-- Upcoming Shows and Events
Friday July 22nd - Corn and The Colonels with Nee Ningy

This Friday, we present two great local bands debuting on our humble stage. Celebrate the present and honor the past with The Nee Ningy Band and Corn & The Colonels who combine to honor and transcend music styles from around the world.  Nee Ningy starts at 9pm, then Corn & The Colonels follow.  Stick around for a special finale that will take you beyond the full moon and into the stars.

History and stories and good works surround both of these bands.  If you are familiar with Old Time Stringband music, you may be aware that we offer our space for a truly special international community of musicians to gather on the first and third Tuesdays of every month, and the Nee Ningy Band is the first band of those dedicated community musicians to grace our our weekend stage.

Thanks to Nee Ningy's suggestion, we added Corn & the Colonels to the bill to close out the evening.  We trust our family to bring more family. Corn turns out to be Cornelius at The Music Maker Relief Foundation, with whom we arranged to donate all of our collective donations after the recent and most spectacular tribute to the late Merle Haggard. Only then did we realize it was his band that would soon be performing another amazing set at The Kraken.

It's really a small world, and we've found that if you make an attempt to give, you will get back even more. It's a dadgum fine community and we're looking forward to seeing you and meeting your friends this weekend.




The Nee Ningy Band

We host many talented bands who skillfully perform American and European roots music, but occasionally we have a band like Nee Ningy who deftly exceed all categorization and cross genres with no apparent effort...  They make it look easy.

Holy cow, those folks you talked to the other day at the Kraken Old Time Stringband Jam are up on the big stage tonight and they're bringing all that and raucous Cajun, soulful blues, Southern old-time and a touch of Celtic and more.

Come on out and add these folks to your favorite local band status.  We have the great fortune to preview their physical CD release, and we encourage you to join us to help them increase their online presence and promote them to WUNC's "Back Porch Music" where they will likely blow away many bands featured during usual weekend airplay.


David Digiuseppi

Ben Palmer

Rachel Maloney

Chris Turner


A limited preview of Chris and Rachel peforming together:





Corn & the Colonels

Corn and company claim to be based in Durham, but it's hard to believe since their musical talents seem to cross all borders and genres with their creative interpretation of worldwide roots music and a witty Gypsy style to boot.  Lauren Burke will entrance you with her lead vocals while the banjos and fiddles and horns and the rhythm section will combine to make you move whether you like it or not.

I've heard that these cool cats only harvest at the peak of freshness. I'll attest that they are free of impurities, and provide a new, fresh, organic sound - not to mention clinically proven to aid in the courting of new love with several dances and maybe a refreshing beverage or two...

Come prepared to dance to a great vaudevillian performance. Whether you made it out last weekend or not, you owe it to yourself to check out another amazing performance or three that continue to exceed all reasonable standards.


Aaron Greenhood - vocals, tenor banjo, fiddle

Ana Mitchell - percussion

Charles Phaneuf - sax, clarinet

Cornelius Lewis- bass, vocals emeritus

Eric Oberstein - congas

Hayden Strickling - accordion

Lauren Burke - vocals, guitar









$Free - Please tip bands and bartenders generously!



Saturday July 23rd - Kind Strangers

The air conditioning is working overtime at The Kraken this weekend, especially with Kind Strangers hot rock and roll.  We warmly thank this rocking band for gracing our stage for the first time this Saturday night.


Kind Strangers

Kind Strangers is a original pop-rock trio led by singer-songwriter, guitarist Jeff Whatley of Raleigh NC.  Their unique brand of music reflects Jeff's knack for writing songs in styles ranging from blues, to old swing, and to pop... not to mention some really hard-rock. People say Jeff's songs remind them of, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Tom Petty & Led Zeppelin.

Others hear a touch of Jakob Dylan and The Wallflowers. Jeff plays acoustic & electric guitars, and sings lead in all the songs.

Drummer & back-up vocalist Johnny Beacham of Cary NC has played with Jeff for a lifetime - as far back as high-school. Johnny's drumming is rock-solid, and his voice blends in nice harmony with Jeff's .

In November of 2010, after a period of songwriting and recording, Jeff and Johnny decided to start their project up again.  They abbreviated the band's name to "Kind Strangers" and went on the search for a bassist to flesh out their sound.  Their search was complete in a single month.

