The Evening Muse, Charlotte NC

This blog is dedicated to sharing my thoughts about and photos of performances at The Evening Muse in Charlotte, NC. The Evening Muse is a special place which affords singer/songwriters the opportunity to showcase their talents in a warm and friendly environment. It's a place where undiscovered future "stars" can be seen.

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Location: Charlotte, NC, United States

Monty is a freelance photographer and avid music fan located in Charlotte, NC. He has been documenting the world through still photography for over 30 years. Monty's website is meant to both share online images and support the acquisition of prints/merchandise of those images by those whom desire to do so. Monty's travels have brought him to several corners of the world. "The ability to share these travels and my personal interests with friends and family has proven to be both an inspiration and a great source of personal satisfaction for me. Inspiration and satisfaction tend to sum up to balance which is something I treasure greatly."

Thursday, February 23, 2012

City girls Rachel Platten and Bess Rogers ignite the Evening Muse

A very talented pair of Indie singer-songwriters graced the stage of the Evening Muse last night.  Bess Rogers opened for Rachel Platten and then joined Rachel as a band member in her set with harmony vocals, guitar, ukelele and bass, along with Craig Meyer on drums/percussion.  That’s the way they’re touring this winter/spring.

Many folks in Charlotte have seen Bess perform before – most recently at the Tosco Music Party held at the Halton Theatre in January.  This Brooklyn based touring machine has a new CD out titled “Out Of The Ocean”.  Released in Oct of 2011, many of the songs that made thier way onto “Out Of The Ocean” had a genesis from the idea of evolution and some complex reading that Bess had done during a small bit of time off from touring.

Bess Rogers performance photos.

By the time Rachels’ set began the Evening Muse seating had just about filled to capacity.  The audience came to see a singer-songwriter and witnessed a full-on PARTY on the stage!  With a beautiful and powerful voice Rachel Platten entertained with animated energy that consumed the room.  Her singing seemed effortless – controlling her joy took some effort!  Rachel is a reflection of all things positive and enlightening about life.  She’ll energize you and lift your spirits – even on a Tuesday evening!!

Photos of Rachels performance.

Read on here for the rest of the story.....


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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Off The Record with Jeff Hahne

Deirdre Kroener-Grown Up Avenger Stuff
The 3rd Wednesday of every month Charlotte’s Creative Loafing music editor, Jeff Hahne, hosts an Off The Record session at the Evening Muse with one or two local artists.  The sessions are entertaining, informal, and feature a little inquisitive prodding interspersed among the several acoustic songs in this intimate setting.

During last night’s “Off The Record” Local Traumatic were in a chatty mood while Grown Up Avenger Stuff struggled to comprehend how anyone could answer the questions around the creative process used by an artist – it’s either about how love should be, or it isn’t.

The conversations were polar – as were the musical styles.



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Friday, October 14, 2011

Tosco House Party @ the Evening Muse

John Tosco
As most folks in Charlotte know the first Wednesday of each month John Tosco holds an open mic night at the Evening Muse - it's call the Tosco House Party.  There's a long story that goes back some 20 years of musicians gathering to share their music in a "living room" atmosphere.  That tradition lives on at the Evening Muse in addition to the Tosco Music Party where the "living room" grows to a 1,200 seat theatre three times a year. 

I really enjoy attending these House parties as they provide a glimpse into the development of numerous talented singer-songwriters.  Many of these people were in High School when they started sharing their talents at the Tosco House Party. 

Devon Elizabeth

Among my favorites are Devon Elizabeth, Joelle Kittrell of Side By Side, Marie HastySy Arden,  and many others..

January 2011 THP photos

September 2011 THP photos

October 2011 THP photos

This is an event that you should visit.  Very casual - all ages - a great time and wonderful evening of acoustic music.



Traditional sing-along start to the Tosco House Party

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Gareth Asher - Oct 13th 2011

It has been a couple of years since I have seen Gareth Asher perform.  The Evening Muse is a great place to listen to Gareth as the intimate setting really allows one to feel the power and hear the subtleties in his voice. 

Performing with his new band "The Earthlings" Gareth appeared to be a little more relaxed.  He was having more fun this time around.  It had been a year since he passed through Charlotte - shortly after releasing his 2010 album "Between The Smiles And Tears".  The Earthlings include harmony vocalist Nicki Thrailkill, lead guitarist Joshua Huff and percussionist Mike Nessen.

