Ruckus Rock Revival

Blue CactusKym Register and Kamara Thomas trace their country-rock lineages, paying tribute to rock inventors Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Link Wray, and exploring the legacies of Linda Ronstadt and Rodriguez—two Mexican Americans whose music careers found very different trajectories in the rock milieu of the late 60s and 70s.

Featured Artists:

Kym Register

Kym Register is the singer-songwriter of the Durham North Carolina band Kym Register + Meltdown Rodeo (fka Loamlands). KR+MR released their latest album, Kym Regsiter + Meltdown Rodeo, in fall 2023 on Don Giovanni Records.  Register also runs The Pinhook queer bar / music venue in Durham, NC. They’ve been featured on WXPN / NPR / NYLON Magazine / The Kennedy Center and more.

Website | Instagram | Facebook

Kamara Thomas

Kamara Thomas is a Durham-based singer, songspeller, multidisciplinary storyteller. She has recently completed an arts fellowship at Princeton where she taught songwriting, storytelling and performance and presented her musical storytelling works Xulgaria and Tularosa: An American Dreamtime.

Website | Instagram | Facebook

Blue Cactus

Blue Cactus, led by kindred spirit songwriters Steph Stewart and Mario Arnez got their start among the active honky-tonk circuit of North Carolina, developing an electrified twang that now branches out effortlessly into folk, alt-country, and psychedelic-tinged rock. Read Blue Cactus’ full bio here.

Website | Instagram | Facebook

Visitor Information

Music in the Gardens concerts take place on the lawn behind the Doris Duke Center. Lawn chairs, picnics, and blankets are encouraged. Pets are not allowed. Outside food and beverages, including beer and wine, are permitted and will also be available for purchase on-site from The Palace International. The lawn will open at 6 p.m. before each concert. University parking at the Gardens is $2/hour until 7 p.m. In the event of rain, concerts will take place at Baldwin Auditorium on Duke’s East Campus. Location changes will be announced by 1 p.m. on the day of the event.

Listen from Anywhere!

This concert will be broadcast live on WXDU 88.7 FM, Duke University Radio! Tune in live from anywhere in Durham or online at

  • Wed, May 29, 2024 at 7:00pm



Sarah P. Duke Gardens
420 Anderson Street
Durham, NC 27708


Reservations available Tuesday, May 21 at 11 a.m.

General Admission; Reservations are limited to 4, with an option to add ‘youth’ tickets for children 10 and under. 

Music in the Gardens Lineup

2024 Music in the Gardens is presented by Duke Arts in partnership with Sarah P. Duke Gardens and Country Soul Songbook, with support from WXDU and Duke Summer Session.