by Megan Schiffres
Dressed in a magnificent feathered headdress and delicately beaded adornment of a Mardi Gras Indian, singer J’Wan Boudreaux of Cha Wa, a New Orlean’s based funk percussion band, captivated the audience at Rhythm and Brews by the Bay.
Saturday’s concert at Town Centre Park in Kilmarnock marked the third year the Lancaster by the Bay Chamber of Commerce has hosted the event.
Rhythm and Brews featured three notably different bands, beginning with J.J. & Co., which opened the concert on a buoyant tone in their classic bluegrass style.
They were followed on stage by Pressing Strings, an indie reggae rock band based in Annapolis, Md., whose upbeat harmonies and rhythmic drumbeats masked surprisingly dark and philosophical lyrics.
Cha Wa brought funky beats, brass instrumentals and hypnotic melodies to the Half Shell Stage, where they performed songs from their recent project, “Spyboy.” The band offered a vibrant energy to the concert which revitalized the crowd late in the evening and brought many to their feet.
“We always try to find bands that are out of the ordinary. We don’t want bands that everyone can hear anywhere, we want to find some talent outside the area, make it a different music event,” said Chamber executive director Anne Paparella. “I’m hoping people are going to be talking about this as the event of the summer.”
Food vendors included Byrd’s Seafood, Virginia Blue Crab Co., Cora’s Cooking, Jadean’s Barbeque, Dollies & Dough, Southern Medley Bakery and Northern Neck Popcorn Bag. Beverage vendors included Al Pugh Distributing and Good Luck Cellars.