Ken Johnson of Bahama NC answered the call.  Ken had been working with Katharine Whalen & William Dawson of "The Squirrel Nut Zippers" as lead guitarist for their other band known as "Katharine Whalen's Lucky". Lucky dissolved just in time for Ken to pick up the bass guitar and join Kind Strangers, completing the trio that you see performing today.








$Free - please tip band and bartender generously!



Sunday July 24th - Mike June, Todd May and Jeff German

If you've ever visited The Kraken, you know that we welcome the heart and soul of the community. We wouldn't have such amazing music here if we didn't have great friends helping out like our friend Jonathan Lee. He's a longtime Guitartown representative, and he's responsible for engineering our special Sunday perfomance. It started with two amazing musicians, Jeff German and Todd May, who are relentlessly touring the country supporting their solo acts, and then adding Mike June who's already gathered local support though he and his wife just moved Hillsborough officially a few weeks ago and have started their own exhausting touring schedule.


If you've ever listened to Lydia Loveless, you will likely have heard either Jeff German or Todd May who have both participated in her band.  She's kinda like the Ohio version of Sarah Shook.  Todd May backs Lydia here on one of our favorite syndicated music shows, Sound Opinions:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDq1_rnJVE4

Our new "local", Mike June, closes out the evening and we welcome you to come out and welcome him with our whole-hearted hospitality.  Consider it a house-warming, since we expect him becoming a regular.

Since it's Sunday, we're going to start a bit early... 7pm.  Come on out and enjoy the evening with good friends.



Mike June

We've got one of the most dense populations of great musicians living around here [insert joke], but we always welcome more.  Mike June just got married in April to his singer-songwriter wife Jess Klein, honeymooned, packed up cars and moved to Hillsborough, and then went out on tour! I hear they moved from Austin, or perhaps more appropriately, everywhere in America.


Mike June has performed as part of Beth Lavinder's House Concerts in the Dance Barn series just up the road from The Kraken over the past few years, while also playing another 600 shows across 48 states, Canada and the UK. This breakneck pace, he says, is necessary for an artist like himself to survive in today's ever-changing music business . “I don't have much of a choice,” says June when asked why he spends most of his year on the road, driving six to eight hours a day, sometime only to play in front of a handful of listeners. "I'm doing this without a record label or radio promotion , so in order to connect with my fans, I have to go town to town and play my songs for people to hear them." With typical self-deprecating humor, he adds "I'm like a door-to-door song salesman."


Mike follows a venerated tradition of musicians who work countless, difficult jobs to support their passionate missions to provide music that makes us normal folks able to forget our countless, difficult jobs, not to mention our problems from day to day and year to year.


He started his first band in 1999 and began playing in clubs in and around New York City. He released a two well-received records, but landed in jail several times after succumbing to drugs. Seeking a fresh start in 2008, he moved from New Jersey to Austin, TX, spending several years away from the stage and concentrating on his job as a pre-school music teacher.


Shortly thereafter, he made the leap back into his musical passion. He buckled down and released several critically acclaimed records that drew on his working-class experiences, his addiction, his depression and his heartbreak, and he found an audience here in America and beyond. His latest album, "Poor Man's Bible", is receiving great reviews.


Mike plans to keep on spreading his message, and we hope you will join us to truly welcome him into our supportive community.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDeB-zi6838 (Saxapahaw house concert video)



Todd May

Todd May brings his love of classic country, Motown and Stax, along with his discovery of punk.  He's a solid Midwestern representative, representing Northern Kentucky and Columbus, Ohio, while working his creativity and supporting great bands with solid common sense.

While some of his musical peers may have initially made larger waves, everyone has consistently praised Todd's songwriting and ability and supporting roles.  Todd has plugged away with his own brand of alt-country from "the land of Lucky Strikes and Blatz, reticence and violence" and has done well on his own and continues to achieve and entertain in a big way.

Todd has been touring across the states since the 90s, beginning with The Lilybandits and their cross between early punk and americana soul, occasionally sharing bills with emerging bands such as the Drive By Truckers.  He helped form the group Fort Shame in 2007 with Sue Harshe who was part of the late 80s and early 90s influential group, Scrawl.

