I headed to Swansboro to start things off early and closed the night rocking in Morehead City on Saturday night. Along the way I found a great many familiar favorites and some new talent to talk about too. On Sunday we had a team meeting for Bernaroo Music and Arts Festival, which is coming up later this month. I closed out the night in Durham sharing the company of many friends, new and old!
I checked in with a couple of hard-working players to kick things off last Saturday, down along the Crystal Coast. Justin Castellano was sharing the bill with Jack Ketner when I checked in with him at The Icehouse Waterfront Restaurant, 103 Moore St., Swansboro, NC. He was scheduled for a double with Ketner sitting in from 6-9 pm and Castellano offering songs solo from 9 pm until 12 am.
It is always a treat to check in with Castellano. He plays everything from folk to country to classic rock and standard blues, all in his unique signature style. For fans and friends looking for the string this weekend you can find him tonight at Bistro by the Sea, 4031 Arendell St, Morehead City, NC. Music in the lounge from 7-10 pm. On Saturday, Castellano will be at Church Street Deli, 105 W Church St., Swansboro, NC, with music being served from 7-10 pm. Castellano closes out the weekend on
Sunday at Marina Cafe, 110 S Marine Blvd
Jacksonville, NC., with music being offered outside from 5-8 pm.
To keep up to date with this artist check out his website today:
As I was making my way back to the car, I heard a band play the opening notes to “Sweet Home Chicago” which made me bank a right and see what was happening out back behind Bake Bottle & Brew; 147 N Front St., Swansboro, NC. That is where I found the Will & Tony Show rocking the crowd on the back patio. The crowd was having fun and the band was jamming. The trio offers a mix between popular classic rock songs and familiar blues songs. From the Rolling Stones to BB King they offer a great mix of fun music. Sometimes they go out as an acoustic duo but on Saturday, Will Baker and Tony Johnston were joined by musical brother and bass player Andy Allen.
The next time this duo will teams up it will be with their band project Big Drink Music Company. The band has two gig listed this month. They are scheduled to rock The Trading Post; 8302 Emerald Drive, Emerald Isle, NC, on Saturday, July 14 with music starting at 6:30 pm and Emerald Fest in Emerald Isle, NC on Thursday, July 26 with music also starting at 6:30pm.
At my next stop, I found a new band for the blog when I stopped at Southern Salt Seafood Company and Waterfront Restaurant, 707 Evans St., Morehead City, NC. On the deck and rocking the full crowd was Monika Jaymes and The Broke and Downs Band. This is a smaller version of the Fuquay-Varina based Monika Jaymes Band.
Offering a good mix of country and rock, this band is plenty of fun and full of talent. Jaymes is a great singer and surrounds herself with skillful players. The group has a couple of shows scheduled this month. They will be rocking at Clevland Drafthouse, 6101 NC Highway 42 W Garner, NC, on Saturday, July 14, 2018, with music kicking off at 9 pm. The following week they will return to the Crystal Coast to rock the Trading Post, 8302 Emerald Drive Emerald Isle, NC, with music starting at 6:30 pm on the back patio.
To learn more about the talented singer and stringer leading the band; be sure to check out her website by
My final stop for the night brought me right across the road, where I found The Adam Hill Band rocking at the deck at Off the Hook, 105 S 7th St., Morehead City, NC. The trio has been rocking all over the region these days and more recently, they have been hitting the road to rock regions unknown with local legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute Band, Second Helping. Last month the bands rocked an event in Logan, West Virginia. This month they will be heading back to West Virginia to perform at the Interstate Fair and Expo, happening in Parkersburg, WV, on Saturday, July 21, 2018.
For folks closer to home looking to rock with the band, they are scheduled to perform tonight at Carteret County Speedway, 501 Whitehouse Fork Rd, Swansboro, NC. Music starts at 8 pm. To keep up to speed with the band, be sure to check the website:
I met with team Bernaroo on Sunday, July 1, 2018. Things are coming together great for the festival. The line up is set. The sponsorships have been secured. The website is active and ticket are being sold in advance.
During the most recent meeting, we learned that there are several spots still open for vendors. This is a great opportunity for any artist or creative type that has a product to display and sell. Contact Bailey Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org to secure your spot. Vendor spots are $100 for one day and $150 for two days.
The final thing we discussed was our need for Volunteers for this festival. Believing that Teamwork is Dreamwork, the organizers of Bernaroo Music and Arts Festival are seeking volunteers. If you are available to help with making the concert festival a great success by volunteering your time, please reach out to the good folks at GEM Productions by emailing email@example.com.
