Singing and Dancing at Jams Throughout the Week

This Music Business… Class Is In

I have been in business for myself for as long as I have called Carolina my home! I am dedicated to the cause of connecting people to live music so to support the scene!


Band Business Development 

Once you decide that you are going to approach your band like a business, the next step is to figure out what your needs are so that you know how much you need to earn to meet those needs. Many performers forget a few key expenses in this equation. The biggest might be forgetting to charge a reasonable hourly rate for their time.

The time equation is very important since there is more to this than most people see. When accounting for your time, you have to charge something for your road time, office time, as well as the performance. The other thing you need to add into to the mix of the expenses, beyond the cost of your equipment, is the cost of maintaining that equipment as well. Plus don’t forget the essentials that also add up like strings, picks, batteries, tune-ups and more.

All Aboard this Crazy Train!

Now then, once you account for what you need and what you need to charge to meet your needs, you then have to establish how many other people will this project support. Remember, everyone who is on board is in the same boat and their needs are just as important to the equation. So take the time to add up how much time is vested in the project per player and find out what the total needs are. Do not let that bottom line scare you. It is important to see that nuts and bolts of the operation on paper. It is the first step in setting your financial goals.

Always Set Goals and Assign Roles

As mentioned in yesterday’s blog, this endeavor is always a team effort. Even if you are a solo act, you need a team to carry you to the next level. Many serious players often fall back on the solo gig because running the business parts of the operation become easier to manage when flying solo. Many bands mates tend to forget or get sidetracked after the plans of going full time are initiated. It is important to keep on task and meet often, so that all the team members are on the same page. Communication is key to the success of this operation.

How? Who? How Much? To Who?

Here are some important discussions to have. Will the band be self-managed? Will they do in house promotions only? Who will pick up the cost of promotional items, such as an EPK for the band? These are all important conversations that serve bands better when discussed upfront. Don’t be afraid to discuss the money portion of this job, if that is what you intend for your project to be. And everyone must be accountable for their positions. The more you meet and plan for your success, the more likely you will reach your goals. These meetings can be held during rehearsal. If the band does not rehearse, it might be wise to secure day jobs as well for the brightest outcome! CLASS DISMISSED!


On The Scene With Tracey Stones

It is always nice to run into sweet friends and happy faces! Tracey Stones on the scene with Shannon Naber!


Monday Brought the Blues

It was another fun start to the week with Big Jim Kohler Blues Band working out their blues at The Brown Pelican. We started this weekly tradition at the start of February and the fun and excitement continue each Monday, with new slingers showing up to impress the blues master. Music starts at 7 pm with a band set, then it closes out with an hour-long jam of guest players. If you have not been, be sure to join us this week.


Tuesday Offered A Mix Bag At Open Mic in Beaufort


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It is always a great time when I attend the Cru Bar & Wine Store/Beaufort Coffee Shop’s open mic, which is hosted by the lovely and talented Tiffany Elaine. The singer-songwriter does so much to support live and local music along the Crystal Coast where she roams.

For many months she has been hosting open mic on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. But last week the entertainer added a couple of new open mics added to the regular itinerary, and will now be offering open mic at Cru on the opposing weeks. Which mean she will be there again this Tuesday, promoting the many that come out to support her.

I always get to meet new players at this open mic at the Crystal Coast. Located in Beaufort, NC we meet tourists and newly relocated souls seeking out like-minded, music sharing folks to share time and songs with. Last week was no exception, as we met a few travelers and many locals jammers too. The open mic starts at 8 pm and all are welcome to perform. Each act is allowed three songs or 15 minutes under the bright lights.  

Talent Unleashed

This week I had the pleasure of listening to Steve Mehan open the night with his original works. Mehan is a part of Elaine’s band Now or Never and just one of the talents songwriters that is a part of that union. Next up was Jimbo followed by Fernando Rivera, who shared some pieces of his soul. Empty Baggies offered a drug-infused set while Now or Never uplifted the spirits of listeners. Ashton Ward graced our stage and John Durham also got a shot at sharing the stage. Closing out the night was the fun band Smoke n Oakem! A couple of players from that band offered a shot of solo works, as well they included sax man Dakota Newman and bass man Hank who shreds notes on a six-string also.

Tiffany’s Corner

Tiffany Elaine has added two new open mic nights to her monthly calendar. First up she announced “Guys! We have a new place to jam on the Tuesdays we aren’t at Cru! Come check out the K Club at Brandywine Bay in Morehead City, NC.  It’s absolutely gorgeous, they have great food and great drink prices. See you on May 7!” Also new in the mix is Open Mic Wednesdays At The Carolina Wine Mixer ! and that gets underway on May 8, 2019! 


