Live Review: Sean McConnell in Charlotte, 03/08/2019

Sean McConnell performed for a sold out crowd Friday night.

Between songs, Sean McConnell expressed his gratitude to those in attendance for showing up but it was the audience who was ultimately treated. Explaining that he played to a small crowd during his first stop at The Evening Muse in Charlotte a few years ago, he followed it up by entertaining a larger group but a third time was the charm as McConnell took the stage in front of a standing room only, sold out venue last Friday night.

Prior to his appearance on stage, Louisiana native Caleb Elliott celebrated his debut album release with a few songs and stories of his own. After years of backing other musicians, including performing with McConnell as one of only two other contributors in his latest venture, Elliott put “Forever to Fade” out into the world.

For the entire night a focus was on the music in arguably the best listening room across the state. McConnell took attendees on an emotional journey sharing tales behind some of the songs and even a few dedications – one to his sister and another for a couple who had recently gotten engaged, all of whom were in attendance.

McConnell’s latest album, “Secondhand Smoke”, is barely a month old as he embarks on a nationwide tour. Beginning the day prior in Carrboro, a sold out night two displays the impact he’s making through hard work and a dedication to the craft. Featuring songs like the heart wrenching ‘Beautiful Rose‘ and the more recent ‘Shakey Bridges‘, which relates to personal journey, McConnell concluded the evening in epic fashion.

Going solo and stepping away from the microphone, McConnell put his talent on full display with a true acoustic finale – no sound, no flashing lights, no tracks – just a man and his guitar.

NORTH CAROLINA UPCOMING TOUR DATES

April 26 – Wilkesboro at MerleFest (Tix Available Here)
April 27 – Charlotte at Tuck Fest, US National Whitewater Center (Free Admission)

Live Review: Sarah Shook and the Disarmers in Asheville, 03/07/2019

Sarah Shook and the Disarmers begin tour in Asheville.

Last week at The Grey Eagle in Asheville, Sarah Shook and the Disarmers kicked off their ‘Into the Fray Tour 2019’. Visiting 18 states over 29 dates, including a few more stops in North Carolina, things got started with a bang last Thursday night and continue until the end of May.

In support was Asheville’s own Gold Rose, who got things started and kept the growing crowd entertained with a lively set. Highlighted by their song, ‘Stuck in Appalachia‘, Gold Rose front man Kevin Fuller was in his element on stage at a hometown venue sharing his repertoire of sad songs.

Following, Sarah Shook and the Disarmers hit the stage amid a cheering crowd and proceeded to rock the night away for a solid roughly two hour set. Battling broken strings on both her primary and back up guitar, Shook calmly turned it over to her band for a brief moment as she fixed her first and stepped back up the mic without missing a beat.

Almost a year (April 6, 2018) since Shook released “Years”, her critically acclaimed sophomore album, the set was a quality mix of both the elder “Sidelong” and a few hits from her latest masterpiece. Comprised of in your face, honest songs that command attention and appreciation – even more so when performed live, the message and meaning behind each lyric was delivered loud and clear.

From ‘New Ways to Fail‘, ‘The Bottle Never Lets Me Down‘, ‘Damned If I Do, Damned If I Don’t‘ to the older ‘Dwight Yoakam‘, fans were anticipating what would be next and after an encore return to the stage, her finale capped an entertaining evening. Shook has a few more upcoming North Carolina dates as a part of this run and if Thursday was any indication, it may be her best tour yet, so make plans and step ‘Into the Fray’ with Shook and the Disarmers when they return.

NORTH CAROLINA UPCOMING TOUR DATES

April 4 – Greensboro at The Blind Tiger (Tix Available Here)
April 26 – Charlotte at Tuck Fest, US National Whitewater Center (Free Admission)
April 27 – Carrboro at Cat’s Cradle (Tix Available Here)

Sean McConnell in Carrboro and Charlotte

Sean McConnell has two dates in NC this week.

Proficient songwriter and talented musician Sean McConnell is making a brief run through North Carolina to kick off the weekend. Two dates, Thursday (3/7) and Friday (3/8) in Carrboro and Charlotte – respectively, allow for almost anyone in the state to make a show.

