2017 Musicians and Performers

We are so excited about the musicians and performers who have agreed to perform at the 2017 Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival, Oct. 6-7.  The musicians are presented in this section with their photos, biographies and contact information.  Many are donating their time and talents to this event. As a result, you will find tip jars on each porch, so please come prepared to show your appreciation. All Porch and Main Stage performances are free!

See the schedule of performance times and porches here.

Featured Performers

Festival Headliner: The Red Clay Ramblers
On The Main Stage, 3-5 pm Saturday, Oct. 7 

Now in their 44th year, the Tony Award-winning Red Clay Ramblers are a North Carolina string band whose repertoire reflects their roots in old-time mountain music, as well as  bluegrass, country rock, New Orleans jazz, gospel, and the American musical.
In 1993, the Irwin-Shiner-Ramblers hit Fool Moon on Broadway earned the Ramblers their second Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Music in a Play, and Fool Moon in Los Angeles set box-office records; Fool Moon went on to run abroad in Vienna and Munich, returned to Broadway for a second success in late 1995, and had a third Broadway run (Brooks Atkinson Theater, Nov. ’98-Jan. ’99).  Fool Moon enjoyed a 5-week run at the Kennedy Center, DC, Feb.-Mar. ’99, and received a Special Tony Award, Gershwin Theater, New York, NY, on June 6th, 1999.

 Dom Flemons, The American Songster
Friday Evening Concert, 7:30 pm Friday, Oct. 6, The Old Theater
Tickets, $20, go on sale Sept. 1 at Nautical Wheelers

Dom Flemons is a Grammy Award winning musician, singer-songwriter, and slam poet. Carrying on the songster tradition, Flemons strives to mix traditional music forms with a contemporary approach, to create new sounds that will appeal to wider audiences. In his recent solo album Prospect Hill (2014), Flemons drew from a wide range of styles, including ragtime, Piedmont blues, spirituals, southern traditional music, string band music, fife and drum music, and jug-band music. He began his career as a performer in the Arizona music scene, where he produced 25 albums for singer-songwriters and slam poets in Pheonix. In 2005, Flemons co-found the Carolina Chocolate Drops, an African-American string band that won a Grammy for its 2010 album Genuine Negro Jig. Today, he tours throughout the United States and internationally as The American Songster.

Porch Performers

Bob Jones & Friends | Classic Country/Soft Rock/Blues

Bob plays acoustic guitar and performs a mix of classic country, soft rock, and blues. His musical tastes include Willie Nelson, John Prine, Jimmy Buffet, and the Eagles.  He is currently performing at a variety of Eastern North Carolina venues.  Often times, Bob is accompanied by his family & friends.


Brant Island Strings | Contemporary Folk/ Classic Rock/ Bluegrass
Rick Vogt, Ginny Vogt and Perry Cheatham are sailing friends who first performed togther in 2015 at Harborfest and the 2nd Annual Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival. Combining a lifetime of musical experience, their sounds reflects an eclectic mix of old and new songs featuring complex harmonies, driving rhythms, and lively guitar and mandolin solos. Email:

Brittany Jean | Country
Brittany is a singer/songwriter in the Pacific Northwest, currently living in the tiny, apple town of Brewster, WA.  She grew up in West Chicago, IL, and her interest in music started at a very young age ~piano and voice lessons, children’s choirs, youth group bands, youth theater ~ and she started seriously writings songs when she was sixteen.  Discovering she liked singing her own stories instead of the ones written for characters in plays, she found her passion in songwriting.

The Brown Mountain Lightning Bugs | Folk/Pop
Brown Mountain Lightening Bugs
The Brown Mountain Lightning Bugs formed in 2014 and have been playing all over the state since. They combine their backgrounds in pop, rock, folk and classical music to create a blend of songs that audiences of all types love.

Coastal Notes Woodwind Quintet
 | Pop, Marches, Classical

The Coastal Notes, an all-female woodwind quintet based in New Bern, has been playing together for about two years. They are three women from New Bern (bassoon, oboe, clarinet) and two from Oriental (flute and French horn).  Their eclectic music includes pop, show, marches and classical.

Downeast Dulcimers
| Old Time, Celtic, Bluegrass
Down East Dulcimers
Down East Dulcimers & Thurs Morn’ began playing together in 2010. Though two distinct groups for many years, they merged for many performances to allow for a wider range of instruments and vocal sound. The hammered and lap dulcimers, fiddle, dobro, cajon drum, penny whistle, harmonica, banjammer, U Bass, and mandolin are all represented among these musicians who love sharing the world of music together.

Dennis Cash | Old Time Country/ Gospel
Dennis CashDennis grew up in a music loving family and plays guitar, bass, mandolin, autoharp, resonator guitar, and a little banjo.  He took his first paying musical job when in his early twenties playing lead guitar for a local country band.  Shortly after arriving in NC, Dennis met Wayne Ratley and together launched the Carolina Sonshine band playing bluegrass gospel music.  His personal recordings include works that pay homage to the Carter Family. Dennis was inducted into America’s Old Time Country Hall of Fame in 2014.

Flat Mountain Dulcimers | Old Time, Celtic, Bluegrass, Gospel
Flat Mountain Dulcimers
Flat Mountain Dulcimers have been playing together for 10 years.  The band consists of Dave Roberson playing guitar, dulcimer and mandolin, Margit Roberson on dulcimer and mandolin, and Nancy Galambush on dulcimer and cello. 


