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 Redd Brothers Quartet featuring Houston Person

Legendary Saxophone Player

Friday, August 1, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.

only $20

Now in his seventh decade of performing, the legendary jazz man Houston Person carves a hard groove with his tenor sax, a growling blues and soul style all his own. A veteran of more than 75 albums as a player and bandleader, he is one of the greats--“an eloquent messenger from a jazz era rooted in traditional blues, black church music, Broadway love songs and the impersonation, by sax, of a singer's tone palette” (The Guardian) He has more than 75 albums under his own name on Prestige, Westbound, Mercury, Savoy, Muse, and is currently with High Note Records. His most recent recording “Nice ‘n’ Easy”, released last year, features Chuck Redd on vibes. He has recorded with Charles Brown, Charles Earland, Lena Horne, Etta Jones, Lou Rawls, Horace Silver, Dakota Staton, Billy Butler, and more. This evening he performs with the Redd Brothers Quartet featuring Chuck on vibes and drums and Robert on piano and a bass player to be named later.

Video of Houston Person

Chuck Redd's website

Robert Redd's website

New Directions: Tom McHugh and Dick Durham

Jazz from the Great American Songbook
For Piano and Chromatic Harmonica

Sunday, August 3, 2014 at 4:00 p.m.

only $free

We all know Mainstay founder Tom McHugh for his folksy banjo, driving blues harp, and “The Chester River Song.” And we know jazz pianist Dick Durham for his amazing technique, brilliant arrangements and compositions.

altThe new Mainstay series "New Directions" encourages established musicians to explore new areas and journeymen to expand their skills,their repertoire and generally to take it to the next level. For this concert Dick has been working with Tom on a concert of jazz from the 20th Century American Songbook for piano and chromatic harmonica. Come out and see what they have cooked up. It’s free and promises to be a lively afternoon.

Toby Walker

Blues, Rags, Songs & Stories

Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.

only $15

MainstayBlues continues with a return visit from Toby Walker, a unique, accomplished fingerstyle guitar virtuoso adept at blues, rags, country picking. He has a knack for improvisation, is a skilled singer and songwriter and a masterful storyteller with a wicked sense of humor. This will be Toby’s 3rd or 4th appearance at the Mainstay and he always leaves his audiences standing, hollering for more. Recently inducted in the NY Blues Hall of Fame, his most recent recording is last year’s “What You See is What You Get.” which been hailed as a shining success as a traditional blues recording. Toby’s passion for the blues was ignited when he learned that some of his favorite Rolling Stones songs were written by Chester Burnett and McKinley Morganfield, better known as Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters. Once he heard their recordings he was hooked. His passion for the blues and other traditional American music led him to the Mississippi Delta, Virginia and the Carolinas where he tracked down some of the more obscure - but immensely talented - music makers of an earlier era. He learned directly at the feet of Eugene Powell, James "Son" Thomas, Etta Baker, and R.L Burnside, among others. Whether it is telling the humorous and heartwarming tales of these and other masters, talking about his inspirations and his travels, or astounding you with his guitar, his performances are a rich banquet of the blues that will leave you standing, hollering for more.

Toby Walker’s website

Toby Walker video "I Know You Rider" at the Birchmere

Toby Walker video "Ride On that Train" at Caffe Lena