-- Upcoming Shows and Events
Tuesday December 1st - Old Time Stringband Jam

The Kraken is pleased to host an established group of Old Time String Band players on the first and third and occasional fifth Tuesdays of the month... you know, the odd ones.  The music starts promptly at 7pm and ends close to 10pm.


We've been blessed to host these wonderful musicians for several months now.  There are consistently 20-30 folks gathering to play, including occasional new folks joining in.  We're impressed at how many people rotate through the group from all over the country, sometimes just back from touring across the world reviving and celebrating the music's long lost roots.


Each week, more and more folks simply come out to witness their efforts to continue this historical tradition.


In addition to guitars, banjos, fiddles, and the like, there are also sticks, spoons, stand-up basses, and harmonicas being played... not to mention eventual clogging lessons that regularly occur in the background.




$Free... no cost to enjoy or join in with good neighbors and musicians



Friday December 4th - Orange County All-Stars with Doug Davis and the Solid Citizens

There is no official house band at The Kraken, but if there were, The Orange County All Stars are all members.  If we opened another Kraken in Winston Salem, Doug Davis and The Solid Citizens would be the house band there.  Get ready to roll, rock and dance!



Orange County All Stars

OCAS is a group of musicians who play in many different popular local bands... they're all friends the OC, that like mixing it up with random songs besides their own. It started as kind of a fill-in gig one night and they had such a blast they decided to do it again when they could. It gives them a chance to stretch out their cosmic rubber band.

The All Stars draw from a huge collection of original and inspired tunes, ranging from the Stones, Little Feat, Delbert McClinton, Procol Harum, Bo Diddly, Hayes Carll, Doors, John Hiatt, Albert Collins, or even George Jones... and that just scratches the surface.

The regular line-up consists of Pete Gamble and Lance White on guitars, Tim Smith on keyboards, Doug Guild on bass, and Larry Duckworth on drums. Other local All Star musicians join in to add dancing monkey wrenches to the mix.

They settled on the name Orange County All-Stars, because they're fashion sense is somewhat influenced by Converse All-Stars.





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 generously!






Saturday December 5th - Twilighter with Bellflower

We're so happy to have such a great group of musicians and friends gather tonight for a special Kraken performance.  You haven't seen them until you've seen them here.




Chapel Hill's Twilighter is a great band of characters who play original music that has nothing to do with vampires or werewolves, though they can work the macabre at times. Their music brings the best of many genres - Rockish New Wave, Country-Soul, big-beat Rock and Roll and beautifully introspective sounds with male and female harmonies singing about life, love, the devil and God, drugs, the night Life and trying to find a ride.


Brandon Herndon - Guitars, vocals

Sonar Strange - Keyboards, vocals

Josh Sokal - Bass

Dave Perry - Drums

John Pardue - Guitar, backing vocals









I don’t know about the robots. As far as I can tell, Bellflower generates music manually. Whether acoustic or electric, the process is organic and as natural as can be found in a modern technological world.

Lead singer Natasha Wilson may be the prototype for the next generation of robotic vocalists. Her fluid yet powerful vocals would be hard to duplicate however, and appears to be beyond the current state of the art of robotics.

Band leader Franklin Bellflower donated his name to this project, over his own protests. Many years experience with a rootsy bluesy rock and roll matrix have perfected an earthy green guitar style that would certainly qualify for LEEDS Certification.

Chuck Morton plays keyboards by ear, but mostly he uses his fingers. With ten fingers available and 88 keys arrayed in traditional format, he lays down an old school rhythm that he has been doing for so long it came back into fashion. However the keyboard plays itself fairly well if you push the right buttons. Robotic progress continues.

Greg “Nuke” Bernucca holds down the bottom end playing bass as no robot would. His universal oneness suggests a soul no robot could possess.

Jeff Lindsay provides percussive thrust with emotion beyond robotic understanding. He exhibits a versatility and variety in rhythm, rhyme and reason beyond the programmatic controls of any Casio to date.

Bellflower gigs tend to grow organically and extemporaneously depending on who we see in the audience. Chapel Hill and Carrboro are so rich with talent who will willingly step up to a mic and do a thing. This is as it should be. Let’s see a robot do that!