We can't neglect to mention his lead role with The Mooncussers, who simply blow us away.  This is some chart-topping music that we hope to bring to our humble roadhouse before they start performing on the big ticket stages.

Finally, it's worth mentioning that Todd supports Lydia Loveless too.









Jeff German

Jeff German grew up just south of Detroit, in Lincoln Park Michigan, close to the stench of rendering plants in Del-Rey.  He relentlessly travels and shares his rust-belt upbringing with heartfelt original music.

Jeff credits his family for his inspiration and drive - His older brother's records of Bowie, Mott the Hoople, Stones and Faces, and then The Clash, The Damned, The Jam, Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran are certainly a key influence...  Yet likely no more or less than his father, a strong union electrician, and his wife, children and grandchildren.  It's a solid midwest tradition that fuels his music and his work ethic.

Currently based out of Columbus, Ohio, he's been a key part of the acclaimed Cur Dogs and The Blankety Blanks, and he's contributed heartily as a studio musician and supporting great national acts such as Lydia Loveless.  "Each one of them means something very personal to me.  I'm not going to play myself off as a 'blue-collar rocker', just a dude with a song in his heart."

He released his first solo album, "12 Rounds", at the age of 50. At this point, he expresses to the press that he doesn't feel tied to a genre... he's continuously been labeled as "Blue Collar" and "Americana" but he reaches beyond. Here's to his effort and wisdom and ability to transcend labels and genres.









$Free - Please tip bands and bartenders generously!



The Kraken online links and news!

There are a few other North American Krakens: a bar in California and one in Washington, a food truck in British Columbia, and a "gastropub" in South Carolina.  I think it's safe to say that we our venue is the most storied of them all.  We do look forward to visiting each of them and rubbing tentacles.

Happy Spring Everyone!


Kraken Early Spring Update!


* As always, we've got a solid lineup of spectacular bands every Friday and Saturday and a few other special nights.  Stay tuned!


* The Food Truck situation is once again up in the air, but we're hoping to re-establish a new regular weekend schedule.  We'll keep you posted.


* Come out for Monday Movie Matinees on our big screen!  We'll also project big sporting events, and other special broadcasts.  Over the Summer we may do some of the projections outside.  Also, Rocky Horror Picture Show.


* Thanks to all of you for suggestions regarding our liquor and beer menu!  The newest spirits are Wild Turkey 101, Tanqueray, Bullet Rye, Glen Livet 12 year, Sauza Silver and Don Julio.  We've also introduced local bottled beers from Big Boss and Nantahala Brewery:  Hell's Belle Belgian style ale and Angry Angel Kolsch style ale from Raleigh, and Noon Day IPA and Dirty Girl Blonde from Bryson City.  We're also introducing selections on tap from Yesteryears Brewery in Carrboro in addition to our Mystery Brewing and Haw River Farmhouse choice beers.  We plan to keep rotating good local beers on tap.


* Our sweet dart board is inspiring some good games recently. Ask your bartender to turn on the stage lights when you request one or both sets of quality darts we keep behind the bar.  Scoreboard coming soon.


* Keep posted for other exciting events coming up, such as the Chili Cookoff on April 30th!




Main website right here:  http://thekrakenbar.com We're hoping to update the CMS and redo the website when we can wrap our tentacles around it.


Facebook page:  http://www.facebook.com/KrakenBarChapelHill This is the best place to keep up with day to day announcements.


Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/TheKrakenBar or @TheKrakenBar  We not big tweeters, but we try!


Reverbnation:  http://www.reverbnation.com/venue/thekrakenbar This site is mostly geared towards bands, and we don't always update our schedule there since bands usually make their own links, but it's another online resource.


Indie On The Move:  http://www.indieonthemove.com/user/TheKraken This site is entirely geared towards bands and venues looking to combine and book shows


Kraken Email:  info at thekrakenbar.com We use this address for booking, and occasional questions.  Please don't spam us, since we get hundreds of emails a week.  Thanks!



Keep up with us online, and stop on by to enjoy the best porch in town during warm weather, the coziest inside during cold and wet weather and free music every weekend!  Don't forget the free pool and darts and the new events coming up!

There's never a dull moment at The Kraken.  Stop by and see for yourself.