Small Towns,
Big Sounds

Talbot County is alive with the sound of music!

In addition to the many musical festivals that take place throughout the year there are local and regional ensembles, such as the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra and the Mid-Shore Community Band, which offer concerts throughout the year.

Big band concert under the pavilion at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in Talbot County, Maryland.
Big band concert at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels

Each of Talbot County’s towns possess their own character and unique spots for musical events. St. Michaels, know for its sophisticated shopping and restaurant scene, holds free live concerts by regional artists weekly throughout the summer at Muskrat Park – bring a chair or blanket and enjoy the music with waterside breezes. In the quaint and timeless town of Oxford, the Community Center hosts concerts on their flower-bordered lawn during the summer and inside during the colder months. And in the working watermen’s village of Tilghman Island, the Wylder Hotel serves as the community’s stage booking musical performances all year-round.

Musicians playing in downtown Easton, Maryland.
Musicians playing during the Plein Air Festival in downtown Easton

In Easton’s historic, yet cosmopolitan, downtown is where you’re most apt to stumble upon free live music. In addition to a series of live performances sponsored by the Avalon Theatre, there are also concerts on first Fridays on street corners and pocket parks, typically featuring local folk and rock musicians.

Nearly every week, you’ll find a band (Stars Hollow-style Gilmore Girls reference!) staked out in front of the Tidewater Inn at the center of Easton. You can also discover free concerts inside the Academy Art Museum most weekends.

You can also enjoy live music every weekend and even some weekdays at many restaurants and bars. Go in for a meal or drink and you’re likely to catch a concert at these local favorites:

  • Carpenter Street Saloon (known locally as C Street), a laid-back bar in downtown St. Michaels owned by a state senator (1135 S. Talbot Street, St. Michaels; 410-745-5111);
  • Lowes Wharf Marina, where bands stay as late as the crowd at this beachfront bar known for its corn hole pickup game (21651 Lowes Wharf Rad, Sherwood; 410-745-6684); and
  • Characters Bridge Restaurant in Tilghman Island, a low-key gathering spot popular with locals at the foot of Tilghman Island Bridge (6136 Tilghamn Island Road, Tighlman Island; 410-886-1060).

Guests dining at Doc's Sunset Grille at sunset in Talbot County, Maryland.
Doc’s Sunset Grille in Oxford

In summer, one of the best places to enjoy a band is on the crab deck at Doc’s Sunset Grille on the waterfront in Oxford, a spot that, incidentally, is positioned to capture a classic Chesapeake sunset (108 West Pier Street, Oxford; 410-226-5500). Another fun place to hear live music is Foxy’s Harbor Grille, a dockside bar in St. Michaels that’s a party just waiting to happen (125 Mulberry Street, St. Michaels; 410-745-4340).

Musicians playing during the Waterfowl Festival in downtown Easton

And, of course, music fills the air during major annual events like the Plein Air Festival in July and the Waterfowl Festival in November, not to mention December’s many holiday fairs, festivals, and small-town celebrations.

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