Home Events


Nee Ningy Band Album Release Show – Live at the Bullpen @ The Bullpen
Mar 2 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

A band with a sound unlike any other, Nee Ningy presents an uncommon blend of American and European traditional tunes from blues, southern old time, and Cajun to Swedish walking music, Scottish reels, and the French bourrée.
Celebrating the release of their 2017 album “The Parlour Sessions.”

The Nee Ningys were big on the festival scene in the late 70’s and 80’s. With seemingly every sound and instrument on earth at their disposal (except guitar – no guitars!), they get called world music, corralling everything from Cajun to Appalachian music, Tex-Mex, and French and English folk songs into one joyful sound. But maybe we can just call them funk. It’s all just funky, dirty, down-to-earth, shout-it-out music, reaching into the gut of every culture and genre for that thing that makes you feel alive.

Lockdown – Live at the Bullpen @ The Bullpen
Mar 3 @ 8:30 pm

Fronted by the powerful pipes of singer Taneka Clemons, Lockdown brings high-energy hip-shaking blues and soul straight from the heart of Durham.

Dry Reef w/ Raptor Taxi + Candy Ambulance at The Cave @ The Cave
Mar 8 @ 9:00 pm

Dry Reef with Raptor Taxi & Candy Ambulance.
$5 cover. 9pm.

Formed in the summer of 2014, grunge-influenced Candy Ambulance of upstate NY are Caitlin Barker, Jesse Bolduc & Jon Cantiello. Lifelong friends and musical mates, Bolduc & Cantiello rescued Barker from a wealthy engagement prospect and whisked her away to the land of DIY punk. Poppy melodies, dynamic vocal changes and half naked live shows have solidified this rock trio as always entertaining, unabashed fun.

Boasting a healthy and frequent tour schedule the band has played with notable acts such as Screaming Females, Speedy Ortiz, Daddy Issues, and Dorothy.


DRY REEF is a group dedicated to establishing a wave of high-energy, uplifting music. Rooted in the rock/reggae sound that put them on the map, the young group incorporates inflections of indie-surf rock and electronic post-rock forming a refreshing, organic sound you cannot ignore. These 23-year-olds are rapidly evolving from dreamers to decision-leaders in the industry.

With the 2018 release of their “Alright Revival EP” the band portrays their rapid growth in performing, creating, and exploring their sound throughout 2017, and the excitement is felt with every song.


Raptor Taxi prides itself on its ability to guarantee customers smooth rides throughout the space time continuum. Whether your stop is a street down, or Alpha Centauri 12 million years in the future, Raptor Taxi will get you there. Born in Raleigh, Raptor Taxi consists of self-proclaimed local bass legend Willis Tew, distinguished percussion cosmonaut Ross Brock, and a shitty-ass guitarist named Jordan Boyle. Warning: “May be responsible for leaving your face in the form of a puddle.”

Alexa Rose – Live at the Bullpen @ The Bullpen
Mar 9 @ 8:30 pm – 11:00 pm

Blue Ridge-based singer Alexa Rose has the rare ability to find strikingly original melodies that nevertheless sound like they must have existed for a long time, stored away maybe in the ether of creativity, self-evident and awaiting discovery. Moving deftly between complex dexterity and heart-tugging familiarity, Rose evokes the bright vocal experimentalism of Joni Mitchell and Joanna Newsom while maintaining the brassy attitude and simple refrains that run straight through American roots music from mountain ballads to rock-n-roll.

*Part of every tab at the Bullpen goes to help Music Maker Relief Foundation sustain American roots music by directly supporting the artists who make it.*

The Onyx Club Boys – Live at the Bullpen @ The Bullpen
Mar 10 @ 8:30 pm – 11:00 pm

Onyx Club Boys are a hot Pittsboro-based group drawing inspiration from the old days of Gypsy jazz, French musettes, Brazilian sambas, swing and ragtime.


Abe Reid // Harvey Dalton Arnold – Live at the Bullpen @ The Bullpen
Mar 16 @ 8:30 pm – 11:00 pm

Abe Reid and Harvey Dalton Arnold are two of North Carolina’s truest blues practitioners. Abe learned at the feet of the Piedmont blues greats, and is the former winner of the International Blues Competition. Harvey played bass with the iconic southern rock band The Outlaws, and is known for his lefty slide blues style. They’re coming together for a night of raw and rocking blues, boogie, and southern rock n roll.


Andrew Alli – Live at the Bullpen @ The Bullpen
Mar 17 @ 8:30 pm

Richmond-based Andrew Alli is the future of the blues harp. Inspired and schooled by the great blues harmonica players Little Walter, Big Walter Horton, Sonny Boy Williamson II and Junior Wells, Alli is the next generation of the blues and the founder of Andrew Alli and Last Night’s Blues Band and Andrew Alli and the Mainline.

Chuck Cotton, Tad Walters & T.A. James – Live at the Bullpen @ The Bullpen
Mar 23 @ 8:30 pm – 11:00 pm

Chuck Cotton (drums), Tad Walters (guitar, harmonica), and T.A. James (bass) join together for a night of blues and beers!

$1 of every draft pint sold goes to benefit the Music Maker Relief Foundation and their mission to support American roots musicians.

Pat “Mother Blues” Cohen – Live at the Bullpen @ The Bullpen
Mar 24 @ 8:30 pm

Pat “Mother Blues” Cohen is an unstoppable force in the blues, channeling all the pathos and style of Koko Taylor, Aretha Franklin, and Etta James with her own sharp sense of humor, dramatic flair, and real-world outlook. To see Pat perform is to experience the power of the blues to talk back to trouble, celebrate life, and keep it moving no matter what, all while throwing the most fabulous party.

People’s Blues of Richmond – Live at the Bullpen @ The Bullpen
Mar 31 @ 8:30 pm – 11:00 pm

Peoples’ Blues of Richmond brings a carnival-like mayhem to their dark, blues-infused psychedelia, sending you on a musical bender of blues and rock n roll.

“Take this band seriously, or miss hearing what vital guitar rock sounds like in 2016.” – Consequence of Sound

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.


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

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!

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.