Music and Festivals, Plus We Go Behind the Scenes with Sound Hut Productions and the Live Music Calendar

Scenes From The 42nd Annual Croaker Festival in Oriental, NC

Starting things off in Oriental, NC, last weekend, I made it to day two of the Croaker Festival. Did you know that for more than four decades, the lil harbor town nestled along the Pamlico Sound, “down in the county,” has hosted this event the first weekend in July? That makes it a town tradition.

When I arrived to town, Big Jim Kohler Blues Band was on the Main Stage offering a mid-day music treat for those under the shade of the tent during the second and final day of the 42nd Annual Croaker Festival on Saturday, July 2, 2022.

This annual festival is one of several events that drive people into the harbor town each year. Most of the events held there feature masts and/or music. It’s a fishing town, so boats are a big deal. One of the main features of the Croaker Fest is the music. There is music from late Friday and until the close of Saturday during the festival hours. They make a big deal of local acts and treat them like the true celebrities that they are.

Well-organized town events, that last for generations, are important to the growth of communities throughout the land. Often when I talk to bands and interview musicians, the first big step for many was a local town festival/stage.

One year they are performing on The Croaker Festival stage and then the next one they are on the stage at a regional awards show, gaining more recognition. It happens often, which is why these town functions are important to all things local. As for that lil ol band on the big stage, everyone that’s under the tent now becomes a part of that band’s story. They will be telling tales of the local band that did good, for years, once they hear that the artist on the local radio. Local events and word of mouth are always major stepping stones to growth. That is true in every business model, whether it be managing a band or a town event.

Cooper Greer was the featured artist for this year’s Croaker Festival. Based out of Greenville, NC this band is making a good name for themselves on the regional country music scene.

Along with great music, there are fun food selections and craft vendors that set up shops to sell their goods and services. The boost in tourism is also great for the town’s local businesses. For instance, The New Village Brewery celebrated its 5th Year Anniversary on Thursday, June 30; just before the start of the Croaker Festival, and carried that vibe into the festive holiday weekend. They were pouring fresh beer, with a food truck on site and serving up the live music in their beer garden.

When the local businesses take part in these events, it offers more opportunities for the visitors, to sample local music makers and vendors throughout the town. The other place I stopped for music was The Oriental Marina & Inn. That is where the crowd gathers for the fireworks, and before the darkness set in, local rockers, Southern Hellcats were grooving under the tent at the tiki bar.

Closing out the final night of festivities with fireworks.

Shining a Spotlight on Music

Southern Hellcats Rev Up The Crowd For Fireworks

Highlighting the four bands that I saw at the festival on Saturday, I suppose we can walk it backward from here since the last band was the only band I had not seen. I actually caught one song when they played in New Bern after they first got together, but was not blogging at the time and have no evidence, so here it is…

Southern Hellcats have an interesting back story. They came about a couple years ago, I’d say theirs is a story of God’s good timing and as a result of Covid. Guitarist and singer, Chris Daniels, owner of The Silo’s Restaurant on Broad St. in Oriental was the guitarist for Saltwater Gold, for decades before Covid-19 came along. Both he and the drummer of that band and now this one, Mike Ferrara, opted to keep going and about the same time, Ferrara ran into long lost musical brother, Phillip Alcock, a Lenoir County native. It wasn’t long after that the Southern Hellcats formed. That trio of players actually have a history of working together in the past, with a project that, shall we say, did not fly, but cost them all. After hearing the story, I walked away thinking, this is the pay back project for these three. I feel it will be a fun project that will also be lucrative for them all.

Tieing the back beat and strings all together is the incredible Connor Daniels on sax. Basically, the rockabilly quartet consists of three seasoned players and a prodigy on sax who is learning how to season the sounds as they groove.

The younger Daniels is of no relation to the elder Daniels, but the two share a musical kinship. Much thanks for that goes to the weekly open mic nights happening each Wednesday at The Silos Restaurant. Connor told me that those nights are near and dear to his heart because you never know who is going to walk in. He considers it a weekly mini Woodstock. The players have always been super supportive of this young man, who now splits his time playing with the pros, and still placing first with his high school band in competitions and festivals. In fact, when I asked Daniels about his musical highlights, he said, “My musical highlights have definitely been placing first chair in the eastern region on tenor sax, both in classical and jazz bands.”