On Sunday afternoon I got together with a few friends to check out the Triangle Blues Society Open Jam. This is a monthly event that takes place on the first Sunday of each month at The Blue Note Grill, 709 Washington St., Durham, NC. This event is hosted by a different band each month that represents the Blues Society. This month’s jam was hosted by The Groovynators. The Durham based band includes Dennis Beckwith, vocals/guitar; Jim Clements, guitar; Mike White, drums; Dub Karriker, bass; and John Barker, keys/vocals. They are a fun band with lots of talent. They have competed and won the blues competition in years past and have a few fun shows scheduled this summer. Next on the agenda is a show at the Summer Celebration in Hillsborough, NC on Friday, July 20, 2018, at 8 pm.
When I left New Bern that afternoon I was in the company of Jim and Kathy Kohler who joined me on the journey. With an urge to start playing more serious again, Big Jim jumped at the chance to join me for a blues jam. Along the way, we also stopped in Kinston, where we picked up Phillip Alcock, bass player for the Lenoir County rockers, The Roman Sams Band. When we arrived, we met up with harmonica player and our sweet friend, Dr. Mark Heffington. The four players took turns turning the room on its ear.
This is always a fun time for a Sunday afternoon. Not only is the music great, but the food and service are wonderful too. If you have never been there, make a plan to leave the house hungry and end the night happy! Tonight they bring Gracie Curran & The High Falutin’ Band to the stage. Tickets are $8.00 and showtime is at 9 PM. Tomorrow night is the Cool John Ferguson Band Reunion Show. Tickets for that show are $12.00 with music starting at 8 PM.
The Blue Note Grill offers dinner and music throughout the week, to check them out on Facebook follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/thebluenotegrill/
To sign up and get their monthly newsletter and updates check out their website by visiting The Blue Note Grill, Durham, NC.
For fans looking for my sweet friends, Big Jim and Kathy Kohler, they will be live at BrÜtopia tonight, offering their blues from 7-10 pm tonight in James City. BrÜtopia is located at 1201 Highway 70E, New Bern, NC. This show is free and you are encouraged to tip the music makers you meet tonight!
Phillip Alcock’s band, The Roman Sams will be rocking the Crystal Coast tonight when they set up at Southern Salt Seafood Company & Waterfront Restaurant, 707 Evans St., Morehead City, NC. Music plays from 9 pm until the midnight hour. Come early for the food, stay late for the fun music and dancing.
In June I was offered several freelance writing opportunities and this week my first works were published.
The Newport Voice had contacted me at the end of May and we met last month about the idea of writing an entertainment piece, that would add content to the monthly publication which is mailed out to the Newport Zip Code. To check out my debut of Weekend Sessions with Tracey Stones visit this link:
NewBernNow.com recently asked me to be the contributing entertainment writer for their online publication. I graciously accepted. The publisher, Wendy Card approached me about being in a photo shoot with our area music makers. During that initial phone conversation, she asked if I would be interested in writing the feature article for the next issue of Ledger Magazine. I accepted that honor and the article published earlier today. To check out the next issue of Ledger Magazine follow this link:
For folks hanging around town tonight, you can catch ThirdAct featuring the married duo Daryl & Sarah Lucas, who will be live at The Brown Pelican tonight from 7-10 pm. The show is free and the venue is located at 411 Broad St., New Bern, NC
Over at Blackbeard’s Triple Play, 415 S Front St., New Bern, NC, they are getting ready for their official grand opening tomorrow night, but to kick off the weekend right tonight, Rural Route Romance RX3 will be rocking on the deck from 7-10 pm.
Circa 1810 Bar and Restaurant at the Harvey Mansion, 221 S Front St., made a bold move this week and canceled all of the acts we had booked on Fridays starting tonight. They have done this to move the Thursday night act, Dueling Pianos over to fill all Friday nights from now until the end of the year. You can catch the first Friday show tonight with music being offered from 8-11 pm
Live music at The Thirsty Bruin, 224 Middle St., New Bern, NC, will be offered tonight from 8-10:30 pm. Providing the entertainment tonight will be Tommy Duzan, Sr.
Leaving town and heading over the bridge, I will remind you again that Big Jim and Kathy Kohler will be sharing their blues with fans and friends that gather at BrÜtopia, 1201 Highway 70 East, New Bern, NC with music being served from 7-10 pm
The Adam Hill Band will be rocking the Carteret County Speedway, 501 Whitehouse Fork Rd, Swansboro, NC. Music starts tonight at 8 pm and they will rock you til midnight. They play rock covers from Hendrix and SRV, as well as country favorites made famous by Cash and awesome originals. If you have yet to catch the band, stop out and get rocked tonight!
