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All Gassed Up, Let’s Roll Down the Road with Tracey Stones

Rocking Around the Burn Pile Hellcat Style

On Saturday, May 25, 2024, a trio of Southern Hellcats rocked the excellent stewards of the Merritt Community in Pamlico County. The crowd gathered early for a fun and productive day sponsored by Marine Craft Supply, the boatyard and supply business hosting its 2nd Annual Clean Sweep Event.

Above, from left to right, we see Connor Daniels, Chris Daniels, and Mike Sandvig making music for the hardworking volunteers with fun rockabilly classics. Many families gathered at the Marina and Boat Works company to collect trash from the surrounding areas. After the productive day, they celebrated their beautification efforts with prizes, pizza, and live music from the O’Town-based Southern Hellcats. Oddly enough, once word got out, the drummer Jake Ross was away on a quick mountain retreat, and the dogs thought they could rule the day.

One of my favorite examples of the unexpected fun you can have is when the band takes the Stray Cat’s selfie, “Stray Cat Strut,” and walks it right into the Police’s popular rock tune, “Roxanne.” I enjoy the segues they offer, and even their original songs will groove you.

The band has a reasonably full music schedule with some fun events on the books for this Summer. Some highlights include an appearance at The Bridgeton Blueberry Festival on Saturday, June 15, 2024. They will be grooving from 11 am - 1 pm. Then the following week, Southern Hellcats will be rocking The Red Rooster stage when they close out the 11th Annual The Silopalooza 2024 at The Silos Restaurant on Saturday, June 22, 2024.

The Rockabilly quartet also has a couple of festivals on the calendar for July. The first is the Croaker Festival on Friday, July 5, 2024, followed by their return to Swanfest on Sunday, July 7, 2024. You can find their schedule and learn more about the band by visiting their website, Southern Hellcats.

The regional band has everything needed to provide venues and crowds a good time. From lighting to sound, they offer everything from full-throttle power productions to scaled-back acoustic shows. These are all options when hiring this band, whether for a private party or your next open date that coincides with their calendar. You can request a private party or concert date by contacting Chris Daniel via the contact page above.


Another Rocking Saturday Night In New Bern

Silver Creek Duo Return to the Bern

It has been a minute or maybe even five years since I checked in with Pamlico County Duo Silver Creek, but on my way back to New Bern on Saturday, May 25, 2024, I headed over the confounded bridge to find them rocking in the garden of The Garage. I met this duo in 2016 at an open mic night at Mesh. Singer Adam and stringer Brad are talented people to consider for your next availability. I booked them several times years ago, and they always offer a great show. Offering rock, country, and American classics, they have solid vocals and chords to match. If you'd like to hire the duo, you can contact them on Facebook Silver Creek.

It was great to hear these two again after so many years. They had a good crowd in the garden for their return to the Bern. The Garage is now under new ownership and offers live music on Saturday nights. Stop by and say hi soon.

While there, I scored some free beef tacos from Mamas y Papas Taqueria Food Truck. On my way out the door, I stopped by to meet Japaul, the owner and fine cook. If you see him out there, stop and enjoy.


The Wannabees Are A Holiday Tradition at Blackbeard’s

This next band was one of the first to contact me after I started the blog. I met the classic rock quartet in September 2014 when they performed for the First Annual Barn Bash, an annual fundraiser for Promise Place, a sexual assault center that shut its door a few years ago after five decades of serving our community. was quite a day of meeting musicians and making memories. This is where I met Les Wetherington, The Wannabees, Dan Jam Phillips, and sound engineer John Parker.

Not long into writing the blog, I received a call from Wannabees guitarist and lead singer Larry Swinson. He invited me to his office to discuss my plans and intentions for the blog, as he was interested in learning more. Since then, I have seen him and his band perform dozens of times throughout the state.