$Free, please tip bands and bartenders generously!




Friday December 11th - Phatlynx with The Three Torches

Holy Moley, we are so psyched to have Phatlynx back, and just as psyched to finally have The Three Torches...  and on the same night!!!  The Torches bring the holy spirit of Tom Waits to begin the evening and Phatlynx  brings on the great Surfabilly of the 50s and 60s to dance out the night.



The Raleigh-Durham area's favorite pork obsessed Surfabilly band, Phatlynx (pronounced "FAT-links") was conceived as a one-off show/group to get as many people as could fit into Chapel Hill, NC's the Cave to play the song "Rumble" at the same time. That was such a good time, they kept going, playing more shows and adding more songs, some of which aren't by Link Wray but still have the same rockin', low-fi attitude.

The local superstar quartet of Crispy Bess on Guitar, Groves Willer on Bass, Robby Poore on Guitar, and Colonel Dave Perry on Drums will take you on a great ride in the style of Link Wray, The Champs, The Cherokees, The Frantics, The Ventures, The Coasters or any of that late 50s/early 60s music that's a blast to play and hear.








The Three Torches

Durham's Three Torches bring you scratchy junkyard Jazz and Latinesque transmissions as only Tom Waits and Nick Cave could dream of claiming as their own wicked love-child.  Visit their Reverbnation link and tell me I'm wrong.  I dare you.

In their own Waitsian words: "Somehow you find yourself aimlessly wandering along a dimly lit corridor.  You know you should be in bed. Something like a siren’s call sucks you along past vague shadows. Undulating like tentacles reverberating through the creaking floorboards, the deep bass thrum makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck. A steady series of deliberate cracks, the pulse of life, gallops through you. Drawing closer to the door in the distance, a hand reaching out of its own accord, the swell of a theatre organ rises up and the rhythmic clanging sound of a guitar enfolds your senses.  A grave keening voice claims you. Junkyard jazz fashioned like newsprint letters cut out for a ransom note, a broken Latin-esque clamoring sounding off with sixty cycles of abandon. Music for films not yet made — there is no Egress."


Sean Murphy:  Guitar, vox

Steve Carter:  Drums

Dave Lines:  Bass

Greg Scronce:  Keys











$Free, please tip your bands and bartenders generously!




Saturday December 12th - D.S.F. Earth Corps and Butter

Get your groove on tonight with the fun and engaging double bill of D.S.F. Earth Corps and Butter.  We're going to start a bit early so both bands can bring it on.  D.S.F. starts the festivities and Butter will close it down with style.

D.S.F. jammed Chapel Hill throughout the 90s and beyond and it's a real treat to see them perform in their early stomping grounds these days.  They've adopted The Kraken as their home away from home and we welcome them back!  Butter continues the funky grooves with their first performance here in a while, if you don't count Thomas laying down some sick beats with Hotronix in November.



D.S.F. Earth Corps

D.S.F. Earth Corps came together in the early 90s, and has been writing and performing original music and throwing in some tasty covers when necessary.  They're musical and lyrical experimentation combined with a positive vibe and message make them a stand out band. D.S.F. has played clubs from the ocean to the mountains all over the southeastern United States, performing in front of thousands of people over the years. Musical influences include everything from Mountain Bluegrass to Island Grooves with Funky Rock in the middle. Their wild look and powerful rhythms always make them a fan favorite.

Guitarist and lead vocalist, Phillip Price, originally from Atlanta, has been singing, writing, and playing guitar since 1983. Attending Western Carolina University, Price met vocalist Jeff Johnson and percussionist Ned Percival and began forming the bond that holds D.S.F. tightly in the groove.

Price, Percival, and Johnson all moved to the Chapel Hill area in 1990 and quickly found a powerful caveman style drummer, Michael "Bam Bam" St.John. They knew right away that Bam Bam had the stones to lay down the thick and heavy grooves as well as the light and juicy ones. They got two for one with Bam Bam because he had been jammin’ with bassist Ronnie Reed, who fell right into the mix and anchored the whole thing down.

