Variety of sounds, tastes in store for New Year's revelers

Temple Theatre among local venues hosting celebrations
Dec. 29, 2012 @ 05:00 AM

Revelers looking to ring in the new year in Lee County will be in for a treat if they're fans of good, old-fashioned Americana music.

There will be a country band at the Sanford Elks Lodge, a bluegrass band at Temple Theatre, and a blues and funk band at The Flame Steak House, all welcoming 2013 with their distinctive sounds.

"Traditionally, its a good night for people to get out who don't get out a lot the rest of the year," Steve Brewer, owner of The Flame, said of New Year's Eve.

Entertainment for the night will include a DJ playing dance and top-40 hits after midnight, with the FOG Blues Band kicking things off at 9:30 p.m. Admission is free for dinner guests and $5 for everyone else and includes a champagne toast, and the party will be 21-plus after 9:30.

Temple Theatre will host local roots music maestros The Bluegrass Experience for the 14th time in just about as many years, and the $15 tickets can be bought online at or by visiting or calling either the Temple Theatre Box Office or Red Gate Art, Antiques and Music in Pittsboro at 107 Hillsboro St. Seats are first-come, first-served, at the show, which will last from 8-11 p.m.

"Well, it's usually a lot of fun," said band guitarist and radio host Tommy Edwards. "It's a pretty relaxed atmosphere, and because it's New Year's Eve, people are pretty jolly."

He said the show will offer a mix of original and traditional material, as well as a combination of instrumental numbers and singers, including Temple Theatre Artistic Director Peggy Taphorn and Jimmy Cameron, who toured with Grammy-winning singer and banjo picker Ralph Stanley for years.

Sanford man Keith Thomas will also be singing and playing several instruments, according to a news release about the event that promises appearances from several other musicians and at least one award-winning 13-year-old fiddler. Edwards said Friday he was also working on getting another guitarist — who backed up the late bluegrass legend Doc Watson for several decades — to come out and play as well.

At the Elks Lodge, Tim Hair and the AKM Band will lasso in the new year with their seven-member country and western band starting at 8:30 p.m. Tickets can be bought ahead of time for $15 at the Elks Lodge clubroom or over the phone at (919) 353-5446. They can also be bought at the door for $20. There will also be a cash bar.

Outside of Lee County, there is a stronger focus on food instead of music, although there will be plenty of live shows to be found. Chatham County has a host of opportunities, mostly in Pittsboro, and there will also be a show in Moncure at unWINEd by Rhonda Robichaux, whose band was recently named the top blues band in the Triangle. Admission is free for the show, which starts at 9 p.m. at 237 Center Grove Church Road in Moncure, although tips are strongly encouraged.

There will be a four-course tasting offered at Pittsboro's Oakleaf restaurant, with both meaty and vegetarian offerings. At $75 per person ($105 to include wine pairings), participants will be served dishes such as as prime beef, lobster, mussels, truffles and foie gras. Reservations can be made online at or by phone at (919) 533-6303.

Elsewhere in Pittsboro, the Roadhouse is throwing a party with ZamBamBooGee, a jazz/funk band that claims to like to make people dance. The show, which will last from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., costs $15 and includes the band, a champagne toast and hors d'ouevres. There will also be a cash bar.

A costumed Steampunk Masquerade Ball will be held at Davenport and Winkleperry, where hosts will be playing records of "jazz, blues, swing, dark cabaret, gypsy punk and dance music from times gone by or times that never were." Admission is $5 with a mask or $10 without one, 18-plus, and will start at 9 p.m. Steampunk-themed attire is encouraged, but not required.

In between Pittsboro and Chapel Hill, Fearrington Village will also be serving a holiday lunch at the Fearrington House Restaurant — recently named one of the top 50 restaurants in the country — and will also be offering overnight packages in the Fearrington House Country Inn, complete with dinner, champagne and truffles on New Years Eve and breakfast and afternoon tea the following day. Rates start at $525 for that package at the inn, one of two five-star bed and breakfasts in North Carolina. Reservations can be made at (919) 542-2121.

In Moore County, Southern Pines will sponsor a family-friendly party downtown with live music and other attractions starting at 6 p.m., with a pine cone drop at 8 p.m. Nearby, the Pinehurst Resort will be throwing a party that includes a night's stay at the resort, dinner, a midnight breakfast buffet and a breakfast on New Year's Day, plus a party with the Band of Oz, a beach music band that's been performing for decades. It's $239 for the night and $429 for a three-night stay.

In Harnett County, there will be a 2.5-mile guided hike at Raven Rock State Park starting at the picnic shelter at 1 p.m. on New Year's Day.