As for the band, they came together during the mid-Covid era and have really soared in the last year. Keeping busy around the region, they are available to rock your crowd on weekends too. They definitely know how to keep the people moving on the dance floor. They play all the fun songs from rock n roll beginning days to when it got bland, so basically covering classics from the 50s through the 80s. To learn more and inquire about availability click on ktheir website Southern Hellcats.

For friends and fans looking to dance to the music, the band heads to Swansboro, NC tonight to rock socks at The Willy-Nilly Warehouse from 7-10 pm. Next weekend they will be performing at the Fort Macon Summer Concert Series in Atlantic Beach. I caught up with them last night at Tonic Parlor on Middle St. in New Bern. They return there early next month on Thursday, August 4, 2022 for a 7-10 pm show.


Cooper Greer Closed Things Out On The Main Stage Saturday Evening

I love watching young talent grow strong with time and experience. Case in point, Cooper Greer Music. If you haven’t heard his name or music yet, seek him out. This talented young singer was born in the Ozarks, MO, but raised around these parts. He has music running through his viens. When it first caught his attention, he was really into rock, but to catch the band live, you will note his country croonings. This tells me that he is a smart music man. The two leading music trends are hip-hop and counrty music. There is no doubt in my mind that he has the voice and song structures to make a name for himself on the country music map.

Joining Greer on stage last week, on keys, the music mastery of Justin Sokoloski, his main man on guitar, Greg Franklin, on bass was the talented Wes Kyatt and on drums, Milton Long offering backing vocals and the beats. They sounded tight and kept the crowd right in tune with their grooves.

The first time I met Greer was when he graced the stage of Blackbeard’s Triple Play Restaurant on S. Front St in downtown New Bern, NC about two years ago. Since then, all of the covid restrictions have lifted and the band has been keeping busy around the state. Greer manages his own affairs and has released music for fans since we first met. He keeps the band busy around the state. This weekend the boys will be rocking folks on Ocracoke Island tonight and tomorrow at The Breeze.


A Dusty Trio Bring the Grooves to the Garden at The New Village Brewery

Croaker Festival 2016 Oriental, NC

The first time I visited the Croacker Festival, was a few months after I started publishing this blog site, seven years ago. Back then, things were contained to the waterways around town. Nothing was happening on the way to the festival. This year, however, there was more to love with the addition of The New Village Brewery & Taproom taking root five years ago. The owners Frank and Lili Bacon hosted live music and food trucks throughout the weekend. Offering the jazzy swing sounds on Saturday afternoon was The Dusty Trio. The Dust Parade project can offer any number of players that the gig affords. I have seen them play as a duo and as a five-piece, complete with keyboards.

The Dusty Trio l t r James Durham, band teacher and sax instructor of Connor Daniels at Pamlico County Schools Band. Hank Barbee creator of the Dust Parade, collecting talent along the way and offering inspirational music sounds every where they go. On bass and in the forefront, Matt Henderson who makes it look like he walks to every gig. This young man was just out of high school when he joined the stage and has been a professional ever since.

After talking about band leader Hank Barbee two weeks ago here and his band, The Dust Parade last week, readers learned of the band’s whereabouts, like my neighbor, John, who reached out, thanked me for the info, and got to work on gathering a group of music lovers to meet at the garden to support the band. This is exactly why I like doing this blog.

If you missed their show, here is “Good Day.” by the Dusty Trio, offered on my YouTube Channel. I am trying to build that site and the subscribers so join the fun while you are there by hitting Subscribe.

This week Barbee is flying solo along the Crystal Coast this weekend. Catch him tonight at Salty Bee in Cedar Point with music starting at 6 pm or tomorrow night the singer will perform in Atlantic Beach at Oceana Pier House and Restaurant from 6-9 pm. Look for the band next weekend on stage at Cru Bar & Wine Store in Beaufort, NC on Saturday, July 16, 2022.


Big Jim Kohler Blues Is A Mid Day Delight

The first band I caught last weekend is no stranger to this blog, and definitely part of the reason I started writing it in fact. Feeling a close affection for the blues, life got better for me in New Bern not long after meeting Big Jim Kohler and his blues band. That takes us all back nearly a decade now. I met the blues maker in March of 2013 in Swansboro where he was playing with bass player Mike Sandvig. Since then I have enjoyed getting to know many players through knowing the Kohlers.

One thing that cannot be denied is the power of a local blues queen. Singer Kathleen Kohler is always a show stopper when she sings with her husband. She not only wowed me but just about took down the tent with her show-stopping, breathtaking blues delivery.

