Ongoing pandemic aside, last year saw music venues finally come back to life and local musicians once again played stages big and small throughout the 757 region.

Below are this year’s nominees for the 2022 Veer Music Awards. We considered the following when selecting the potential nominees: (1) Did the band/musician release an album, EP, single or music video? (2) Did the band/musician open for a national act or something else of note?

We expanded the list of nominees in the cover band category and added categories for solo/duo cover acts and theme-based cover bands. In our region, cover bands and solo acts seem to outnumber original music groups, and they dominate the live music offerings week after week.

As for original music, once again local musicians impressed with songs that received radio airplay and garnered rave reviews in Veer Magazine. The music videos listed below can all be viewed by searching each on Youtube. Songs, albums, and EPs were released by local bands on a range of platforms including Bandcamp (our favorite), Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora.

Stay tuned for an announcement on when voting by the public will go live. Each category will include a blank space for write-in votes as it is inevitable a band or two may have been overlooked or simply didn’t send us info on new release music.

The Music Awards will be presented Tuesday, February 8 at The Vanguard Distillery & Brewpub in Hampton. Showtime is 7 PM sharp.


Album of the Year

Demons, “Privation”

Jae Sinnett Trio, “Altered Egos”

Sunny Moonshine, “Listen to Me, Lightning”

Wilke$, “12:34”

Every King & Commoner, “Pioneers! Oh, Pioneers!”

Court Street Company, “Crooked Dreams”

The Lifehacks, “Oh No!”

Mark Rogers, “Rhythm of the Roads”

Runnin’ Shine, “Nowhere to Go”

Red Weather, “Wish You Well”

Faithful Kate, “Classic”

Jim Bulleit, “Catastrophe & Hope”

Various Artists, “Sunrise Sessions Vol. Two: The Pandemic Recordings”

Adam Scott Clifford, “Homage to Liszt”

hERETICS iN tHE lAB, “A Dead Horse” (remixes)


EP of the Year

Mr. Fang & The Dark Tones, “Rock-n-Roll Monsters”

Berries, “Outgrowth” 

Shaolin, “Blackstone”

J Fax & The Heart Attacks, “Quadruple Bypass”

Roberta Lea, “Just a Taste”

The New Mutiny, “The New Mutiny”

Rachel & The JellyCats, “Rachel & The Jellycats”

The Dual Gravitons, “It’s a Riddle”

TA Gatling, “Respect The Shadows” 

Longsleeves, “Joy Ride”


Song of the Year

The Lifehacks, “Freaks”

Roberta Lea, “Sweet Baby Ray”

Mark Rogers, “Every Once in a While”

Court Street Company, “Modern Age”

Anthony Rosano & The Conqueroos, “The Chain”

J. Flax & the Heart Attacks, “Letter By Wire” 

Dion Langley (feat. Roberta Lea), “Beat It Like a Drum” 

Big Al Staggs, “Welcome to Island Time”

Akeyla Simone, “Black is Beautiful” 

Rachel & the Jellycats, “Friday Night”

Wilke$, “Should I”

The Righteous Few, “Hellfire”

Every King & Commoner, “Money”

710 Oil, “Hard Hurt”

Michael Goldberg, “Navy Blue”

Jonah’s Run, “He Loves Us” 

Bill Gaunce, “Tripwire”

Jackie Merritt, “Crack Cocaine is My Life”

Sunny Moonshine, “Annalise”

Finney Finn, “New Normal” 

Magg Dylan, “Pawns”

Jim Bulleit, “Flash of Lightning”

Red Weather, “Nothing At All”

Berries, “Word on the Street”

Annie Johnson, “Like Alice”


Music Video of the Year

Shaolin, “Heavy Heart”

Dead Friends, “Ultrabysmal”

Terell Online, “You and Me”

Roberta Lea feat. Octavia The Great, “Moonlight”

Kristi K, “Separate Ways”

Magg Dylan, “Pawns”

Jonah’s Run, “He Loves Us” 

The Dual Graitons, “It’s a Riddle”

Bill Gaunce, “Tripwire”

Hindu Pez, “Wild Turkey, Sweat and Madness”

Foreign Colour, “Adorn” 

Rob Oliver, “On the Same Page”

Annie Johnson, “Like Alice”

Michael Goldberg, “A Little Love Will Always Fix a Broken Heart” 

Big Al Staggs, “Welcome to Island Time”

The Cazz, “Drive!”