In short, these guys are a group of high school buddies that never disbanded. They have been entertaining fans for decades. Rounding out their lineup with supporting vocals and bass is Pee Wee who by the way is the only change in their line up in the decade I’ve known them; behind the kit is famed Farmville drummer and vocalist, Jason Patterson and taking the lead guitar parts and offering backing harmonies is Tod Stilley.

The rock quartet plays monthly at AJ McMurphy's in Greenville, and when in New Bern, NC, you can rock with them on the deck at Blackbeard's . Speaking of the two most common areas they play, when I was out on Sunday, Pitt and Beaufort county rockers, Afreyed Knot family showed up to show their support on a night off. Lynette, Taylor and their son Pete Bright are three of the five players in their fun classic rock party band. They all seemed to enjoy their night as their friends rocked the crowd. If you have not seen Afreyed Knot or The Wannabees be sure to like their band pages and check them out soon.


Did you hear what Charlie has going on?

Jam Sessions with Charlie Duzan

I met Charlie Duzan via a Facebook messenger chat. Several years ago, I published a picture of his son, Tommy Duzan, Sr., playing his guitar in downtown Bear Plaza. Included below. He reached out to introduce himself and tell some backstory about my hometown. He told me that musicians were not allowed to set up publicly in town when he was his son's age. He thought the changes were a great addition to see.

When I tell you that I write this blog for the music makers and their appreciators, this man is my testimonial. Since the early days of reading my little blog, Duzan has become a sufficient assistant to our whole music community. He assists bands with sound and runs ragged, sometimes assisting where possible. He calls The Brown Pelican his home base and puts them on the map by incorporating a recording studio for his singer-songwriter jam night each Tuesday. Duzan sets the floor and mics it all around to send to the board run by Arnold Osborn. A few weeks ago, a firefighter from Jacksonville stopped by and recorded a song on Tuesday. The song was released on Spotify shortly after. You can check out Elijah Harris and "The Ballad of the Black Sheep"

Seeing all of this unfold for Charlie warms my heart tremendously because I will never forget how the elder Duzan would write to me often after reading those early blogs. Before we knew it, all the music news inspired him to come out after two decades of hiding away with his songs. I’m grateful to be a part of stories like these.

Above photo marks his first gig. It was a last minute show I asked the Duzan's to perform. It was a thank-you dinner for the volunteers who came out to clean up Fairfield Harbour months after Florence washed through it. I cooked a portion of the food, set up the kitchen to feed folks, and booked the duo to entertain them. Thanks to their contributions and talents, both Duzans have become beautiful features of our community. Be sure to support their efforts by seeing them soon.


Jamming For Big Jim

When we last got together, I told you about local blues legend Big Jim Kohler and his recent health crisis. Sadly there have been some new developments. Just before Memorial Day, the guitar man went to the doctor for a somewhat routine visit when he had an AFib situation occur. The doctor sent him to the ER at Carolina East, who checked him into a regular room for monitoring, and about the time he was due to take the stage in Maysville on Saturday, for the first of several big bills for the holiday weekend, he was being moved to a room in the cardiac wing.

After an entire three-day weekend of tests and analysis, Big Jim had a procedure last Tuesday to correct his AFib. They successfully achieved the goal on the first try butt held him overnight. After a few more days and sleepless nights, Big Jim went home on Thursday and returned to the hospital on Friday afternoon. At press time, Jim was still in the hospital undergoing tests to check the levels of ammonia buildup in his brain.

Our friend has been battling some serious health concerns for as long as I have known him, but these days the blues man is being hit from all angles as they try to stabilize all of his major organs. He is encountering things I not heard of in all my years. And he is not out of the woods yet. He remains at the hospital with no sign of release.

Kathleen and I are in contact daily as she keeps me updated on her husband's condition. It hurts my heart to hear the news of my friend's failing health. My blues brother is just a few years older than I am and battling things that I only hear about because he is going through it. It's hard to imagine the realities of his disease wrapped up in his battles with alcohol.

