Another Fun Week Logged In The Books with Music Memories

On The Scene With Tracey Stones


It was another fun week that got logged in the books, with music made memories, complete with good friends. Above from left to right, music appreciators Mary Spruill, Tracey Stones, and April Sunshine enjoy Blues Night at The Brown Pelican.

Rolling Thru the Week We Jam The Blues A Time Or Two

Blues at The Brown

Have you noticed that the week starts out better when you get to greet your Monday night with a serious dose of blues? My disposition on the week ahead has improved significantly since Heather Haiss, owner of The Brown Pelican took my recommendation to open the week with a blues jam.

Big Jim Kohler Blues Band hosts the night of music that kicks off at 7 pm and offers two hours of glorious, non-stop guitar action. Opening the first hour is the house band featuring the not so Big Jim on guitar and vocals, Chris Buttitta on the bass and Tom Parker sitting behind the kit. Following a fine set of Chicago style blues the floor opens to jammers.

Last week we were witness to the young marine guitar slinger John R Williams, showing off his moves and Phillip Alcock joined in on bass, with regular jammer Jonathan Peck gracing the stage as well. Closing out the night on vocals was Charlie Duzan, who took us out of the Bern and brought us to “Kansas City!” I can’t wait to see where we go this week.


Wednesday Is Worse, UnTil the Music Plays

If Stormy Monday Blues don’t do a thing for you, then make it a happy hump day by bringing your butt to the City Stage New Bern for another round a jamming blues music with Big Jim Kohler and Friends. This free blues jam is also offered from 7-9 pm and welcomes another fun bunch of players to the stage.

Last week while I was in the house I enjoyed the delightful sounds of Mrs. Big Jim, who sings beautifully to the backing band. Simon Spalding quite often offers the electric fiddle, David Sawyer joined in on harmonica and Jonathan Peck offered some guitar parts.  The fun happens again this week and this is your open invitation for you to join us.


Thursday is Seamlessly Thrilling

Nicholas William Bailey Returns to Ratty’s

The first time I met Nicholas Bailey I was quite taken by his unique offerings of seamless streaming of guitar phrases. It was early in March and not long after Captain Ratty’s Seafood & Steakhouse started hosting live music upstairs in their piano bar. That night I only stayed for a snippet of sounds, but this week I returned for the full course set, to fill up on his mastery.

I have to tell you that throughout my time in his company, with all the setting up, ordering my meal, eating and paying my tab, it was one beautiful guitar verse leading into the other, with only one stop to answer a quick question from a tipping admirer and another quick stop to ask me what I would like to hear. I was thrilled to hear him offer “Gimme Shelter” again, in my honor.

To get a better understanding of this graceful guitar players essence and skill, come enjoy a great meal at Sara’s Big Apple on Saturday, June 15 to get a taste of his talent. He will be sharing sounds from 6-8 pm.


Strung Together on Deck at Persimmons

Our local family band has had me on my toes and tapping to their beats from New Bern to Beaufort this week. It all started on the deck at Persimmons Restaurant, when the full band was together to play to the dinner crowd that gathered.

I wanted to stop in to see this fun, festive, folk-infused pop band, to have an updated picture to promote them for their appearance on Saturday’s bill at The Beaufort Music Festival. More on that show below.

Getting back to the musical family that our town has adopted, you can find them together again on stage and on the deck at Persimmons Restaurant twice next month before the family breaks for camp and gets set for college life this Summer.

Those dates are on the books for Thursdays, June 6 and 13. They offer live music to accompany dinner from 7:30-9:30 pm under the stars, beside the water. Be sure to save the dates and come out and dance!


Friday Features A Festival In Beaufort

Tan & Sober Delights

It was my goal to get to Beaufort in time to check out The Tan and Sober Gentlemen. I met my goal of getting there in time, however, I did not plan for locking my keys in the car at the start of my work night. Nonetheless, I managed to do just that, which kept me busy bopping to their new grass beats near the perimeter of my car.

But as luck would have It, I mentioned my dismay to a tan and sober gentleman who returned moments later with a long enough wire to unlock the vehicle. When he approached me originally, I was trying desperately to unlock the truck with my antenna which was not nearly long enough. Two minutes after the debacle I was stage side and remembering why I loved this band so much.

