Thanksgiving Season Offers Much To Be Grateful For This Year

Changing Lives with Veterans Playing Music for Veterans

On Saturday, November 14, 2020, the Fairfield Harbour community gathered at the close of Veteran’s week, for some live music in support of the two area veteran brothers that I recently displaced. Third Degree Bern brought the music and the local residents brought the spirit and goodwill to Red Sail Park.

Following the first set, I took to the stage to tell the tale of the two brothers that I am desperate to help. Before stepping down, I also expressed my hopes that the band would be tipped as well. I made mention that our local music makers have been deeply impacted by the Covid pandemic.

At the close of the night, my friends and neighbors paid the band $300 for their donation of time and talent, and offered $661 in mostly cash donations for the area veterans I am desperately trying to help in living their best life. There was also $165 was offered in food store gift cards.

The beautiful part of it all is, that in the end it was a commitment of Veterans helping Veterans. Tom Davis, lead singer and guitarist for Third Degree Bern, is also a trauma surgeon who splits his time between here and Charleston, SC. He accepted to play the gig, as he is also a retired Marine Veteran that offered 30 years of service to our country. He brought his friend and music cohort from Charleston, Richard Hudson to play the drums.

Meanwhile, the other guitarist and vocalist for the band lined up, Brian McDowell asked Simon Spalding to play the bass. Bringing the sound was the band’s regular drummer Rich Dimetre. This was the first time the band ever played in this formation and yet they delivered a good time.

In the end it was a fun night of good music with friends and neighbors coming together for a great cause. I am full of gratitude for all that have helped me with this mission of helping two local veterans from Havelock.

It’s been an unfortunate situation to learn how some of our veterans are living. This situation has me thinking about a future in non-profit, fighting for many Vets in need of housing help and healthy living solutions. I would love to talk to some property developers about a new mission I have in my heart.

Until that day happens, I am happy to offer live music and raise money as we try to meet the needs of these brothers that definitely need a hand up. My next fundraising concert in Fairfield Harbour will feature the Carolina SwampDogs, a blues duo that served over 50 years in the USMC. Details are still being worked out, but check back soon for more information.

Carolina SwampDogs live in Fairfield Harbour Summer 2019

As we enter the season of giving, if you had a good year in spite of the pandemic and it’s in your heart to help these brothers, please consider a monetary contribution on the Fundraiser Page. Your support is greatly needed and appreciated. Next week I will be starting a Go Fund Me page specifically for meeting the needs of the younger brother.

Let’s Check In with The Music Makers Around the Scene

Mid Week Open Mic Night at Tap That ~ A great way to break out of the mid-week rut

I have enjoyed watching the open mic night at Tap That Craft Beer and Wine grow each week. It’s always a fun way to break up the mid-week blues and check-in with area music makers. John Morgan is part owner in the new establishment and brings with him many popular offerings, such as a mid-week open stage for local talent to let loose.

Since the inception several months ago I have watched a lot of great players. Hosting the night is the talented singer and guitar player Sam Lewis. There is a signup sheet for all to join the fun. Just add your name, order a drink and wait your turn is all it takes.

Joining the fun often are his friends’ guitarist Ricky Carrillo, singer John Morgan, sax player James Durham, local stringer and singer Charlie Duzan, harmonica man David Sawyer, singing guitar playing surgeon Tom Davis, plus his band-mates from Third Degree Bern, guitarist Brian McDowell, and drummer Richard Dimetre. I have even caught local legend Howard Mathews, plus many new players are adding to the fun. It was during an open mic that I met a new resident Mickey Spain, who recently moved to Bridgeton from the Scranton, PA area. He offered a fun folk set when I caught him about two months ago.

Tap That Craft Beer and Wine Bar is located at 901 B Pollock St, New Bern. The new restaurant is a multi-entertainment complex of sorts, with a refreshing new look on the inside and a fun new gaming area outside. There is also a fun game room located at one end of the interior, offering great options for families that come to visit. At the other end of the venue is a nice stage with full sound and lights provided by Sound Hut Productions and features Chris Sandvig running the board.