Randy Rogers, Tim McGraw, Martina McBride, Meatloaf, Christina Aguilera, Wade Bowen and many others have performed his songs as McConnell got his musical start at a young age. Growing up in Massachusetts as the son of two singers, a move to Georgia sparked an interest in his own endeavors. At 15 years old he put out his first album and since McConnell has produced a dozen more, including “Secondhand Smoke”, his latest release.

Only out since early February, the album has drawn acclaim from a variety of different outlets. No Depression (The Journal of Roots Music) offered the following commentary about McConnell’s latest masterpiece.

With a voice that’s quiet, yet powerful, McConnell creates a well-rounded album that tackles complex subject matter with intellect and empathy. Between his striking voice and ability to captivate one’s vision with his lyrics, McConnell creates an imaginative world while taking a deeper look at the one we live in.

Come witness his incredible song writing and talented playing first-hand, either at Cat’s Cradle (Carrboro) or The Evening Muse (Charlotte). Tickets and details available below.

March 7 – Cat’s Cradle (Carrboro), Doors 7pm – Click HERE for Tix

March 8 – The Evening Muse (Charlotte), Doors 7pm – Click HERE for Tix

*Caleb Elliott supporting both shows

Sarah Shook and the Disarmers set multiple NC dates

Sarah Shook and the Disarmers have four upcoming shows across NC

Sarah Shook wasn’t born in North Carolina but after moving to the state at 19 years old, has spent the majority of her adult life here. The lead singer has been on a musical journey since beginning her first band back in 2010, Sarah Shook and the Devil.

After disbanding, Sarah Shook and the Dirty Hands formed but was relatively short lived in 2013, before the now surging, Sarah Shook and the Disarmers came into being late that same year.

The group put out their first record, “Sidelong”, in October of 2015 and after signing with Bloodshot Records, a re-release orchestrated in early 2017 put Shook and her band into the spotlight for new country and Americana artists to watch.

Over the past year, Shook has been touring all over the world in addition to releasing her sophomore album, “Years”. The album has been widely accepted as Shook has been praised for her hard work and ability to speak her mind through engaging lyrics (and in the real world) without hesitation. Never in fear of potential repercussions, Shook stays true to herself and continues to move forward. It is this resiliency that has catapulted Shook and her band into the spotlight.

A continuation of the momentum Shook and her band have been building, “Years” served to solidify her position in the independent music scene, earning Album of the Year from Saving Country Music for being “the greatest, most important release in all of country music, mainstream or independent, traditional or contemporary, from an artist who is young or old, man or woman, or along any other particular gradient one can choose to assign, in all of 2018.”

Less than three years ago Rolling Stone named Shook as one of ten artists that fans needed to know, offering the following comments in an attempt to describe her and the band.

Her sound is a sneering fusion of punk-rock autonomy and say-it-like-it-is country from the classic era, paired with a timeless vocal warble and tons of attitude. Honest to a fault and as foul-mouthed as a drunken sailor, she’s a nonconforming spitfire who’s proud of not fitting in with mainstream country music. Nor does Shook hold back when writing about whiskey and hard living, screwing up and failed romance (with guys and girls) — whether in her songs or her combative social-media posts.

Needed to know then but well known now and all without ever changing her approach. Amid a slew of newly released tour dates, Sarah Shook and the Disarmers have four upcoming shows across North Carolina.

NORTH CAROLINA UPCOMING TOUR DATES

March 7 – Asheville at The Grey Eagle (Tix Available Here)

April 4 – Greensboro at The Blind Tiger (Tix Available Here)
April 26 – Charlotte at Tuck Fest, US National Whitewater Center (Free Admission)
April 27 – Carrboro at Cat’s Cradle (Tix Available Here)

Live Review: The Steel Woods in Greensboro, 03/01/2019

The Steel Woods made a return trip to NC in Greensboro on Friday.

A full house greeted The Steel Woods on a rainy Friday night in North Carolina as the band made a stop in Greensboro. Just after doors, the area in front of the stage was lined with patrons ready to ring in the weekend by supporting live music and Tennessee Jet was up first.

