By Liz Johnson

There’s nothing like foot-stomping, booty-shaking music to tune up your ‘tude. Here are some of the best places in Hunterdon County to rock on:

Live Music

American Spirits Roadhouse

1090 Route 173, Asbury

Local bands play every Friday and Saturday night at this Hunterdon Happening List Winner for Best Music Venue.  There’s also an Open Mic night on Wednesdays and Karaoke on the first and third Thursdays.

Arties Bar and Grill

1020 Route 12, Frenchtown

There’s plenty of live music at this Hunterdon Happening List Finalist for Best Music Venue, with bands playing most Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons. Artie’s also has an outdoor bar and volleyball court, just in case you get bored.

The National Hotel

31 Race Street, Frenchtown

While the weather’s still warm, pull up a chair on the historic hotel’s front porch and listen to cover tunes and original music on Sunday afternoons.  You can find a rollicking band in the Ratskellar on most Saturday nights. To get a glimpse of upcoming local talent, check out Open Mic night on Thursday nights at this Hunterdon Happening List winner for Best Happy Hour.

(Photo from Beneduce Vineyards Facebook Page)

Beneduce Vineyard

1 Jeremiah Lane, Pittstown

Listen to live music on a beautiful stone patio surrounding a bonfire while sipping great local wine at this Hunterdon Happening List Winner for Best Date Night. Saturday performances are from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with a full band and $10 cover charge. Sundays are more low-key acoustic acts from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and are free to attend.

Open Mic Nights


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The Ship Inn

When: Tuesdays at 8 p.m.
Where: Ship Inn, 61 Bridge Street, Milford,NJ

Hosted by Mike Wojik and Derrek Wismer.

Bethlehem Presbyterian Church

When: First Friday of the month from September to June, 7 p.m.
Where: Bethlehem Presbyterian Church, 2 Race Street (Rte 513 & Race St), Pittstown, NJ

Walk-ins of all ages and experience are welcome.  Each month features a local artist. There’s no cover and free coffee, soft drinks and snacks are served. For more information or to get on the schedule for a First Friday event, please contact Mark Fresolone at [email protected]

Unionville Winery

When: Second Friday of the month, 6:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Where: Unionville Winery, 9 Rocktown Rd, Ringoes NJ 08551

Join Tina and her band of merrymakers for a vineyard open mic night in the tasting room. Wine is served by the glass or bottle and guests are encouraged to bring appetizers to enjoy while the music plays. There’s no cover charge. Performers should arrive at the beginning of the evening to guarantee stage time.

Black River Roasters

When: Last Friday of the month, 7 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Where: Black River Roasters, 424 US 22, Whitehouse Station

Enjoy a night of free live music, comedy, and spoken word by local performers while cozying up with a cup of your favorite coffee or tea.

Favorite Bands

Maybe the venue isn’t important, it’s more the music you’re interested in. Consider following:

We May Be Right, a Phillipsburg band that does a Billy Joel Tribute and is a Hunterdon Happening List Winner for Best Band Performance. They play many local venues and events.  Other bands worth checking out are Flemington-based The Big Fuss or Coo CooCachoo or JT Rooney, a solo acoustic act from Glen Gardner, all Hunterdon Happening Finalists for Best Band.

We May Be Right: Billy Joel Tribute Band (photo by Lori Smith at L Studio Makeovers, via Facebook)


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