Night Sounds

Columnist, who empowed music fans with insight to music scene for years, says goodbye

The original brainstorm idea for the ‘Night Sounds” column way back in the year 2000 was simple – to identify the sounds found at area live music concerts, shows and gigs. The mission was to empower music fans here with special information and tasty insights into the myriad sounds and styles to cut down on the ‘fear factor’ and help scope out differences and dynamics.

Originally my byline was most often found in Charlotte publications – from The Charlotte Observer as well as their former weekly Break Magazine; to Creative Loafing and a panoply of small but popular indie music publications as well as a couple of assignments nationally, but I lived In York County and even though I’d written features on nationals acts for The Herald, there was a huge number of musicians, bands, and fans not getting coverage and I wanted to cover the local beat.

Night Sounds was conceived as a booster for the York County market. So, along with the ‘just the facts m’am’ of when and where, I also hoped to expand on the who and what involved too, and then, hopefully encourage folks to take a chance, go out, and see lots of live music. Armed with interest, insight, access, even some insider info, I hoped more of you could be enticed to venture out on a regular basis to boost the live music scene right here in our backyard. To rock, roll, stroll, boogie, throw down – whatever – to boldly go face the music. In the nearly 18 years that followed, I think it succeeded. Mission accomplished.

We’re lucky to have such rich and sassy assorted talent right here, homegrown, as well as visiting/touring groups and artists charging through. All around us there’s a cool variety of great artists and bands of all ages, styles, looks, genres, skill levels, talents, imagination who are sincerely dedicated to making music. It’s their mission. For many, it’s their life’s work, too.

Many work jobs all day then fine tune their music at night, or on the weekend. Often, they get very little respect or recognition but definitely deserve regular interest. Along the way, you might even have been surprised to discover folks you already knew but in other professions when you encountered them up on stage somewhere, playing live – solo, duo, in a band, ensembles – you name it.

Yep, there they’d be – live – with assorted group monikers (often unusual) and miscellaneous ‘looks’ (sometimes outlandish) just ‘doing their thing’ musically on St. Patrick’s Day, at Come See Me, inside restaurants, upstairs in The Courtroom, all around the area at small clubs, big venues, hangouts, taverns, joints, and any other space that would showcase live music and musicians intent on jamming, jiving, being jazzy, introspective, as they were rocking, rolling, getting funky, rocking out, and having fun. It’s the kind of fun that’s almost invariable contagious and requires no vaccination. Sadly, through the years, the turnover/disappearance of live music spots has forced us all to be more creative, vigilant, fans and bands alike. Thankfully, determination and the love for live music usually finds a way.

As mentioned, there are a lot of bands based right here, natives to this area/state. Not enough room here to list them. I could try – I have a good memory, but again there’s that space problems along with the possibility faux pas of leaving out someone’s uber favorite group, nevermind keeping straight what bunch morphed into that ‘other’ band or the shared background details of yet another project.

A few do immediately come to mind: Green Ice, Day Star, Axe, New York, and Panama who became Resister and eventually Crashbox, while Plair just keeps on keeping on. We’ve got Oneppo Brothers, Rockaholics, Rockstar, Weekends, Rudy Currence, Rusty Pilot, Frank Sciandra, PJ Brunson, Jake Haldenwang & HaldenVang, Blanco Diablo, Threshold, Truckstop Preachers, Analog Daze, Motel Glory, Boo Hag, Sonic Rewind, The Hinson Girls, Chase Killough, Logan Aggeles, the list goes on and on. Meanwhile, Rayen Belchere aka Early Ray keeps reinventing himself, Bryan Dover too, while Christina Raine rocks on.

That’s just the tiniest bit of a huge resource of sounds, styles, talent and history. Wait, there’s more with the neighboring metro area at large, then across the Carolinas – The Spongetones, FireHouse, Hootie & The Blowfish, Jackyl, Stuck Mojo, Needtobreathe, etc. Add to that, a list of professional support production personnel and suppliers, plus the club owners, movers and shakers and all the other artists, players, performers still prominent, along with the names of those we’ve lost forever – all epic and from right here in York County! It’s that thing they do and often it’s exactly what makes them happy and delights audiences. Some have been around for a long time – you probably already know many, along with an everchanging wave of brand new upcoming acts to check out. Of course, we could use a few more local area clubs/venues, spots that are nearby to hang out and groove to the tunes.

