Michael BarylaHey, you’ve found my music blog! Unless you already know me, you’re probably here because you’ve gotten my name at a jam or open mic somewhere in North Carolina.  Thanks for your interest, and I hope you enjoyed whatever it was I was playing that night.


K&K Sound: excellent sound, excellent service

kks_logoRecently my K&K Meridian Microphone system failed. It was bound to happen at some point. The system was several years old, and I’d been using it several times a week at open mics and jams. With the rapid set up and tear down at those performances, the system certainly had its share of knocks and drops.

Like practically everything one purchases these days, I figured the system wouldn’t be worth repairing, or that it would be too difficult to find a friendly human at the manufacturer to inquire about a repair. I was wrong.

The people at K&K Sound were friendly, responsive, and helpful. They were able to repair my system for a nominal fee and I had it back in just a few days. Kudos to K&K Sound for their excellent customer service!

The ArtsCenter & The Art of Cool Present: Chris Dave & The Drumhedz

chris daveMark your calendars! This November The ArtsCenter is partnering up with The Art of Cool to bring world-renowned jazz drummer Chris Dave and The Drumhedz to the ArtsCenter stage! Chris Dave has been around the world and back playing for and recording with some of music’s most established and iconic artists including: Adele, Maxwell, D’Angelo, Beyoncé, & more! With the proven track record that spans over a variety of genres, the 90s to the present mark a time where Chris Dave has redefined the role of the modern drummer. He has taken his unique approach to production, tweaked it and applied it to the drum kit, creating an original sound that no other drummer can claim. On Thursday, November 13th at 8:00pm, Chris Dave and The Drumhedz will perform live at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, NC

Cicely Mitchell, President & Co-Founder of The Art of Cool, said “We are very pleased to partner with The ArtsCenter to present Chris Dave and The Drumhedz. Be prepared to have your world rocked. We look forward to working with them on more innovative jazz/soul music presentations in the future.” The Art of Cool Project is a jazz presenting 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization located in Durham, NC. They are dedicated to presenting and promoting live jazz (and related music) in unique venues throughout the Triangle. Their two major programs are Art of Cool Festival and StArt of Cool, a jazz education program. They are the rhythm of the Bull City that connects music and art to people. Learn more at

Tickets for this show are $30 General advance, $20 Friends/Student advance, and $35 Day of Show. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call the Box Office at (919) 929-2787. The ArtsCenter is located at 300-G E. Main Street in Carrboro.


Gina Sicilia to play The ArtsCenter on Sunday, Oct. 19

Gina Sicilia

6 October 2014Gina contacted me today and said that, unfortunately, the venue cancelled the show.

Gina Sicilia is a blues singer and songwriter whose vocal and lyrical performance has been compared to such superstars of classic American soul such as Etta James, Maria Muldaur, and Bonnie Raitt. On Sunday, October 19th at 7:00pm, Sicilia will perform live at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, NC.

“Her smoky alto is a striking instrument, but the way she harnesses its earthy power reflects a maturity that’s also found in her frank songwriting. The result is a combination of polished craft and gut-level emotion that is a knockout, and earns Sicilia the right to comparisons between herself and James.” -The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Destined to take her seat among the all-time greats…Sicilia is the perfect package deal…easy on the eye, equally easy on the ear and with a delivery that is as powerful as any I have heard to date, and I’ve heard them all.” -Billtown Blues Association

“Gina Sicilia may be the best blues singer on the music scene today”

Tickets for this show are $10 General advance, $6 Friends/Student advance, and $14 Day of Show. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call the Box Office at (919) 929-2787. The ArtsCenter is located at 300-G E. Main Street in Carrboro.

Fortnight Brewery discontinues open mic

fortnightFortnight Brewery in Cary, NC is discontinuing their open mic.  Here is the word from  Kras, the event host, “effective immediately, Fortnight Brewing Company in Cary has decided to discontinue their Monday night Acoustic Open Mics. Still go support Cary’s only Brewery. They are great guys, the numbers just weren’t there and you cannot blame them.”

I played that open mic once and had intended to return.  Sorry to see this one shut down.

Songwriters in the Round at Patrick Jane’s on Sunday, Sept. 28

songwiters-in-the-roundI’ll be returning to Patrick Jane’s in Cary, NC on Sunday, Sept. 28 to perform in another “Songwriters in the Round.”

Several other local songwriters will be joining me from 6:00PM through 8:00PM. Afterwards there will be an open mic (from 8:00PM to 9:00PM). Admission is free.

Sarah McQuaid to play The ArtsCenter on Thursday, Sept. 18

Sarah-McQuaidRising star Sarah McQuaid’s voice has been likened to malt whiskey, melted chocolate and “honey poured into wine” (Minor 7th). A captivating performer, she seduces her audience with cheeky banter and stories from the road, as well as with stunning musicianship; in her hands, the guitar becomes much more than merely an accompanying instrument. On Thursday, September 18th at 8pm, she will perform live at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, NC.