Frederick Ingram | Cafe Chill
Frederick Ingram, of Sumter, SC, is one of the Carolinas’ most original voices. A performing songwriter, he accompanies wide-ranging vocals with a unique brand of fingerstyle guitar. He was performed at coffeehouses, festivals, and civic events. A couple of threads run through Frederick Ingram’s musical career: a certain intelligence, a love of the land, and an adoration for most everything English, particularly the language itself. Like many he’s been inspired by the waves of musical innovation and transatlantic dialog from the British Invasion to New Wave and Britpop.

Green Creek Bluegrass | Bluegrass
header image
This group played at Oriental’s Ol’ Store 36 years ago. Ken Belangia and Ernest Dunn are family members of Lucille and Billy Truitt and started this band along with Becky Hollowell Ackiss and Jim Baluss.  They are always a big hit with the Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival.


Harbor Sounds | Bluegrass
Harbor Sounds“Supporting charities through music” A dynamic group that originated in Pamlico County during 1998. This lively and enthusiastic group plays a mix of bluegrass/gospel and performs only for charities.  Members are Dixie Gatlin (fiddle), Asa Gatlin (upright base and tenor), Paul Sykes (banjo and lead vocal), and Dick Osmun (guitar and baritone).

Honey Magpie
| Indie Folk
honey-magpie-band-photo-2Honey Magpie is a folk band from Chapel Hill, NC.  Their music is a sweet blend of three-part vocal harmonics, catchy string parts, and warm percussion.  They play original music by their three songwriters as well as traditional and popular covers.  They plan to record their debut EP later this year.

Jill and Shane


Mahalogazz | Jazz
MahaloJazz is Alison Weiner (piano, melodica, vocals), Robbie Link (upright bass) and Carter Minor (harmonica, vocals) – three eclectic musicians from central North Carolina coming together to have their delightful way with jazz standards and original tunes.  Blossom Dearie comes to mind often when hearing Alison sing. Robbie’s sensitive and passionate playing makes the music soar.  And when Carter lets go, the joy in the room is electric.

Melissa Plett | Alt Country
From a farm-yard in Manitoba to the sophistication of Montreal to the birthplace of folk and country and everything true about music, this truck-driver’s daughter has journeyed her way through thick and thin, chiseling and shaping her sound to what it is today. Melissa’s influences come from a musical immersion from birth where she developed a personal relationship with the down-south storytelling of Johnny Cash, the pioneering tell-all nature of Kitty Wells, and the heart-wrenching tales of hardship from Etta James and Ray Charles.

Mitch Hayes Trio| Americana
Mitch HayesMitch is a Singer/Songwriter from Midland, NC, who’s Original Folk/Americana music is reminiscent of the country-rock and folk-rock music that defined a generation, back in the 60’s and 70’s. He performs a solo acoustic show as well as with his talented daughter, Erin Hayes. Their shows are a mix of their own original compositions and classic covers.



Mojo Collins | Blues
Not many people have performed with or opened shows for Fleetwood Mac, Janis Joplin and Big Brother & the Holding Company, Steve Miller, Santana, The Grateful Dead, Ike and Tina Turner, Muddy Waters, Leon Redbone, Sly and the Family Stone, Blue Cheer, The Spinners, Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs, Keith Shealy, and the incomparable Stevie Ray Vaughan. After accomplishing all of this, world renowned-guitarist Mojo Collins considers his dues to be paid and is currently living his lifelong dream as a professional singer, guitarist, and songwriter on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Moores Creek Bluegrass  | Bluegrass
Moores Creek Bluegrass was formed in 2009 by Shane Harris and Gary Goodwin.  With an ear for the classic sounds and the motivation for the progressive style, Moores Creek Bluegrass has honed the sound they are going for.  From Flat & Scruggs to The Seldom Scene, they will have you clapping and singing along.

Pamlico Flutes | Classical, Celtic, Old Pop

The Pamlico Flutes include alto flutist Janis Rott, popular New Bern musician Denton Dodd, fearless leader Tara Howard-North, flutist & runner Michelle Noevere, and fifer & surgeon Caroline Paul.


Sally Truitt Belangia | Storyteller

Sally Belangia, a native of Oriental, is currently serving as mayor. She tells stories of her family’s “Ol’ Store,” whose porch was the site of regular music jam sessions back in the day. The Ol’ Store was the inspiration for the Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival.


Saltwater Gold | Dance Band, Feel Good Rock

Saltwater Gold is an Oriental-based dance band that has the rare ability to entertain listeners of all ages and musical tastes. If your musical tastes range from R&B to raggae style rock, SWG will not disappoint.

Salty Paws
 | Acoustic Folk

SaltyPaws is a sailing acoustic duo, living aboard their catamaran, sailing and singing the Atlantic eastern seaboard. You’ll hear guitar and 5 string banjo, spiced with harmonica and concertina. Wherever the boat is in port, you’ll find Bentley and Jim joining a jam, at an open mic, or busking a street corner. See Jim Austin’s images from the 2015 festival here.

The Gospel Ensemble | Gospel
This combined group is homegrown here in Oriental and sings their praises at Pierce Chapel AME Zion Church and Pilgrim Chapel Missionary Baptist Church.  They have plenty of reasons to lift their voices in praise.


 | Ukelele, assorted folk & pop

The UHOOs a an eclectic group of ukelele strummers and pluckers from Oriental, NC – playing the delightful, often misunderstood and under appreciated ukulele.