When she is not hosting open mic nights she is booking and promoting her band Now or Never. Today the band has two gigs, including a show at Humphrey Farm at press time today and tonight it is Now Or Never & Tiffany Elaine @ Pour Haus Pub For Dogwood Fest Music starts at 10 pm. To keep up with her band visit their Facebook Page Now Or Never.


Wednesday Welcomed A Birthday Blues Jam


On Wednesday it was Big Jim and a Birthday celebration at The City Stage for our friend April Sunshine. The night included some great blues, good grooves, close friends and CUPCAKES! Homemade chocolate treats came courtesy of the camera-shy photographer that snapped the above picture of the birthday girl Deborah Shillito. This is another weekly offering that not only shares the traditions of that good blues music, but welcomes players to the stage to jam as well. Music plays from 7-9 pm each Wednesday at the City Stage, 901 B Pollock St., New Bern.


Thursday Kept Us Bouncing About Town

Mad Fiddling For Supper


The Mad Fiddler, Jason Addams was back in town and sharing songs with those that gathered in the Piano Bar upstairs at Captain Ratty’s Seafood and Steakhouse. They started offering live music each Thursday in February and it is a nice addition to the weekly music calendar. If you have been missing the music and you missed the Mad Fiddler, the good news is that there is live music offered each week and the talent of Addams is on display once a month for all to enjoy.  For those that can’t wait until next month, look for him this Thursday jamming tunes from 6-9 pm at Salty Turtle Beer Company


2019 Spring Fair Kicks Off with the Blues



Big Jim Kohler Band welcomed all those that come out to the opening night at the Craven Jaycees 2019 Spring Fair, at the Craven County Fairgrounds on Thursday evening. Gates opened at 6 pm and the music started at 7 pm. The fair is in town until next Sunday, May 5, 2019. 


Last night they were going to host the popular local act Joe Brown and The Band, but that show was canceled due to inclement weather. Given that announcement, the band has been rescheduled for next Friday, May 3, 2019. Tickets are $5 at the gate and you can buy bands to ride the rides all day for just $20.00.


Back on My Big Jim Soapbox

We All Love Him!

Have you met my blues brother, Big Jim? This guy is the real deal when it comes to Chicago style blues and he has a long list of songs ready to share with his fans and friends. It has been quite a ride sitting shotgun on this blues journey with this talented slinger, who not only plays the blues but lives them out like a true champion. Jim Kohler moved to ENC in 2011 and just six weeks after settling in with his family they were greeted by the rise of Irene, a Hurrican that washed through their house and washed away most of their possessions. It took them five years to recover and along the way they worked out their sorrows by sharing music with their community. They are the first band to show up at any cause and they are often there donating their time. 

We Nearly Lost Him

Before Florence was ever a consideration in our community’s story, there was another story that was penned about our cities blues father! In August 2017, Big Jim fell ill with pneumonia and nearly lost his life. In an effort to save his life and help him recover and heal. The skilled and professional team at Carolina East Medical Center placed Kohler in a coma, so that he could combat his addiction to alcohol. For anyone that remembers Big Jim near the end of that long relationship he openly had with beer and whiskey, it was not always pretty.

Let’s All Support Him For the Joy He Brings

Many things have changed since then, and throughout it all Big Jim has been sober and is now in better health than he has ever been in all the years he has called NC home. In fact, it was just Wednesday night that I overheard his bride talk about him being here for all of the many positive changes he has made. I will point out that behind it all, it is his family and music that keep this man going.

Having said that, I will also mention that music is how he makes his living. If he had a better product, it would not take long to send him back out on the road where he is destined to be. He cannot do that without your help. In February Big Jim fired up a Kickstarter campaign to get this new product recorded and manufactured. On Tuesday, this campaign will be shut down unless we come up with the still needed $1980 to press the play button on a new Big Jim disc!

For the last time, please reconsider and donate to the cause of keeping the blues alive. BIG JIM STYLE!

Visit the link below and donate! EVERY DOLLAR COUNTS!

Thank You!


Come Back Tomorrow 

I know I said I wanted to throw in the towel, but that is because I am so uncertain about how I will afford this build. After revealing my struggles I was met with an overwhelming about of support. Mostly emotional and some financial help as well! All of those that have helped me keep it together, THANK YOU! It has not been always easy, following the beats of my heart, but you all have made it worth the trip! In an effort to show you my commitment, I am going to offer three blogs each week as we continue to grow and expand this live music support circuit! When you return tomorrow, I will take share scenes from the weekend and give you the goods on where to find gigs in the week ahead! 


~ Live Music Options ~

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Saturday Night Specials


Checking out all sides of that confounded bridge

Speaking of Big Jim and benefit gigs, let’s get the party started on that note tonight!