D.S.F. Earth Corps recorded two studio albums back in the day: "Petals and Spores" in 1992 and "Life, It’s A Wonderful Occasion" in 1994. They're still playing and writing together, and you can look for a new album sometime soon!










Butter brings on solid North Carolina funk.  Their live performance is purely electric and features sets of original and classic straight-up funk, soul and rock.  Experience The Gorgan, their guitar/keyboard hybrid that really twists it up tight.

These guys have played with or shared the stage with such artists as Suzanne Vega, Burning Spear, The Psychedelic Furs, Alex Chilton, Living Color, Cowboy Junkies, and Adrian Belew and cite influences including Lee Micheals, Big Organ Trio, and the BlackKeys.

They recently won Relix Magazine's Jam-Off song contest which resulted in coverage in the Apr/May issue, as well as Blurt Magazine's Best Kept Secret and are getting online airplay even as they work on their first official release.


Brad Newell - guitar and vox

Vattel Cherry - bass and vox

Thomas Montgomery - drums and vox



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAioHA0AVBk (Current lineup with backup singers)


http://www.reverbnation.com/butternc (Former lineup)





$Free, Please tip your bands and bartenders generously!





Tuesday December 15th - Old Time Stringband Jam

The Kraken is pleased to host an established group of Old Time String Band players on the first and third and occasional fifth Tuesdays of the month... you know, the odd ones.  The music starts promptly at 7pm and ends close to 10pm.


We've been blessed to host these wonderful musicians for several months now.  There are consistently 20-30 folks gathering to play, including occasional new folks joining in.  We're impressed at how many people rotate through the group from all over the country, sometimes just back from touring across the world reviving and celebrating the music's long lost roots.


Each week, more and more folks simply come out to witness their efforts to continue this historical tradition.


In addition to guitars, banjos, fiddles, and the like, there are also sticks, spoons, stand-up basses, and harmonicas being played... not to mention eventual clogging lessons that regularly occur in the background.




$Free... no cost to enjoy or join in with good neighbors and musicians



Friday December 18th - Too Much Fun Holiday Extravaganza with The High Bushy Tails and Lynn Blakey, Ecki Heins and Glenn Jones and more special guests

Too Much Fun is entirely legit.  No member of The Kraken crew skips their spectacular Christmas Celebration!

The music's starting promptly at 8pm so we can git it on!  The amazing Lynn Blakey and Ecki Heins start the evening, followed by Glenn Jones and then we finally get Zach White and Ella Bertram together again with the High Bushy Tails.  Holy reindeer, Batman!

OH, and then there's Too Much Fun playing their special set with guests from the opening bands, and many more to come...  surely we'll see Sam White, Jeff Hart, Stan Lewis, Doug Guild and Dixie White amond others.  C'mon and bring it, Pete Gamble, Jeff Lindsey, Mitch Renkow, Eric Kulz, Tim Smith and Dorsey Worthy and more!

Don't forget the solid TMF crew of Berkely Grimball on sax, guitar and vox; Bobby Schopler on harp and vox; Rob McIntire on bass and vox; and the famous Larry Duckworth on drums.  Also, Lance White, who puts this all together.  Don't forget Lance.

This night will jump and swing, and flat out rock.  There will be blues and roots, and unique holiday compositions.  Expect four-part harmonies and barrelhouse rockers and more than we can even predict.




$Free, please tip your band and bartender generously!





Saturday December 19th - Lud and The Dirty Little Heaters

We're still figuring out how to properly describe Lud and The Dirty Little Heaters, so stay tuned...  In any case, we're honored to host yet another badass night of serious Chapel Hill Rock history.

The Dirty Little Heaters will be opening the evening at 9pm followed by Lud.




$Free - Please tip bands and bartenders generously!




Friday December 25th - closed

We wish you good times with friends and family.  We refuse to ask anyone to work on the holidays and are closed for the day.  Love you all.



Krakenversary Thanksgiving!


We just had a spectacular weekend celebrating The Kraken's 6th Anniversary, and Jody and Kirk's 1st Anniversary after assuming the helm from former Captain Eric. The music and people were off the charts with the original Zen Frisbee Trio, Triple Fret, Blue Green Gods, Fontanelles and many great special guests. We celebrated the new and old, and the living and dead with tears and shouts of grief and joy. It's been an eventful year for all of us.