Closely associated with The Steel Woods and having shared the same bill before in the past, many of the fans on hand were just as familiar with the solo, one-man-band as they were the headliner. After a few acoustic songs, Jet unleashed his drumstick and kick drum for a rocking good time. An entertaining cover of Hank Williams’ ‘I Saw The Light’ peaked when Jet asked for the house lights to be turned up as the crowd sang along at full throat.

Next up was The Steel Woods who continued the furious pace set by Tennessee Jet without missing a beat. A brief break in the action wasn’t enough to cool the crowd who was ready and singing along with nearly every lyric from Wes Bayliss. Flanked by fellow guitarist Jason “Rowdy” Cope and bassist Johnny Stanton with vocals and a smooth beat provided by Jay Tooke, it’s hard to believe the group is just a few years removed from inception.

Less than two months after releasing their second album, “Old News” out January 18, there is no denying the momentum behind this quartet of entertainers. Mixing southern rock and blues, this band has cultivated a sound and following unique to their own true identity.

An enjoyable set highlighting some of the new with ‘All of These Years’ and fan favorites ‘Wild and Blue’, among others, it’s a safe bet to assume The Steel Woods achieved their goal to #GrowtheWoods with their most recent stop – gaining new fans along the way.

First Listen: ‘San Isidro’ by Whiskey Foxtrot

EXCLUSIVE: Listen to ‘San Isidro’ by Whiskey Foxtrot today.

Back in early January, Whiskey Foxtrot, an emerging North Carolina band, released their first ever single, ‘The Broken End’ following it up with ‘Turn Off the Headlights,’ two weeks later. Both songs provided a slight glimpse into the group’s sound and talented lineup that many have witnessed first-hand at shows across the southeast over the past couple years. Recently announcing a commitment to their debut studio album, Whiskey Foxtrot has a third single, ‘San Isidro’ available everywhere on March 2 (Saturday). Prior to its official release, RedDirtNC caught up with the group for an exclusive first listen available here.

Slightly different from each of the first two releases, this track carries more of a ballad feel, walking a line many prominent bands such as Blackberry Smoke and Whiskey Myers toe with their music. Capable of sets that both excite a crowd and involve some story-telling, listening room allure, the diversity Whiskey Foxtrot displays is quite impressive – especially for a band who is just now compiling their first ever album.

A melody with the focus on memories and what could have been, the tale draws you in even as Sam Foster and Seth Williams plead, “don’t let it pull me in.” Also prevalent is the handiwork of band mate Terry VunCannon on the lap steel, in addition to both Earthtones Recording and Alien Beans Studio who completed the engineering and mastering, respectively.

The momentum building behind this group is obvious. Recently returning from a brief tour of Florida with stops in Georgia, Whiskey Foxtrot also announced a crowdsourcing campaign through Indiegogo to assist with funding their debut record. According to Foster, “it’s going to be an excellent demonstration of what exactly we’re capable of as a unit, and reflective of the time we’ve spent woodshedding songs together, as well as sharpening our playing skills as a whole.” Already halfway to their goal with over a month remaining, you too can have a role in the development process with a donation of any size. Some incredible incentives are also being offered for your consideration – view and donate here.

As each new song continues to be released it’s quickly becoming apparent that while Whiskey Foxtrot has taken their time to enter the studio, the backgrounds and previous solo albums released from Foster and Williams have provided a solid foundation for their future.

Upcoming Tour Dates:

3/1 – Winston-Salem, NC (Breaktime Billiards) – 9pm
3/2 – Winston-Salem, NC (Bull’s Tavern) – 10pm
3/8 – Youngsville, NC (Wine and Beer 101) – 6pm
3/9 – Greenville, NC (Buccaneer Music Hall) – 10:30pm
3/16 – Greensboro, NC (Preyer Brewing) – 8pm
3/22 – Greensboro, NC (Sawmill II) – 8pm
3/23 – Asheboro, NC (Lucky’s Burger N Tap) – 9pm
3/28 – Raleigh, NC (The Pour House) – 8pm
3/29 – Kernersville, NC (Breathe Cocktail Lounge) – 9pm
3/30 – Greensboro, NC (The Crown at Carolina Theatre) – 7pm

Find more at WhiskeyFoxTrotMusic.com

Live Review: Read Southall Band in Charlotte, 02/06/2019

Read Southall Band made their NC debut at The Gin Mill in Charlotte last Wednesday night.

