Recapping The Music Fun and A Look Ahead

On the Scene With Tracey Stones


It was a busy and productive weekend for these two rocker chicks.  Mary Shine took the lead on Friday night as we roamed around New Bern and cruised to the coast before heading back and closing out the night in Havelock. I took the wheel for our Saturday adventures when we roamed to BBQ fest in Kinston, Washington for dinner and a nightcap with a couple of bands in Greenville.


Friday Night Features

Motherload Debuts at BrÜtopia

Motherload is a Newport based rock band that made their way to  New Bern on Friday evening, to rock those that gathered at BrÜtopia in the New Bern. This band features the lead guitar talent of Tim Rowe rhythm guitarist, singer Bobby Hunter, bass guitarist and singer Chris Dibella and, drummer Nathan Simmons. Newest to the rotation is singer Justin Bowen.

This band formed in 2012 and offer familiar rock favorites from the ’80s and ’90s. To check them out on Facebook follow this link:

Motherload on Facebook


Mark McKenzie Makes A Come Back with A Little Help with His Friend

It was a great pleasure to walk in and see Mark McKenzie rocking the scene again. He was sharing familiar rock and pop songs with the fans and friends that gathered at The Garage on Friday night.

McKenzie is a familiar face to the New Bern music scene. He took a recent break to focus on his health. Nothing makes me smile bigger than to report his come back. On hand to help the local stringer with a couple of songs was the amazing Alisa Mike, who joined him for the Rolling Stones “Gimme Shelter” while I was in the house. Talk about captivating moments, that was a wonderful one!


Meanwhile Out In Back At The Garage

Friday night also marked the opening of the back yard space of the Garage. This is the newest establishment to open on the James City side of New Bern. They offer a family friendly environment where parents can relax and enjoy a beer while their kids play games. They have it all from pinball machines to classic arcade and even the more modern, they have a virtual game area.

To help them celebrate the new patio space they created, it was the glass shaping artist Shepp Herd (@catch42glas on Instagram). If you ever have the chance to watch his mastery at work, take advantage of the moments. It is amazing to watch this glass bender work his magic with heat and hot air.

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Country Comes Calling With Cain and Kennedy

@ Val’s Pub

Upon leaving New Bern, we decided to leave the area and head to the coast. Along the way, Mary reminded me that there was an early gig in Havelock that we could catch on our way through.

We stopped in at Val’s Pub just in time to catch the final five songs of Ryan Cain’s show. He was sharing the stage with six-stringer, Jimmy Kennedy when we walked in. They closed out with a variety of classic country, some more modern country and a little blues with Tracy Chapman’s, “Give Me One Reason.”

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Back Pocket Buddah Spotted In Beaufort, NC

Carrying on to the coast we stopped in Beaufort next because it was burger time! Having said that, we stopped at the Royal James Café, where they serve the best burgers around. It was there that we found the Back Pocket Buddah, Brian Burke.

Here again, we made it in time to catch the final few songs of his night. The talented player is a skilled one-man band, with plenty of petals and pretty sounds to make the night pass with ease. Burke is staying busy playing around the region on weekends and you can catch him each Thursday at Backwater Jack’s Tiki Bar in Washington, where he hots open mic from 6-9 pm. You are invited to come out and share the stage and meet the man himself. This is another great option for good food and friendly service.

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Adam Hill Band Offers A Night Cap of Rock Grooves at Jean’s


On our way back to home base we stopped at Jean’s to check in with the always awesome Adam Hill Band. Just after our arrival Hill offered a rocking rendition of “Honky Tonk Women” for this footloose journalist. He sure knows how to say hey to fans and friends!

Hill hand another busy week which started with a solo show on Thursday evening at Riptidez bar & grill MHC, and yesterday the band played an early show at BBQ on the Neuse Fest in Kinston from noon until 4 pm. Following that appearance, the band packed up and headed to the Crystal Coast to for their late night show at Off The Hook in Morehead City.

May Dates

Looking ahead at Hill’s schedule, here is how it shakes out this May: Hill will be solo and jamming in Jacksonville, NC at Country Time Bar on Saturday, May 11, 2019. Music starts at 8 pm. On Thursday, May 16, 2019;  he will be serving the supper music solo at Village Steakhouse and Pub, Goldsboro, NC. Music plays from 7-10 pm in the bar. Friday, May 17, he is back with the band and heading for JM’s Place PUB in Surf City. Music is offered from 9 pm until midnight. Saturday, May 18, 2019, you can catch them at Bourbon Street Wilmington, sharing songs from 9 pm – 12 am.