We wish to thank all of our staff, friends and neighbors and all of the great bands that make this a truly epic voyage. The Kraken is an extremely unique venue... it's not just an old roadhouse bar and music venue, it's an ark. Eric and our regular crew really came together to rebuild a solid ship with decades of history. We're working hard to keep her seaworthy and improving every day for all of the crew and the new folks we recruit every week.

We would be remiss in our duties if we did not share some stories, thanks and gratitude from the year of 2015... Avast! Keep reading, brave souls, and please ask for the humorous and occasionally sordid details when you come aboard. Thankfully, only a few have had to walk the plank.

Eric approached us in May of 2014 after we had been hanging out a couple years, and just after a fun Dungeons and Dragons campaign that I convinced him and other great folks to join in during the prior Winter at The Cave. I suppose that our familiarity with the local music and business scene, our relative White Cross NPC status, and our ability to organize a classic AD&D campaign may have landed the offer for a new assignation. Thank you Eric.

As prepared as you may feel, you never really know what you're getting into on a new voyage. A bit prior to our first official day, I had a Hopscotch brunch at The Mecca with Mike Benson and Mouse and I shared the exciting news for the first time, and asked them if they had any brief words of advice from the gut. They didn't even look at each other and simultaneously put down their forks and both said "RUN AWAY!!!" Thanks, guys.

Our first day was Monday, November 24th, 2014, after Eric's spontaneous decision to charge only a quarter for everything in The Kraken. It's a good thing the word didn't get out too far and wide, because it was a riotous Sunday night and a particularly challenging Monday morning to open up for the first time. We soon discovered that there's never a dull moment at The Kraken.

Initial stories of the year include "Ladder Bob", whose many ladders fell out all over  NC Hwy 54, and the guy who stopped to help him never set his emergency brake and his car rolled into Sallie's van, rolling across the highway into our lot just between our marquee and spotlights and just missing our major landscaping.  Turns out Bob was playing next weekend in the band.  Considering the normal traffic, it was a miracle.  Shortly thereafter, Shane was swindled out of a set of bolt cutters in exchange for a busted wheel chair from some random dude rolling through with his buddy.  Tom came back the next afternoon wondering why the heck there was a wheel chair in the back of his truck.  "Better in the back, than in the grill."  Also, right around this time, someone ran over our mailbox at home, just down the road.  It turns out that a kind soul at the bar had graciously offered to follow her home and had witnessed the destruction of said mailbox.  With that information and the small piece of BMW that we found by the mailbox, we walked up the street and saw where the missing piece fit on our neighbor's car and managed to at least get a free dinner if not compensation for the fix.  This was our first month's introduction, and it's been less stressful and more amusing as time goes on.

There are more stories about fly swatters and chainsaws on the roof, ufo and alien sightings, mystery moving cuckoo clocks in the bar, witches that arrive every quarter century, horses and goats and surries, new chairs for the mayor, adventures acquiring a new reach-in cooler, Mister Plow getting seen clearing out a single space and then guiltily clearing out the whole lot, and many more. This all actually happened.

There are stories, and then there's also a lot of great food. They go hand in hand, or mouth and hand or something like that. This year's BBQ, chilis, gumbo, ribs, beans, slaws, pot pies, greens, squashes, tomatoes, peppers and various berries and fruits and desserts all just confirm that this is a family and community space to gather and share. There are the lovely farmers who bring in their extras from local farmers markets, and everyone else who brings in extras from their small gardens. We know who likes our various jams and pickled garden goodies, or sauerkraut or more. Fresh food is love.

Music is also love, and it's our love. We continue to host music on the weekends with a few special weekday shows thrown in. There is no way we can recognize all of the amazing bands and musicians succinctly, but we must give thanks to all of you and you know who you are. We have no lack of loyal performers who keep The Kraken exciting and alive. Some of the most special gatherings of the past year were New Years Eve, Caltrop and Bitter Resolve, KrakenFest, Jody's birthday with Pipe, Crystal Bright, The Chicken Wire Gang, Fourth of July Evil Weiner Roast, Rowdy Square Dances, blues bands migrating over from Durham, Halloween shows and of course our Krakenversary. Our regular crew of locals blow it up every time with any one of their ten different bands and raise the roof regularly. We are so excited to have folks want to play here with new bands and reunite their great bands from decades past. It's just getting better and better and 2016 is really going to take it further.