Hailing from Stillwater, Oklahoma and fresh off the release of their first live album, Live at Tower Theatre, Read Southall Band took the stage at The Gin Mill in Charlotte before an engaging midweek crowd. On the rise and expanding their reach, many were on hand who were already familiar with the lyrics within Southall’s songs but witnessing a full live performance is an entirely different experience.

Originally scheduled to perform as part of the re-opening of Amos’ Southend, construction delays forced a change in location. Staying within the same building but moving into the restaurant portion, Southall and his band acclimated from performance venue to bar scene nicely.

Ahead of Kody West, the two bands joined forces for a two week span of their winter tour through the south and up the east coast. With stops in Tennessee, Georgia, both Carolinas, Washington DC and New York City, it’s safe to say both groups made many new fans along the way.

Heavy on drums and punishing guitar, the combination of Read Southall (lead vocals/guitar), John Tyler Perry (lead, rhythm guitar), Zac Copeland (rhythm, lead guitar) and Jeremee Knipp (bass) create a southern rock feel paired with penetrating lyrics while Reid Barber (drums) keeps everyone in line, in addition to creating some powerful openings.

Following a strong line of performers from the same region with a similar sound, Southall continues to forge his way into the scene with a proven track record and his own twist on story telling. The group featured fan favorites, ‘Why‘, ‘Clean Slate‘ and ‘Beautiful Eyes‘ in addition to ‘Animals‘ and ‘Gunshy‘ within their set list.

Entertaining bands continuing to build momentum, hopefully both Read Southall and Kody West make a return trip back east soon.

Koe Wetzel Makes Midweek Stop in Charlotte

East Texas native Koe Wetzel set to play Coyote Joe’s in Charlotte this Wednesday.

Originally scheduled for the newly renovated Amos’ Southend in Charlotte, construction delays have forced a change of venue for the upcoming Koe Wetzel concert. After moving last week’s Read Southall Band and Kody West bill into the restaurant portion of Amos’, a larger room was needed for this Wednesday (2/13) and what is expected to be one of the best shows in Charlotte this year.

Back in November, Wetzel was scheduled for his first North Carolina appearance ahead of Muscadine Bloodline at Coyote Joe’s but a personal matter kept him from making the trip. Wetzel and his band did make their debut during a Raleigh stop, one week later, and another warm welcome is anticipated when he hits the stage on Wednesday night.

Blending his own Texas style with a rocking back drop, Wetzel has been enjoying a rise in recognition and acceptance since the 2016 release of “Noise Complaint”. Though some consider him to be a polarizing figure, his steady rise to the top continues as he looks to expand his reach with multiple tour dates throughout the southeast, including North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Louisiana.

North Carolina’s own Tyler Hatley will kick things off on the 103.7 Super Stage in what is being billed as a ‘Singles Party,’ ahead of Valentine’s Day by the venue. Original purchased tickets will be honored and upgraded to VIP Pit Passes, which are also available at the door for $15 each. Ladies get in free and all other tickets are $6 for general admission.

Doors open at 7:00pm ET.

Mile 0 Fest 2019: Ten best from a week in paradise

Following are the 10 best things we witnessed during Mile 0 Fest 2019

Mile 0 Fest 2019 took place last week in beautiful Key West, Florida as a sold out crowd descended upon the small island. There to share in a love of music, drinks and life on island time – festival organizers created another epic event. Despite setting the bar extremely high last year during their inaugural try, Mile 0 Fest II was an even bigger and better party. With over 100 different concerts (not including special premium shows for Gold and Platinum ticket holders) taking place over four-plus days, there was plenty to take in and enjoy. In no particular order, here are the 10 best things we experienced at our second annual Mile 0 Fest.

