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Events

Apr
5
Thu
Boom Unit Brass Band Durham Bulls Opening Night @ The Bullpen
Apr 5 @ 8:30 pm

Celebrate opening night for the Bulls with the biggest, baddest, brassiest noise!
The Boom Unit Brass Band are a Durham-based NOLA-style brass band boasting some of the Triangle’s best musicians and biggest sounds. They keep it real with an old-school second-line repertoire updated with modern funk, rock, and pop hits.

Apr
6
Fri
Allie Capo – Live at the Bullpen @ The Bullpen
Apr 6 @ 8:30 pm

Allie Capo is a Raleigh/Durham-based R&B soul singer, songwriter, and style influencer. Capo is emerging as one of the smoothest and most sophisticated singers on the Triangle hip-hop/R&B scene.

FREE ADMISSION

*A portion of every bar tab goes to help Music Maker Relief Foundation provide support for elder traditional roots musicians across the South!*

Apr
7
Sat
Russ Varnell & His Too Country Band – Live at the Bullpen @ The Bullpen
Apr 7 @ 8:30 pm

Russ Varnell plays both kinds of music – country AND western!

Strap on your boots and your rhinestone suit and come out for some country music the way it was meant to be. If you drink enough beer you just might think you’re in a real honky-tonk.

Admission is free, and a portion every tab goes to Music Maker Relief Foundation to support roots music and the artists who make it!

Apr
13
Fri
John Dee Holeman w/ Mel Melton & The Wicked Mojos – Live at the Bullpen @ The Bullpen
Apr 13 @ 8:30 pm

John Dee Holeman is a Piedmont blues guitarist, singer, songwriter and a locally-known buckdancer in earlier years. Holeman has been a highly visible performer of Piedmont blues, in the process meeting musical luminaries such as B. B. King and Lightnin’ Hopkins and recording with Mebane natives Joe and Odell Thompson, as well as with Cool John Ferguson and Taj Mahal.

As always, a portion of your tab at the Bullpen goes to help Music Maker Relief Foundation support and sustain traditional American music by directly partnering with the elder artists who make it!

Apr
14
Sat
Cool John Ferguson – Live at the Bullpen @ The Bullpen
Apr 14 @ 8:30 pm

You have to hear Cool John Ferguson to believe it. The legendary Taj Mahal had this praise for Cool John: “He is among the five greatest guitarists in the world — he ranks with the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Wes Montgomery, and Django Reinhardt.”

Self-taught electric guitarist Cool John Ferguson was born in the Sea Islands of South Carolina, and his Gullah heritage and the gospel music of his upbringing inform his approach to the blues. A frequent performer at blues festivals around the world, Cool John was named “most outstanding guitarist” by Living Blues Magazine two years straight.

Apr
20
Fri
Che Apalache – Live at the Bullpen @ The Bullpen
Apr 20 @ 8:30 pm

Che Apalache, which means “my Appalachian homeboy,” is a four-man string band based in Buenos Aires with members from Argentina, Mexico and the United States. The group is led by North Carolina native Joe Troop, who immigrated to Argentina in 2010. While making a name for himself in the local music scene, Joe made a living teaching bluegrass and oldtime. After a few years and numerous late night beers, he and his students had become picking buddies. As a band they have concocted a unique blend of Latin American and Appalachian music. Their debut album “Latingrass” is a respectfully crafted testament to how cultural exchange can yield authentic fusion.

Apr
21
Sat
Roy Roberts – Live at the Bullpen @ The Bullpen
Apr 21 @ 8:30 pm

Greensboro, NC’s Roy Roberts is the link between Memphis Soul and contemporary blues. Roberts is first and foremost a guitarist, having honed his chops backing soul singer Solomon Burke, Dee Clark, Eddie Floyd, and others. Like the great Otis Rush, much of Roberts’ best blues and ballads are driven by his minor-key songsmithing, which adds a smooth underlying darkness to his themes.

Apr
27
Fri
Dr. Bacon – Live at the Bullpen @ The Bullpen
Apr 27 @ 8:30 pm

Dr. Bacon returns to the Bullpen for another funkadelic evening of infectiously danceable rock, funk, soul, blues, and hip-hop. Dr. Bacon are a force of nonstop funky energy.

Apr
28
Sat
Pat “Mother Blues” Cohen’s Birthday Bash @ The Bullpen
Apr 28 @ 8:30 pm

Come out and celebrate the blueswoman who’s been getting our mojo working at the Bullpen like no one else can. If you haven’t heard her sing yet… we don’t even know what to tell you. We’re sorry. Here’s your next chance!

Pat “Mother Blues” Cohen puts on the best blues party in Durham. The unofficially crowned Queen of the Bullpen has all the mettle, pathos and ocean-deep compassion of Billie Holiday, Koko Taylor and Etta James, with her own dramatic flair and wicked humor. Miss her at your own risk.

May
4
Fri
Travers Brothership – Live at the Bullpen @ The Bullpen
May 4 @ 8:30 pm

Funky, improvisational and deep in the groove, Travers Brothership are an award-winning, Asheville-based band bringing back the spirit of Muscle Shoals, the Allman Brothers and the golden age of rock n roll.

“This is a band that possesses a soulful magic and heart you don’t find in many young bands. This is real art.” – Danny Harlen Mote, Lucky Trend Music

FREE ADMISSION

(A portion of your tab goes to help Music Maker Relief Foundation support elder roots musicians in need!)