As great as this all sounds, none of it is possible without the lovely and energetic community who help out every week. Inevitably, in a venture like this, there is no shortage of advice and ideas freely and abundantly offered. In our case, however, there is no shortage of actual hands-on contribution of time and effort. This is the most special thing of all -- helping maintain and improve the landscaping, helping with the parking lot and property, helping with electrical and hvac and plumbing, helping with trash and recycling, helping inside with artwork and arrangement and maintenance... If something needs accomplished, there is always someone there to help, and that is not just for The Kraken Bar itself, but for anyone who is respectful and engaging and willing to contribute. That is the best legacy anyone could inherit.

For what it's worth, this is just a bit of what I wished to write for one single year's worth of stories. We are slowly acquiring decades worth of stories on any given day. If anyone is working on a local history dissertation, be cool and c'mon out to gather history dating back generations.

Thank you all, and we wish a much better New Year to all of you. We miss all of the beautiful folks who have steered their own ships across the world, and we welcome all of those who have recently boarded ship here.

Stop on in and get busy sharing some love...


p.s.  Just for "shits and giggles", here is a small selection of quotes #OverheardAtTheKraken:

-  I don't want to dance, I HAVE to dance!

-  Git You SUM!

-  Hey man... hey man...  hey!   Know what I mean?  I love you man.  You know I love you.

-  I once shot a preacher over a pack of Nabs

-  Nice stroke!

-  Morals and standards

-  Rich, I'm gonna slap you!

-  Stop enabling me!

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 are the most storied of them all.  We do look forward to visiting each of them and rubbing tentacles.

There's a lot of news in advance of our upcoming Krakenversary.  Check it out!


Kraken November Update!


* We're celebrating our Krakenversary celebration on Friday, November 27th!  This night will be an explosive start to another month of spectacular bands.. A great Chapel Hill throwback night featuring the original Zen Frisbee trio with the Blue Green Gods and the Fontanelles.  It's gonna be a big time!


* The Kraken will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 26th. Have a beautiful and safe Thanksgiving, everyone. We are so blessed with such a fine community of friends and family.


* Speaking of giving thanks, Lyndon wins the Kraken MVP for grating the parking lot. We'll be adding crush and run to be prepare for winter. We're considering closing off the highway entrance for safety and extra parking.


* Thanks to all of you for suggestions regarding our liquor supply. Look for fine new selections soon.


* Our draft beers from Haw River Farmhouse and Mystery Brewing are drawing great praise, and we're looking forward to some new selections from our local breweries. Also, there's going to be a new local brewery in White Cross. Stay tuned!


* Our new dart board is mounted and functional. We found some of the old darts while cleaning up the storeroom. We are working on improvements such as installing a scoreboard.


* Projector/screen and radio syncing for basketball games should be in action this week with movie nights and old school video game action following shortly afterwards.


* Musicians, look out for Open Mic nights to be revived on second Wednesdays with an awesome host!


* Finally, all of us at The Kraken are very excited to be hosting The Tokyo Rosenthal Program on Thursdays, starting early January 2016. There will be very special guests every week playing Americana, Roots, Blues, and Country music. The programs will be (pre) recorded live, and will be broadcast on WCHL and syndicated on stations around the country and world. The Kraken is gonna be on the radio, y'all!


Follow our schedule here and on our other online links.

Happy Holidays everyone, and hope to see you soon!!!




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 official business page:  http://www.facebook.com/KrakenBarChapelHill This is where all of our FB announcements will now be posted.  The deleted, original page was originally built as a person, TheKraken Bar.  If you're one of the 1358 friends that haven't liked this page yet, now is the time!


Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/TheKrakenBar or @TheKrakenBar  We not big tweeters, but we try to give up to date announcements.


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 every day, and free music every weekend!

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