strung Together offering the opening set. Following their set, Mandy Mears plays at 6:15; followed by Sometimes Lions  7:15 pm. Batts come calling at 8:15 and closing out the night will be the music of the incredibly talented Crystal Bright. 

Along with all of the great entertainment, there will be a silent auction and a place to make donations for Coastal Women’s Shelter during this holiday season. Please come out and show your support and help this worthy organization help others in our community!


Blackbeard’s Triple Play


Blackbeard’s Triple Play Restaurant, 415 S Front St, offers live music each Friday and Saturday night on the deck. Tonight you can party right into the weekend with the fun vibes of Spare Change, offering the music and will be on stage rocking you starting at 7:00 pm. Tomorrow night it will be Push Play bringing the fun vibes. For more info please reach out and call the club at 252-635-0322.

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Cruising The Coast

Morehead City, NC

According to their Facebook Page, here is what is happening this weekend at Jack’s Waterfront Bar, located at 513 Evans St., Morehead City:

~Friday, November 16th~
OPEN at 4 pm
Made to order brick oven pizza will be available starting at 8 pm
Music by the Side Trac band tonight starting at 10 pm 🎶

~Saturday, November 17th~
OPEN at 12noon
Enjoy our wood-fired pizza starting at 8 pm
Live music by Rural Route Romance starts at 10 pm 🎸

~Sunday, November 18th~
OPEN at 12noon for Sunday Funday ☀️
Brick oven pizza available starting at 2 pm

Friendly reminders: Everyone must be 21 and over starting at 9 pm and there is a $10 minimum on credit cards.


Beaufort, NC

The Cru Bar and Wine Store/ Beaufort Coffee Shop features the music of Blue Moon Jazz. For those who love the soothing sounds of jazz and fun show tuns, come out and celebrate the blues and jazz of this fun band. Music starts at 8:30 pm. This show is free, but please feel free to tip the music makers.


Swansboro, NC


Tonight at Boro Restaurant  & Bar you can enjoy the sounds that soothe you with music being offered from 8-11 pm tonight courtesy of New Bern’s own Ed Prophet. He will sing songs that make you fall in love with the weekend and maybe even your date. Come early for the good food and stay late for the romance and music.


Cedar Point, NC


Seth and Sara Brand will be at the Treehouse Beer Company this evening. Offering the live music from 7-10 pm. This is a touring act, featuring the music of Seth Brand, an original singer-songwriter out of St. Louis, MO. Come out and show your love while they are in town. Enjoy a beer in the garden and kick back while enjoying a new artist.


Checking Out the Gardens in Newport


Carolina Home & Garden has been offering live music in the garden for years each Thursday evening. A few months ago they expanded their music offerings and started serving up sounds on Fridays too.

This week you can enjoy the Swansboro based duo, Wild Honey offering the tunes from 6:30-9:30 tonight. This fun duo offers familiar songs and blends a few originals in the mix. Come to show your support and dance in the garden tonight.


Rocking Around The Region


Huntersville, NC


Abe Reid brings his blues to the Hunter House and Garden Circa 1913 located in Huntersville, NC. Music plays from 7-10 pm with blues being the only special on the menu tonight. If you have yet to hear and see this talented player, I promise this is a great way to step into the weekend.

This amazing player hails from Statesville, NC and plays his “savory old-school blues whipped into sweaty, gritty, steady-rocking, party-down, musical dynamite,” all over the region. To dig on his blues check out his page Abe Reid & The Spikedrivers on facebook and then visit his website!



Raleigh, NC


It is a double bill of great grooves tonight in Raleigh, NC, Offering a good mix of funk and jam band blends, it should be a great time with the Asheville-based Dr. Bacon and the Downeast area’s own, Mac n Juice Quartet bringing the show to the stage at The Pour House Music Hall. This show kicks off at 8 pm with tickets ranging from $7.50 to $10. To get your ticket you can follow this link:  tickets or pay at the door.



There is lots of exciting news coming out of the Bryan Mayer camp this week. First and foremost the country artist with roots just released his next big hit, which you can check out today.  “Crazy In Love,” is available for download at Spotify, CD Baby, Amazon, iTunes. To check it out on YouTube follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qbtLgXjFPg.

Also adding to the music news excitement is the fact that his first hit, “This Is Me.” was picked up by Sound Choice to be added to their extensive Karaoke catalog. To celebrate this milestone, the singer-songwriter will be making an appearance tonight in Raleigh to help kick off the new karaoke offering. It is all happening tonight at Brickhouse of Raleigh.

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Durham, NC


On stage tonight at The Blue Note Grill, it is the winner of the Triangle Blues Society Challenge, Chicken Shack. This gospel-infused blues band offers a high energy show that will keep people on their feet and bopping on the dance floor tonight. There is a music charge of $8.00 payable at the door. Music starts at 9 pm but I encourage you to come early for the great food and stay late for the awesome music.


Kinston, NC


North Street LIVE offers the fun and good time music with Dueling Pianos tonight, Here again, I suggest heading there early to grab a bite to eat then stay late to enjoy the music. The Dueling Pianos entertain crowds everywhere they go. If you have not caught a show yet, you are out of excuses tonight Kinston, NC. Come out tonight to see what the fun is all about with music starting at 9 pm and playing until the midnight hour.

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TrainWreck will be rocking the grooves at The Red Room this evening. They get the party started at 10 pm with music playing until closing at 2 am. Come have a good time as we dance into the weekend tonight. The Red Room is located at 220 Herritage St., Kinston, NC. There is s $5.00 music charge payable upon entry.

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Havelock, NC


North Carolina Country Superstar, David Lee Jones will bring his award-winning band to Havelock tonight to rock em at Jean’s. Music plays from 10 pm until 2 am. The rocking country star has a long list of songs that he has written and a set full of songs that he compliments when he offers them to his audience. If you love country music you will have a fun time boot scootin’ in Havelock tonight.

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Answering the Call

Checking things out around the rest of the region, I ask my Facebook followers each week where we can go to hear them play. This is what they said this week

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Facebook Events Link

Here are all the great music options 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 on Facebook

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Do You Like Live Music Videos? Check out my Live Stream Page on Facebook

Tracey Stones Live on Facebook


Thanks for Reading!

Please go out and support live music tonight!  Always call the club in advance to confirm what you read here is true. Many times events change without anyone updating the changes publically.

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, the music makers that rock you! Be sure to hug people often and share the love.  Make sure you take time to enjoy the dance. Please party safely people! We love having you here with us! Rely on your sober friends, call a cab or sign up to Uber around town tonight!

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