Living in Norfolk there is no doubt that there are plenty of musically and artistically inclined individuals, and that’s what I love about it. There is a sense of community between different creatives, and every weekend you know there will be live music somewhere in the city.
With spring finally here, more and more of the community emerges from hibernation. From Drive-thru pranks to Pharrell, Hampton Roads has given birth to many pop culture greats. What is it about our area that has produced such amazing works? Maybe it’s something in our water, or maybe it’s the intimacy of each venue and the crowd that attends each weekend. Either way, it takes more than a rowdy audience and cheap drinks to bring high level entertainment. Here are a couple of my favorite Norfolk-based bands, the second of which won’t disappoint you this weekend at The Colley Avenue Music And Arts Festival – CAMAF.
Major and the Monbacks
Major and the Monbacks can be best characterized by many and by themselves as, ”60’s infused southern twang.” I have had the pleasure of taking the photo for their new album cover and spent some time with Nate Sacks while they were in Nashville recording their new self-titled album. The band always gives off a fun vibe, and while recording their Kickstarter video I found that they really supported each other, giving each other suggestions that would help them better execute their ideas and sound.
Their shows remind me of a performance on American Bandstand (had I been alive then) with audiences always dancing, or at least grooving to the music, and the band sweating and playing like it’s their only shot to make it. Major and Monbacks have certainly made a name for themselves here in the area and they deserve it. The merriment in their shows often has patrons sticking around when they originally only came for a drink or a bite to eat. Be sure to check them out at their album release party on April 25th at O’Connors Brewery and at the Laval Music Festival on May 16th at the Suffolk Executive Airport!
Lena Klett & Friends
Originally from Hopewell, New Jersey, Lena Klett relocated to Norfolk, VA in 2008 and has been performing in the area since then as a singer/songwriter. Her acoustic folk rock has captivated listeners at different venues and she recently just won the Tiny Desk Contest People’s Choice Award from WHRO. Lena’s voice is completely charming and her lyrical narratives keep you listening throughout her performance.
Now expanding, she has begun a collaboration with John Nixon, from former band Reckless Passengers, and Hunter Rhodes, former member of Major and the Monbacks. Together they are working on adding bass and percussion to her original works as well as some new covers by some classic musical greats like The Beatles to contemporary artists like Regina Spektor and Grace Potter. Meeting through previous shows, the 3 musicians no doubt have a sense of each other’s musical style and successfully blend together to create Lena Klett & Friends. Lena Klett & Friends is also scheduled to play the Colley Avenue Music and Arts Festival on April 18th.
For more on the festival, click here.