Big Jim keeps busy playing around the region, offering authentic blues music rarely found around these parts. Playing behind him is a drummer familiar to this page, as we met Mike Ferrara above behind the kit keeping time for the Southern Hellcats. On bass, Kohler joins forces with Chris Buttitta who joined the band five years ago. Buttitta also has another band project. He often joins friends in The Hot Buttered Grits to deliver jams to fans.

For friends and fans of the band, you can find them at The Trailer Bar in Surf City tonight. Music is offered 7-10 pm. Tomorrow Big Jim and Kathy will be playing at their neighborhood restaurant, The Saltwater Grill in River Bend from 7-10 pm. On Sunday the duo heads to the Angry Ginger in Jacksonville to share music from 2-5 pm.


Ready Set Sound!

Back Stage and Behind The Scenes With Sound Hut Productions

Sounding good is a key component to one’s success in the music business. Often, that piece of the puzzle is taken out of the band’s hands. Given that component, I decided to take a look at my friends behind the scenes. Sound engineers are not often talked about, but they should not be overlooked or taken for granted.

Having a good production company can make or break an event. Though having the right equipment to pull off a show is important, it is most essential to have the skill and experience behind the board too. Recently, I spent some time talking to the skilled production team at Sound Hut Productions.

They are based right here in New Bern and are happy to work anywhere in the state. They have set up sound for small events and offered production on major events. Below is the father and son team tackle sound at Riverfront Convention Center in New Bern, NC for the Fundraiser, BBQ & Blue, January 2020.

When I sat down with Chris Sandvig, he was at the controls of the board, under the tent at The 42nd Annual Croaker Festival. He grew up around music most of his existence with being reared by a father that has worked in bands for most of his life. Mike Sandvig has played bass for more than a fair share of bands along the way. Currently the bass man is seeking a new band opportunity, but he is keeping busy with his production company.

The younger Sandvig on the other hand said he never had the patience to learn how to play an instrument, but when his father noted his interest in sound, he invested in his son and supported his passion for the sound trade. He started working behind the board when he was 18 years old. Now a decade and a half later, Sandvig says he learns something from every show they do. Even if the show goes sideways, he learns important lessons for future outings.

Helping the Sandvig’s last weekend was the sound engineer for Soul Psychadelic, Kelly Mon. He made the trip from Raliegh to help his long-time friends behind the board. Chris Sandvig said he is always grateful for the input Mon offers and says he saved the day for Sandvig.

There truly is a lot that goes into setting up such events. Generally, they are long work days, often with weather conditions to consider. There is the load in before anyone arrives and the setting of the stage. Then there is the transition between bands that needs to be considered. It is important to call on a company that assists in making these transitions smooth while making the bands sound the best they can. As for the guys at Sound Hut Productions, that is always the goal when they set out with their trailer and gear. Wrapping up makes the days longer, but when the bands are happy it’s worth the effort it takes.

Sound Hut Productions is the company that all local bands should acquaint themselves with. They have affordable studio space for band rehearsal and the equipment you need to make your band sound over the top when in the field. If you are organizing a town event or concert series, consider this duo for your sound needs. Opening a club that will support live music, incorporate sound, by hiring them to hook up the venue right. If you are ready to take your band, venue or town project to the next level contact Mike Sandvig today…

252-259-7337.


Tomorrow We Travel To Swansboro, NC for a Double Bill at SwanFest

Swansboro, NC is a fun little town that supports the arts in a big way. Tomorrow we go to SwanFest and listen to Captain Dick & The Lost Seamen followed by a rocking close-out with Pegasus Plus Reunion Show.

Until then check out the live music calendar and take a break tonight and support live music in your area!


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It’s Time to Rock with Some Familiar Faces and Roll A Few New Bands Too

Catching Up with Ryan Rubich

I remember the day that Ryan Rubich signed up and made a commitment to his life in music. We were chatting in a Jacksonville restaurant when he made the declaration of his road ahead. I simply sat there and encouraged the young lad. I helped him write a bio and booked a couple of community gigs for his duo to get polished. It was an exciting time in his life, there was definitely a fire ablaze in his soul and it was radiating out from his fingertips.

