Hot Blues, Gourmet Creations to Benefit Babies and More!

By Michael Lay | Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Whether you're seeking hot guitar licks to thaw those wintertime blues, craving an opportunity to please your palate while contributing to the greater good or simply looking for a creative boost, we've got a lot of good stuff coming up in the next week or two. So, let's get to it.

Carolina Blues, the Tenth Annual Freedmen's Colony Blues Jam, will be held in the auditorium of the College of the Albemarle's Roanoke Island Campus in Manteo this Friday, Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. This year's headliner is the band Low Count featuring fiery guitarist and Statesville, North Carolina, native Matt Walsh. According to Rootstime Magazine, Walsh "is now being recognized as one of the best guitarists from a list of new, up and coming blues musicians." Several of Walsh's live performances, both as a solo artist and with Low Count collaborator, drummer Austin Hicks, can be viewed on Imagine a rawer incarnation of the early Black Keys and you'll have some idea of the kind of blues rock fireworks Walsh and Hicks can bring to the stage. But Walsh can also channel the acoustic country blues of masters such as Lightning Hopkins. Walsh will be joined by local performers Jonny Waters & Co. and Old Enough To Know Better. Doors open at 6 p.m. with a special performance by the Dare County High School Blues Band whose members have each participated in a 12-week blues workshop organized by North Carolina Arts Council resident artist Ruth Wyand and associate Natalie Eberts. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at Outer Banks Music Store, SSR Music, all three Front Porch Café locations and the Dare County Arts Council gallery in Manteo.

The Blues Jam is organized by the Roanoke Island Freedmen's Colony Preservation Association as part of its mission to preserve the history and heritage of one of the first Freedmen's Colonies operated by the Union Army during the Civil War. The Roanoke Island colony, located at the north end of the island, operated from 1862-1867, and many present-day residents of Dare County and surrounding counties are direct descendants of these original colonists. Over the past decade the Blues Jam has attracted dozens of celebrated blues musicians to Dare County while raising awareness of the Freedmen's Colony of Roanoke Island and its place in Outer Banks history.

On Sunday, Feb. 23 at 5:30 p.m. you can help the Outer Banks branch of the March of Dimes celebrate the 76th birthday of its national parent organization, all while sampling creations from some of the Outer Banks' best chefs and participating in silent and live auctions at the 2014 Signature Chefs Auction of the Outer Banks held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Kitty Hawk!

Outer Banks Restaurants

Chefs from Outer Banks culinary icons Ocean Boulevard, The Black Pelican, The Hilton Garden Inn, The Beachside Bistro, Outer Banks Epicurean, Coastal Provisions, Mike Dianna's Grill Room, Red Sky Café, Stripers and The Sanderling will come together in this tasty blend of creativity and talent to present the best dishes from their little black recipe books. Local celebrity judges will pick the winning dishes, and local musicians will provide entertainment throughout the event. In addition to fabulous food, there will be an array of tempting silent and live auction items on which to bid, including a trip to Africa (airfare not included), a 3-day get-away to Massanutten Resort and tickets to the 2014 U.S. Open Tennis Tournament! Tickets are $60/person or $100/couple or $200/table. To purchase tickets contact Stephanie Baker at (252) 261-3339. All event proceeds benefit the March of Dimes' mission of improving the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.

Once a month, from now through November, the Dare County Arts Council will be offering an Art Party workshop led by talented artist and instructor Mari Beth LaRose. February's workshop is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 27 at 6:30 p.m. Simple, step-by-step instruction will be given on painting techniques as you nourish your creative side by creating an original painting on canvas. All artists, from beginners to advanced painters, are welcome, and each month will feature a different theme. Bring a bottle of wine or beverage of your choice and an appetizer to share for a brief meet and greet session at 6:30 p.m. Art-making commences from 7 to 9 p.m. Participants are asked to pre-register at (252) 473-5558 to ensure that enough art supplies will be available for everyone. The class is $35/DCAC members and $40/non-members. Visit the DCAC website for a complete listing of upcoming classes and workshops.