Sadly, without anyone wanting to say it, these are the real life repercussions of so many friends and fans feeding him drinks. The Good Lord knows my heart and He knows if I could wake people up to one thing it would be this… don’t buy players booze, give them money and let them buy it themselves! Put it in the tip jar if you really want to be cool. I only say this because I have seen alcohol do a lot of damage to so many players I love.

On Wednesday, the jammers known as JAAMCO, featuring rhythm makers, drummer Josh Mineer, and bassist Zeus Vega, gathered at The Brown Pelican to Jam for Big Jim to raise money for the Kohler’s to meet expenses.

It was a last-minute idea to get the word out, but JAAMCO jammed in Jim’s honor last week. Eddie “Big Legs” Martin led the band as they turned out blues standards for the community that showed up and poured love into the tip jar for our blues leader. There were two guitar players, three drummers, two bass players, three harmonica players, and Hamberger Mike on the keys.

 Those who missed last week's jam are invited to attend Monday Night's Blues Jam at Blackbeard's Triple Play Restaurant. Music starts at 7 pm. Please bring some money to help the family. Those who can't make it out to the jams can send well wishes to Big Jim via the US Mail. His address is Jim Kohler, 103 Seafarers Ct, New Bern, NC 28562-8810. I asked Kathleen about the couple's Venmo, so if you wish to help via Venmo, use the singer’s phone number: +1 (631) 220-4504. I appreciate your consideration in helping our friends. When I was texting Kathy earlier she said she would be making an appearance at the jam tonight but is not sure when she’d be there.


O’Towns Own at The Pointe

Hoff n Finch

The fun party duo Hoff & Finch played the restaurant right here in my neighborhood, Fairfield Harbour on Thursday, May 30, 2024. The Pointe Restaurant is located beside the pro shop of our public Golf Course, Harbour Pointe.

The band is a lot of fun, with Mark Hoff on vocals and keys and Scott Finch on keys and guitar. They had folks up dancing throughout the evening to popular classics that keep the toes tapping and even their originals have the sounds of familiar beats that are easy to enjoy. If you’re looking for a fun band for your next event you can reach out to them on Facebook Hoff ‘n’ Finch

As for the restaurant, I do like it for food and fun. Over the years the sound has been improved but it’s still never going to be the best sounding room because it wasn’t built for those purposes. Their menu offers a good variety of food options from finger foods like hot dogs and entrees like the baby back ribs I ordered. Dinner was very good and it was a blast catching up with staff. For readers that remember the Harvey Mansion days, our bartender here was your server on the patio at Harvey; Amanda Walker. If you haven’t visited the Pointe Restaurant yet, all are welcome. When you arrive at the gate just tell the guard you are here to eat and follow the sign. If you’d like to come for dinner and music, they serve that each Thursday evening 6:30-9:30 pm.


Oddly enough there are many plenty more bands that I have seen in the last ten days so I hope you come back next time to hear more tales of my travels following the beats of The North Carolina Music Zone.

Please be sure you scroll through our home page, listen to some videos, read the blogs, check out our calendar and then subscribe for more news. This blog site also has its own app so creatives and bands can become a part of making the scene. Spaces by WIX is the App to download and NCMZ.LIVE is the site to follow.


A Glance at The Calendar

One of the features I like about this site is the calendar of events which I placed in the footer of this site. I use Facebook and email invitations to build this calendar. I click interested on the Facebook event and then add it to my Google Calendar and sometimes I create events based on emails from various groups. Depending upon the location of the event will depend on the color it is assigned. RED events are located in New Bern, NC. BLUE events are located along the Crystal Coast and throughout the plains region of North Carolina. YELLOW events highlight the Piedmont Region. That is also where many big cities, including Raliegh, Durham, and Charlotte are located. The GRAY area covers the westernmost regions of the state.

I welcome all bands and venues throughout the state to share their events with me on Facebook, and you may also send your info to my email;

Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed what you’ve read please sign up for music updates below the calendar.


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