Let’s Kick the Weekend into High Gear with Music

New Bern Boasts the Blues Weekly

I have said it before and I will tell you again; the blues is alright! Knowing that we can celebrate it each week is equally as wonderful. It was announced earlier this month the Big Jim Kohler would be the regular Tuesday entertainment at City Stage New Bern, located at 901 B Pollock St., New Bern, NC.

Since the club opened, Big Jim has been a regular feature on stage., but now they have increased the volume on the blues and will be ushering in each Tuesday with two sets of fun and fine Chicago style blues with Big Jim on guitar and vocals, and his beautiful bride, Kathy Kohler on vocals, Chris Buttita on bass and Tom Parker on drums. Music from these cats starts at 7 pm and the entertainment is free.

If you have not heard Big Jim bring his blues, you are missing out on New Bern’s blazing sapphire string man. Born with many talents, he pursued music only after sports led him to injury. Here is the most recent band bio drafted by Kathy sent to me by Big Jim earlier in the week.

Meet the Band!

“Nearly 30 years into a playing career, Big Jim Kohler manages to keep it fresh every time he makes his way to the stage. He started cutting chords in clubs on Long Island and in New York City, before long he was playing festivals and alongside heroes and friends. With many stories to share and two CD’s under his belt; The Road Goes On Forever and The Party Never Ends.

On the caravan, these days are Kathy Kohler, a veteran of theater and clubs. Singing blues and gospel all while being the wife and mom to Big Jim’s brood. Chris Buttita is on bass; hailing from Chicago, Buttita also plays bass for North Carolina’s Hot Buttered Grits, a New Bern based jam band with a large and devoted fan base that love roots, funk and jamming good music. The drum stool is manned by Tom Parker from Syracuse, NY. Parker crossed Big Jim’s path out on the road, back in the day when Parker was keeping the beat with harp master Carey Bell and Kohler was swapping licks and backing the legendary bluesman Son Seals. After running into each other in Eastern Carolina it was only natural for the two to team up.

Always a good time Big Jim Kohler moves on playing intimate clubs or on larger stages with the same love for music and his audience.”

Save the Date:


For those who can’t make it out on Tuesday, be sure mark your calendar for Saturday, November 10, 2018. That is when you can take a little trip to the scenic Oriental, NC to take a pause for the cause and meet the Kohler’s, as the belt the blues to raise money for Pamlico Community College. They will perform from 4-7 pm at The New Village Brewery located on Broad Street. There will also be a silent auction, free pizza and great craft beer available at the cash bar.


Chasing Rain Clouds & Finding Festivals

Speaking of the blues, that is one thing that the sky wasn’t last Saturday as I rode around from one festival to another trying to escape the raindrops, which greeted me at all locations, until it was time to go to an indoor gig, of course.

Cape Carteret Fall Festival


Cape Carteret hosted their First Annual Fall Festival, which featured a variety of vendors, fall fun for the family and live music. The event was hosted at a town park and offering the live music. When I showed up was The Mad Fiddler, Jason Addams; and Davis Lott  offering a variety of familiar favorites, including, “Witchy Woman,” a song that fits great in the fall. Also included in the show were a variety of original songs as well.

I have been wanting to see Addams perform for some time now. Being a fan of the fiddle, I have been interested in seeing his show since first hearing about him about a year ago. I will say, it was worth the wait, Addams has mad skills on the fiddle, hence his nickname the Mad Fiddler. When I first met Lott, it was many moons ago, when he was jamming with his other band project, Big Drink Music Company. Both music projects are great fun and worth checking out. The players are professional and fun and the music is familiar and rocking!



Second Helping Does Sound Check in the Rain and Closes out the ENC Food, Brews and BBQ

Upon leaving the Crystal Coast, I headed North and West and found my way to Kinston to check out the last leg of the ENC Food, Brews and QUE Festival which took place at Pearsons Park in Downtown Kinston, NC

Offering the music for the event were several familiar local acts. Opening the day was TrainWreck, who funked up the morning. New Bern’s Country crooner, Bryan Mayer rocked the stage next. The Wicked Shimmies are a Kinston based band, that offered the third fun set of rock and cool grooves. Closing out the day was the Lenoir based tribute band Second Helping, who is nationally known as the longest-running tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Of course, I showed up just in time to hear them do the sound check in the rain. Following a brief shower, they worked out all of the kinks and the band shut down the event with the Southern Rock favorites that fans love. Though the band is local, they perform mostly out-of-state. They have one more event on the calendar that is in our area.


You can take a pause for the cause and rock with the band at Fall Ball 19, taking place on Saturday, November 10, 2018. The Fall Ball is a fundraiser to benefit Edgewood Community School. The Fundraiser will kick off with the third annual wing and pig cook-off. There will be seven bands on the bill and all the good times you would like to have. This is a BYOB event, so pack your coolers and mark your calendars. Campers, RVs, and tents are welcome. The address for the Fall Ball is 750 Racetrack Rd., La Grange NC. The event starts at 11 am and runs until 10 pm.