I met Rubich at an open mic night at Crystal Coast Brewery in Atlantic Beach that was hosted by Tiffany Elaine. After hearing him jam a couple of times, at a few open mics hosted by Elaine, I invited the slinger to come to Fairfield Harbour for a show which would mark the first time I saw Rubich live his original beat keeper, Jared Cain. I had met Cain years before jamming in a couple of different projects with Irish Robinson. The duo played two shows for me. Once during the winter months, the duo jammed at The Community Center (above) and the second time they returned in the Summer for a show at Red Sail Park (below).

It wasn’t long after those days that Rubich got serious about his career and turned his full attention to his career. This focus has paid off and paved a way for the singer-songwriter to stay busy with music. Even during the down days of Covid-19, the stringer and singer compiled, recorded and released his debut EP. After catching Rubich at a couple recent shows, I touched base with him on messenger and asked about the new release.

I started with the basics. “Tell me about the new release,” I said, “When did it come out?”

Rubich replied, “Released November 20th, 2020. ‘Find Your Way‘.” Who produced and recorded the disc? “Mike Corrado produced/recorded it at his studio Grunt Tunes it was mixed by Tommy Brothers at Shoreline Studios in Wilmington. We sent it out to the west coast to be mastered at moontreemastering.” Now the songs are available on all platforms for fans to enjoy.

After listening to his new EP, I asked the artist about songwriting, I was curious if the music came first or the lyrics. Rubich said, “Personally I write a lot of music pretty easily but have to dig for a concept or idea about lyrics. Sometimes I see where the vibe of the music takes the lyrics or for it to inspire an idea. It’s something I’m still a novice at, but learning more day by day.”

I heard a rumor that he was working on a side project lately and the best I can say about that is the rumors are true. Rubich has teamed up with a new band. He will be the lead guitar player for a New Bern-based band with some popular players. The new five-piece rocking beach band will be rolling out in the weeks ahead. I have another interview in the works with the frontman for that band project. So be sure to keep it here to catch the waves to the beach.

Besides working things out with the new project, in rehearsal each week, Rubich says, “I’ll still be playing full-time solo, and I am lining up gigs with my band RUBICH’S CUBE. In fact, he wanted me to tell everyone, “We have a gig April 29th @ Dukenfields, Jacksonville, NC 10 pm – 1 am. That gig will feature Mike Sandvig on bass and Jacob Yepez on drums. Stay tuned for more band dates with things opening up!”

To keep up with the Jacksonville based guitar player Like his page Ryan Rubich Music Facebook. For those interested in checking out his music start here and pick your favorite platform: Find Your Way


Big News From Bryan Mayer

I caught up with Bryan Mayer a couple of weeks ago when he was performing live at Tap That Craft and Wine Bar. The local country crooner has been keeping busy with solo shows during the pandemic days of Covid-19. In fact he has a few shows coming up along the Crystal Coast in the days ahead. You can catch him at The Saltwater Grill in Swansboro, next Friday, April 9, 2021. On Sunday he will be rocking fans at Gaffer’s in Emerald Isle from 2-5 pm.

Earlier this week Mayer made a big announcement regarding a solo show coming up next month. Bryan Mayer will open for country music super star Tracy Lawrence when his tour stops in New Bern to perform at the new Maola Events Center. To get your tickets in advance of the May 8th performance follow this link: Tracy Lawrence Tickets.

I will be taking to Mayer next week about this amazing opportunity as well as find out what else is happening in the singer’s life these days. He really is chock full of good news with lots happening on the horizon.


Big Sam At Harbour Pointe For Supper Sounds

Sam Lewis was our guest performer for the dinner crowd last Thursday evening at Harbour Pointe Bar and Grille. Lewis was a big hit with the residents that enjoy live music as they dine.

Sam Lewis is a very busy bee on our local music scene. When he is not offering a solo show, he plays with a band, and sometimes he jams as a duo. But that’s not where it ends. In fact, his band excursions keep him busy most weekends but during the week, he hosts open mic nights and encourages others to sing while hosting karaoke.

Starting next week Big Sam takes his big Karaoke Act to Sara’s Big Apple. All are encouraged to come out and sing. It is good therapy to express yourself through music so, come hungry, dine in, and sing out loud! Sounds like a great weekly option for the Broad Creek Road neighborhoods.