They are the epitome of a fun festival band. They never fail to get the crowd up on their feet and moving to the grooves of their Newgrass roots music. When I first met the band they were rocking a festival in New Bern a few years back, this year they brought their best blazing bluegrass to Beaufort.


Stop Light Observations Rock The Grooves

Following a festive set of awakened bluegrass came the revival of young rockers, a band from South Carolina known as Stop Light Observations. My first observation of this band was the young energy on stage and a spirit that threatens to keep indie rock alive and well. Very original and completely rocking this band has great appeal and presence on stage.

Stop Light Observations is a popular band from the Charleston region of the Southern Carolina state! They are made up of the combination of talents courtesy of Will Blackburn on lead vocalsCubby who is the master songwriter, piano player, synth sounder, vocalist, Louis Duffie bouncing on the bass and Luke Withers on drums.

No BS Brass Headlines Friday Beaufort Music Festival

Nothing like a 13 piece brass band fronted by one mighty vocalist to leave the soul soothed! That is how the organizers left it with festival goers on Friday night when they welcomed the Richmond Va based outfit NO BS! Brass Band to close things out.

They really are a fun and funky band that can cover the classic rockers as good as the pop artists we loved in the ’80s. Before closing things out on Friday night, they had everyone on their feet and moving to their groove. Be sure to visit them on Facebook and follow their website:

Saturday’s Sweet Treats

 Back In Beaufort… Qualian Opens the Day

The Raleigh based Qualian is a five-piece, indie/alternative band formed by students and friends that have played together since childhood. In their last five years together they have released two EP’s. The energetic rockers opened day two of the 31st Annual Beaufort Music Festival.

At the helm of this project, we met Walker Renfrow the lead vocalist. Supporting his vocals are Aidan Kelly on bass and guitar, Lee Sullivan offering guitar,  keys, and saxophone. Baylor Wordsworth plays guitar and bass and Gray Renfrow sits behind the kit.

I found it refreshing to see so many talented youths take to the stage over the weekend. It rejoices my spirit every time I get to hear new blood make fun music



New Bern Treasures Found @ Coastal Music Festival

Strung Together and Their Adopted Son Danny

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Then next came New Bern’s first offering with the family band Strung Together. They started things off with George Oliver opening things up with the public adoption of their good friend Danny Batten, who filled in on guitar for their middle child Abigail Oliver. Following the quick and informal adoption, the band got busy sharing popular songs done with their unique twist of talent and style!

Included in there set were many familiar and popular tunes as well as some classics made famous by the amazing team of Carter and Cash. The band actually offered a show for the At The Gallery Series this winter, featuring the music of Carter Cash. The event was so successful the Oliver’s have decided to offer it our town again.

This time it will serve as a fundraiser for The New Bern Civic Theater. The event will take place on stage at the theater it will help support on Saturday, June 7, 2019, and for more info follow this link:  The Cash & Carter Tribute Show. Before that, the band will return to Beaufort for a show next Saturday at The Beaufort Farmer’s Market. Music plays from 10 am – 12 pm.


Followed by a Serving of Hot Buttered Grits

The next serving of New Bern based talent came courtesy of our friendly Jam Band The Hot Buttered Grits. This band has been a music staple to the delight of fans for nearly 15 years. They have a great time coming together for the sake of sharing music and that is evident in the sounds they share.

In the heat of the day, this five-piece groove group gave the crowd blistering original beats to keep them grooving in the sunshine of their love! It was a fun and awesome display of New Bern grooves for the Crystal Coast to enjoy!


Bringing It Back to the Bern ~ And Bridge To Breakdown

DeadHeadz MC Host Anniversary Party


The Dead Headz MC hosted their Anniversary Party last evening and on the bill for entertainment was one of NC’s best rock bands in the Downeast region, Bridge to Breakdown. The MC has a clubhouse located in New Bern and yesterday all were welcome to rock!

The rock quartet comes together on the combined energies of Talyn Detmers fronting the effort with a Morrison flavor, swapping leads with
Malcolm Matthews. Both players offer crushing guitar leads and searing vocals, Taylor Cefalo keeps it tight behind the kit on drums and newest to the line-up on bass is Ethan Goecke.

