Major and The Monbacks

by Matthew Leon

If you are from Hampton Roads or go to any college town in Virginia, you have most likely heard of Major and the Monbacks. This eight-piece rock and roll band have burst through the local music scene with unparalleled energy. With a horn section, a lively hypeman/percussionist, and infectious rock grooves, this band is hard to listen to while keeping still. Originating from high school friends jamming in a bedroom, The Monbacks revive the soul of classic rock and roll. Originally known as The Yolks with several of the current members, The Monbacks have made a name for themselves playing fraternity parties around Virginia, and more recently, touring around the East Coast. I sat down with The Monbacks before they left for a tour of the Northeast, about to venture as far as Vermont, farther than the band has ever travelled before.

The band’s music is difficult to describe under one particular genre, but they describe it as a “Rock and Roll core with a soul twang,” along with influences from psychedelic, jazz, and garage rock. With such a large band, their range of influences are broad, spanning from John Coltrane and Charlie Parker to Wilson Pickett and The Band. Arguably one of their primary influences is Pennsylvania indie-rock band Dr. Dog, with their unique blend of psychedelic lo-fi pop and soul.

Seven of the members attended Maury High School, and one member attended Granby High School, and now that a few of the members have graduated from college, they are dedicated to touring full time. After purchasing an old touring van, the band has travelled all the way to Savannah, GA this summer and played at the FloydFest music festival in Floyd, VA. At the end of the day, Major and the Monbacks are in it for the fun, and there is definitely a whole lot of it. Just talking with these guys for an hour was never dull, and watching them practice was a great experience. You can check out the videos recorded in the Monback lair below, and take a look at their touring schedule below to catch them at one of their local shows. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

Major and the Monbacks | Don't Say a Word

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Check them out online.  


The Monbacks are:

Neal Friedman - guitar, vocals, keys

Cole Friedman - bass

Michael Adkins - guitar, vocals, harmonica

Harry Schloeder - guitar, vocals

Tyler West - percussion, hype

Hunter Rhodes - drums

Jay Einhorn - Saxophone

Nate Sacks - saxophone