Here is the itinerary for Lewis in the weeks ahead:

•Thurs 4/1• Sweet Edventures Dessert Bar Swansboro KARAOKE 7-10p

•Sat 4/3• The Growler Bar Emerald Isle FULL BAND 7-10p

•Sun 4/4• New Covenant Church EASTER SUNDAY WORSHIP 10:30a

•Weds 4/7•Ducks Grille & Bar SOLO 6:30-9:30p

•Thurs 4/8•Sara’s Big Apple Pizza KARAOKE 6-8p

•Friday 4/9• BrÜtopia DUO/w Pretty Ricky 7-10p

•Sat 4/10• Bogue Sound Distillery DUO/w Pretty Ricky 7-10p

•Sun 4/11•Bake, Bottle & Brew-Willy Nilly Warehouse Solo 4-7p

•Weds 4/14• Ducks Grille & Bar SOLO 6:30-9:30p

•Thurs 4/15• Sara’s Big Apple Pizza KARAOKE 6-8p

•Fri 4/16• Salty Air Open Market DUO 6-9pm

•Sat 4/17• Rookies Sports Bar FULL BAND 7-10p

•Weds 4/21• Ducks Grille & Bar-SOLO- 6:30-9:30 pm

•Thurs 4/22• Sara’s Big Apple Pizza -KARAOKE- 6-8 pm

•Sun 4/25• Carolina Home and Garden DUO 1-3p

•Weds 4/28• Ducks Grille & Bar 6:30-9:30 SOLO

•Thurs 4/29• Sara’s Big Apple Pizza 6-8p -KARAOKE-

•Fri 4/30• The Office, Kinston DUO 7-10p

Before leaving his last gig I asked same to offer up an original song. He obliged with this:

The Little Things by Sam Lewis

Matt Riddle Live At The Brown Pelican

Matt Riddle is a Marine currently serving and living in New Bern. Just before press time, I reached out to Riddle on Facebook to learn more about him. I asked how long he has been playing? “I’ve been playing and singing roughly 27 years off and on. My mother introduced me to all kinds of music, I believe that in order to play good music you have to appreciate all types.” He definitely spreads out, offering everything from country to rock and more. When I walked in he was offering a rare cover of Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer.

I asked the stringer if he is from here, though I guess otherwise, he kindly replied, “I’m a transplant from Texas, I’m currently still in the Marine Corps, but my family and I have had a house here in New Bern since 2011 and we plan on staying in the area after I retire.”

“I do write my own music, I just haven’t performed it live too many times.” I can’t wait to see him again and request some original material for us.

As for gigging and looking for work playing, this entertainer says, “I’m always looking for more gigs that can fit into my busy schedule, if it works then I will play.” Riddle adds, “I love the way that music makes people feel, it is the outward expression of the soul.” As for reaching out and securing a date he says, “If anyone wants to book me they can reach me on here or by email at riddle1171@yahoo.com.


Amazing Lounge Lizards Groove Us Into the Weekend

I caught a sample of The Amazing Lounge Lizards while they were in town last Friday. This fun five piece party band hails from Raleigh and keeps busy around the Triangle area. I learned that have been rocking the scene with this current line up for just about a year.

One thing for sure they are full of energy and offer a great variety of popular party songs that span the decades from the ‘70s through today.

This weekend the band will bring the fun and funk to The Real McCoy’s tomorrow night. Music starts at 6 pm. To follow the band and keep up on all their dates like them on Facebook here: The Amazing Lounge Lizards.


Joe Brown & The Band Take Tap That

Our own local groove master, Joe Brown brought his band to Tap That last Friday to usher us into the weekend.

This would make for the second time I enjoyed Joe Brown, frontman and entertainer extraordinaire. For nearly five years I have been shooting pics and filing Brown behind the keyboard.

The first time I caught him front and center without a row of ivories at his fingertips, it was New Year’s Eve, on the very same stage. For that gig, he was backed by two keyboard players and the band. Last Friday he was backed by only one keyboard player. The popular Brandon Shamar kept the keys 🎹 grooving in time to the beats. Offering the backbeats for the night was the incredible Jasmine Best on drums. Also sitting in that night was guitar player Chris Campbell, who shared some pretty blues grooves and turned up the funk too when it was time.

We were all there to celebrate the front man himself, as Joe Brown finally turned 21 on March 22! Repetition is an important part of being a music maker and turn 21 over and over again keeps you young! Keep celebrating! Cheers!

Currently the band as no upcoming events to share, but keep it here as I am sure that is about to change with so many things returning to normal.


Adam Hill Music Monthly Rewind

I don’t know if I can really explain it, but when I tell you that music is powerful and impatctual upon the soul, I think of the movement my own soul when exposed to some Adam Hill music.