For those in the market for a professional sound company, Mike Sandvig has all the gear you need to make any show sound amazing. He is a good go-to for setting up the sound in your establishment. He is also the best in the area if you want to knock the sock off of your audience, with the best equipment on the market today. They can run sound for your gig or for your festival. Just call them with your sound needs today.

Turning our attention back to Tap That Craft Beer and Wine Bar, they also offer Trivia night each Monday and Karaoke on Thursday, with your host Sam Lewis. On the weekends they offer live entertainment featuring regional bands.

They are doing good work bringing in a variety of local and regional bands. If you have not been there yet, click on the link above to visit their website and make a plan to catch a show there soon.

Adam Hill and His Many Band Excursions

The last show I caught before the shut down in March was The Adam Hill Band, who was tearing it up at Bourbon Street in Wilmington, NC. Below is a clip of the last show that my friend Mary Shine and I saw before the pandemic shut the world down. For that show Hill was joined by Phillip Alcock, offering vocals and bass and James Stroud behind the kit.

What’s Left by The Adam Hill Band live at Bourbon St., Wilmington, NC March 14, 2020

Then a few weeks later, when the world was adjusting to being shut down, Adam Hill held practice in his studio with his original project, Victim of The Cause.

This band project is an original act that leans on the heavier side of the rock spectrum. It’s raw and off the cuff music with great intensity.

On the night I wandered off to the Pink Hill hang out, it was a trio of talent with Hill’s little brother Jackson “Rooster” Alcock on bass, even though on most occasions offers the guitar chops along with his older brother. Filling the seat behind the kit was Kevin James.

On the night we gathered, James Stroud also joined in, added a few beats on drums and offered vocals on Stevie Ray Vaughan’s popular song Pride and Joy before the night ended.

Adam Hill Solo Acoustic Sounds

During the Summer, I caught Hill flying solo a few times. In early July he was rocking the grooves on stage at Pizza Bonez in Jacksonville.

The pizza place is much like an adult version of Chuck E Cheese. They offer a full bar, large televisions throughout, a fun zone with lots of fun games including air hockey, basketball and more arcade features.

It became pretty clear to me the owners were most likely fathers and music makers. Turns out I was correct on both accounts. They have it going on for the fun seekers with a family.

The menu offers common bar food fare, including wings and a large variety of pizza. In fact they have everything for pizza that you can think of including dessert pizzas. When Mary Shine and I checked things out, it was a fun time for dinner and live music. They offer a full stage with house lights and sound provided and they stream the performances live on their website.

For those looking for a fun place to enjoy a meal, be sure to check out Pizza Bonez tonight.

The Adam Hill Band Rocks Newport

In late October I caught The Adam Hill Band in Newport, when they rocked the new outdoor area of Norris Station. On that occasion, Hill was joined by friend Phillip Alcock on bass and vocals, and Justin Sokoloski offered the rhythm on the skins.

The Adam Hill Band, “The One” live at Norris Station, Newport, NC October 24, 2020

Adam Hill Is called to The Office to Fill the Bill Twice in Ten Days

First it was JP Guns, who reached out to see if Hill could cover his mid-November gig at The Office in Kinston. Hill stepped in and had a fun night jamming with Billy Mobley on bass and Justin Sokoloski on drums and vocals.

It was my first trip to The Office, before Covid this establishment was the popular night spot, The Red Room. The new owners bought the place in March and opened their doors in August. They own another night spot by the same name in Wilson, NC and before opening that place they started off in Blowing Rock, NC. The Office offers live music and are opened Friday, Saturday with music starting at 7pm and Sunday with tunes kicking off at 1 pm.

It was a fun night of familiar tunes and great grooves. Of course, my favorite highlight of any Adam Hill gig is hearing his original music. Here is “Find Me.”

Adam Hill and Friends live at The Office in Kinston, Friday, November 13, 2020 original music “Find Me.”

