By Jeff Maisey

Local bands in Hampton Roads had another prolific trip around the sun last year, and as you’ll see the list of nominees for the Veer Music Awards is rather lengthy.

As always I called upon a diverse array of people to participate in our nominating panel. While not everyone devotes time to the process, we did have 24 people participate. Not only does it take a real effort to go through the categories, I also have the following strict requirements so that the nominees are reflective of what bands/musicians accomplished in the previous year (2018). Panelists had to verify a nominee accomplished at least one of the following:

a) Released an album in 2018

b) Released an EP (under 25 minutes) in 2018

c) Released/posted a song in 2018

d) Released a music video in 2018

e) Opened for a national act or played an important gig (ie headlined The NorVa) in 2018

f) Received favorable media coverage (radio/TV/print) in 2018

Our 2019 Veer Music Awards nominating panel included these good folks:

Kyle Bloom (producer, Hampton Roads Show) 

DJ Bee (owner, Fresh Radio; on-air DJ @ WOWI-103 JAMZ)

Paul Shugrue (host, “Out of the Box,” WHRV-FM)

Jae Sinnett (host, “Sinnett in Session/R&B Chronicles, WHRV-FM; jazz composer, musician and recording artist)

Janelle Burchfield (director, Enjoy)

Jay Lang (manager, Hampton University’s WHOV-FM; president, Blue Pyramid Productions)

Mike Holtzclaw (pop culture journalist, Daily Press)

Annette Clark (gospel artist management, Smile Productions) 

Jerome Langston (pop culture journalist, Veer Magazine)

Joshua Coplon (concert promoter, LAVA Presents) 

Elena Montello (director, Stockley Gardens Arts Festival)

Jim Morrison (music journalist, Veer Magazine; promoter North Shore Point House Concerts) K’bana Blaq (musician/composer, The Fuzz Band)

Lauren Moore (general manager, DoG Street Pub) 

Jeff Hewitt (concert photographer; publisher Antonym Press)

Wendy Podmenik Darugar (concert photographer)

Duane Smith (musician/composer, The Fuzz Band)

Jon Dorner, (booking agent/co-owner, Shaka’s Live)

Sherry Boylan Hackney (concert photographer) 

Andrew Briggs (promoter, TBA Productions; musician Reptile Tile)

Hunter Hughes (host, “Hunter at Sunrise,” WHRO-Digital)

Beth Austin (concert photographer)

Tom Wilder (owner/booking agent, Young Veterans Brewing Co; musician, Wilde Owl)

Dee Larion (director of marketing, Live Nation Mid-Atlantic region)

It’s important to note that not every band on a panelist’s list made the final cut. Several panelists nominated bands like Last Bison and Mae, whose members mostly live elsewhere these days. So as to include them I brought back the Nationally Touring category. 

The 2019 Veer Music Awards will be presented Tuesday, February 12 at Granby Theater in Norfolk.  Showtime will be 7 PM sharp. Doors open an hour prior. Admission will be free. The performing bands and mashups will each play one song under the theme “Songs of Protest.” The awards show is presented by Caiseal and sponsored by Festevents, Southern Bank, Norfolk Department of Economic Development and Granby Theater. Hope House Foundation will be on-site, so please give a few bucks to a great non-profit organization. 

Voting will be live January 17 through February 1st at Multiple votes from the same IP address will be flagged.

Veer Magazine will present a Lifetime Achievement Award to Combine (see story on page 54), the Industry Award to Deborah Persons for her work on the museum-like Hardcore Norfolk exhibit at Slover Library. Drummer Steve Archer will receive the Musician’s Musician Award this year for his years of helping students and other musicians. Archer also hit the road this summer in Sandra Bernhard’s back-up band. 

And now, here are the 2019 Veer Music Awards nominees. Good luck to all. 

