Call Now to Reserve Tickets • (410) 639-9133 • 5753 Main St, Rock Hall, MD


Home of Musical Magic!

Located in a 100 year old building on Main Street, The Mainstay is a cultural and artistic center for Rock Hall, a historic “waterman’s” town on the Upper Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. The town’s healthy mix of of people with a deep heritage on the Eastern Shore and newcomers who have fallen in love with the area give it a vitality, a hometown feeling and a sense of community that is hard to beat.

The Mainstay is a warm friendly place with great sound and sight lines. With only 120 seats, there’s not a bad one in the house. It’s a listening room that’s almost as comfortable as your living room. Beer, wine, soft drinks and home-baked goodies are available at the bar in The Byrd Room.

Our audiences range from local Rock Hallers and Eastern Shore residents to those who find their way here from Philadelphia, Annapolis, Baltimore, Washington DC and beyond.

The Mainstay offers more than 40 concerts a year. You can hear great jazz, blues, classical, folk …almost any form you enjoy. Check out our list of memorable performances.

So, come and see us in Rock Hall… our town motto is “nice people live here” and you’ll find a whole group of those people right here at The Mainstay!

Tom McHugh



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NEWS: In May, the Voice of America came to the Mainstay to record a feature on trumpet prodigy Geoff Gallante who was the featured artist with Max's Mainstay All-Stars. Video of the original story and a feature about the making of the story are now available on the VOA website. Here are the links for the original story "Trumpet Prodigy Blows Audiences Away" and the "On Assignment" piece.

The Art of the Song

Julian Hipkins, Sue Matthews & Lena Seikaly

Friday, October 24, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.

only $20

Three fabulous and exquisite vocalists, in town for a daytime Mainstay sponsored, Snow grant funded vocal workshop at Kent County High School, weave their vocal magic for our audience in the evening. Julian Hipkins has a rich baritone and a style that really swings. Sue Matthews has a silky voice, exquisite phrasing and a passion for finding every bit of meaning in song. Lena Seikaly's lush mezzo-soprano, clever phrasing and penchant for scat singing have made her a rising star on the DC jazz scene. This will be a stunning evening of classic songs, brilliantly interpreted with an all-star band: Robert Redd on piano, Randy Reinhart on trumpet, Max Murray on bass and Frank Russo on drums. Make your reservations now.

Julian Hipkins website

Listen to Julian Hipkins

About Sue Matthews

Sue Matthews video - "Straighten up and Fly Right"

Lena Seikaly's website

Lena Seikaly video - "After You've Gone"


Ronny Cox

Singer and Songwriter

Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.

only $20

If Ronny Cox looks a little familiar it’s because he is also a Hollywood actor known for playing the villain in films like "RoboCop" and "Total Recall" and the guitar player in “Deliverance” but as a singer-songwriter, he is a study in unforced charisma. He may wear a variety of hats, but if there is one common thread that pulls it all together it’s the “real” person that wears each hat and the warmth his craft brings to anyone exposed to his many talents. His musical style is eclectic and he confesses that he has no set-in-stone criteria for picking or writing songs but he charms audiences with his humor, tart progressive insight, and Southwestern folk sound. He grew up in New Mexico listening to Texas Swing tunes, but then played rock & roll in high school, and was eventually drawn to folk music after graduating from college. His music is a smart mix of witty ditties, bluesy swing tunes, heart-on-sleeve romances, and real-life anthems. His band will include Radoslav Lorkovic on accordion and piano.

Ronny Cox's website

Ronny Cox video

Banjo Man and Bill with Tom Anthony

Banjo Man and Bill go to Downrigging
Songs of the River, Songs of the Seas
at Music Life, 214 High Street, Chestertown

Sunday, November 2, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.

only $15

Banjo Man and Bill (and the Mainstay) go to Chestertown for Sultana Projects’ Downrigging Weekend as we present an evening of nautically and environmentally themed music with Mainstay founder and Executive Director Tom McHugh, Bill Matthews and Tom Anthony at Music Life, Bill Drazga's music store at 214 High Street in Chestertown. Tom McHugh plays banjo, blues harmonica, kazoo, sings and is the composer of a number of fine songs about life along the Chesapeake. He is joined by Bill Matthews who sings and plays a great bluesy guitar. Both are experts on blues and old jazz tunes. Tom Anthony adds a fine upright bass to the mix. Their music is a blend of classic old jazz, some obscure blues, a sprinkling of folk classics and what have you. These old friends have been playing together for more than fifteen years and their performances are always entertaining Call the Mainstay for reservations. Note the 7 p.m. start.

Downrigging website