May
5
Sat
Russ Varnell & His Too Country Band – Live at the Bullpen @ The Bullpen
May 5 @ 8:30 pm

Black Creek, NC native Russ Varnell was raised on “100% hardcore traditional country music.” From rhinestone studded nudie suits to cry-in-your-beer honky-tonk classics, Russ and his band are keeping on with a brand of old-school country that’s hard to find anymore. Russ has played alongside greats like Buck Owens, traversed the Nashville scene and hosted “The Russ Varnell Show” on Rocky Mount’s WHIGTV. Since 2003, Russ has fronted his Too Country Band almost everywhere imaginable. He is always on a mission to make sure people always can hear Real Country Music the way it is supposed to be done.

May
11
Fri
Blank Range – Live at the Bullpen @ The Bullpen
May 11 @ 8:30 pm

Psychedelic country-tinged garage rock out of Nashville, Tennessee.

“Their sound: That magical combination of dissonant, Pavement-esque and pavement-ready garage rock & roll with a keen grasp of how to make it all wildly melodic — thanks to super-sticky riffs, restrained psychedelia and a sense of composition that’s restless, surprising and pretty fearless.” – Rolling Stone

May
12
Sat
Five Points Rounders Rowdy Square Dance – Live at the Bullpen @ The Bullpen
May 12 @ 8:30 pm

Time to get rowdy again! Grab your partner for the the Five Points Rounders and their Rowdy Square Dance.
The caller will show you the moves, so there’s no excuse not to dance!

FREE ADMISSION

*Remember, a portion of your tab at the Bullpen goes to the Music Maker Relief Foundation to help support and sustain American roots music!*

May
18
Fri
Freight Train Blues – Cool John Ferguson & Pee Wee Hayes @ Carrboro Town Commons
May 18 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Music Maker Relief Foundation and Carrboro Rec & Parks present the Freight Train Blues Music Series: four Fridays of music, food, beer, and community in the heart of Carrboro! Cool John Ferguson is a self-taught electric guitarist born in the Sea Islands of South Carolina. A frequent performer at blues festivals around the world, Cool John was named “most outstanding guitarist” by Living Blues Magazine two years straight. Veteran Chicago blues guitarist and singer Pee Wee Hayes was born in Alamo, Tennessee and relocated with his family to Racine, Wisconsin as a child. Seasoned in the roadhouses of Wisconsin and northern Illinois, Pee Wee embodies the vibrancy, connectivity, and migration of southern roots music across the nation.

Alabama Slim – Live at the Bullpen @ The Bullpen
May 18 @ 8:30 pm

Alabama Slim grew up listening to old 78s of Bill Broonzy and Lightnin’ Hopkins, and learned to sing by following along with the work songs of old folks at his grandparents’ farm. He began playing music in juke joints around Huntsville, Alabama, until moving to New Orleans in the ’60s. Alabama Slim has performed extensively with his cousin, the great Little Freddie King, and together they recorded their album The Mighty Flood, chronicling their experiences in the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina.

FREE ADMISSION

*A portion of your tab at the Bullpen goes to help Music Maker Relief Foundation support elder traditional roots musicians across the South*

May
25
Fri
Freight Train Blues – Ernie Vincent & Guitar Lightnin’ Lee @ Carrboro Town Commons
May 25 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Music Maker Relief Foundation and Carrboro Recreation & Parks present the Freight Train Blues Music Series: four Fridays of music, food, beer and community in the heart of Carrboro! Ernie Vincent is a quintessentially New Orleans musician, deftly fusing funk, soul, blues and pop into a wildly appealing style honed on the party scene of Bourbon Street. Hailing from New Orleans, Guitar Lightnin’ Lee has created a supercharged, blown-out style of New Orleans rock and roll and blues, with a raw and strutting edge.

Jun
1
Fri
Freight Train Blues – Eastern North Carolina Gospel Jubilee @ Carrboro Town Commons
Jun 1 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Music Maker Relief Foundation and Carrboro Recreation & Parks present the Freight Train Blues Music Series: four Fridays of music, food, beer and community in the heart of Carrboro! Eastern North Carolina is home to a thriving gospel tradition that has had both statewide and national influence. From quartet singing to sacred stride piano, gospel has been the backbone of many North Carolina communities. But get in the spirit and you can hear the driving, rhythmic styles that have shaped all popular music, from rock n roll, to blues, to hip hop. The Eastern North Carolina Gospel Jubilee features a lineup of gospel powerhouses, including The Glorifying Vines Sisters of Farmville, NC, James Barrett and the Golden Jubilees, Albert Harrison and the Gospel Tones, The Dedicated Men of Zion, and the Branchettes.

Jun
8
Fri
Freight Train Blues – Harvey Dalton Arnold & A.J. Ghent @ Carrboro Town Commons
Jun 8 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Music Maker Relief Foundation and Carrboro Rec & Parks present the Freight Train Blues Music Series: four Fridays of music, food, beer, and community in the heart of Carrboro! Harvey Dalton Arnold grew up in the eastern North Carolina town of Rose Hill, where the sounds of deep bluegrass, blues, and the black gospel tradition permeated his childhood. In 1976, Arnold joined the pioneering southern rock group The Outlaws, and played bass for them for nearly a decade. A.J. Ghent is a third-generation singer-songwriter and lap and pedal steel guitar player. Originally from Fort Pierce, Florida and currently based out of Atlanta, Georgia, Ghent comes from a legacy of famous lap steel guitar players, including great uncle Willie Eason, father Aubrey Ghent Sr. and grandfather Henry Nelson, the founder of the “Sacred Steel” rhythmic style that now reaches across the country.

Jun
22
Fri
Sol Roots – Live at the Bullpen @ The Bullpen
Jun 22 @ 8:30 pm

The Sol Roots Band performs a mix of New Orleans funk, raw blues, energetic rock, deep grooves and southern soul. Paying homage to the greats, and with a love of Universal Music as the guiding light, Sol steps out on a path with a powerful group of unique and talented musicians.