The Bruin Craft Beer and Wine 

All Hands and Hearts- Smart Response will be raising money for Hurricane Relief for those in Craven and Pamlico Counties. The event starts at 5 pm and music will be offered by Big Jim Kohler Blues Band from 6-8. The event wraps up at 9 pm. Please come ready to give and help those in need!


Sara’s Big Apple  1150 Broad Creek Road, (252) 636-2555 welcomes the music of Charlie Duzan. He will be sharing songs from 6-8 pm


Moore’s Olde Tyme Barbeque Chicken & Seafood (New Bern, NC)


Moore’s Olde Tyme Barbeque Chicken & Seafood (New Bern, NC) welcomes the music of old-time country sounds of the Country Express Band offering sounds from 6-8 pm.



Broad Street Christian Church

Broad Street Christian Church The last Saturday of the month is when the area jammers gather to share songs and more. The monthly open mic welcomes all who attend. Music plays at 6:30-9 pm.


Craven Arts Council / Bank of the Arts


Craven Arts Council / Bank of the Arts 317 Middle St, (252) 638-2577 Welcomes the Chapel Hil based duo Blue Cactus to offer the music of Willie Nelson. There will be a pre-concert lecture at 6:30 pm followed by the performance at 7 pm. www.cravenarts.orgfor tickets and more info.


The Garage


The Garage 1209 US Highway 70 East (252) 288-5585 welcomes Marron Chaplin who will rock you from 7-10 pm.


BrÜtopia 1201 Highway 70 E, (252) 631-5142 welcomes B&B Acoustic Duo sharing songs from 7-10 pm.



The Brown Pelican 411 Broad St., (252) 631-5008 welcomes Paul Piccard live from 8-11 pm.



City Stage New Bern 901 B Pollock St. (252) 631-5122 welcomes the blues of The Carolina Swamp Dogs. Music starts at 8 pm.




Blackbeard’s Triple Play Restaurant 415 S Front St., (252) 635-0322 offers live music by The Monterio Experience this Friday 7:30 pm until 11 pm. Free music to welcome your weekend!

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Cruising the Crystal Coast



Emerald Isle, NC

E-Club Emerald Isle


E-Club Emerald Isle will bring my buddies from The BiPolar Express to the beach to rock you tonight. For anyone looking to throw back to the ’80s hairbands and ’90s grunge rock. Be sure to make this your final stop of the night if you are along the coast. It will be a rocking fun time for sure. Free music starts at 9:30 pm.

♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

Morehead City, NC

Promise’ Land Market

34089656_1990871530950208_5392552102662766592_n (2).jpg

4EverAll will serve up the sounds and sharing the grooves at Promise’ Land Market, with music being shared from 8:30-11:30 pm.


Off The Hook

Off The Hook will host the good grooves of Joe Brown and The Band tonight starting at 10 PM. This New Bern based band packs a variety of funky soul and fun beats into the set, for all to groove and dance along to. Wear comfortable shoes and come dance!  They will be rocking the deck until 1:30 am. Come dance and Spread the love!



Southport, NC

Fishy Fishy Cafe


 Fishy Fishy Cafe, 106 Yacht Basin Dr., Southport, NC, (910) 457-1881. Music will be served from 6:30 -10:30 pm. Come enjoy the grooves of The Other Guys and good food too. 


Wilmington, NC



Palate welcomes the good grooves of The Dust Parade this Saturday evening. Music plays from 8-11 pm. Come swing and groove to this fun surf-infused jazz band that will carry you off on their waves of groovy sounds.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Rocking Around the Region

Greensboro, NC

Craft City Sip-In



Craft City Sip-In has the best music plus beer, wine, and whiskey!

The Grand Ole Uproar offer the music tonight with tunes beings shared until 10:30 pm. Tonight’s show starts at 7:30 pm.


Seven Springs, NC

Crossroads Grill & Bar


Roy Stewert will be live offering the music from 10 pm until they turn out the lights at 2 am tomorrow morning! Come out grab a bite, have a beer, shoot some pool and groove to the beats to make it a night to remember.



Greenville, NC

Trollingwood Taproom & Brewery.


Doors @ 7:30 Show @ 8:00 $5 cover at the door PLAIN JANE (Greenville) This band had their live debut during Spazz Fest and got everyone excited! Come see what the buzz is all about! CHRIS LARKIN (Raleigh) Chris Larkin is returning to Greenville with his live band trio rounded out by Greenville natives Michael Hudson (bass) and Alan Asby (drums). Taking notes from bands like Cage The Elephant and The Neighborhood, the trio strives to create carefully-crafted, energetic pop-rock songs. Chris released his debut full-length in March 2018 – check it out at the link above! STRONGMAN & CO. (Raleigh) Four-piece indie rock for fans of Applebee’s and trumpet solos. Come see them playing in Greenvile for the first time ever!