As the only performer of the night the 2 hour set these guys put on was simply fantastic.  The band played a lot of new songs, took requests for favorite old songs and even took on some covers as they filled house the melody, rock and Americana sweetness!

Here's a link to photos of the bands performance.

Thanks for a great night of music!



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Joshua James returns to Charlotte

Most folks know that I am a huge fan of Joshua James.  I've written many times about his emotive delivery of meaningful lyrics and how his soft raspy voice draws the listener into his music. 

Joshua has met with some success this year as the TV show Sons Of Anarchy featured a full length version of his song "Coal War" in their promotion for the upcoming season.  Congratulations!

This year was special for me because he returned to the Evening Muse on my Birthday!  Sweet!

Here's a link to the photo's I took on the night.

Honey Honey was the opener for Joshua.  They are touring together and were also very enjoyable.  Here's a link to a few images of their performance as well.



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Monday, November 08, 2010

November 2010 - Tosco House Party

The Tosco Music Party was forced out of John's living room many many years ago due to size, expansion, popularity and outright demand!  Well the monthly House Party open mic held at the Evening Muse the first Wednesday of each month is rapidly expanding as well.  Novembers Tosco House party was a full house - so many talented artists wanted to participate a few had to be denied because the event simply ran out of time!

Beginning with an abbreviated sing-along warmup session due to the sheer number of people in attendance, John made the most of the window in affording the 29 artists who did perform the time they needed to share their song.  There were many returning participants who come to the house party each month to hone their skills and share their latest artistic writing.  There were also a number of people for whom this was their first Tosco House party.  Several of them noted how impresed they were with the listening room atmosphere of the Evening Muse - not to mention the level of talent in the room.

Photos of all of the nights performers..

Tonights artists included:

David Segovia; Spencer, Liam and James Robinson - supported by their music teacher Laura Talley; Lorenzo Zapata; Desmond Myers; Joe Campo; Louis Campo; Phil Carias; Tina Penn; Kevin Marshall; Rick Edmisten; Lorelei Ross; Amy Royal; Chuck Johnson; Sydney Bolen; Jake Bartholomew; Marie Hasty; Rick Kim; Craig Reimann of the group Tripping Billies; Bryan Cahall; Jacob Johnson; Taylor Moore; Danial Helms; Joelle Kittrell, Mike Pepe, and Joseph Pepe of the group Side-By-Side; Glenn Evans; Shannon McArthur.

Rick Edmisten supported Jackie Moseley in her showcase at the Charlotte Music Awards folk performance Thursday night.  Rick plays a mean Mando!

Marie Hasty did a great job tonight - she a young developing artist whom will hopefully pursue her vocal talents.

Bryan Cahall drove down from Greensboro for the show and is developing quite a following as a storyteller singer-songwriter.  I've been very impressed with his last couple of performances.  People remember him!

Jacob Johnson and Taylor Moore are performing at the Double Door Inn on November 10th - check 'em out.  They are a couple of very talented guitarists as well as singer-songwriters.  The DDI show promises to be a very entertaining event!

Looking forward to next months Tosco House Party at the Evening Muse - see ya there!

Keepin' it live..

Charlotte Music Examiner Article

For a complete listing of Charlotte's musical happenings calendar be sure to sign up for the Carolina Music Connection.  It is Charlotte's bible when it comes to knowing who is playing where and when.  I use it!!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Mando Saenz and Kim Richey - Oct 2nd 2010

Mando Saenz and Kim Richey are doing a fall tour together and Charlotte was lucky enough to be one of the stops.  Mando opened the early show with an acoustic set consisting of old and new tunes.  He was joined by Kim for a couple of songs as well. 

Images of Mando's performance here.

After a very short break Kim took the stage along with Dan Mitchell on keyboards and Neilson Hubbard on percussions and bass. Kim's newest album "Wreck Your Wheels" was featured along with several of her more recognizable songs, including Circus Song, Chinese Boxes and Straight As The Crow Flies.

Images of Kim's performance here.

A truly memorable night of music at the Evening Muse with a two-time Grammy nominee taking the stage.