The People

Last year our biggest takeaway was how well ran the festival was, especially for an event in its first ever year. Getting all of the bands, their equipment, and everything from stage to stage, much less onto the island has to be a logistical nightmare but somewhere, someone behind the scenes is pulling it off flawlessly. The crowd was great all week and for many in attendance, Mile 0 Fest is turning into a family reunion of sorts as the Truman Amphitheater had to be near capacity every night – a noticeable difference from last year.

The daily video recaps and media promotion was much more noticeable as workers were at every show providing content to festival goers, in addition to the new app which kept track of set times, who was playing when, and even provided a map to all of the satellite venues and other important, festival related, spots in Key West.

Bartenders, wait staff and those who packed out the non-amphitheater shows were also great. There were times where capacity crowds filled venues but it appeared everyone was there to enjoy the music and in what could be a stressful situation, patrons were on their best behavior. The people – from those at Oh Wook! Productions, band members, security, volunteers, attendees and everyone who had anything to do with Mile 0 Fest 2019 made for an awesome experience.

Mike and the Moonpies

If one band made an impression in Year 1 it was Mike and the Moonpies. Building off their first-year festival success, the Moonpies completely took over last week. From playing after the kick-off street party with Jamie Lin Wilson, an early amphitheater set, to maybe the best show of the entire week at Cowboy Bills, a private charity cruise and other band members sitting in with friends throughout the festival – they were everywhere.

A much larger contingency supported the band at all of their shows from a year ago and rightfully so. The band, with JLW on night one set a precedent for the week and neither’s momentum waned throughout the entire festival. The late night party at Cowboy Bills was so good, the owner took over the microphone following the show offering his own praise to the Moonpies and those in attendance. Booking bands since 2006, he said what he had just witnessed was the best ever set on that stage before extending appreciation to all of those at the show and the festival. A new offsite venue added in 2019, if Mike and the Moonpies return in 2020 it’s a safe bet they play here again.

Charlie Robison Tribute

A late surprise addition to the festival lineup, ‘Life of the Party’ – a tribute to Charlie Robison was added as an 11:00am show on Friday morning. Hours before opening, festival goers made their way to stand in line to guarantee their admission. The crowd over ran the Key West Theater and for those in attendance the intimate setting provided a once in a lifetime opportunity.

In different groups – Bri Bagwell, Micky Braun, The Cole Trains, Jared Deck, Keith Gattis, Adam Hood, Jack Ingram, Kelley Mickwee, Bruce Robison, Randy Rogers, Shane Smith and Jamie Lin Wilson each took turns sharing stories before covering one of the many Robison hits.

A toast to Robison (who was in attendance and an original member of the Mile 0 Fest 2019 lineup before retiring in September 2018 due to surgical complications leaving him with the inability to sing) and a stirring rendition of ‘My Hometown’ led by Jack Ingram backed by everyone in the room, provided an unforgettable experience.

Reckless Kelly

Arriving to the island on Friday, Willy and Cody Braun joined brothers Micky and Gary from Micky and the Motorcars for a family affair at Irish Kevin’s on Duval Street. A rare opportunity to see all four in one place, the next day both bands took to the Truman Amphitheater stage with Reckless Kelly stealing the show.

In perhaps the best set at The Amp, Reckless Kelly kicked off their time with ‘Seven Nights in Eire’ and carried the momentum through their roughly hour long set. An upbeat performance, Reckless Kelly is a staple in this music scene and fans packed in for their early evening performance.

Turnpike Troubadours Support

Days before the festival began, Cody Canada took to social media asking fans to wear their Turnpike Troubadours gear to Truman Amphitheater on Thursday night. The Oklahoma based group was originally scheduled to headline the evening but canceled many tour dates, including the festival, at last minute. Canada, along with a number of other artists in attendance, shared their support throughout the week.

Fans responded as many participated by sporting their Turnpike t-shirts, hats and other merchandise and the artists showed their support too. Corb Lund made reference to them being absent but not forgotten, Todd Snider asked fans to give that kid another chance, and another, and another, and another…, Jamie Lin Wilson covered ‘Diamonds and Gasoline’. Canada offered the following comments while on stage.