Adam Hill Returns to The Brown Pelican

This past year, Second Helping hit the road with another area band. The Adam Hill Band joined them on several shows this past Summer. This offered Hill an opportunity to perform on bigger stages and in new areas.

Speaking of the Adam Hill Band, they were in New Bern last weekend, so following all of the festival fun, I headed back to town. On Saturday, the band returned to the Dirty Bird, aka The Brown Pelican, 411 Broad St., New Bern, NC. It was the first time the trio played there this year. It was a fun night rocking with the Lenoir County-based rock outfit.

This weekend they will be playing a private party. In the days ahead, the band will be busy rocking some big stages. Next Friday the band will be rocking Wilmington, when they perform at Bourbon St. S Front St., Wilmington, NC. Music plays from 9 pm till 1 am.  On Saturday, November 3, they will be rocking Wish You Were Beer Tavern, Goldsboro, offering music from 9 pm till midnight. The following week they will be on the road and rocking them in Clayton on Friday, November 9 and in Raleigh on Saturday, November 10, 2018. Sharing the stage both nights with other great rocking acts. Please see details below!

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Live Music Options

Getting Down Around Town

Downtown New Bern, NC

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Checking in with our friends at BrÜtopia, located at 1201 Highway 70 E, New Bern, NC, we find local stringer Brian Burke serving up the sounds tonight from 7-10 pm. Come out tonight and make this your first stop to kick off the weekend. Enjoy a freshly brewed beer from their tap and chill with the acoustic sounds of Burke.

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Tomorrow night you can come out and enjoy the 2nd Annual Halloween Party with Joe Baes Project. Dress up and get ready to dance to all the great 80-90’s rock, pop and grunge tunes you love. Keep an ear out for their fun original tunes as well. Dress to impress. Mari’s Hella Fat Food Truck will be serving the food you love. Your favorite beer will be on tap and the music will be offered from 7-10 pm.




Live music is offered each Friday evening at The Bruin Craft Beer & Wine Store, 224 Middle St., New Bern, NC. Come grab your favorite drink and enjoy the start of each weekend with free live music by area artists offering tunes from 8-10:30 pm. Music will be offered tonight by New Bern’s own stringer and singer, Ed Prophet. 



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. Tonight come out to enjoy a cold beer and Carolina Sky offering bluegrass, country and folk favorites from 7-10 pm. On Saturdays the bar is always rocking with the areas hottest bands. This week they will celebrate Halloween with Ravenz Bru. Live music is offered each Saturday from 8-11 pm.



Blackbeard’s Triple Play Restaurant, 415 S Front St, offers live music each Friday and Saturday night on the deck. Tonight you can enjoy the classic rock grooves of The Wannabees, live on the deck from 7-10 pm. Following their fun set of great rock covers, step inside to get all funked up with The Monterio Experience, rocking the mic from 10 pm until closing. Tomorrow night the Halloween fun continues with live rock coming at us via The BiPolar Express, offering the rock favorites to groove you from 7-10 pm.



New Bern’s newest venue City Stage offers comedy fans a great weekend of fun and good times. Tonight it is Improv Comedy Night, featuring Walk-In Bathtub. Audiences are part of the show! Give us your suggestions and watch us create hilarious unscripted scenes right before your eyes! This month featuring Walk in Bathtub, New Bern’s own Improv Team! Come and explore the hilarious, unpredictable world of Improv comedy. 
Tickets are $7.00! The fun start at 8 pm.

Tomorrow night you are invited to attend the Monster’s Bash. Tickets for that are $8.00. The Monster Bash Halloween Revue and Dance Party will be hosted by Madame Z.
Break out your craziest costumes and join your friends at City Stage. The City Players will perform live throughout the night and the dance floor will be full! Costume contest at midnight! 8:00pm – 1:00am.The City Stage is located at 901 B Pollock St, New Bern, NC. They are a private club. Sign up and become a member for $1.00.

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Cruising The Coast


Beaufort, NC

The Cru Bar and Wine Store/ Beaufort Coffee Shop has more great music in store for you tonight:

Nüttbrëd is one of our most favorite local rock bands, featuring frontwoman, Kayla Lewis. They do a variety of classic rock, blues, soul and contemporary. You will hear songs spanning from Led Zeppelin to Radiohead and more.
Please come to see this band! Free music is never free, we encourage you to tip the music makers working hard for your good time!


Swansboro, NC


This weekend at Boro Restaurant and Bar, you are invited to come out to enjoy the great tastes being featured on the menu and enjoy the live music of the incredibly talented Justin Castellano. A local favorite, Castellano is classically trained and professional player. To enjoy all his wors and to learn more about this artist visit http://www.justincguitar.com Music plays this weekend from 8-11 pm.


Emerald Isle, NC

 The E Club has live music tonight with the country rockers, Carolina Sky.  Music is served from 10 pm till closing. Come out and enjoy your favorite classic rock and country covers with this fun band based out of Raleigh, NC and here to rock you tonight!


Rocking Around The Region


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

October 22 at 7:23 PM

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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 from Facebook

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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 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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