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Friday, September 03, 2010

Recap - September 2010 Tosco House Party @ the Evening Muse

This months Tosco House Party held at the Evening Muse continues to reflect the fun atmosphere that has become a tradition. Promptly at 8 the musicians as well as others in attendance formed a circle so the sing-a-long could commence. It's a great way to break the ice as well as to warm up a bit before the performances begin. Tonight's warm-up songs included:

"Takin' it Easy" - Doobie Brothers; Introductions of the folks in the room; "Revolution" - Beatles; "Treat Your Children" - CSNY; "Southern Cross" - CSNY; "Ring Of Fire" - J. Cash; "Folsom Prison" - J. Cash; "Ain't That America" - John Cougar; "American Pie" - Don McLean; "The Boxer" - Simon and Garfunkel; "Rocky Top"- Nitty Gritty Dirt Band; "Country Roads" - John Denver.

A seldom discussed but very important benefit of these Music Party's results from the $2 cover that everyone in attendance must pay. The $2 goes into a traveling musicians fund which helps musicians who play at the Evening Muse on a slow night by perhaps providing gas money to get them to their next gig. It helps and all goes to traveling musicians! As usual with John - it's all about the musicians.

Sara Scott accompanied by band-mate and sister Katie Scott performed a wonderful new song which is part of a batch of new material she's been writing to include on her new album scheduled for release next spring. Sarah will be at the Muse this Friday night at 8 PM as she leads off the Gallery Crawl performances. Catch her hour long set and pick up a copy of some acoustic work she'll be handing out!

Bryan Cahall is from Greensboro - He shared a Storytelling song which was rich with very creative lyrics of meaning within meaning and delivered it with heart and an upbeat tempo. Titled "Battleground USA" it's about finding habitable spaces. While its aweful hard to pick a favorite song when choosing from the talented performers attending a Tosco House Party, this was an easy choice. This song stood out!!

Brett Greer - A very nice country tune written for Brett by his father. Brett plays a really nice guitar and has a voice that is well suited to ballads and country songs. His was a different sound that was very welcomed at the House Party.

Read on here for the rest of the story and photos...



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Last November rocked NoDa Saturday night

Within 100 yards of each other there was some really smokin' rock'n roll going on. Over at the Neighborhood Theatre the ThermaTones were celebrating Odell Stamey's 75th birthday with a two set concert and Last November showed off some really good new material at the Evening Muse's late show.

Over at the Evening Muse Luke Pilgram, Tyler Ayers & Taylor Woodruff of the Atlanta based group Last November shared some truly fantastic new material they have been working on. Traditionally leaning towards a harder rock vibe, the guys brought out a softer side of themselves with articulate vocals in a progressive country flare. Mind you - it's not your dads country music and progressive might not be a strong enough hint of the rock and roll nature that is Last November, but the lyrics weren't simply a string of words that made good prose. The lyrics told a story - made sense - and provided a connection with the young audience in attendance. Good to see these guys stretching themselves! They're headed to Wisconsin next to perform at the Taste of Madison Festival. Check out their MySpace page to hear their music and look for performance dates near you!

Read on for the rest of the story and images..



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Stereofidelics continue rocking Charlotte with a great live set and a new CD

After my traditional summer vacation and resulting hiatus from Charlotte's music scene, my choice for first show to see as the new school year sets in was Stereofidelics performing at the Evening Muse Friday night. Chris Padgett and Melissa McGinley have added several songs to their set since releasing their newest CD titled "You Are Having A Wonderful Time". The group released this new CD 18 months after their debut CD titled "Only Sleeping" - an equally impressive work.

Like their debut CD, "You Are Having A Wonderful Time" was written, performed and produced by the Stereofidelics. This live-in-studio recording reflects the intense energy and instrumental talent possessed by both Chris and Melissa. The energetic musical style and individuality of each song which sets them apart from other bands was on display at the Evening Muse last night as well. Each song is unique and fresh with intense complexity that dazzles the ear!

Read on here for the rest of the story.....



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Monday, March 22, 2010

Fully Alive - The Maddie Shuler CD release at the Evening Muse - March 21, 2010

On the backside of the "Fully Alive" CD case is a quote from the internationally recognized percussionist Jim Brock, who is also the producer of the CD, which reads: "Maddie has this raw spirit in her music that hasn't had time to be jaded or molded. The spirit of this 14 year old is what all music should possess, no matter the genre".

