-- Upcoming Shows and Events
Friday Febrary 6th - Randy Dean Whitt with The Fat Sparrows

Randy Dean Whitt

"Randy Dean Whitt is a songwriter. Like a Braque painting, or a view from your passenger side window, on your long ride back home, Randy’s songs could be described as a collection of images in motion. Never content to only explore one theme, these songs express nuanced portrayals of a life lived hard, and a life lived full, but always living as much as you can. At times an embrace of the beauty of the simple, at times an embrace of manic joy, and at other times a meditation on the melancholy of the mundane. Randy Dean Whitt, like you and me, and all of us, is an artist of the human condition. Or, as a close friend once said, “Randy is passionately askew”.

Randy and his band have been featured performers at festivals all over the east coast as well as clubs like the 40 watt in Athens, Ga. and the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro, NC. They have received substantial acclaim in a short amount of time. They have played at the Grassroots festival in Ithaca, N.Y., the Shakori Hills Festival in Silk Hope N.C., the World Beer Festival in Durham, N.C., and many others. Randy has opened or shared the stage with the likes of: Junior Brown, Bobby Bare, Jr., Southern Culture On the Skids, The Avett Brothers, Wayne Hancock, and the Two Dollar Pistols. With enthusiastic touring and playing within N.C., Randy continues to gain notoriety and fans all over the country."



The Fat Sparrows

From the foothills of North Carolina, these musicians are creating an original sound full of earthly lyrics and driving rhythms...  OK, that's the official line, but basically they make hot music.  They are alternative folk/blues/rock/grit and we're happy to have them visit us from the foothills.  They've performed at a number of fine festivals and are touring to support their recently released album, "Fatalistic".



$Free, Please tip your bands and bartenders

Saturday February 7th - Caltrop and Bitter Resolve

TOTAL METAL.  Say no more, say no more.  All these dudes are superstars... superstars who you joyfully anticipate to tear your head off your shoulders.  It's really not right to have them play together.  Looking forward to both of them engaging in medieval warfare and fighting over every inch of rugged, battered Kraken landscape!  dayummmm.



"While citing Black Sabbath as an influence for any heavy band makes for easy stoner rock shorthand, North Carolina’s Caltrop is one of the few shining examples where the influence can actually be heard. The quartet, hailing from Chapel Hill, was formed in 2005 by Sam Taylor (guitar/vocals), Murat Dirlik (bass/vocals), Adam Nolton (guitar), and John Crouch (drums). With thick, fuzzed out riffs leading the charge on most of their songs, Caltrop exists at the improbable intersection of Sabbath and the Allman Brothers Band, creating detuned, psychedelic dirges with a soulful Southern blues/rock inflection. Add a touch of the long-form, post-metal song structures of bands like Baroness and Earth, and you begin to see what makes the group tick. In 2006, the group self-released an eponymous demo, and in 2008 they released their first full-length outing, World Class, on Holidays for Quince.

Ten Million Years and Eight Minutes, the long-awaited follow-up to Caltrop’s much-loved World Class (HFQ 2008), finds North Carolina’s titans of Southern psych-rock in rarefied form, exhibiting the confident and focused sound a band achieves only after years of playing together in the same room.  Caltrop’s live-in-the-studio approach may bring to mind classic heavy hitters like Blue Cheer, Black Sabbath and The Allman Brothers, but unlike lesser bands on a similar trip, Caltrop carefully shapes their songs so that each riff follows its predecessor with an uncanny logic: the effect is that of an impossibly heavy object carried ever-upward on delicate, silken wings.  Simultaneously crushing and uplifting, Caltrop’sTen Million Years and Eight Minutes makes believers of us all. As one particularly inspired fan has been known to yell during their unparalleled live performances, 'Caltrop: There is no substitute!'"



Bitter Resolve

"It’s a sound as old and weathered as the metamorphic bedrock under Chapel Hill, yet Bitter Resolve’s growl and grit also implies the living tectonic forces that oh-so-patiently shape the landscape itself. In debut LP Bows and Arrows Against the Lightning, the trio hearkens to heavy metal’s very inception. Blues riffage is subverted and given sharp, unwieldy angles: drumwork is freed from its traditional homogeneous plod and allowed to move laterally: and the distortion on that bass is just thick enough to give a contact buzz.

Chapel Hill and the Triangle area, until recently, had precious little heavy music to offer: the field is wide-open for Bitter Resolve’s brand of stoner-heaviness. Drummer Mike Glass' beats are expressive and asymmetrical – he builds them, hammer and nail, from the ground up rather than subscribing to established rock drummer tropes. Walsh chugs with pagan defiance on a bass a year older than Black Sabbath. And guitarist R. Corey Dial grins euphorically, playing with his entire body as he solos or crunches along. His enthusiasm is as infectious as the patient thickness of music not evolved from, but born alongside 70s hard-smoking proto-metal.