I can say this, I have had a love affair with music for as long as Adam Hill has existed. And for as long as I have been paying attention, one thing is true…Sometimes you come upon an artist that stops you dead in your tracks and makes you pay attention to music on a whole new level. That is exactly what Hill did to me.

I stopped out to check out the band Solid Ground and that is when Hill became a focal point of my music affections, not long after he offered this awesome version of Jimi Hendrix’s Voodoo Chile on stage at Jean’s in Havelock.

Was he the first? No! I have been at this longer than Adam has been making music. Being a decade older than the slinger is my only advantage to that equation. But I met Hill in the summer of 2016 and have been making my way to his shows on the regular because my soul always feels better after such a music experience.

Moving On By Adam Hill

My favorite music is Adam Hill. To be quite honest, I love original music. If I want to hear popular well-known songs, I can turn on the radio. But when I meet new players, it intrigues me to listen to their souls. Music is their portrait. They paint their canvas with music notes and phrasings from the depths of their spirit in the hopes of touching beating hearts and inspiring minds.

Over the years I have watched Hill offer many of his own songs and that is always the highlight of his shows for me. I am moved by the music as much as the lyrical messages. It’s clear to me that Hill survives the pains of living through shredding six strings and expressing his hurts through song. Many of his songs offer insight to the afflictions and struggles of life. He deals with life on his own terms and helps many others do the same with his music.

If you want to get your full of some Adam Hill Music, you have plenty of chances this weekend. The busy slinger has four shows booked over the next couple days. His first show is tomorrow morning, when he provides the music for the Annual Beauty and The Beast Car Show taking place in the Walmart parking lot on Yopp Road in Jacksonville, NC . The car show kicks off at 10 am and music is offered 11 am- 2 pm. Tomorrow evening the stringer will be singing at Crossroads Bar and Grill in Seven Springs, NC with music being served 10 pm til closing. Hill also has two shows on Sunday mentioned below in the weekly rundown. Keep reading to find out where you can catch him this Easter Sunday.

Carolina Swamp Dogs Bring Their Blues To Town

It was a Sunday Funday with The Carolina Swamp Dogs last week at the Brown Pelican. The Blues Duo from the Jacksonville area brought their unique blues offerings to the Dirty Bird for a few hours of afternoon fun.

I met this band at Annual Seafood Festival in Morehead City back in 2017. At the time they were the featured blues trio on the bill that year.

Carolina Swamp Dogs, when we met in 2017, was a trio of retired Marines with 85 years of service to our country now playing the blues.

Since those days, the band has slimmed down to a fully function duo featuring Gary Oles and Tommy Langlois.

Carolina Swamp Dogs Rock Red Sail Park

Over the years these Dogs have been my go-to when I need to fill a bill with the blues. They are good friends and talented blues musicians. I love how they bring education of the blues to the forefront of their show. The blues is our legacy, a part of our National history nobody better try to erase.

Both players retired from the Marine Corps and have kept in touch through the magic of music. They try to jam a few times a month but don’t keep a crazy schedule. For those looking to catch some authentic blues offered in a unique way, be sure to catch their show while you can. Our beloved, Gary has been bitten by the love bug and is changing things up in the hopes of settling down in Florida later this year. He and his fiancé Kathy Knowles are relocating to Orlando later this Summer, which means you only have a few more opportunities to catch this duo in the weeks ahead.

Next week they will be grooving in the beer garden at Wrightsville Beach Brewery in Wilmington, on Saturday, April 10 with tunes being poured out from 3-6 pm. The following week you can catch them back at The Brown Pelican when they bring their jams on Saturday, April 17, 7-10 pm. Also on the radar is Huffman Vineyards on Saturday, May 22, 7-10 pm and In June they have a gig on the books at Nick’s Blacksheep Tavern. Music plays 9 pm- 12 am.


Back To The Program @ The Brown Pelican

More signs of normalcy appear to be on the horizon for our friends at the Brown Pelican as they adapt to being back in action and open for business after 50 weeks of suffering from the shut down.

Starting this week they will resuming their regular routine of hosting a Monday evening blues jam with your host Big Jim Kohler and Friends. Music is offered 7-10 pm and all are welcome to join the fun.

Each Tuesday night Doc Paul will host a songwriter’s night where two acts will be highlighted each week. Music plays 7-10 pm. Come hear the latest and greatest players on the scene.

