By Lisa Snedeker
One of my favorite places to discover new music is at festivals like this week’s Red Wing Roots Music Festival in Mt. Solon, Virginia. And three years ago, one of the acts my husband and I were lucky to find was The Judy Chops who hail from the nearby Shenandoah Valley.
This genre-defying septet made up of family and friends has a unique sound built around strong three-part harmony vocals and elements of rock-a-billy, swing, blues and classic country. The Judy Chops blend tenor banjo, electric guitars, bass and drums with a dynamic horn section consisting of trumpet and baritone saxophone to round out the mix. Being voted “Best Local Roots Band” at the inaugural Red Wing Roots Music festival allowed them to record their newest album at the time, “Minor Sunshine,” which we went straight to the merchandise tent and bought after hearing the band perform.
This summer, festival attendees and fans can pick up this uber-talented group’s newest album, “Love is the Answer.” I promise you won’t be disappointed. But don’t take my word for it, take a listen for yourself of the single “Lay My Love,” from “Love is the Answer.” This song is so good it’s actually on the album twice with this version and another soulful a cappella version that will give you goosebumps from it’s pureness. The video was produced by Maggie Graff/ Ignited Creative and filmed on location in Nelson County, Virginia.
Recorded in the backwoods of where the group calls home, “Love is the Answer,” is The Judy Chops’ fourth studio album. It oozes with Southern traditions from rockabilly to soul — one part New Orleans line band complete with horns another part bluesy soul (think the Blues Brothers) and everything mixed up in between.
The Judy Chops have been around for about a decade, performing their high-energy shows mainly in Virginia. They have expanded their tour schedule this summer to promote the album to include North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and beyond and are also set to perform at this year’s LOCKN’ festival in August. I predict we are going to be hearing a lot more from this refreshing set of musicians as they continue to share the love, and their music.