For Memorial Day Weekend you can check him out solo at Nick’s Blacksheep Tavern, where he offers a solo show on Friday and a full band show on Saturday. Be sure to come out and enjoy the unofficial kickoff of the Summer season! Hill closes out his month with a solo shot at Crossroads Grill & Bar. Music is served from 10 pm until 2 am.

To keep up with Adam Hill be sure to find him on Facebook by following this link:

The Adam Hill Band

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Saturday Street Fair Fun at BBQ Fest on the Neuse in Kinston

As we established in Friday’s and Saturday’s blogs ’tis the season for Festival and Fairs. After reporting on all of the fun options to consider, we decided to start things off in Kinston for the 2019 BBQ On the Neuse Fest.


Dean Daughtry and The Trouble Makers Make Debut at Festival Gig

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The rhythm section of this next band reached out to inform me, that Dean Daughtry and the Trouble Makers would be making their band debut at The 2019 BBQ on the Neuse Fest. I caught the end of the band’s first set and their second set in its entirety. Though the band is new, they are a group of seasoned players ready to rock and groove new audiences.

Making up the roster for this project are Dean Daughtry on vocals and trouble maker, Matthew Hart offers backing vocals and rhythm guitar and Scott Carlisle lead guitar, Greg Howard on bass and James Stroud behind the kit. The band plays a good variety of popular songs from the ’60s through current days. They mix it up well and keep it fun.

They were the closing band on the back yard stage at The Red Room. It was an impressive debut gig. The band is still working out set lists but they are also booking dates today. So if you are looking for a new band to put on your schedule, here is one to consider. To inquire about availability and rates, reach out via email to 

For those looking to get to know this band better, be sure to like their Facebook page by following the link below:

Dean Daughety and the Troublemakers


Exile Band Closes out 2019 BBQ Fest on the Neuse

The headlining act for the 2019 BBQ on the Neuse Fest was the Exile Band. They offered lots of fun dance music to those that gathered at the Main Herritage Stage.

This band originally formed in 1963 and they are still sharing stage space and making people dance. Calling Nashville, TN  home these days, this band formed in their home base of Kentucky. They are a well-seasoned band that keeps busy touring the festival circuit for a good part of their year.

Throughout the years they did know some success with releases including “I Don’t Want To Be A Memory”, “Give Me One More Chance”, “She’s A Miracle”, “Crazy For Your Love”, “Hang On To Your Heart”, “I Could Get Used To You”, “It’ll Be Me”, “She’s Too Good To Be True” and “I Can’t Get Close Enough,” 

To learn more about the band or to keep up with their schedule or enjoy their music, be sure to check them out at

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Several Saturday Night Specials in Washington, NC

After all of that fun at the Festival, Mary Shine and I hopped back in the music bus and headed to Washington to see what kind of music was being served around town.

Jamming With John at Backwater Jacks for Dinner


Our first stop brought us to Backwater Jack’s Tiki Bar & Grill, where we parked it on the bench on the outskirts of the Pebble Beach Stage to enjoy a few jams with John Williams. Once a table became available we moved in and ordered supper and enjoyed the jams that were offered.

Much to my surprise, Williams came over to the table to present a gift certificate which paid for the delicious shrimp dinners that we feasted on. We appreciate the love and kindness.

BJT&G has a great menu and they are big supporters of live music. In fact, restaurant owner Laura Scoble is seeking the required permits, to open another place in the area that will serve more live sounds.

Before we left the scene for the next stop, my mind was blown away a bit when 12-year-old Keane took to the stage to offer a set of Beatles classics. The young man with an old soul nailed several well-known songs offered by the Fab Four. Backing him up on vocals was Nanette Garrett, who I have been hoping to catch for a couple of months now.

For those looking for a fun night in a relaxed atmosphere with live music, be sure to put this on your list of options.

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Dessert With Afreyed Knot at The Rebel Tavern


Before leaving town, I noted that it was nearing show time for the band AFreyed Knot to get things started, at their gig at The Rebel Tavern. This fun rock and pop cover band have a good time performing for friends and fans.

Afreyed Knot Band is fronted with family traditions and found on the fun of friendship. Creating the sounds for this band are The Bright family and friends. At the helm of this outfit is lead singer, wife, and mom Lynette Bright, bass playing husband and dad Taylor Bright and lead guitar and son Peter Bright. Backing vocals come courtesy of Dee Smith and back behind the kit is the busy James Stroud, who was on the scene in Kinston with the Trouble Makers. Also on stage with them last night was a new six-string slayer that helped fill in the sound of the party band.