Then just a few days later, singer Dean Daughtry found himself short two guitarists, so he called on Hill to fill the bill with his six strings. Fact is Daughtry’s band The Troublemakers boast two excellent guitarist, Matthew Hart and Dave Brown. Sadly both stringers could not make the gig so they called on Hill, who fit in one rehearsal before slaying it with style.

Hill was not the only special guest on stage. Providing sound and offering sweet harmonies throughout the night was Nicholas Jarman, lead singer of Kinston based Mason Jar Bonfire.

Here is a sample of these music brothers in action. When not gigging with their perspective bands they are usually out supporting each other or offering an acoustic set to fans

The other thing about the gig that was magnificent was the energy. This was the first time I heard Hill lay down the grooves with the talented Jasmine Best behind the kit! Tied in with Greg Howard on bass, it was a fierce night of random rocking.

It’s exciting to watch professional musicians play a live gig together for the first time. I had a feeling that Best and Hill would be an impressive match and I am happy to report, they did not miss that mark. I hope I get to see it again in fact!

A Dust Parade Update

I have made it out several times to check in with Hank Barbee and his band The Dust Parade.

At the close of summer I caught them rocked the vines at Huffman Vineyards. On that gig they jammed as a trio with Barbee on vocals and six string, James Durham on backing vocals and saxophones and Xavier Roberson behind the kit.

The last time I caught up with the band they were all present and accounted for, with Matt Henderson back on bass. The band was sharing the grooves with their good friends and fans in New Bern. They performed on stage at Tap That Craft Beer and Wine at the end of October. Below is a sample from that fun time.

Coming up in mid December, I will be hosting The Dust Parade for their annual Holiday concert in Fairfield Harbour.

My Fairfield Harbour community is known for appreciating music, so each year since 2017 I have been bringing shows to the neighborhood I call home. Though it’s been nearly a year, the shows are back and this year The Dust Parade will return on Sunday December 20, 2020 for an afternoon delight.

Most years we gather in the community center located at the fire station on Broad Creek Road. As we know, this is not a year like any other. Having said that, bundle up. This year is looking like we will meet under the pavilion at Red Sail Park for an afternoon holiday retreat. As usual, I will ask you to keep it here for more specifics in the weeks to come.

To keep up with The Dust Parade you can visit their website or check them out on Facebook.

More Local Favorites Still Rocking the Scene

Joe Baes Project @ The Garage

I found Joe Baes Project rocking the garden at The Garage in James City last weekend. It is always a good time with this band and their fun songs.

My favorite songs offered by this band are the original grooves. They are mostly rock based grooves with 90s grunge influence sprinkled throughout!

Original music by Joe Baes Project live at The Garage November 21, 2020

As for The Garage, they have made many great changes to the back yard music garden since the pandemic outbreak. They also used the time that they were shut down to renovate the inside.

While I was out, I took some time to talk to the owners and told them how much I loved what they had done with the place. Owners Dan and Marisol Schultz took over the establishment last year and have created a fun space for friends to gather. The duo also keep busy with their popular food truck Mari’s Hella Fat Food.

The Road Ahead for NCMZ.LIVE

During my time off from blogging, I spent a good amount of time thinking about how the blog would better serve the community upon its return! I believe this work will be achieved through community partnerships, that help to build the product and grow the website.

I have spoken to several supporters over these last several weeks to start putting such a plan in place. I look forward to building many pages that offer insight on the happenings around the music scene.

This is an open invitation to anyone who might like to contribute to the content of this blog site. Please feel free to reach out to me with your ideas and music inspired stories.

It’s my hope in the coming year, to build an interactive calendar page that serves the region, as well as offering a platform for all of the local bars and bands to utilize for music promotions.

I am excited about the road ahead and look forward to your feedback and community contributions. This site, though based on my travels around the music scene, has more to do with the music, so it’s important to add more voices and talent to its content in this next stage of development.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas with me by sending your email to Thanks so much for reading and I hope you have a rocking week.

As for supporting the blog, I have several meetings lined up in the new year to talk more about bringing live music to new venues.


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