Washington, NC

AOP’s Turnage Theater

Today is the BCTMA annual gathering takes place today at the Turnage Theatre in lil Washington. This is a free music event that shines a light on all sorts of traditional music. Here is the schedule of music events:

Jam Sessions:

10:00 AM Open Jam
 12:15 PM Bluegrass Jam
 1:15 PM Old Time Jam
 2:15 PM Folk Jam

Featured Bands in the Showcase Room:

4:00 PM Uncle John and the Hollis Trio
 5:00 PM Twisted Knot
 6:00 PM J.D. Joyner

Headline Band on the Turnage Stage:

 7:00 PM John Howie Jr. and the Rosewood Bluff

All proceeds will go to the fund for a new roof on the Turnage Theater. 
Free. Donations accepted.

Following the headlining act, there will be the long-awaited raffle where the 1st prize is an acoustic Martin Guitar DRS-GT with the case, 2nd Prize is an acoustic Electric Dean Guitar SADC-TBS, with the case; and the 3rd Prize being raffled is a 2-hour Pontoon Boat Trip on Blounts Creek with Bob Dew. I bought my tickets in January!


The Wine Crate

Live music will be offered at The Wine Crate, courtesy of Duane Haddock. Music is served from 7-10 pm. Come early for the good eats, stay late for the spirits and live music. 


Bill Lyerly Band will return to rock Market Street Pub this evening. $5.00 music charge payable at the door. Live music starts at 10 pm and remixed and remastered discs on sale during the break. Come out to support live music and buy the merch too!


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.


April 22 at 5:20 PM

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Do you like live music videos? Check out my Live Stream Page on Facebook.

Tracey Stones Live on Facebook

Searching for more events around the region:

Events on Facebook


Thank You for Reading!

Now, PLEASE, 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 publicly.

I am dedicated to making sure you know where to go to find live music. If you like this blog please sign up and you will 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 about our mission by sharing this page on your social media pages.

Thanks to the many bands and clubs, thanks for keeping me informed!

When you walk out the door tonight, take kindness with you. Be sure to tip those that serve you and don’t forget the music makers that rock you!

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

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Keeping up with the Blogger


Follow me on Facebook:

Feel free to invite me to your events.

If you have a budget for advertising, please consider promoting your next event here!

Do you need music for an event you are planning? Consider the services of:

Tracey Stones Productions

I 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.

Be sure to mention what time doors open and the price of tickets.

Pictures are helpful. You may send links to band websites so I can post those as well.

Thanks so much for helping me reach the people!



Back The Blogger



The girl behind the banner has big dreams and major ambitions of healing the world with music. If you wish to help along on this journey of connecting people to music please consider one of the following options! There are so many ways for people to be a part of this build.

Affordable Partnerships For All

Corporate Unions

I am an advertising vehicle in need of a vehicle to take the dream farther. Let’s work together. If your corporate dollars help to build these well-contemplated plans, that will support the dreams of many local music makers, let’s talk about community commitment. I am very invested in this build and can’t imagine what life looks like without working on this business plan, which is going to need a lot of money to make it fire on all cylinders. Corporate Sponsorship packages start at $5,000.

Community Co-Hosts

Are you the leader in your niche? Consider partnering with me by being a stage sponsor! Proudly display your banner across the stages we set up to let locals know that you are supporting local, live music. Sponsorship dollars help to build fair pay stages for acts to offer their music. In exchange, you will be recognized as the co-host of keeping these music dreams alive! Stage sponsorships start at $1,000. 

Post Hosts Are Welcome Here

If you are a small business and want to back the mission, consider being a POST HOST! As a post host, you will be featured in an article that will highlight your love of music. A post host will also be given one month of advertising in the sidebar of the blog, seen on all pages. The price to be a Post Host is $250 for one Post or $400 to be The Weekend Warrior POST HOST are just two options to consider.

Advertisers and Donors Appreciated

Are you a band or a small business with an ability to contribute $50.00 each month, consider advertising here! Donations from readers and live music supporters have always been appreciated also.
Fact is this is going to be something that takes flight with the help of the community! In fact, it can’t happen without you because it is all happening for you!



If you are a reader, who likes the content of this blog and you have a few dollars to spare, you can always tip the grateful blogger. There are several tip buckets found here on this site.  All donations and tips are filtered back into the growth of this live music blog.

This site is a free service to support live music. Most often it is published twice weekly as a gentle reminder for people to get out and support live music. Support the mission of promoting live music. Your donations will help fuel the growth of this informative live music blog. All contributions are appreciated. Thank you for your support!

~Tracey Stones, Writer~

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦


(318) 789-6929



Leave a Reply