Exploding Sun, “Better Day”

Tina Micula, “Wishing You Here This Christmas”


Best Holiday Themed 

Kristi K. –  Released a single and video of Dolly Parton’s “Hard Candy Christmas”

Roy Ira Moats – Released the holiday tune “I’m a Kid”

The Muddy Gems – Released a video of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”

Berries – Released a cover version of Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime” 

Celeste Kellogg – Performed her new original “Save a Dance for Me This Christmas” on WAVY10

Msesippi’s Tornado Bait “Hampton for the Holidays” – Performed a virtual Christmas video show 

Annie Johnson – Released an instrumental video of “Christmastime Is Here”

Tina Micula – Released an all-star cast holiday video and song “Wishing You Here This Christmas”


Best Jazz

Jae Sinnett Trio — Played the VA Arts Fest and released the national radio charting album “Altered Egos” 

Duane Squire Smith Quartet — Brothers Norfolk jazz club’s house band backing national acts

Quicksilver Night fea. Jason Cale – Released “Mr.Wizard” as a jazz fusion EP

John Toomey Trio – Virginia Arts Festival’s band backing nationally touring featured jazz greats


Best R&B/Soul

Wilke$ – Released album “12:34”

Akeylah Walters – Released several singles including “Black is Beautiful”

The Fuzz Band – Worked with Carl  Thomas, Raheem Devine Bigg, Danny Kane and Vivian Green

Myra Smith – Opened for Glenn Jones at Noir


Best Hip Hop

Darius Ford –  Released the single “Nothin’ Like Sunday Morning”

Terell Online – Release multiple singles and videos including “Simple” and “You and Me”

Lex Lucent – Released the EPs “In Case You Forgot” and “Casual Flex”

Childz – Released the album “Just Visiting 3”

Ghetto Chris – Released the album “8 Track”


Best Gospel/Spiritual

Voices of Fire — Performed on BET Gospel Explosion and nominated for NAACP Image Award

Chang3 — Released “God Over All Things” album

Jonah’s Run – Released the video “He Loves Us”

Brothers of Unity of VA – Released the single “Changed”

Dion Langley – Released the single “Beat It Like A Drum” featuring Roberta Lea


Best World Music

Mosquito Cabaret – Released a video for “River King” 

Jon Quan – Released several reggae singles including “I Am Trying” featuring Kelly Di Filippo

Rhythm Project Steel Drums – Featured during Junetenth in the Park


Best IndiePop

The Lifehacks – Released the album “Oh, No!”

Berries – Released the EP “Outgrowth”

Ladada – Released “re” album

Foreign Colour – Released the album “Weight of a Rose”

Longsleeves – Released the EP “Joyrider”

Red Weather – Released the album “Wishing You Well”

Bad Naps – Released the album “Pandemic”

ghostStar – Released the EP “Five Year Plan”

You’re Jovian – Re-issued a vinyl version of their 2012 debut “Stereochronic”

Sicman of Virginia – Release several singles including “Blow Your Nose” and “Yogurt”


Best Pop

Sunny Moonshine – Released the album “Listen to Me, Lightning” 

Roberta Lea – Released the single and video for “Moonlight” featuring Octavia The Great

Every King & Commoner – Released the eclectic pop album “Pioneers! Oh, Pioneers!”

Shaolin – Released the EP “Blackstone” and a video for “Heavy Heart”

Kristi K – Release the music video “Separate Ways”


Best Metal

The New Mutiny – Released a self-titled EP

710 Oil – Released the single “Hard Hurt”

Dead Friends – Released “Taos Hum” video and single

Magg Dylan – Toured with Hed pe and released a music video for “Pawns”


Best Rock 

The Righteous Few – Released the single “Hellfire”

Dave Johnson & The Truth – Released the EP “A Big Snow”

Faithful Kate – Released the album “Classic”

Mark Rogers – Released the album “Rhythm of the Roads”

Big Al Staggs – Released the single and video for “Welcome to Island Time”

Anthony Rosano & The Conqueroos – Released the single “The Chain” and opened for Styx in concert

Finney Finn – Released the album “Several Years in the Making” 

Exploding Sun – Released the music video “Better Day”

Shane Graham – Released the album “Soul for Rent”

TA Gatling – Released the EP “Respect The Shadows” 

Bennett Wales & The Relief – Opened for Blackberry Smoke at the Portsmouth amphitheater


Best Retro

Mr. Fang & The Dark Tones – Release the EP “Rock-n-Roll Monsters”

Rachel & the Jellycats – Released their debut self-titled EP

Lucky 757 – Released the singles “Common Ground” and “Dirty Rotten Shame”


Best Garage/Punk

Demons – Released the album “Privation” 

J. Flax & The Heart Attacks – Released the EP “Quadruple Bypass”

Self-Inflict – Released a 4-song demo

Crime Line – Released two EPs: “Locked & Loaded” and “Violent Urges”

The Dual Gravitons – Released an EP and music video

The Cazz – Released the music video “Drive!”