Album of the Year 

Buddha Council, “True Love”

Jae Sinnett, “The Americana Groove Project” 

The Purge, “The Bad Ideas We Build Worlds”

Sunny & Gabe, “Peace of Cake” 

Brian Grilli, “Deep South Symphony” 

Pain in the Yeahs, “Dopamine Noir”

Turncoat Syndicate, “The Life You Wanted” 

The Lazy Dangers, “Kill the Past” 

Freedom Hawk, “Beast Remains” 

The Chong Band, “Part 2”

Bobby Black Hat Walters, “Put on Your Red Shoes”  

In Layman Terms, “Strong Roots” 

Myra Smith, “Sunday Kind of Love”

Blue Ribbon, “Sloth” 

Norfolk Nightmares, “Norfolk Nightmares” 

Mark Dunn, “Licks, Lyrics & Lovers”

Mike Aiken, “Wayward Troubadour” 

Jim Newsom, “New Set of Dreams”

EP of the Year 

Roebuck, “Sweet Gnarly”

Koren Grace, “The I.D. & The Ego”

Mark Rogers, “Qualifiers” 

Starcoast, “Glow”

Moaning Lisas, “Extra Cheese”

Reptile Tile, “Human Man”

Carlos Armon, “Free”

Runnin’ Shine, “The D”

Logan Vath, “Lost on Leaving”

K’Bana Blaq, “Love Over Hate”

You’re Jovian, “The Sound Of Who We Are”

Snake Mountain Revival, “Snake Mountain Revival”

Demons, “Made in the USA”

The Lifehacks, “Glad”

Berries, “Good Things” 

Song of the Year 

“Heaven on the Rocks,” Ladada 

“Fun,” Koren Grace

“Runnin’ Shine,” Runnin’ Shine

“Log on Fire,” Buddha Council

“Relax, This Won’t Hurt,” Turncoat Syndicate

“Free,” Carlos Armon

“White Rabbit,” Travelers

“All Packed Up for the Trip,” Roy Ira Moats & The Moats Dogs 

“Love Again,” You’re Jovian

“The Aliens,” Annie Johnson Band

“Little Miss Sunshine,” Court Street Company

“Lever,” Demons

“Old Souls,” The Chong Band

“Higher Calling,” Jae Sinnett

“The Seeker,” Blue Ribbon

“Enough Good,” Logan Vath

“Anyone But You,” Pain in the Yeahs 

“The War,” Bennett Wales & The Relief

“Shelf Life Baby,” Moaning Lisas

“Glad,” The Lifehacks

“Gas Station,” Super Doppler

“Imagining,” Mark Rogers 

“Floating,” Starcoast

“Love Over Hate,” K’bana Blaq

“I Still Believe,” Shelly Vonne

“Tropics,” Sunny & Gabe

“Send Me,” Every King & Commoner

Music Video of the Year  (Watch each on

It’s Tha Koncept, “I Got Soul” 

Brian Grilli, “My Hometown”

Light, “Heroes Rising”  

Moaning Lisas, “Shelf Life Baby” 

Sunny & Gabe, “Hadouken” 

Buddha Council, “Log on the Fire”

K’Bana Blaq, “Let Them Go” 

Ladada, “Heaven on the Rocks”

Annie Johnson Band, “The Aliens”

Pain in the Yeahs, “Anyone but You”

Court Street Company, “Fall Away”

The Lonely Teardrops, “Vampire Cowboy”

Jonah’s Run, “U Saved Me”

Teezy So Dope, “Happy 2 B Here” 

Starcoast, “Piece of Mind” 

Olivia Dyer, “Time & Age”

