LIVE REVIEW: Reckless Kelly across North Carolina

Back-to-back Reckless Kelly shows made for an amazing weekend here in North Carolina…

The Austin based Reckless Kelly has been turning out hits and entertaining crowds for over twenty years. They’ve traveled to North Carolina before and over time built a following across not only the United States but overseas as well.

With two stops this time around on their east coast tour, those who had been witness to their live performances were excited and ready but the newcomers were also fun to watch.

Beginning the Music In the Mill series of shows for 2018, Reckless Kelly kicked off an exciting lineup, jam packed with talent. Following the Trongone Band, who played in support on Friday night, Reckless Kelly took the stage and immediately began to dole out hit after hit.

An intimate atmosphere allowed for the audience to connect with the band from the start. At one point, in a memorable moment for drummer Jay Nazz, his father joined the band on stage taking lead away from Willy Braun and bringing the crowd along for a ride to ‘Kansas City,’ a cover with more than 300 versions and Friday night’s was special.

In good fun, Willy Braun followed with crowd favorite, ‘Seven Nights in Eire‘ to win back the fans who had supported Nazz’s father momentairily taking over. An encore of ‘Moment in the Sun‘ and ‘Passin’ Through‘ ended the first show in Hickory.

Saturday, a packed Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh greeted Reckless Kelly and North Carolina’s own Corey Hunt Band. Lined up down the street prior to doors opening, the show drew a crowd from across the state and both bands were ready.

‘Wild Heart Gypsy’ LIVE from @coreyhuntmusic at @lincoln919 #RedDirtNC

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Hunt opened with about an hour-long set featuring some popular songs like ‘Song About Saturday Night‘, ‘Uwharrie River‘ and ‘Wild Heart Gypsy‘. Backed by a full band, Hart even added in some audience participation reminiscent of American Aquarium‘s, ‘I Hope He Breaks Your Heart‘ by B.J. Barham, who regularly rocks his hometown Lincoln Theatre stage.

When Reckless Kelly took over, everyone filled the pit but a full balcony and only limited standing room remained. The audience fed off the band and vice versa as Cody Braun led the audience in one before throwing it back to their roots. Celebrating a 20th anniversary of “Millican”, their first album, an amazing live version of ‘Hey Say May – Guacamole‘ filled the middle of the set.

After an 18-song set, the band exited but was almost immediately brought back by a crowd chant of, “Reck-less Kelly” bomp bomp bomp, numerous times over. The guys obliged and a three-song finale concluded their performance with ‘Ragged as the Road‘ and another ‘Moment in the Sun‘.

An amazing weekend of shows with one of the best bands in this particular genre of music who have been putting out quality songs and spreading their sound with relentless touring for over two decades.

As mentioned, Reckless Kelly is no stranger to North Carolina but we’re already looking forward to a return!

Red Dirt NC: Weekend Watch, May 10-13

North Carolina is packed with live music opportunities this weekend…

Supporting music largely originating from Oklahoma and Texas means sometimes having to wait for artists to visit the east coast. Checking their schedules we are often jealous of the many dates with TX or OK beside them but understand it’s there where they make a living.

It seems on any given night somewhere in either state you can find great live music to support and thanks to some talented local North Carolina musicians making similar music, this Thursday through the weekend, our state will be provided the same opportunity.

There’s FIVE different shows to choose from just tonight, so let’s get started.

THURSDAY – MAY 10, 2018

Corey Hunt Band – The TApp Room, Boone
Tyler Hatley – The TApp Room, Boone

“Hunt’s songwriting ranges from sincere romanticism to outlaw rebellion, and their do-it-yourself approach to booking, recording, and gigging has given them the freedom to explore and expand their music as they grow.  With room to grow and momentum on their side, their crowd-pleasing and relatable take on modern roots music is poised for bigger and better things every time they hit the stage or the studio.”

Blackberry Smoke – The Ritz, Raleigh

Blackberry Smoke has never been a band that stands still. Whether pursuing the dream by logging hundreds of thousands of miles on America’s highways and abroad or relentlessly exploring the many facets of its most unique art form, the Atlanta quintet is always on the move. The songs on Blackberry Smoke’s sixth album, Like an Arrow show just how far this authentic American rock band has come as the accomplished group of musicians tackles a diverse set of new ideas, sounds and territories, long after most bands with half the success might have settled into a well-worn groove.

