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Cosmic Country Live at the Bullpen @ The Bullpen
Jul 6 @ 8:30 pm – 11:00 pm

The Cosmic Country Band rides into The Bullpen, Friday. Fireworks when the game is over. Come catch a ballgame and dance with us.

Russ Varnell & His Too Country Band @ The Bullpen
Jul 7 @ 8:30 pm – 11:00 pm

Russ Varnell’s music conjures memories of a near-forgotten age in our time of contemporary pop-country. His music hearkens back to the all-time country legends; his heroes are Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and Hank Williams (senior). But Russ is all real, no gimmick: he’s taken his brand of classic country all the way from Nashville’s Broadway to California’s Bakersfield, and now he’s back in his native North Carolina to share it at the Bullpen!

David Childers and The Serpents Live at the Bullpen @ The Bullpen
Jul 13 @ 8:30 pm – 11:00 pm

Singer-songwriter David Childers is the proverbial study in contradictions. A resident of Mount Holly, North Carolina, he’s a former high-school football player with the aw-shucks demeanor of a good ol’ Southern boy. But he’s also a well-read poet and painter who cites Chaucer and Kerouac as influences, fell in love with folk as a teen, listens to jazz and opera, and fed his family by practicing law before turning in his license to concentrate on his creative passions.

He formed his first band, the acoustic trio Steeltree, in 1973, and released his first album, Godzilla! He Done Broke Out!, as David Childers & the Mount Holly Hellcats, in 1995. His first solo album, Time Machine, came in 1998. He spent several years playing rock, folk and honky-tonk with the David Childers Band, then the Modern Don Juans, whose fans included the Avett boys. He calls his current band the Serpents, but says he’s given up trying to label each incarnation.

Childers has always regarded his place in the musical pantheon as that of an outsider, though not deservedly so. As those involved with this album indicate, he’s well-regarded among tastemakers. Evidence includes playing the syndicated World Café and Mountain Stage radio shows (he’s done the latter twice), as well as Merlefest’s mainstage.

Don’t miss David Childers and The Serpents live at The Bullpen in Durham, NC.

*As always, a portion of drink sales go to benefit the Music Maker Relief Foundation!

Thomas Rhyant’s Sam Cooke Soul Revue @ The Bullpen
Jul 14 all-day

Gospel singer Thomas Rhyant and his 3 piece band give the history and the music of the legendary Sam Cooke. Rhyant grew up singing in a gospel quartet with his four brothers where he played guitar and learned to “sing pretty” as he calls it. Nowadays, Rhyant still sings pretty, and he especially enjoys singing gospel from Cooke’s days with the Highway QCs and the Soul Stirrers and from the R&B and Soul days. With his tasteful guitar style and stunningly wide-ranging voice and enigmatic backing band, Rhyant brings joy to audiences while keeping the history of soul music alive.

As always, a portion of your tab goes to Music Maker Relief Foundation to help support American roots music by directly partnering with the artists who make it.

The Onyx Club Boys – Live at the Bullpen @ The Bullpen
Jul 21 @ 8:30 pm – 11:00 pm

Join the inimitable Onyx Club Boys for a night at The Bullpen in downtown Durham!

Free admission.
*As always, a portion of your tab goes to help Music Maker Relief Foundation support traditional roots musicians across the country!*

************************************************************************************Onyx Club Boys is an acoustic string band (violin, guitar, upright bass, and drums) rooted in Django Reinhardt’s Gypsy Jazz sounds of 1930’s Paris, and Stuff Smith’s New York City Swing. However, being from 21st Century North Carolina, their diverse influences take the music beyond borders. It’s a trip around the world, which will make you swoon, tap your feet, and realize how universally similar music really is.

Cool John Ferguson – Live at the Bullpen @ The Bullpen
Jul 27 @ 8:30 pm – 11:00 pm

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. 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.”


*As always, a portion of the proceeds from sales go to benefit the Music Maker Relief Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering and sustaining the careers of blues and folk musicians.

Eli Cook – Live at the Bullpen @ The Bullpen
Jul 28 @ 8:30 pm – 11:00 pm

Eli was born at the foot of the mountains of Virginia, and with no TV growing up he spent Saturday nights around the radio with local shows and Prairie Home Companion. He picked up the guitar at age 13 after watching his older brother play and began to teach himself.

He’s released seven albums since his 2007 debut, and his latest. “High Dollar Gospel” has received high marks, with the Atlanta Auditory Association writing:

“Raw scratchy soaked vocals give the songs texture, traditional blues riffs provide a familiarity and songs about lost love, bad decisions and the never-ending struggle between good and evil are nothing new. However, once you play it, again and again, the songs begin to open up to expose layer upon layer of sound and lyrical details that are hidden within Cook’s stories… Bluesman, folk singer, storyteller and guitar slinger are all apt descriptors of Eli Cook. His songs have as much in common with Howlin’ Wolf as they do with Steve Earle.”

As always, a portion of your tab goes to Music Maker Relief Foundation to help support American roots music by directly partnering with the artists who make it.