Checking things out just over the bridge, as we head up along the coast looking for music we find the sounds of Chris Bellamy, being featured tonight at Flipperz, 311 Mangrove Dr., Emerald Isle, NC. Music starts at 6:30 and goes great with supper. Come to enjoy dinner and a show. Music plays until 9:30 pm.
Further on up the road, we stop in Atlantic Beach where we find Tiffany Elaine. She is scheduled to play at Crystal Coast Brewing Company, 219 West Fort Macon Road, Atlantic Beach, NC. Music starts at 8 pm and the songwriter and singer will play until 11 pm tonight.
Little Cecil, Cecil Gilkin will be rocking Tipsy Turtle, 408 Atlantic Beach Cswy, Atlantic Beach, NC. The classic rocker will be offering his best tunes from 9 pm till 1 am tonight. This show is free but feel free to show some love and tip the music makers that move you.
“On The Rocks” Restaurant and Tavern, 2604 W Fort Macon Rd.,
Atlantic Beach, NC offers the music of Rick Huff who will be serving up the songs you love from 8-10 pm
Heading over the causeway and checking things out in Morehead City tonight, we find Night Years are scheduled to perform for the Summer Concert Series being offered by the town. Alive at Five takes place down on the waterfront at Jaycee Park, 807 Shepard Street, Morehead City, NC. Music starts at 5 pm and plays until 8 pm. All are welcome to attend the free concert. Bring a chair or blanket and start your weekend right with music in the park.
The Roman Sams Band rocking Southern Salt Seafood Company and Waterfront Restaurant, 707 Evans St. Music is free and rocks from 9 til midnight on the deck.
New Bern’s own party band Limited Engagement can be found rocking the deck at Off the Hook, 105 S 7th St., Morehead City. The party starts at 10 pm and the fun music plays until 1:30 am.
Moving on down the line and going over the bridge to Beaufort we find DREX, offering the music at Cru Bar and Wine Store / Beaufort Coffee Shop, 120 Turner St., Beaufort, NC. Music plays from 8:30 -11:30 pm.
The last band I caught at Cru Bar & Wine Store, was Bobby Webb and Co. Tonight that band will be giving it up for folks just around the corner. They will be on stage and on the waterfront when they perform tonight at The Dockhouse, 500 Front St., Beaufort, NC. Music starts at 9 pm and rocks until 1 am.
Brittany Davis has a new release and she will be hosting a release party to celebrate the occasion. She will perform tonight at Tortuga’s Nest, 1713 N New River Dr, Surf City, NC. Music will be offered from 7-9 pm and you can buy a new disc tonight to remember the fun times. Please support live music and buy n=merchandise
Abe Reid & The Spikedrivers have a show tonight at Little Brother Brewing Company, 348 S Elm St., Greensboro, NC. Music is served from 8-11 pm. If you love the blues you will enjoy this band.
Moving down to Durham we find some reggae grooves given up by Strange Rootz. The Virginia Beach-based band will be live at Beyu Caffe, 341 W Main St, Durham, NC. The tickets for this show cost $14 and music plays from 7-10 pm
Speaking of groove bands playing in the Triangle area, Mac & Juice Quartet have a gig this evening at Growler Grlz, 4810 Hope Valley Road, #110, Durham, NC. Music starts at 7pm and the grooves go til 10 pm.
Tonight marks First Friday around the City of Raleigh, NC, which means lots of great events and music throughout the city. One of the shows I found is at Adara Spa, located at 608 Peace St., Raleigh. They want everyone to know that Mighty Mike’s Rolling Bistro and Grill will be serving up the food, while Glitter Crimes entertains us with live music! Stop by and enjoy some originals as well as nostalgic music. You can also enjoy a summer food demo by Lorrie Todd. Hope to see you there!
GEN-X will be rocking Peeble Beach Stage at Backwater Jacks Tiki Bar & Grill, located at 1052 E Main St., Washington NC. Music plays outside from 7-10 pm. Come to get a taste of 90’s rock tonight!
Jenna Leigh Huff has a solo show tonight at County Line Bar & Grill, 9527 Hwy 903 N Ayden NC. She will offer the classic rock and country songs that keep you grooving. Music plays from 9 pm til 1 is. Brown bagging is welcome. Beer is cold and the music is good tonight!
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
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.
Please go out and support live music! Always call the club in advance to confirm what you read here is true. Many times events change without anyone updating the Facebook event created.
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 and the music makers that rock you and hug people often and share the love. Don’t forget life is short and could end in a moment. 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!
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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. Sending along pictures is helpful. Please send links to band websites, so I can post those as well. Thanks so much for helping me reach the people!