This raw spirit was on full display Sunday evening at Maddie Shuler’s "Fully Alive" CD release party - truly a celebration of her music and the accomplishment of putting her writing to a medium which can be shared with all whom choose to listen. A standing room only audience gathered at the Evening Muse to witness Maddie perform a set consisting of the entire CD, supported by a full band consisting of Robert Austell (keyboards), Dustin Hofsess (lead guitar), Stacey Leazer (bass), and Jim Brock (percussions).

Read on here for the rest of the story, set list and photos..



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Charlotte Parrot and Not A Sparrow performed the early show at the Evening Muse March 20th, 2010

17 Year old local high school student Charlotte Parrot opened for the group Not A Sparrow at the Evening Muse Saturday night, performing a hour long set covering 10 of her original songs as well as one cover. The Evening Muse was almost at capacity as fully half the audience comprised of peers and family of Charlotte's as they came to support and hear her in one of her largest and best performances of the year. Charlotte Parrot is becoming a recognized acoustic singer-songwriter who's songs resonate with a pop sound and writing telling the stories from the innocent paradigm of a well loved and nutured teenager.

The featured artists for the early show Saturday night were the three piece group named "Not A Sparrow". They are made up of Philip Hamrick (Vocals, guitar, humor, & keyboards), Rachel Hamrick (vocals), and Christina Swinger (violin). This trio produces beautiful musical melodies and vocal harmony in songs of love and life which are very pleasing to the ear.

Not A Sparrow has recently released a self-titled CD featuring 8 new songs of faith, forgiveness and even narcolepsy. Choosing to record the entire project in the Hamrick's home in the countryside 30 miles north of Charlotte, North Carolina, the band has produced an organic new sound that mixes pop with folk and bluegrass with classical. You can hear many of the songs on their MySpace page here.

Read on here for the rest of the story, photo's and set lists..



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Friday, March 05, 2010

A festive celebration of music at the Evening Muse - Tosco House Party - March 3rd, 2010

One doesn't generally think of a packed house that's standing room only when considering the expected audience of an open mic night, but that's exactly what was on hand for the Tosco House Party held at the Evening Muse Tuesday night. The sign-up sheet which holds space for 17 performers spilled over onto the back of the page - such was the demand to perform!

With such a full house, the singalong was held to approx 30 minutes so all of the performers would get a chance to perform before the 10:30 show started. Bye Bye Love started the singalong tonight as everyone gathered in the circle. The goal is to keep the song simple and to approx 3 chords so everyone can play along. Second song tonight was the Three Dog Night tune - "Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog". Folks tend to have a bit of fun with these as not everyone knows the words so the folks who do tend to belt it out so the rest can catch up! Bob Dylan's "Knocking On Heavens Door" was next, with a few of the younger folks adding an Axle Rose "Hey, Hey, Hey" in there at appropriate moments - let the rockers loose!! "Friend of the Devil" was next and several folks knew the words - several didn't too, so it was a modified version tonight! "Here Comes the Sun" - a favorite Beatles tune was enjoyed by the entire circle with an added bonus of a "flute-like" instrument played by someone that added great character to the song. Tom Petty's "Free Falling" or at least the first verse & chorus was next. The guitar players were getting warmed up now along with several vocalists as the crowd belted out "and I'm free, free fallin..." A darned good job on "Honky Tonk Woman" followed that as the rock theme continued. John Prine's "Paradise" was followed by John Denver's "Country Road" and the "Stand By Me" as the singalong was brought to a close. Time to get the Open Mic underway!

Photos of tonights performances...

Read on Here for the rest of the story



Sunday, February 28, 2010

Stereofidelics & Amelia's Mechanics

Feb 26th 2010 - This was a special Friday night for me in that it had been a while since we'd been able to catch the dynamic sounds of The Stereofidelics in a live setting. In fact the last time was at the Tosco Music Party early in 2009. Mother nature produced a little nasty weather which forced the cancellation of the show scheduled earlier in the year, so we were pretty excited when we saw they were coming to town Friday night. Their set was a short one as they were one of three acts on the schedule for the early show - but we were very happy to catch these two extremely talented musicians. Check them out on their MySpace page - they're on tour regularly. Hope you get a chance to see them too.

Images from The Stereofidelics performance tonight..

The second group up this night was a three piece band out of Greensboro, NC called Amelia's Mechanics. Three ladies who produce a country-ish sound via acoustic harmony and complexity within their lyrics. Their show was, well - fun.. Their music is pleasing and easy to listen too. In fact, we walked away with a copy of their CD - "North * South".

