2016 Musicians and Performers

We are so excited about the musicians and performers who have agreed to perform at the 2016 Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival, Oct. 15.  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. Admission to the Festival itself is free!

See the schedule of performance times and porches here.

Main Stage Performers

Shiloh Hill | Eclectic Folk Rock
In an age of music where folk and “indie” are taking the world by storm, it is not often that you find a band that not only understands its roots, but also understands how to create a sound that’s continuously evolving and fully unique. For a full bio, go here.

The Carmonas | Roots Music
The Carmonas take their roots-bound sound to fresh melodic and lyrical regions with cut-above song crafting, strong vocal choruses and ear-grabbing harmonies. The natural blend of the voices of primary members and siblings Chad, Alison, and Aaron Carmona is what really draws attention to the talent apparent in this Americana group. For a full bio, go 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
brant-island-stringsRick 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.

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.

Dale Montgomery | Storyteller
Dale Montgomery 2
Dale retired from his engineering job and moved to Oriental. He researched ghost stories about the town and found that he had as many humorous stories as ghost stories. It is these off-beat, humorous and just plain odd stories he will share of the twisted history of this town we love.

Downeast Dulcimers & Thursday Morn’ | Old Time, Celtic, Bluegrass
Down East DulcimersDown 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.

Far From Done | Ukelele Rock
Far From Done
Far From Done is an “All-Ukelele, All-the-Time” band from the Triangle playing a mix of pop/rock favorites. Lots of upbeat music, great harmonies and fun!

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.


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.


Gumbo Lily | Bluegrass/Country/Blues
ofpmf15gumbolilyii.jpgThis group of friends has been playing together in Eastern North Carolina for about six years.  Pegie Douglas is lead guitar and head cat herder.  Bobby Chandler on Dobro, banjo, and vocals pulls the whole sound together with his instrumental talents.  Rebecca Marks provides harmony and fills in with guitar.  Newest member Andy Allen lends his talent on the bass.

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.

Judy Pruitt | Contemporary and Traditional Folk
Judy Pruitt color
Judy Pruitt started as a duo in the late 1960s in Winston-Salem, a trio at ECU, and later solo at UNC-CH. She sings and plays guitar and autoharp.




Karl Koch
| “COOKIE” the Clown
Koch the clownCOOKIE came into this world proudly displaying his red nose and 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.

Mac McWilliams
 | Pop/Jazz
Mac McWilliams
Mac McWilliams lives in Merritt, NC, and is a veteran of several local bands. He plays anything from Texas blues and alt-country to swing and Americana.



Mike Roberts | 70’s and 80’s
Mike Roberts
Also known as “Wide Open Mike”, this local performer has been playing guitar for over 20 years.





Mitch Hayes | 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.


Moores Creek Bluegrass  | Bluegrass
oldtheater70thshane.jpgMoores 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.

Mt. Zion Choir | Gospel
ofpmf15mtzionthree.jpgThis choir heralds from Arapahoe and they make their normal performances in various churches.  Last year was their first appearance in a public venue.  Be prepared for a repeat performance of moving harmony and spiritual uplift.

Pamlico Flutes
 | Classical/Celtic/Old Pop
082716 Pamlico Flutes

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.

Randall Whorton
|  Solo acoustic guitarist/singer
Randall Whorton is a solo acoustic guitarist and singer from Raleigh who is a Pamlico County native. He and his family have a summer home near the mouth of Dawson Creek. He plays for friends, parties, open mics, etc.  In Oriental, he has played at Silo’s on Open Mic Night several times.


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.

Strung Together | American Folk, Old Time, Roots, Bluegrass
Strung TogetherStrung Together, the Oliver family of New Bern, plays a variety of music.  Folk, old-timey, Americana, spirituals, a bit of bluegrass and a dash of country … each song tells a story, and they have each become part of our story as we have learned to play them together and put our own spin on each one.

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.;

The Del Rios 
| Americana/Alt Country
Del RiosPatrick and Jennifer Del Rio met right here in Oriental and it was music that brought them together. A long and winding road to North Carolina for them both began with an early love of music. While Patrick plays multiple instruments, the duo sings a mix of folk songs, Americana, alt country ballads and many classics with a refreshing twist.

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.  Join us in welcoming them to the festival for the first time.

The New Sensational Messengers | Gospel
New Sensational Messengers
The New Sensational Messengers are from New Bern, NC, and have been together for about five years. We love to sing praises to His name.


3 Rivers Band
 | Bluegrass/Country
This group plays at many of the Eastern North Carolina festivals.

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.