“It’s a common misconception that as musicians, we’re bulletproof, and we’re not. Life catches up to us from time to time. And you as fans should let us chill the f— out for a minute, and let us catch our breath. Sometimes we need to catch our breath. Sometimes on the roller coaster of success, we have to step off and be a train for a minute. We need to work on our self for a minute. I know you guys are sweet and caring and nice. Every now and then, we need to step off and take care of ourselves. And then we’ll come back, as long as you’re here. We’re musicians. We’re a little brittle. We’re not gladiators … I know that everyone’s wearing their Turnpike shirts tonight and we appreciate that. So this is for the Turnpike boys. Long live the Turnpike Troubadours.”

Following, BJ Barham from American Aquarium had this to say.

“People call themselves fans, taking s—. If anybody in your family has been affected by addiction, you know exactly what I’m f—— talking about. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Turnpike family. They’re one of my favorite bands in the entire world. If you call yourself a fan, and call yourself a member of somebody’s family and you do not support them at their lowest times, you are a piece of s—. That’s the easiest way I can say it. We’ve always got their back. I know most of you folks bought tickets tonight to hear some Turnpike Troubadours songs. So I’m going to get my friends John Fullbright and Jamie Lin Wilson up here, and do you a Turnpike Troubadours song.”

Continuing with ‘Every Girl’, another memorable moment was made.

Shane Smith and the Saints

A late addition to the festival lineup, Shane Smith and the Saints replaced Charley Crockett, after a medical emergency forced him from appearing. Making the most of their time spent on the island, this group of five blew audiences away with their unmatched harmony and energetic performances.

Both kicking off Thursday afternoon at The Amp and late night at Durty Harry’s on Friday, this band drew a crowd. Even non-festival goers were lined up outside the latter to try and catch a glimpse of who was on stage and responsible for the party they could witness and music they could hear.

No doubt, Shane Smith and the Saints made an impression and acquired many new fans during the week.

Bassists

Most people know those who front their favorite bands but it was the bass players who made an impact this week. Right alongside their band mates, multiple bass players appeared to be having the time of their lives.

Craig Burletic (Tyler Childers), Casey Johns (Garrett Bryan Band), Joe Miller (Reckless Kelly), Omar Oyoque (Mike and the Moonpies), Jonathan Saenz (Flatland Cavalry) and Chase Satterwhite (Shane Smith and the Saints) all had top of the line performances and entertained while holding down the bottom for their respective bands.

Obviously standing out while on stage, each was just as noticeable enjoying some down time throughout the island.

RC and the Ambers

A few members of the Turnpike Troubadours were in attendance at the festival, including bassist RC Edwards who combined with Amber Watson, Jordan Cox, and Reece Peterson make up the group RC and the Ambers.

Coming on the final night of festival, RC set the record straight after a single song in front of another capacity crowd at Cowboy Bills.

“I also play in a band called the Turnpike Troubadours and the reports of our death have been highly exaggerated.”

After opening with an emotional rendition of, ‘Favorite Bands’, the group played a few songs made famous by the Turnpike Troubadours along with an awesome cover of ‘Look At Miss Ohio’ and their staple, ‘Fry Bread’. A new song you should definitely be on the lookout for, ‘Compass’ was also performed live for the first time in front of an audience.

Mike Hosty

Oklahoma is home to many of the artists who perform at Mile 0 Fest and their representation in the crowd is rivaled only by those from Texas. Those individuals have been enjoying Mike Hosty for years but his addition to this year’s lineup let the secret escape the Sooner State. If you haven’t seen him, make plans now – always entertaining and unbelievably talented, Hosty kicked off Wednesday afternoon with side-splitting commentary, the first ever kazoo at Mile 0 Fest and comedic interpretations of country music.

From ‘Fraidy Hole’ to ‘Oklahoma Breakdown’ – which Hosty joked most people don’t believe he actually wrote after seeing one of his sets – the one man band famous in Norman made the absolute most of his festival debut.