To check them out in the days ahead, be sure to mark your calendars and meet them at AJ McMurphy’s in Greenville, NC next Saturday night. The party starts at 8:30 pm and music play until 11:30 pm. Be sure to like the band on Facebook by following this link: Afreyed Knot Band

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Over In Greenville…

Built For Comfort Bring The Blues to AJ’s


Speaking of AJ McMurphy’s in Greenville, that was our next stop where we caught up with the Greenville based blues of Built For Comfort. They were in the process of serving up their second set when we walked in. This band is always a fun one to catch. Making up the roster here are the talents of Landy Spain on guitar and vocals, Joe Tronto on drums, Bill Hunneke offers harmonica and vocals and Al Carroll offers bass and vocals.

One of the best things about this band and their blues is the way they change up the standards to make them their own. Whether it be Wilson Pickett’s, “Mustang Sally,” or Jimmy Reed’s. “Big Boss Man,” they keep with tradition while adding a twist that makes it their own.  To learn more about the band check them out on Facebook:

Built For Comfort


Stairwell Closes Out a Great Weekend in Full Throttle Fashion

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Closing out a great weekend of fun shows was the Greenville based rock act Stairwell. They split the night with Hollow Intent who opened the night.  The thing I enjoyed most about this split bill situation is the fact that Stairwell offered more original music than cover songs. That is always a refreshing change to this blogger. I love the original music of artists.

The band has two discs of music currently available at the show and online where you buy music. They are also working on more material and getting set to put together another effort for fans and friends. Stairwell is on Facebook and they encourage you to like their page when you visit.

The band is off next week but they will return the following week with a show at Pitchers Bar on Friday, May 17, 2019, and on Saturday, May 18, 2019, they head to Kinston to rock The Red Room.

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Music Options In the Days Ahead

Monday Mania

Blues Night at The Brown Pelican

All are welcome to come out and join the fun each Monday at The Brown Pelican. Live music is offered from 7-9 with Big Jim Kohler at the helm and blues on his mind!

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Tuesday Temptation

Irish Music Offerings

Simon Spalding hosts an Irish Music Session with friends at City Stage New Bern on Tuesday evening. Live music is offered from 7-9 pm and this is free.


It is Honky Tonk Tuesday at The Brown Pelican each week. Country pickers and players are welcome to come jam between 7 pm and closing. All are welcome to participate or just relax and listen!



Tiffany Elaine will host an open mic night at the KCLUB @ Brandywine Bay Golf Club in Morehead City on the 1st & 3rd Tuesday of each month. The fun starts at  7 PM and it is open to the public. All are welcome to come out and jam. The first open mic will be this week.


Wednesday’s Weakness

Blues Is Back at City Stage

We get back to the blues on Wednesday when Big Jim Kohler host another fun night of swapping blues chops with other players. Live music starts at 7 pm on stage at City Stage New Bern and the fun goes to 9 pm. All are welcome to jam with the blues master, or just come to listen and dance along!


Open Mic at Carolina Wine Mixer

Open Mic Night at The Carolina Wine Mixer with Tiffany Elaine starts this week and will take place each Wednesday night. The fun starts at 7 pm, all are welcome to come out and join the fun with family and friends.


Thursday Thrillers

Captain Ratty’s Seafood & Steakhouse will be serving the sounds of Chuck Phillips this week in the piano bar upstairs. Music is offered 6-9 pm and dinner is always delicious.


Lewis & Clark will provide the entertainment on the deck this Thursday evening at Persimmons Restaurant. Music is offered from 6:30-9:30 pm. Come enjoy a great night with fine dining on the water and enjoy the show!


Alisa Mike host a night of music each Thursday evening at City Stage New Bern. She will wow you with standard jazz offerings and groove you with fun show tunes. The City Stage offers a pub-style menu and entertainment most night of the week. They are located at 901 B Pollock St., Doors open at 5 pm.

Brian Mac of Third Degree Bern hosts the open mic night at The Brown Pelican each Thursday Night. Sign up starts at 7 pm and music starts at 8 pm and lasts until all of the jammers have jammed. This is the longest running open mic night in New Bern and it is always new and exciting!


Thank You for Reading!

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

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 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 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!

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