Blue Water Highway – The Grey Eagle, Asheville

Blue Water Highway runs just outside of Freeport up towards Galveston along the Texas Gulf Coast. This is the part of the world where the cultures of Texas and Louisiana collide in a unique melting pot steeped in the traditions of the people of both states.

Jonathan Parker – Kelly’s Bar, Benson

Independent and traditional country music. Rising local artist within the genre featuring original songs and a few classic covers from some of your favorite outlaws.

Radney Foster – The Barn, Winston-Salem

For You To See The Stars is Foster at his classic storytelling best, both as a seasoned singer/songwriter and a soulful writer of prose. Although both components stand alone as separate pieces of art– they are meant to be enjoyed together for a reason. When coupled, the book and CD give fans a deeper insight into the subconscious of Foster’s storytelling.

FRIDAY – MAY 11, 2018

Brandi Carlile – Greenfield Lake Amphitheatre, Wilmington
Brandy Clark – Greenfield Lake Amphitheatre, Wilmington

Clark is part of a new vanguard in country music — one that tips a hat to tradition, while not eschewing its evolution. “I see what’s happening right now and I feel this groundswell of people who love… I would say ‘country’ music, but I’ll take it a step further and say ‘real’ music.

Corey Hunt Band – Puckett’s Farm Equipment, Charlotte
Todd Allmon – Puckett’s Farm Equipment, Charlotte

“Hunt’s songwriting ranges from sincere romanticism to outlaw rebellion, and their do-it-yourself approach to booking, recording, and gigging has given them the freedom to explore and expand their music as they grow.  With room to grow and momentum on their side, their crowd-pleasing and relatable take on modern roots music is poised for bigger and better things every time they hit the stage or the studio.”

Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real – Highland Brewing, Asheville

Since forming 10 years ago, the buzz surrounding Lukas Nelson & POTR has been quietly intensifying. Lukas’ profile continued to rise when he contributed three songs and heavenly vocals to his dad Willie Nelson’s 2012 album, Heroes, their voices blending with potent DNA.

Tyler Hatley – Strawberry Fest, Shelby

Independent and original country music influenced by the sounds of George Jones, William Clark Green and American Aquarium.

SATURDAY – MAY 12, 2018

Aaron Watson – Coyote Joe’s, Charlotte

Throughout his 17-year career that spans a dozen albums and more than 2,500 shows throughout the U.S. and Europe, 39-year-old Watson has stubbornly and sincerely identified with the everyman––even as he’s proven to be the exception to the rule.

Brandi Carlile – Memorial Auditorium, Raleigh
Brandy Clark – Memorial Auditorium, Raleigh

A second opportunity this weekend.

Corey Hunt Band – The Exchange, Asheboro
Todd Allmon – The Exchange, Asheboro

Another opportunity this weekend.

Jonathan Parker – The Junction, Benson

One more chance to see Jonathan Parker and his band.

SUNDAY – MAY 13, 2018

Brandi Carlile – Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, Asheville
Brandy Clark – Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, Asheville

A third stop for both artists in North Carolina!


Look for us out on the road this weekend and enjoy the shows but don’t forget to keep spreading the love, one song at a time…

Red Dirt NC: Weekend Watch, April 20-22

From Black Mountain to Greenville, there’s plenty of opportunities for great live music this weekend…

Regardless of your preferred method for enjoying live music, this weekend has you covered. From enjoying a good meal and drink with friends, a more typical venue or even a festival, there’s something for everyone across the state here in mid-April (that can’t seem to shake January).

Barley’s Taproom has some of the best pizza in the western part of the state and the “Fiddlesticks” are a must. Both the Visulite Theatre and Buccaneer Music Hall are more traditional venues and you’ve got two great options to see John Moreland.

Tuck Fest is happening at the US National Whitewater Center with all sorts of events occurring over the weekend, including live musical performances – of which Moreland is performing a set on Friday night. Saturday, you can catch him at Pisgah Brewing up in Black Mountain – another wonderful music venue with great craft beer.

FRIDAY – APRIL 20, 2018

Pistol Hill – Barley’s Taproom, Spindale

Independent and traditional country music. Emerging local artists within the genre featuring both original songs and covers from some of your favorite individuals and bands.

