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.  They are presented in this section with their photos, biographies and contact information. All Porch and Main Stage performances are free!

See the schedule of performance times and porches here.
If you’re a performer and would like to apply for this year’s festival, go 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 in February and March 1999 and received a Special Tony Award at the Gershwin Theater in New York on June 6th, 1999.

Also performing on The Main Stage:
Oriental’s own Saltwater Gold
12 noon-1:30 pm Saturday, Oct. 7

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.

Dom Flemons | The American Songster
Special Friday Evening Concert, 7:30 pm Friday, Oct. 6, The Old Theater
Tickets are on sale at Nautical Wheelers, Mariner Realty, and the New Village Brewery. Or contact Angie Propst at 252-671-4643. Tickets are $20 per person.

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.
In 2014, Public Radio East profiled Flemons. You can see the interview, which includes video, here.

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, Becky Ackiss and Perry Cheatham have been playing together around Oriental and Arapahoe for almost a year. In that short time they have bonded as a group, sharing their love for musical experimentation and the sheer joy of making music together. Combining a lifetime of musical experience, their sounds reflect an eclectic mix of old and new, featuring complex harmonies, driving rhythms, and lively guitar and mandolin solos. 

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 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 BugsThe 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.


“COOKIE” the clown

COOKIE came into this world proudly displaying his red big shoes. Looking back over his life, it’s clear that he’s always been a clown, a foole, a buffoon… and proud of it! If you see him clowning around town, be sure to stop and enjoy some funny gags, outrageous props, and general silliness.


Coastal Notes Woodwind Quintet | Pop, Marches, Classical

porch15coastalnotes.jpgThe 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 began playing together in 2010. Though two distinct groups for many years, they merged 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 musical job in his early 20’s playing lead guitar for a local country band.  Shortly after arriving in North Carolina, 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 DulcimersFlat 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 is one of the Carolinas’ most original voices. A performing songwriter, he accompanies wide-ranging vocals with a unique brand of fingerstyle guitar. He has performed at coffeehouses, festivals, and civic events. A couple of threads run through his 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 imageThis 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.” Harbor Sounds is 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 is a four-piece indie-folk band from the Durham, NC, area. Their sound is both traditional and modern, blending classical string instruments and three-part harmonies with pop, rock, and indie influences. They released their first album, Honey Magpie, in July 2017.

Jill, Shane and Theresa | Folk, Pop, Blues, Gospel

Shane and Jill Harris live in Merritt, NC, and operate a business in Oriental. Shane is a founding vocalist and guitarist in the group Moores Creek Bluegrass.  Jill, a vocalist, has joined with Shane on various musical projects through the years. Theresa Caroon has had a flare for music vocals since she was 5 years old when she won a talent contest for singing. She continued her love of music throughout her life with several awards for vocals at choir competitions during high school. Originally from Washington State, Theresa moved to Oriental to build a family 17 years ago and has since become a member of the Oriental First Baptist Church choir where she continues to express her vocal abilities and passion for music.

Mac McWilliams | Americana, Swamp Rock, Western

Texas native Mac McWilliams was influenced by Texas Rock, Country and Blues artist including John Hiatt, Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen.  Mac’s music has been described as Americana, Swamp Rock and Western.



| 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 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 through thick and thin, shaping her sound to what it is today. Melissa’s influences come from an musical immersion from birth. 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 | Americana    CANCELED DUE TO ILLNESS

Mitch HayesMitch is a Singer/Songwriter from Midland, NC, whose 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 County High School Jazz Band | Jazz

The Pamlico Sound Jazz Band is a jazz ensemble that meets as an extra curricular activity after school as part of the Pamlico County High School Band Program.  There has been a jazz ensemble off and on over the years a PCHS, but this one is set up a little different than the average school band.  They are currently a group of six students that have been working together to play jazz for about a year and a half.  They are taught and guided by Jim Durham, the PCHS Director of Bands, but the goal is for the students to have a lot of input into the band’s performances and activities.  Through careful guidance the students are working together to practice and perform as if they were a professional band.  They make decisions on where and when they will play, what they will wear, arrangements of the music, what music they will play, and have even started writing their own music.  David Baumgartner and Aaron Bennett (both seniors) are the student leaders in the band.  David leads the “Horn Section” and Aaron leads the “Rhythm Section”. The current members of the Pamlico Sound Jazz Band are: Casey Harwick, Flute; David Baumgartner, Alto Saxophone; Claudio Lopez, Tenor Saxophone; Aquindon Young, Keyboard/Drums; Aaron Bennett, Electric Bass; Xavier Roberson, Drums/Keyboard.

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.



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.



UHOOs | 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.