At Live at Ted’s, an intimate Wilmington performance venue and listening room, it’s all about the music.
Some 70 years ago, Frank Sinatra crooned “Young at Heart” with the words, “Fairy tales can come true – it can happen to you – if you’re young at heart.” Fast forward to 2023 and check out Live at Ted’s in Wilmington, where fairy tales are coming true each week for local singers-songwriters who take the stage.
Musicians, whose ages range from 21 to 75, play to an appreciative audience in an intimate setting that is more theater than bar. So, the mood is Quiet Please! These audiences come to listen and enjoy music without distractions.
Live at Ted’s is a listening room at 2 Castle Street, and it holds a capacity of about 70 patrons. Although you can buy a beer, wine or soft drink during intermission, the real focus is the music. Unlike other clubs where lyrics blast beyond the usual din to be heard, the listening room concept is like hearing the artist in a studio recording session without second takes.
Owners Trent and Whitney Harrison “reopened” Ted’s in 2019 keeping the same “listening only” concept.
Trent is a sound engineer and musician who also owns and operates Hourglass Studios in Wilmington. His expertise helps create the acoustical quality of the room. Whitney helps greet the guests, check tickets and assist with music and house arrangements.
“This venue is unique in the area where listening to and enjoying the music is the primary focus,” Trent says. “Music lovers can come and hear the stories behind the songs.”
Life got more exciting last fall for two Southport musicians, John Staryak and Chuck Krambuhl, whose ages may be “north of 65” but their hearts and songs are young. As members of a Southport musical group, Mike’s Garage Band, they invited friends and family to enjoy cuts from their newest CD releases. While accompanying each other instrumentally with guitar and keyboard, both performers sang their own songs individually and shared backstories for their works.
Chuck describes his music and lyrics as relaxed and reflective of his taste in country music. Through his songs, he teased about the elusive ace in golf and reflected on the simple joys of fishing with his grandson. His pandemic-inspired song is aptly named “Time.”
John’s eclectic topics range from a relaxing sail on Chesapeake Bay to seeing life through his granddaughter Nora’s eyes. He also has a must-play rant about the misuse of punctuation in today’s world. He describes his music as a mix of jazz, blues and rock focusing on his family, friends and those he’s met along the way.
Both performers were grateful for the opportunity to perform in an intimate setting among friends and families in the quietude of Ted’s Listening room. Chuck remarked that it was the highlight of his musical life.
A glance at Live at Ted’s past performances includes instrumentals and vocals by artists of all ages. Musical genres of reggae, pop, Latin jazz, country-western and coffeehouse acoustical are some that have played. Notable performers Jason Strom, a season 14 singer from NBC’s The Voice, and Grammy- nominated recording artist Steve Forbert have appeared at Ted’s.
As club owner Trent shares, “We have invited audiences and we also have people who just stop in to see the performances. We lovingly refer to them as Ted Heads.”
Seems like Sinatra had it right after all: Sometimes fairy tales do come true – they can happen to you – at Live at Ted’s.
Want to go?
Live at Ted’s
2 Castle Street, Wilmington
To attend a show at Live at Ted’s and experience the listening room, it’s best to check the website liveatteds.com for information on tickets, admission policy and show dates. If you are musically talented and wish to book the room for your own private concert, follow the website guide or call (910) 769-6858.