The record demands high-volume treatment and the live show is a full-body experience, like a medieval battle witnessed firsthand, as Bitter Resolve fights for every inch of ground on some rugged, battered field."




$free, Please tip your bands and bartenders

Friday February 13th - Stan Lewis and the Law Breakin' Revelers with The Whiskey Honeys

Put on your dancing shoes tonight!  The Whiskey Honeys will open the show for The Revelers and will guest for a few numbers later.


Stan Lewis and the Law Breakin' Revelers

Stan Lewis with the incomparable Larry Duckworth on Drums (also playing drums with The Whiskey Honeys), "always in the pocket" Rob McIntire on bass, multi-instrumentalist Tim Smith on keys and vocals, and the one and only guitar wiz Jason Barker on guitar and vocals.  The Revelers bring you Rockabilly, Blues, Honky-tonk, Gospel and various other Americana with such influences as Johnny Cash, Bob Wills, Hank Williams, Sr., George Jones, Sleepy LaBeef, and Doug Sahm.  Expect an upbeat raucous tempo with an occasional swing number or murder ballad. All in all, a guaranteed good time!

The Whiskey Honeys

The Whiskey Honeys are a 50's, 60's, 70"s dance band providing a line up of four girls with four guys swapping out lead and dance moves on those favorite dance songs from your youth (or your parent's youth).




$free, Please tip your bands and bartenders

Saturday February 14th - Joe Romeo with The Radials

Lovely music for Valentine's Day... bring your sweetie to hug and sway and dance!


Joe Romeo

With songs that evoke the echoes of the greatest singer-songwriters of the time, Romeo’s music and lyrics hark back to the glory days of Tin Pan Alley with an edgy, eclectic, and dark sound.

Romeo’s influences are ingrained in his music and his photographic memory, unique storytelling ability, and intense command of the English language. Strains of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and Bruce Springsteen color his songs.

Live and on record, Joe Romeo delves into the raw emotions of love gone wrong, relationships gone astray, and hopes dashed by the isolation and alienation of contemporary life. On the flip side, Romeo gives hope and laughs off the insanity with melodies and lyrics that inspire and remind us that nothing’s too serious.



The Radials

TWANG. TORCH. TONK. The Radials have a flair for melody and a knack for great stories. Put those elements together with a cacophony of upstate California jangle, swampy cajun spice and downtown Nashville honky-tonk, and you have a unique blend of Americana roots music with a modern twist. The Byrds, Loretta, Replacements, Beatles, Neil, Willie and Cash cast a shadow on the instruments of the Radials, but it is the unique blend of these five musicians that lift the crowd to their feet to move to the music.




$free  please tip your bands and bartenders!

Friday February 20th - Orange County All Stars with The Tripp Road Trio

Orange County All Stars

Yuppers, these folks are all-stars from many different bands.  The local music scene is incestuous and that's what we're looking for, right?

Doug Guild, Pete Gamble, Tim Smith, Larry Duckworth, Lance White, Stan Lewis and more will combine again for another All Star evening.  They play in a ton of your favorite local bands and this is your chance to hear them cut loose with songs and spirit from home and abroad.


The Tripp Road Trio



$free, Please tip your bands and bartenders

Saturday February 21st - Henbrain


Henbrain rocks the Kraken all night!  They are a five piece, bass-on-bass, psychedelic prog-rock band from Carrboro, NC formed in 2012 by Michelle Sontheimer on bass, Zack Hargett on bass, Erika Libero on vocals, Evan Ashworth on keys, and Keith Cannon on drums. Henbrain released their first full length album, Heavy Pieces of the Sky, in 2013. They are currently touring supporting their 7-inch vinyl record, Hang Glider/333 A.D., recorded with Mitch Easter at The Fidelitorium and released in November of 2014.

Sontheimer developed her style of playing by transposing all of her favorite guitar riffs to bass and embracing the low tone.  In her own unique style she realized that the songs she had written would require a second bass and envisioned a band where two basses could weave together in harmony.  The resulting Henbrain is a heavy, grumbling rock explosion that explores deep tones and relentless rythmic chugs never achieved by typical guitar bands.  The brutal low end is complimented by Libero's bright soaring vocals that fall somewhere between Grace Slick of Jefferon Airplane and Karen O. of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs bringing a powerful and unforgiving femininity to the growl of the basses. Ashworth's keys range from gritty rock organ that races alongside the dual basslines to spacey soundscapes that bring the music to a psychedelic and other-worldly level.  Henbrain's influences include Yes, Tool, Iron Maiden, and Beethoven, but as music lovers they dream to take their music in all directions finding inspiration everywhere and refusing any limitations to their creativity.