Singer Songwriter Doc Paul

Thursday’s welcome the return of Open Mic Night hosted by local slinger Charlie Duzan. This open mic welcomes all that wish to join the fun with music being shared 7-11 pm.

Open Mic host Charlie Duzan

Of course, The Brown Pelican is always your local music stop on weekends with awesome acts on the floor, front and center each weekend. Catch a show any Friday 7-10 pm or Saturday 7-10 pm. Looking ahead, Owner of the Dirty Bird Heather Haiss is interested in using Sundays to help those in need. For the year that her business was closed Big Jim hosted blues events each Sunday to keep the lights bill paid. With Haiss having survived her darkest days she hopes to continue helping others in need as she rebounds from her difficult year of closures. Keep it here to find out who she


At A Glance Music

by Susan Bugham

At a glance music for this week, disclaimer below.

Friday 4/2
Afreyed Knot 8-11 at Blackbeards, New Bern

Chuck Phillips Band 6:30-9:30pm at Backwater Jack’s, Washington

Eli Craig Band 8-11pm at The Doghouse Tavern, Ayden

Monterio Experience Trio 8:30pm-12 at Market St Pub, Washington

Tim Bivans 8-11 at AJ McMurphy’s, Greenville

Jamie Pridgen Band 10pm-1am at The Office, Kinston

Roy and DC Linton 7-10 at Ribeyes, Washington

2Digh4 10pm-1 at The Buccaneer Music Hall, Greenville

Singer showcase 7:30 pm, Erin Lewis, Sam Weatherly, and Joe Shingera at Molly’s Café, Uptown Greenville

Sat 4/3
Side Trac Band 8-11 at AJ McMurphy’s, Greenville

Eli Craig Band 8:30-12 at Market St Pub, Washington

Psylo Joe 7-10 pm at Local Oak Brewing Co., Winterville

John Williams 6:30-9:30 at Backwater Jack’s, Washington

Chris Hagan Band 10pm-1am at The Office, Kinston

Roy Stewart 7-10 at The Plank Steakhouse, Farmville

Mikele Buck Band 8-11 at Blackbeards, New Bern

Open Jam 6:30 hosted by John Williams at Backwater Jacks, Washington

Justin Anderson 10pm-1 at Buccaneer Music Hall, Greenville

Cooper Greer 7-10 pm at Ribeyes, Washington

Sun 4/4
John Benson 2-5 pm at Backwater Jack’s, Washington

Tues 4/6
Brian Burke 7-9 at AJ McMurphy’s, Greenville

Every Mon
Rhythm & Grooves open mic with John Williams 7:30 AJ McMurphy’s, Greenville

Open mic 8:30pm with Jared Gonzalez at The Buccaneer Music Hall , Greenville

Every Wed
Open Mic with JT at Molly’s Community Cafe, Uptown Greenville

3rd Wed of month
Open mic with Chuck Phillips 6pm at Parleys Sip and Steam , Washington

Every other Wed
Open mic with Joe Shiranga 7-10 at Nauti Dog Brewing Co., Winterville

Every other Thurs. Brian Burke hosts open mic 6:30-9:30 pm at Backwater Jack’s starting April 8, 2021.

Disclaimer: Please note that musicians and times are subject to change. Please call the venue in advance for confirmation. While I don’t know or support all of these musicians I do recommend these venues.

Thank you for supporting live music.


More Live Music Options

Cruisin’ County by County

In the hopes of always keeping things fresh and new, here is a new rundown of live music for the days ahead, county by county.

Beaufort County

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Friday, April 2, 2021

The Chuck Phillips Band will be offering the grooves this Friday at Backwater Jack’s Tiki Bar and Grill in Washington from 7-10 pm.

Roy Stewart & DC Linton team up to bring the music to the Angus Room at Ribeyes of Washington. Music is served 8-11 pm.

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The Market Street Pub welcomes the Monterio Experience Trio. 7:30 pm. $7 cover

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Saturday, April 3, 2021

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Cooper Greer will be on hand in the Angus Room, to provide Saturday evening entertainment at Ribeyes of Washington. Music is on the menu from 7-10 pm.

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Pamela Cox and J. B. Mayes will be the featured live music at Captain Cooks this Saturday night! Everyone is invited to come early for a good dinner and stay late for the music Music is offered 7-11 pm.

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Eli Craig Band will provide the music this Saturday, from the stage at Market Street Pub in downtown Washington, NC. Music plays 8:30pm – midnight. Make sure you have your dancing shoes on!