“Be brave and mighty forces will come to your aid.” So, get out there and get involved! Jump in and jam! Find favorites and support their music, shows/concerts. Don’t forget all the other special groups, the arts organizations, which includes our awesome marching bands and most definitely includes Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle too. You’ll never know how special and vital your interest and support are to these performers and performances.

Look through the listings here for this week’s possibilities– and luckily you can test the whole ‘Live Music’ theory one more time this weekend with shows by Rockaholics, Weekends, Early Ray, and others. For the future, I won’t be here to guide or goad you. But, ‘the beat goes go on,’ and so will I.

I still have a lot to say, to hear, and to share. Stay tuned. You can still find me on FaceBook and at my email- I sincerely thank you all for reading and following. This includes the old friends, new friends, club owners, fans, ‘band aids,’ promoters, publicists, photographers, managers, editors (prominently John Bordsen, formerly Break Magazine/ The Charlotte Observer ), copy editors (including Barbara Barkley currently and the late Virginia Wilcox who helped develop this column); all the talented musicians/ bands, acts, many others for their support, encouragement, direction, and patience, especially husband Bob, son Paul; and of course, The Herald for this opportunity/sounding board and a place for all of us to ‘meet’ for so many years. Keep the music alive. C-ya! ‘And that …was all she wrote!’


Weekends Band at Empire Pizza-Newport, Rock Hill;

Funkberry at McHale’s on Main, Rock Hill;

The Raymond Franklin Band at Hartland’s, Rock Hill;

Scoot Pittman at Hobo’s, Fort Mill;

Brian Dover Acoustic at The Handle Bar, Catawba;

The Rockaholics at T-Bones at The Lake, Lake Wylie;

Early Ray at Wild Wing Café, Gastonia;

Shannon Lee at The Lodge Ballantyne, S. Charlotte;

Analog Crash at Dreamchaser’s Brewery, Waxhaw;

Lenny Federal Band at Comet Grill, Charlotte;

Out of The Blue at Coyote Joe’s, Charlotte;

Greg Moore at Big Al’s Pub, Charlotte;

Trial By Fire - Journey Tribute w-Fiftywatt Freight Train at The Fillmore, Charlotte;

Moses Jones & Austin McNeill at The Fish Bowl, Salisbury;

Bad Romeo at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, Cherokee;


Chubby Knuckles at Revolutions-Galleria Mall, Rock Hill;

The Ramond Franklin Band at Ledo Pizza, Rock Hill;

Josh Daniels at McHale’s on Main, Rock Hill;

Lucky Dogs Acoustic w-Bryan Porter at Original Empire Pizza, Rock Hill;

The Hyde Band at 21 Roadhouse, Fort Lawn;

Static Pool at T-Bones on the Lake, Lake Wylie;

Jes Seda at Hobo’s, Fort Mill;

Blonde Ambition at Dirty Martini Lounge, Fort Mill;

Analog Daze at The Lodge Ballantyne, S. Charlotte;

Lisa de Novo Duo at Dreamchaser’s Brewery, Waxhaw;

Sun-Dried Vibes at The Visulite Theater, Charlotte;

The Marshall Tucker Band at The Fillmore, Charlotte;

Little Johnny Trailer Trash at Big Al’s Pub, Charlotte;

Mike Strauss Band at Comet Grill, Charlotte;

Jem Crossland at Puckett’s Farm Equipment, Charlotte;

Walter Hayes & Kelsea Ballerini w-Out of the Blue at Coyote Joe’s, Charlotte;

Havoc at The Fish Bowl, Salisbury;


Omari & The Hellhounds at Comet Grill Charlotte;

Jeff Shows at Pineville Tavern, Pineville;

Find Debby Jet Jennings on Facebook or More info on