Collaborations

Where to begin? The shear amount of musical talent huddled within about a 3-mile radius is unbelievable and the 100-plus shows allow for ample opportunity to collaborate. From the individuals in American Aquarium backing Jamie Lin Wilson on night one with Mike and the Moonpies and Adam Odor to Paul Thorn joining Wade Bowen and Sean McConnell taking the stage with Randy Rogers during the final night of festival, it was an epic time.

John Fullbright sat in with The Red Dirt Rangers, along with Cody Canada who stated his whole life he had hoped to be in their band – making it a reality in Key West. The Band of Heathens backed Kylie Rae Harris who released a special edition EP ahead of her full album (out in late March), only available to those in attendance during one of her performances on the island.

Jason Eady, Mike Harmeier, Kaitlin Butts and many others joined Jamie Lin Wilson for what is becoming an annual JLW Jamboree. Stoney Larue and Cody Canada shared the stage at The Amp along with Keith Gattis joining Reckless Kelly and Micky Braun’s daughter, Hattie, making her stage debut with daddy and three proud uncles.

Jack Ingram paired with Todd Snider at one point and ‘The Okie Hootenanny’ featured many different artists.

Overall, Mile 0 Fest 2019 was another amazing festival full of high quality music from extremely talented musicians, friendly people and memories that will last a lifetime.

A few other shows that left an impression over the week: Corb Lund at the Duval Street Stage, Chance Anderson at Viva SaloonTodd Snider at Key West Theater, Garrett Bryan at Smokin’ Tuna, Jason Eady and Courtney Patton at Southernmost Beach Resort, Cleto Cordero and Kaitlin Butts at Southernmost House, John Fullbright at Truman AmphitheaterSean McConnell at Smokin’ Tuna, BC and the Big Rig at Cowboy Bills.

Congratulations to our GRAND PRIZE Instagram Scavenger Hunt Winner – Veronica Salgado Joyner! DM us for details and thank you to everyone who participated, it was an amazing event and we can’t wait to do it all over again next year!

***CLICK HERE to renew or register for your opportunity to attend in 2020***

American Aquarium Roadtrip to Raleigh V: Preview

City of Oaks plays host to annual pilgrimage for fans of American Aquarium this weekend.

Fans of the North Carolina based American Aquarium have become familiar with the late January trip to the state’s capital and annual roadtrip orchestrated by front man B.J. Barham. Inviting talented artists from other parts of the country, to those right here in our backyard, Barham meticulously pieces together a solid lineup for the ‘Roadtrip to Raleigh’, now in its fifth year.

Initially gaining notoriety around the Carolinas with a tireless touring schedule, Barham is always working hard to connect with his fans and it is this persistence that expanded their fan base and led to national tours with sell outs in tow. From humble beginnings the band now regularly visits Texas and has repeatedly played festivals like Music Fest in Steamboat (Colorado) and Medicine Stone (Oklahoma), in addition to traveling across the pond for European tours over the past few years – but none compare to seeing Barham perform on his home turf.

In years past, fans have traveled from all over the United States and even the world to experience these unique back-to-back American Aquarium performances, those of others on each bill and to take in the sights often referred to by Barham in his lyrics. Once in Raleigh you can, hear “the church bells ringing down at old St. Mary’s” and experience “landlocked nights down at Slim’s” all on your own.

As always, Barham has mapped out the cities finest restaurants, coffee shops and other entertaining establishments (available here) and this year there’s even a special beer. Released in collaboration with Trophy Brewing aptly named ‘Tough Folks’ available at The Lincoln Theatre, Poole’s Downtown Diner, Beasley’s Chicken + Honey and Fox Liquor Bar.

The full 2019 lineup includes, Courtney Marie Andrews and Brent Cobb on Friday night with Phil Cook and SUSTO scheduled to perform Saturday – all ahead of American Aquarium who closes the show both nights.

Courtney Marie Andrews (Friday 1/25)

Brent Cobb (Friday 1/25)

Phil Cook (Saturday 1/26)

SUSTO (Saturday 1/26)

American Aquarium (Friday 1/25 and Saturday 1/26)