Photos of Amelia's Mechanics performance..




Thursday, February 18, 2010

Paul Atkinson & Friends @ the Evening Muse

Since Sept 2009 local singer-songwriter Paul Atkinson has been hosting a songwriters "show" at the Evening Muse on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. The format is simple - a special guest does an opening set followed by a set from Paul. It gives each an opportunity to test out new material and/or reminisce through an old favorite.

For audience members the show has additional depth. Not only do we get to enjoy the music of some very talented local artists, but we also get to expand our friendships through the fellowship that comes from an evening of music within an intimate setting like the Evening Muse. It's also time friendly as the show starts at 8PM and is completed by 10PM. Home in time to watch the news and get plenty of sleep for the business day that follows!

Last night was just like that. Simply fun - pure and honest - as well as a time to meet new friends and spend time with old ones whom you don't see on a regular basis. Nothing like face to face interaction over a cold beer while great music is in the air. Songwriter Julia Dixon and son Chad Dixon were in attendance along with a few of Paul's friends and family. It's warm, it's relaxing, it's informal - it's fun!

Paul's special guest tonight was none other than Jeff Luckadoo - a local singer-songwriter who most recently was recognized as the Best Country Music artist by the Charlotte Music Awards organization in Nov '09. Jeff shared some older tunes as well as newer material. Through his set there were times when you wanted to cry, times when you wanted to revenge a wrong, and other times when the cold beer in your hand was all you needed.

Read on here for the rest of the story and photographs of the performances..



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Saturday, February 06, 2010

StephaniesId @ the Evening Muse Feb 5th 2010

After a great show over at the Neighborhood Theatre featuring Donna the Buffalo it was on to the Evening Muse to to enjoy the unique pop rock sound that belongs to StephaniesId. With a set decorated in a little fluffy girlie stuff, the band set out to entertain a large audience with an almost 90 minute set of fan favorites ranging across all three of the bands albums.

StephaniesId is Stephanie Morgan (vocals, guitar); Chuck Lichtenberger (keys, vocals); Tim Haney (drums); Jacob Rodriguez (Saxophone); Justin Ray (Trumpet, French Horn). An excellent horn section sets this group apart!

Photos of the StephaniesId performance..



Sunday, January 31, 2010

TMP alternative held at the Evening Muse Sat evening - Jan 30th 2010

Saturday nights Tosco Music Party (TMP) was canceled by its CPCC host due to very inclement Charlotte weather and Icy roads in the area. Taking advantage of what seemed a poor situation, several of the artists who had traveled to town and were scheduled to perform at the TMP got together with other folks close to the TMP event and came up with a win-win solution. They put on an alternate show at the Evening Muse!

Reed Waddle, Caleb Hawley, Miss Tess and the Bon Ton Parade, and Rebecca Loebe comprised the line-up for the revised early show.

Read on for the rest of the story and photos..



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Friday, January 08, 2010

Jan 2010 Tosco House Party kicks the year off in style

Consistent with over 20 years of tradition celebrating inclusion and support in music, January's Tosco House Party featured 19 performances by a diverse and very talented mix of singers, songwriters and musicians.

While the Tosco Music Party has grown to a 1,200 seat theatre, held 3 times a year, the Tosco House Party carries on in the tradition of an intimate living room gathering of musicians sharing in their talent and celebrating each others progression. Its an endearing community!

It's often stated that you never know who all will show up at the House Party to share their latest work and what form that work will have taken. The consensus on this night is that it has been quite a while since a house so full of talented performers presented themselves to share as they have tonight.

Twenty Six artists took the stage for nineteen performances - see photo's!

Read on for the rest of the story..



Friday, December 11, 2009

Party till you drop - an overdose of fun at The Evening Muse!

With a very special line-up that was heavy on regional talent the Evening Muse had the feel of a neighborhood party about to explode as the late show commenced on this Wednesday night. The audience were passionate about the musicians they had come out to see as many were intimately familiar with the music. You could feel the anticipatory buzz in the air.

Opening the late show was an extremely talented emerging band out of Washington DC named Honor By August.

Second to the stage was the Atlanta based group Sun Domingo, with labels: MBM (US) / Racket Records (UK/Europe).

Completing the night of rock 'n roll music was the Virginia Beach based band The Influence.

Read on for the rest of the nights story as well as photos of the performances..