Sarah’s musical output reflects her own eclectic background: she was born in Spain, raised in Chicago, holds dual US and Irish citizenship, and now lives in rural England. Refusing to be pigeonholed, she spans the genres with both her beautifully crafted originals and her interpretations of material from around the globe and down the centuries.

Sarah’s third solo album The Plum Tree and the Rose has drawn critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic: “Impeccable,” wrote fRoots (UK), while Midwest Record (USA) called it “low key but glorious and incendiary” and Hot Press (Ireland) said it “should feature on many end-of-year best-ofs.”

“Likely to make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.” — Aled Jones, BBC Radio 2

“A world class talent … burns with a brilliant allure.” — Living Tradition

Tickets are $12 General advance, $8 Friends/Student advance, and $16 Day of Show. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call the Box Office at (919) 929-2787. The ArtsCenter is located at 300-G E. Main St. in Carrboro.

Jonathan Edwards at The ArtsCenter on Friday, September 5th

Jonathan-EdwardsFour decades into a career of uncompromising musical integrity, Jonathan Edwards remains a vital and relevant artist in today’s folk and Americana scenes. You can see this veteran performer and his stellar live show at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, NC on Friday, September 5th at 8:00pm.

These days Jonathan Edwards is likely to be found on the road. “I’ve been…doing what I do best, which is playing live in front of people. I’ve been concentrating on that and loving it,” he says.

An artist who measures his success by his ability to attract and take good care of an audience for four decades, Jonathan maintains that it is the feedback he receives after his shows that keeps him going.  “Sometimes, in our darker moments, we imagine our music not finding receptive ears, unable to reach open hearts. So it is really gratifying to hear [someone say], ‘Your stuff has meant a lot to me over the years.’”

On the verge of his fifth decade in the music business, Jonathan Edwards shows no sign of turning into a “Sit Down Rock and Roll Man.”  Upcoming plans include new markets, new audiences, new songs, and a new studio recording.  As this barefoot troubadour prepares for the next stage of his journey, you are more than welcome to join him for an evening or two as he continues to make good on that promise he made all the way back in 1971: “Sunshine, come on back another day … I promise you I’ll still be singing.”

Tickets are $26 General advance, $22 Friends/Student advance, and $30 Day of Show. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call the Box Office at (919) 929-2787. The ArtsCenter is located at 300-G E. Main St. in Carrboro.

For more information, visit

Steve Forbert with Bruce Piephoff at The ArtsCenter on Friday, September 12

Singer songwriter Steve Forbert is well-known for his poetic songs and authentic performances. On Friday, September 12th at 8:00pm, Forbert will perform live at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, NC. Veteran North Carolina poet and singer songwriter Bruce Piephoff will open the evening.

forbertThe unforgettable evening will again demonstrate that Forbert may be the least appreciated of the truly extraordinary singers and songwriters to emerge in the last quarter of the 20th Century. Far from a one hit wonder (“Romeo’s Tune” #11 Billboard Hot 100 in early 1980), Forbert started out with “taut, poetic lyrics” and has only gotten better. Do not miss your opportunity to celebrate popular music history in the intimacy of the ArtsCenter’s Earl & Rhoda Wynn Theater.

piephoffBruce Piephoff’s career began right here in Chapel Hill, when he was a student at UNC. He has been writing and performing songs and poetry for over 40 years. Firmly a part of the Appalachian tradition of story-songs and character portraits, it’s his versatility that makes his music so fascinating. Easily touching both the shores of folk music and poetry with simple, compelling imagery and subtle depth, Piephoff’s unassuming voice, ringing with wit and sincerity, makes for a fantastic live show.

Tickets for this show are $21 General advance, $17 Friends/Student advance, and $25 Day of Show. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call the Box Office at (919) 929-2787. The ArtsCenter is located at 300-G E. Main St. in Carrboro.

Here’s a video of Steve Forbert:

Here is a video of Bruce Piephoff:

Guitar and ukulele travel tips

2014-07-29 10.31.15(1)I recently took a road trip with my Baby Taylor guitar and Cordoba ukulele.  Road trips are easy:  just don’t leave your instruments in a hot car.  For lengthy trips, I drive with them in the air-conditioned passenger compartment — not in the trunk.

But what about air travel?  Can you carry guitars on a plane?  Do you need to de-tune? The answers are in these travel  tips from Taylor Guitars.

For ukuleles and other instruments, also check the TSA Musical Instruments page.




Don’t miss the next Songwriters in the Round at Patrick Janes in Cary NC

songwiters-in-the-roundI’ve not posted in a while because I’ve been too busy playing. Tonight I played a few tunes at Patrick Janes in Cary, NC and realized that I’ve not written anything since the last “Songwriter in the Round” event a month ago.  So much for keeping the blog current.

The “Songwriters in the Round” continues to be held on the last Sunday of the month from 6:00PM to 8:00PM, with an open mic immediately following that runs until 9:00PM.  These events are well run, and as I said in the previous post, the food is great.

So if you are looking for a fun acoustic event and open mic on a Sunday night, put a note on your calendar to stop by Patrick Janes on August 31.