They are badass rockers who get the job done right every time. This was about my sixth time seeing them and I am sure they get better with each live show. Here is an original snippet offered last night under the tent!

Before leaving, I learned from my editor the band was to be hired by a few other bike clubs that attended the function. If you are in need of an original, fun and rocking band for your next party be sure to consider Bridge to Breakdown. They will not disappoint!


Roaming Around Town for the Final Four

Caffeinated Soul Boogie at BrÜtopia

I was looking forward to hearing Caffeinated Soul Boogie last night, as I knew they were swapping chops with a new bass player. The band recently welcomed Daniel Baker to the line-up and last night was his debut with the band.

The band came together as a result of the father, Derrick Moore on guitar and his daughter Daria Yeager vocals, showing up at coffee houses and open mic nights. The duo grew into a full-fledged band with time and now they are a force to be reckoned with. They just get better with each performance and Yeager’s vocals more captivating and blissful. Filling out the sound on drums is rhythm man Tanner Bright, who has been keeping time here for more than a year.

Last night the band offered an impressive performance for fans and friends that gathered at BrÜtopia in James City.

Anyone interested in keeping the beats with this fun and talented band should check out their website. That is where you can find all of the latest news and their show schedule.


Joe Baes Project Rocks The Garage

Another local band that never disappoints is The Joe Baes Project. They were rocking the crowd that gathered last night in the back of The Garage. This new venue has been making improvements to the establishment since opening its doors a few months ago. Last week they started the work of building a stage and this week the mission was complete… Joe Baes and the boys rocked it!

Last night it was the common core trio on stage and entertaining their lively and enthusiastic crowd. Besides offering great music the band is also known for keeping the crowd involved with games and other good times.

Before long the boys will be heading to the Crystal Coast. Their next show is slated for June 1, 2019, when they take things to The Trading Post: Southern Food and Spirits. That will be an early show, with music being offered from 6-9 pm. To keep up to date with this band find them on Facebook: The Joe Baes Project.


Chuck Phillips Brings His Ba…

It was rumored the solo acoustic slinger Chuck Phillips was coming to town with his full band, but when I got town I found Phillips banging out riffs on his six-string to the back-beat of the bass offered by Sonny Fields.

It seems things went astray for the drummer that was expected to make the show. Something about too much weekend. Not letting small details like a drummer derail the plan of entertaining the crowd, Phillips made the best of things and offered a great show in a duo formation.

The singer-songwriter hails from Washington NC and keeps busy playing the entire Downeast region. Anyone interested in learning more about this talented stringer, be sure to find him on Facebook:

Chuck Phillips Music


Gary Dudley & The Maxxtones Take Us Out

Closing things out with a serious shot of classic rock n roll, I ran into Gary Dudley and The Maxxtones, who was rocking the deck at Blackbeard’s Triple Play Restaurant last night. Dudley is a gifted guitar player that learned his craft decades ago and still finds a way to attract new fans. Last night he grabbed the attention of a few young college fellows that could not get over the magnitude of his talent.

Always fun and rocking, this band is based along the Crystal Coast and rocks throughout the region. In fact, next week Dudley and Co will headline the Silo Palooza at The Silos Restaurant in Oriental. This one-day music festival is an Oriental tradition, featuring the hottest bands in our area. The event will go down next weekend, on Saturday, May 25th. Mark the calendar for Saturday and make plans to be there for a full day of rocking fun from Peace Soldier to The Maxxtones the day is full of rockin’ good fun and music.

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

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 KBar at Brandywine Bay Golf Club. This venue is open to the public and Elaine hosts open mic on the first and third Tuesday of the month from 7-10 pm. All are welcome to come to display their talents! Enjoy some food, a cold beer, and live music!


Wednesday’s Weakness

Blues Is Back at City Stage

We get back to the blues on Wednesday when Big Jim Kohler hosts 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 Bonnie Shirk this week, upstairs in the piano bar. Music is offered 6-9 pm and dinner is always delicious.


Shannon Grace 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 hosts 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.

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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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