"Sounds like YES in 1969 with Grace Slick on vocals" - Mitch Easter, Fidelitorium Recordings




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Friday February 27th - Graymatter with Troy Batey


Burlington band, Graymatter, bring their acoustic rock and soaring harmonies back to The Kraken.  Brad Gray, Barry Gray, Bev Gray Gude and Dave Gude have been singing, harmonizing and strumming together for more than 30 years.



Troy Batey

We're happy to introduce a talented songwriter from Salem, Virginia.  You'll be impressed and moved by this fine young man's music and capabilities on various musical instruments.




$free, Please tip your bands and bartenders

Saturday February 28th - Rowdy Square Dance

Rowdy Square Dance!

Rowdy Square Dances are hands-down the most active gatherings we've ever witnessed... and that includes many festivals throughout North Carolina for many decades.

Be primed for wearing plaid, Shooting the Moon, Ducking for the Oyster, and meeting a batch of new friends in the midst of a Georgia Orangutang. No previous dance experience is expected.

Everyone finds it an explosively fine evening of music and dance, even if they don't find the confidence to join in the dancing.

Music provided by The Five Points Rounders (http://www.facebook.com/FivePointsRounders),  with caller Sarah Gibson.

Come check it out if you like to dance, or even if you're tempted, or just too shy.  It's a great evening for all of us.



$free, Please tip your bands and bartenders

Friday March 6th - Jefferson Hart and The Ghosts of the Old North State with Doug Davis and the Solid Citizens

Jefferson Hart and the Ghosts of the Old North State played a great show here not that long ago, but we're pleased to host a special concert event and trade between Winston-Salem and Chapel Hill.  This is the second half of a two part live performance deal with Doug Davis's latest project.  Doug played with Chris Stamey for quite a while and is very well known, at least in the mid to western half of the state.  Read on for all of the honorable mentions.


Jefferson Hart and the Ghosts of the Old North State

In 2013, after 23 years as Jeff Hart and the Ruins, the band renamed themselves Jefferson Hart and The Ghosts of the Old North State (after the album of the same name). Jeff has also been playing solo under the name Jefferson Hart since early in 2013.

In 2014, Jefferson Hart and The Ghosts of the Old North State released, Corolla Ponies In The Snow, which was the culmination of a 12 week song writing project in which Jeff wrote a song a week for 12 weeks and posted them to SoundCloud. The title track was inspired by a YouTube video of ponies running on the North Carolina Outer Banks during a snow storm.

“His prize possession is a guitar signed by over a dozen of his heroes including Paul Westerberg, John Hiatt, Robert Earl Keen, and Matthew Sweet - with a combination of that foursome providing a decent description of Hart's sound ... and from a Byrds-eye view, the pre-Clarence White Byrds.” - Rick Cornell - No Depression

“I challenge anyone to find a better in-the-wee-hours song than the exceptional 'From Now On' with such lines as "Colder than the backside of your pillowcase". Lesser artists have made careers of such songs. ” - Record Exchange Monitor

Jeff Hart came up with this line on his own, and it's quite appropriate that it is basically the same as Stuart Scott's quote that was made famous through his presence at ESPN.  Good local Tar Heels, both.  Rest In Peace.

Check out a video from one of their prior performances at The Kraken:  http://vimeo.com/111212408



Doug Davis and the Solid Citizens

Doug Davis has been a fixture on the regional scene for many years, as a producer, sideman, a leader of the Triad community project, the Vagabond Saints' Society, and as an all-around musical instigator.  But his heart lies in his original music, which he performs solo, in small combos (often with violist and accomplice, Susan Terry), and with his own crack band, the Solid Citizens.  The Citizens feature husband-and-wife team, Lee and Susan Terry, on various stringed instruments; Ken Mohan on bass guitar; and Dan DesNoyers on drums.  Over the course of the last six years, the band has been honing its sound together, releasing its debut, Penny Brown Penny, in 2008.  Since then, they've set out to release a series of four six-song EP's.  The first two, 2012's A Pageant of Gold and 2014's The River Running Slowly, have been released, and the band is currently working on the third in the series.

Doug also performs and writes with Mt. Airy, NC, based roots-rock band, Mediocre Bad Guys, as well as with the rock-soul combo, Doug Davis & the Mystery Dates.  Doug has also performed with Chris Stamey, Sally Spring, Mark Kano, Artie Lamonica (the Shirts), Jerry Chapman, and many others.  His music has been featured in dozens of television shows and films, including "Saturday Night Live," "Dateline," "The Voice," and "Last Call With Carson Daly."




