Coyote's Magic Night

Sundae Horn
Coyote's Magic Night

A full moon and full house greeted Coyote and Martin Garrish’s concert last night.

Maybe it was la bella luna, maybe it was stormy weather blowing in, maybe the stars were aligned just right – perhaps it was just the incredible amount of talent on the stage. Whatever the reason, the kick-off show of the new Coyote Plus One summer season was magic.

Coyote are Marcy Brenner and Lou Castro, who have been together in life and music since 2001. After nearly a decade of being 2/5 of Ocracoke-based band Molasses Creek, they heard an inner voice (was it Lindsey Buckingham’s?) telling them to go their own way.

“Playing in a five-piece ensemble was a blast – it was a dream come true,” Marcy said. “But in this next chapter of our lives, there’s not enough time to do everything, we’ve got to choose.”

Part of that choice was to be a duo once again. But not just a duo. Realizing that they have the most fun playing music when they’re in a threesome, Marcy and Lou created a series of shows they call “Coyote Plus One.” It’s a Coyote show, featuring a special guest from among their many talented musical friends. They call it “well-crafted spontaneity.” Their fans called it “amazing.”

Coyote's Magic Night

“My face hurts from smiling,” Marcy said last night. “The audience was filled with great energy and love.”

Over 80 people came out to see the show at the Ocracoke Community Center – the last 30 or so had to grab their own chairs because their numbers exceeded Coyote’s expectations. Twenty more fans watched it at home, livestreaming from anywhere in the world on for just $1. Love it? Tip the band as much as you want!

“I’m really geeking out on the technology part of it,” Marcy said. She’s excited to share their music with dad and other friends and family too far away to visit in person. It’s all about sharing for Marcy and Lou. 

“We realized over the winter that our favorite thing to do is to play with other musicians,” Marcy said in a recent interview. “We love playing a lot of different kinds of music, and learning each other’s songs is really fun and a great challenge.”

Everything's a blur in my lousy iPhone photo, but Martin's fingers were a blur in real life.
Everything's a blur in my lousy iPhone photo, but Martin's fingers were a blur in real life.

Marcy admits, that although it doesn’t show, performing is not her favorite part of being a musician. She doesn’t like too much of the spotlight.

“But playing to a listening audience is a pleasure,” she said. “I love the heart conversation, and I love to get people together and then magic happens." 

Marcy and Lou chose Ocracoke music icon Martin Garrish to be the first Plus One. They’ve both had years of experience playing with Martin in many different line-ups, musical genres, and venues. It makes sense that if you want to start something completely new, you find a tried-and-true friend to help out. Martin, who’s been Ocracoke’s music scene for over forty years, is best known for his guitar-picking (people hoot and holler when he takes a lead break), but I’ve always loved his voice and the way you can hear the Ocracoke Brogue as he sings. And he chooses great cover songs and can (and will) tell you who wrote a song and who recorded it and who else played on the record and when he first heard the song and how long he’s loved it. Martin’s a walking music encyclopedia, and he brings all that knowledge and all those years of practice to the stage.  

Add all that wonderfulness to Marcy’s vocals, mandolin-playing, and songwriting, and Lou’s virtuoso talents on guitar, dobro, and steel guitar, and you’ve got a great evening of music.

“What a dream of a night!” Marcy said.

The acoustics in the Community Center are amazing, if I do say so myself. Thanks, Doreen Robinson and Tom Pahl!
The acoustics in the Community Center are amazing, if I do say so myself. Thanks, Doreen Robinson and Tom Pahl!
Sorry for erasing your face with the light, Marcy!

Coyote Plus One shows will run every Tuesday night all summer. Admission is $15 (free for kids under 12). At intermission, you can scoot across Hwy. 12 to the gas station for a quick drink and snack. Next week’s Plus One is Rob Sharer, who’ll hang out on the island after his gig with Craicdown at the Ocrafolk Festival. Rob has boundless energy and always puts on a great show! The lucky threesome will be treated each week to dinner before the show at the official Coyote Plus One sponsor, Dajio Restaurant (yum!) Coyote will get by with a little help from their friends Aaron Caswell, Jim Wynn, Matt Sheehan, Jon Lea, Kim France, Dave Pollard, Matt Hoggard, Cristina Garey – and one Coyote Plus Three show featuring April Trueblood, Jamie Carter, and yours truly. Martin will help Marcy and Lou close out the season with last show (September 1st).

Yeah, I know next Tuesday is a long way away and September’s even longer. If you can’t wait, there are other ways to see/hear Marcy, Lou, and/or Martin in one of their many clever disguises.

You’ll find them onstage at the Ocrafolk Festival this weekend. Marcy and Lou are the “and Friends” at the Martin and Friends set on the Live Oak Stage on Saturday at 1pm. They’ll be performing as their Western swing-style band. Why not? 

Marcy coordinates and performs in the Ocrachicks set on the Live Oak Stage at 9:30pm on Saturday.

Marcy and Martin are playing as a duo around town (mostly at Ocracoke Oyster Company), and Lou plays with the Nutrio Jazz Band and really lets loose in the 80’s cover band, Raygun Ruby.

“It’s a blast!” Lou said with his usual enthusiasm for all his musical projects. “I have a lot of fun playing in Raygun Ruby.” 

Check out the Current Live Music Calendar for dates and venues.

Coyote is also available for weddings and special events. Want to play guitar like Lou? Let him teach you on Skype! Find out more at

Marcy and Lou love the Beatles. Can you tell?
Marcy and Lou love the Beatles. Can you tell?
Jessie Morrissey designed the way-cool poster and photo ads for Coyote Plus One. Can you tell?
Who will fill the chair next?
Who will fill the chair next?



Comments powered by Disqus