Looking Ahead


To celebrate its 25th anniversary the Outer Banks History Center has partnered with the Dare County Arts Council and Manteo Preservation Trust to present An Eye for Art, a Heart for History, an art exhibit showcasing many aspects of the Outer Banks region's heritage and history through a broad spectrum of media. A reception for the free exhibit will take place Friday, Feb. 28 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Outer Banks History Center gallery at Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo.

The Theatre of Dare, the Outer Banks' local community theater organization, will stage its production of Lionel Bart's popular musical OLIVER! with a two-week run at the College of the Albemarle's Roanoke Island Campus Auditorium in Manteo. Directed by Charles H. Massey, the production is based on the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist. First week performances will be held Friday, Feb. 28 and Saturday, March 1 at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee performance Sunday, March 2 at 2 p.m. Second week performances are scheduled for Friday, March 7 and Saturday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee Sunday, March 9 at 2 p.m. Tickets will be $8/students and $15/adults and can be purchased at the door or in advance through the Theatre of Dare website.

Saturday, March 1 (a.k.a. A Really Big Day)

2nd Annual OBX Women's Winter ExpoThe 2nd Annual OBX Women's Winter Expo, a free, family-friendly event hosted by Outer Banks Entrepreneurs, is set for Saturday, March 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Ramada Plaza Nags Head Oceanfront in Kill Devil Hills. More than 50 entrepreneurial female vendors will be in attendance exhibiting and demonstrating their products, with door prizes given away every 10 minutes. Outer Banks Entrepreneurs is a group of Outer Banks female business owners dedicated to increasing the role of women leaders in the local business community.

Oyster Shellebration, billed as "An oyster roast for the coast!," is a fundraiser to support the North Carolina Coastal Federation. This old-fashioned oyster roast, taking place Saturday, March 1 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Oden's Dock in Hatteras Village, will feature fresh local oysters, refreshments, live music provided by local band Dragonfly and the good company of many of your fellow Outer Banks oyster lovers along with federation staff, board members and volunteers. Tickets are$15/person and can be purchased at Oden's Dock, Dancing Turtle Coffee Shop and Hatteras Sol Deli on Hatteras Island, at the Coastal Federation office in Manteo or online at the North Carolina Coastal Federation website. The oyster roast will take place rain or shine. In the event of bad weather the roast will be relocated to the Hatteras Village Fire Station. For more information contact the Coastal Federation's Sara Hallas at (252) 473-1607.

Diamonds and Denim, a casually elegant winter fundraising dance for The Elizabethan Gardens, kicks off Saturday, March 1 at 6 p.m. at 108 Budleigh in downtown Manteo. Take those blue jeans upscale with the addition of your favorite sparkles, bangles and baubles, and come out for a fun, adult evening of music, food, door prizes, silent and live auctions. Tickets are $45/person. For more information call (252) 473-3234 or visit The Gardens website.

Also taking place Saturday, March 1 is Children at Play Museum's 3rd Annual Mardi Gras Gala, a fundraiser for the children's hands-on learning museum held at Jennette's Pier at 7 p.m. Featuring live jazz music, New Orleans-style cuisine and a silent auction, tickets are $50/person.


Outer Banks This Week Giveaway








This week you have a chance to win a two-night stay to Outer Banks Inn & $35 gift certificate to Trio Wine, Beer, and Cheese!

For more information about Outer Banks Inn, check out their website.

For more information about Trio Wine, Beer, and Cheese check out their website.



Last Week's Winner


Congratulations to Julie Harris!!!

You won a $35 gift certificate to Tortugas Lie & $35 gift certificate to Kinnakeet Clay-Studio Showroom!

Outer Banks This Week Giveaway Winner


For more information about Tortugas' Lie, check out their website.

For more information about Kinnakeet Clay Works check out their website.

About the Author Michael Lay
Michael Lay is a local graphic designer, artist, photographer and writer. He lives in picturesque downtown Manteo, NC, and is the manservant of two beautiful and willful feline princesses, Sophie and Sassy. You can contact Michael at