$free, Please tip your bands and bartenders

Saturday March 7th - Lou Reed Birthday Bash with Wiley Fosters and Curtis Eller's American Circus

The Wiley Fosters celebrate Lou Reed's Birthday by performing The Velvet Underground's "Live At Max's Kansas City" from front to back!  This is the 5th anniversary of this special event by The Wiley Fosters, and the 1st time they've brought it to The Kraken!

The all-star performance includes members of the Squirrel Nut Zippers, Tres Chicas, Humble Tripe, Graveyard Fields, and even the American strongman himself, Mr. Curtis Eller!



Curtis Eller's American Circus will carry on the birthday celebration, as we celebrate the memory of a true American Original.  Bring your Shiny Shiny Shiny Boots Of Leather!




$free, Please tip your bands and bartenders

Friday March 13th - Dmitri Resnik and Bootleg Beat

We're really excited to bring in some serious New Orleans and Chatham County flavored gumbo tonight!


Dmitri Resnik and Bootleg Beat

Dmitri Resnik is a guitarist/vocalist from Chatham County, NC who has been playing professionally for more than 25 years.  He has six critically acclaimed CD's dating back to 1998 which have received substantial airplay worldwide.  He has appeared in 27 states in the US, many provinces in Canada and also in Italy.  Resnik spent 12 years in New Orleans playing and touring with some of the best musicians in the city.  He's won numerous Real Blue Magazine Awards and had two songs included on NPR's Cartalk.  Find out more about Dmitri by listening to the PRE interview, by George Olsen of Public Radio East -- it outlines Resnik's career interspersed with sound clips. You can find it at http://www.dmitriresnik.com.


The following are excerpts from a article published shortly after Dmitri returned to Chatham County.  Written in 2001, by Grant Britt in The Spectator (now defunct) "Back from the Bayou":


"Being born and raised in the heart of Bluegrass Country ( Chatham County), you’d think that guitarist Dmitri Resnik would have a hankerin’ to play that high and lonesome music. But the music just didn’t speak to Resnik. " 'I was just more drawn to the blues. I had an easier time playing it with the emphasis on the backbeat.'"

"By the time he got to high school, the young guitarist was bumping against up and coming artists. 'I went to school with Red Clay Rambler’s Tommy Thompson’s son Tommy and with Katherine Whalen of the Squirrel Nut Zippers and Dexter Romweber of the Flat Duo Jets.'"

"...after several years of playing in the Chapel Hill area, the guitarist  decided to try his luck elsewhere and set out for New Orleans in 1989. 'I was either gonna go there or Nashville or Austin and I had a friend living there and she said you can stay on my couch and see how it goes.' Resnik quickly landed a gig at a place called Boyd’s Blues Alley in the house band. Stax session man Willie Cole who had toured the world with Isaac Hayes and his band, was scouting musicians one night and picked up Resnik for his band. 'I played my first gig with him at the 1989 Jazzfest.  Within six months I was playing a gig in front of five thousand people. Coming from Chapel Hill , where you’re playing private parties for 100 bucks and a case of beer, I thought I’d really hit the big time.'"





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Saturday March 14th - The Corey Hunt Band with Stephen Lee

After a tasty Gumbo Friday, we're happy to bring on some country-fried Saturday action with Stephen Lee's solo set out of Baltimore and The Corey Hunt band bringing the whole fried goodness to close... Country rockin' folks out of Asheboro, NC.


The Corey Hunt Band

The Corey Hunt Band hails from Asheboro, NC. Over the past four years, Eric Wise and Corey Hunt have played in nearly every state of the continental United States, while also sharing the stage with acts including Randy Rogers Band, Whiskey Myers, American Aquarium, Justin Moore, Jared neiman, Josh Brannon Band, Zane Williams, Josh Ward, The Damn Quails, The Piedmont Boys, Parmalee and many more. 

They play a brand of music you are unlikely to find on mainstream radio, but still manage to deeply relate to the average American.  Look for their new release coming out in 2015.



Stephen Lee

Stephen Lee got his boots wet making sinners out of saints with the Punk-Rock-Country band, "Who Are the Southern Baptists?"  In January of 2013 Lee released the solo and self-titled Stephen Lee EP, recorded and mixed by Dan ABH of The Lab ALL-AGES, in Alexandria, VA.

With a move to Baltimore, Lee released his second solo EP, Too Drunk To Punk featuring faster paced five songs that were recorded live in Manassas, VA and engineered by Chad VanNortwick in February of 2014.




$free, please tip your bands and bartenders!