Old 97’s – Visulite Theatre, Charlotte

“There aren’t more than a handful of bands in history who can claim to have an intact, unchanged line-up as they approach twenty-five years together. There is, of course, no real blueprint or rulebook for sustaining the kind of chemistry that Miller, Bethea, Hammond, and Peeples enjoy. ‘I think our longevity can be attributed primarily to our friendship and ability to overcome those moments when egos want to overtake and obliterate everything in their path,’ says Miller … ‘We’re just very lucky to be able to do this for a living. It’s insane and beautiful and we never, ever take it for granted.”

John Moreland – Tuck Fest, Charlotte

“In churches learning how to hate yourself/Ain’t grace a wretched old thing” he sings, the song called “Ain’t We Gold.” Big Bad Luv is unmistakably a rock ‘n’ roll record. If, that is, one understands the term to include Ray Wylie Hubbard, John Hiatt, and Lucero. Or The Band, maybe. Insistent songs, coming from a voice as elegant as unfinished barn wood, songs which insist upon their words being heard.

SATURDAY – APRIL 21, 2018

Corey Hunt Band – The Buccaneer Music Hall, Greenville

“Hunt’s songwriting ranges from sincere romanticism to outlaw rebellion, and their do-it-yourself approach to booking, recording, and gigging has given them the freedom to explore and expand their music as they grow.  With room to grow and momentum on their side, their crowd-pleasing and relatable take on modern roots music is poised for bigger and better things every time they hit the stage or the studio.”

John Moreland – Pisgah Brewing, Black Mountain

A second opportunity this weekend!

SUNDAY – APRIL 22, 2018

No shows currently listed.


Look for us out on the road this weekend and enjoy the shows! Don’t forget, keep spreading the love, one song at a time…

Live Review: Corey Hunt Band in Granite Falls

With an acoustic set, Corey Hunt entertained a midweek crowd at Granite Falls Brewery on Wednesday night…

A recent six song EP release from Corey Hunt Band called “North of Low Water” has the frontman and his right hand band member, Eric Wise, touring here, in Texas and across the southeast all spring. After opening for Eli Young Band in Greensboro, hosting a show in his hometown of Asheboro and kicking off a tour of Texas last weekend with events in Dallas, Houston and San Angelo, the resident North Carolinian returned home for a midweek gig before hitting the road … again.

The official spring tour features nine performances across the Carolinas, 10 Texas dates and other shows in both Georgia and Alabama through the end of April. Criss-crossing the southeast over the past seven years, the Corey Hunt Band continues to build a loyal fan base who appreciates original song writing and pure musical talent.

On Wednesday night the crowd wasn’t on hand for covers of conveniently packaged radio material but instead present to hear only what Corey Hunt was all about. He impressed with lyrics relaying the every day dealings of life, hardships, heartache and happiness with Wise keeping pace alongside.

Corey Hunt Band

GRANITE FALLS, NC – Corey Hunt Band performs at Granite Falls Brewery on Wednesday – March 21, 2018.

‘Uwharrie River,’ a song off the new EP was a crowd favorite in addition to a song Hunt said he wrote that day behind a rhythmic tune and chorus, ‘Dancing Down the Hall.’ Back in North Carolina for just a few days, Hunt and Wise left their touring van in Texas but will fly back for two more dates this weekend in Fort Worth and San Antonio.

Hunt introduced himself to the crowd with a few poignant words between the second and third songs of his set. A simple name and band introduction followed by breaking the news that if you had previously listened then recognizing his songs would be easy, but if not, then hopefully you’d learn as the night transpired.

As stated, there were no covers and no one cared. His ability to entertain without relying on work by other musicians or stereotypical “crowd pleasers” only further demonstrates the lengths to which Hunt has honed his craft by playing whenever and wherever possible.

It continues to pay off as ‘Hannah Belle’ broke into the Top-50 on Texas regional radio at one point and a few songs from “North of Low Water” have potential to do the same. The relentless touring, interviewing and a sincere appreciation for his fans should keep the Corey Hunt Band momentum building and moving forward throughout the year.

For those who appreciate and are fans of original music – a staple in the Red Dirt, Texas and Americana music scenes – the time is now to broaden your horizons by realizing there is some great music coming from North Carolina originals.

Corey Hunt Band is one of those who has been paving the way for quite some time and will continue to do so well into the future.