National Touring

Last Bison


Broke Royals


The Hunts

Producer of the Year   

Todd Washburn

Jacki Paolella

Jordan Greenough

Joe Talley

Rob Ulsh

Rich Mossman


Pain in the Yeahs




You’re Jovian

Broken Beaches

Court Street Company 

Caleb Folks

Christian James



Freedom Hawk

At War

Magg Dylan

Fall Out of Fear

The Cemetery Boys

Nur Black

Ancient Torture Techniques



Crucial Rip

Vomit Stain


Turncoat Syndicate

Blue Ribbon


Moaning Lisas

The Chong Band

Bennett Wales & The Relief 

Just Standing

Seven Ten Oil

The Lifehacks

Super Doppler

Annie Johnson Band



J. Flax & the Heart Attacks

The G-Bombs

Norfolk Nightmares

Lonely Teardrops


The Nerve Scheme

Lucky 757


Paper Trail

Accident Prone



Snake Mountain Revival

Bad Weather Birds

Galaxy Dynamite

The Snicklefritz Scheme

Delirious George 



John Toomey 

Sam Rucker 

Jennifer Gammill

Koren Grace



Carlos Armon

Koren Grace

K’Bana Blaq

Ashley Felder

Karla Crump

The Fuzz Band

Elizabeth Fellows


Myra Smith

Rorri Jane

Sunny Moonshine

Hip Hop

Just Archie

Black Lion Insurgents

Billy Mercury

Teezy So Dope

The Defenders

It’s Tha Koncept

Corbin Reynolds




The Storyweavers

Brackish Water Jamboree

Fox & The Bear


The Lazy Dangers


Chase Payne

Laura Rice

Hanks Martin

Runnin’ Shine

Brian Grilli

Mike Aiken

Celeste Kellog


Willie Byrn

Tret Fure

Mark Rogers

Wilde Owl

Roy Ira Moats & The Moatdogs

Logan Vath

Muddy Gems

Jim Newsom

Kate Stedelbauer

Fox & the Bear

Rick Bozart


Bobby “Black Hat” Walters

Jason Cale Band

Deathhouse Blues

Mark Dunn

Bad Weather Birds

Dave Johnson & The Truth

Josh Lief

Anthony Rosano & The Conqueroos

Paul Urban & Friends


We Never Sleep

Crash Mosaic

Young Hierophant


Reptile Tile 



From Overseas

Tornado Bait

Cover Band

Fine Swiss Cheese

Red Stapler Duo

Rocky 7


The Deloreans


The Gypseas


Everybody Loves Tequila 

Michael Clark Band

World Music

Mosquito Cabaret

So Poz Band

Buddha Council 

Cultivated Mind

United Souls



Jonah’s Run

Dee Dee Gee


The Chosen Few

Open Mic Night 

Big Woody’s w/Karl Werne

Olde Town Jam @ Longboards

C.I.P.H.E.R Tuesdays @ Train Station w/Quinton Jennings-Sherman

Abbey Road w/Doyle & Dunn

Colley Cantina w/Zach Jones

Victorian Station w/Vaughn Deel

Fairgrounds w/Ronnie Talman

Winston’s Cafe w/Joey Wood

Tuesday Night Choir @ Stuft w/Don Butcher

Aroma’s Newport News

Live Performer (Original music) 

Dave Johnson & The Truth


The Fuzz Band

Anthony Rosano & The Conqueroos

Bennet Wales & The Relief

K’Bana Blaq

The Chong Band

Bobby Black Hat Walters

Galaxy Dynamite

Super Doppler


DJ Bee/Fresh Radio

DJ CanRock

DJ Sir Lord Thomas

DJ Ponfetti

Litt Keys


Media Promoting Local Music

Hampton Roads Show

103 Jamz Sunday Night Spotlight w/DJ Jack Of Spade

The Antonym

Out of the Box, WHRV-FM w/Paul Shugrue

Hunter at Sunrise

Daily Press/Mike Holtzclaw

Music Venue Small (Under 300)

BBQ by Froggies 

Taphouse Grill Norfolk

Charlie’s American Cafe



FM Backstage Cafe


Doc Taylor’s Seaside Lounge

The Bunker

Music Venue Medium (300 to 1,000)

American Theatre

Boathouse Live!

The Vanguard

Elevation 27

Waterside District

Shaka’s Live

Zeider’s American Dream Theater

Music Venue Large (Non-arena, 1,000 or More) 

The NorVa

Ferguson Center

Sandler Center

Chrysler Hall

Attucks Theatre

Local Music Indie Promoter

LAVA Presents

Mike Mahgerefteh

151 Productions

Jason Bruner

TBA Productions

Joe Castellanos

Rollie Ligart

Matt Reitz

Outdoor Festival (inclusion of local bands)



American Music Festival

Winter Blues Jazz Festival

Starfire Festival

LAVA MiniFest

Music Series

Out of the Box @ Sandler Center

Sunsets on the River/Hermitage

YNOT Wednesdays

Summer Breeze Concert Series @ Merchants Square

Songwriters in the Round @ Victorian Station

First Fridays Downtown Norfolk

Music Instrument Retailer 


Music Go Round

Guitar Center

Russell’s Music World

Alpha Music

Moe’s Music

Photography Posed (view online at

“K’bana Blaq” by Glenn Woodell

“The Janks” by Tony Bijeaux

“Rob Oliver” by Wendy Podmenik Darugar

“Buddha Council” by Roger Richards

“Every King & Commoner” by Annette Holloway

Photography Live (view online at

“Waxing Poetics” by Beth Austin

“Bennett Wales” by Sean Chagnon

“DaRon Walton” by James Robinson

“Rio” by Jeff Hewitt

“Glenrose” by Wendy Podmenik Darugar