Glenrose – Released the 5-song EP “Reconnect”


Best Psychedelic

Bantustans – Released the live album “At Another Place”

Reptile Tile – Released the EP “Drop The Lead”

Freedom Hawk – Released the trippy single “Liftoff”

Bended Light – Opened for Kendall Street Company at Elevation 27


Best Electronic/Ambient

Hindu Pez – Released the EP “We Deserve Extinction”

Jon Shuemaker – Released the EPs “Omipotence” and “Sleep Terrors”

Crash Mosaic – Released single “That’s That”

Lyra Pollux – Released the EP “Yeah, Okay”

From Overseas – Released several international collaboration recordings including “Anon 2” with Benoit Pioulard


Best Americana/Bluegrass/Old-Time

Ramblin’ Jake – Released the nationally charting “Old Prince” single

Saint Juliens Creek Revival – Opened for Thomas Gabriel at Elevation 27

Brackish Water Jamboree – Headlined Smartmouth’s Norfolk Folk Festival


Best Country

Runnin’ Shine – Released the album “Nowhere to Go”

The Augustine Reunion – Released the album “All Wires West”

Celeste Kellogg – Performed at on the main stage at Nash Fest in Town Point Park

Buckshot – Headlined at Elevation 27

Chase Payne – Released the song “6 Rusty Strings”


Best Acoustic/Folk 

Jim Newsom & The Cloudless Sky – Released the album “Peace, Love, Happiness”

Cody Christian – Released a live recorded EP titled “Granby Theater Sessions”

Olivia Dyer – Released the piano ballad “It’s You I Like”

Dan Pellegrino – Released the EP “Better Days”

Ben Phelps – Released the solo unplugged album “Songwriter V. 1” 

Ann Gray – Released the EP “Foolish”

Big Forest Fire – Release the song and video “The Long Way Home”

Jim Bulleit – Released the album “Catastrophe and Hope”

Don Comer – Released the album “Offhand” 

Holly Kirsten – Released the album “Love Letter”


Best Blues

The Oliver Gable Project – Released a self-titled EP

Bobby Black Hat Walters – Released multiple singles including “Dog Whistle”

Jackie Merritt – Released the song “Crack Cocaine is My Life” 

Hanks Martin – Released the album “Somewhere on a Beach”


Best Cover Band

JD Silvia Band

Nature’s Child

Free For All

Rocky 7


Cultivated Mind

Plastic Eddie

Snackbar Jones

Troy Breslow & The Company Band

The Detonators

Good Shot Judy




Childz Play


Tailgate Down


Best Tribute/Theme Band


Grateful Jed


Last Fair Deal

The Deloreans

On Fire: Van Halen Tribute


Best Live Band 

Anthony Rosano & The Conqueroos — Opened for Styx, Blue Oyster Cult and others

Demons — Opened for The Offspring at The NorVa

Magg Dylan — Toured with (HED) pe

Bennett Wales & The Relief — Opened Blackberry Smoke at Atlantic Union Bank Pavilion

Dead Friends – Opened for Every Time I Die at Elevation 27


Best Live Cover Solo/Duo

Derek Smith


Dustin Furlow & Matt Thomas

Jason Cale Duo

Nate Sacks

BJ Griffin & Jason Brown 

Bennett Walker Wales

Rob Oliver

Big Forest Fire

Red Stapler Duo

Johnny Smallwood

Paper Aliens Duo

Doyle & Dunn

Paul Urban & Bill Ellington


Best Open Mic

Open Jam at Stuft

Fuzzy Wednesdays @ Noir

Sunset Grill

Winston’s Cafe w/Joey Wood

501 North

South Beach Grill w/Dahna Rowe

Capstan Bar Brewing w/Jack Burton Green

Stellar Wine Co w/Anthony Burgess

Froggie’s w/Fred Karam

Poppa’s Pub w/Triad Band


Best Live Music Venue (Club)

The Vanguard

Big Woody’s Great Bridge

Scandal’s Live

Brothers Norfolk


Riffhouse Pub

Noir: A Simply Panache Lounge

Good Vibes

Taphouse Grill


Best Live Music Series

Thank Goodness We’re Open (Town Point Park)

Miller Jazz Series @ Sandler Center

TasteBreakers Concert Series at The Z

LAVA Summer of Fun

Sunsets on the River (Hermitage Museum)

Beach Event’s Summer Music Series

Summer Breeze Concert Series (Williamsburg)

Live at The Market on Monarch Way

TGIF @ Constant’s Wharf Park

Port Warwick Summer Concert Series

YNOT Wednesdays