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Sunday, April 4, 2021

Come enjoy live music this Sunday with John Benson serving sounds, 2-5 PM at Backwater Jack’s Tiki Bar and Grill

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Thursday, April 8, 2021

Brian Burke will host Open Mic at Backwater Jack’s in Washington 6:30 – 9:30 pm.


Brunswick County

Friday, April 2, 2021

Scott Riley will perform tomorrow evening at The Joyce. At press time the event said that the music plays from 6-9 pm.

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Saturday, April 3, 2021

The Duke of Uke David Pray will perform live this Saturday at The Joyce from 6-9 pm.


Carteret County

Friday, April 2, 2021

Barefoot Wade is on the schedule for Friday night fun at Bogue Sound Distillery. Check them out offering the sounds from 7-10 pm. Outside, enjoy some tasty creations for dinner at McGrady Grill Food Truck.

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Bryan Mayer

Johnny Williams will perform live at Promise’ Land Market this Friday, with music being offered 8-11 pm.

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Liquid Pleasure will be rocking the coast this Friday at Jack’s Waterfront Bar. Music starts at 8 pm.

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Ed Prophet will serve up the sounds at Boro Bar & Restaurant this weekend from 7-10 pm.

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Hank Barbee will be at Carolina Home & Garden sharing music 6:30-9:30 pm.

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Gabe Stillman is performing at Gaffer’s two nights this weekend. First show this Friday with tunes being shared 7-10 pm.

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Saturday, April 3, 2021

Mystic Brewing Cedar Point will host The Mad Fiddler, Jason Addams, sharing tunes from 7-10 pm.

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Justin Castellano has two shows this coming Saturday. First he will perform live at Carolina Home and Garden Saturday afternoon 1-4 pm

Later that night the stringer and singer will be on site with LaCocina Del Coqui Food Truck
7:00 pm – 11:00 pm

at Bogue Sound Distillery.

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Dos Eddies will provide the music at Boro Restaurant 7-10 pm.

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Gabe Stillman is back for his final show at Gaffer’s this Saturday with tunes being shared 7-10 pm.

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Paul Brion will provide the songs for this Saturday at Promise Land Market, with tunes being shared from 8-11 pm.

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Party song players, Push Play out of Raleigh will be rolling to the coast, to deliver the fun to the party-goers at Jack’s Waterfront Bar. Music plays 8-11:30 pm.


Craven County

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Friday, April 2, 2021

Paul Piccard sings his songs this Friday 7-10 pm at The Brown Pelican.

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Tan Sanders

Tan Sanders ushers us into the weekend with a performance this Friday at BrÜtopia 7-10 pm.

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Afreyed Knot  will make their New Bern debut on the deck at Blackbeard’s Triple Play. This party band out of is popular on the Greenville scene. Come groove with them from 7:30-11 pm.

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Third Degree Bern bring the music to usher us into the weekend 8-11 pm at Tap That Craft Beer and Wine Bar.

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Saturday, April 3, 2021

Signature Blend will be rocking The Garage this Saturday. Come enjoy music and your favorite beer from 7-10 pm.

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Bridge Atlantic  will bring the full band to Tap That Craft Beer & Wine Bar this Saturday 8 pm.

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Ashton Ward will provide the songs this Saturday on the floor at The Brown Pelican 7-10 pm.

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Mikele Buck Band comes to town with their long list of country tunes to groove you this Saturday night, on the deck at Blackbeard’s Triple Play Restaurant. Music is offered 7:30-11 pm.


Johnston County

Donnie Howard (above). Music will be on tap this Friday at Deep River Brewing Company, 700 W Main St, Ste 102 Clayton, NC. Live music this Saturday by Ashlar Sargent Music (below), will be the featured entertainment. All music is offered from 6-9 pm.


Lenoir County

Jamie Pridgen Band will provide the live music offerings at The Office Kinston this Friday night. This Saturday you can catch the Chris Hagen Band. The bands will take the stage from 10 PM – 1 AM to bring the rock and country favorites to light and life. $5.00 cover charge at the door.


Mecklenburg County

Friday, April 2, 2021

7 PM
Live Music by
Piedmont Social House
Join us for Live Music on the Patio
Live music is rain or shine. No cover charge!


New Hanover County

Friday, April 2, 2021

Stefan Edward will provide the tunes tonight at Flytrap Brewing. Music will be served from 6-9 pm.

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Brett and Nimara pro