Lyrical Songwriters are natural storytellers, and there is an audience waiting to hear yours. On Lyrical, host Jonah Grinkewitz, a local songwriter, goes behind the lyrics to showcase talented songwriters in Hampton Roads and beyond. This hour-long musical conversation features live performances, recorded music and more. It is a platform for songwriters to explain their lyrics, their influences and what drives them as a musician. Want to share the story behind your lyrics?
Lyrical

Lyrical

From WHRV

Songwriters are natural storytellers, and there is an audience waiting to hear yours. On Lyrical, host Jonah Grinkewitz, a local songwriter, goes behind the lyrics to showcase talented songwriters in Hampton Roads and beyond. This hour-long musical conversation features live performances, recorded music and more. It is a platform for songwriters to explain their lyrics, their influences and what drives them as a musician. Want to share the story behind your lyrics?

Most Recent Episodes

Tyler Donavan

Tyler Donavan is a recording artist and producer originally from Stafford, VA but who is now based out of Virginia Beach. After undergoing an emergency spinal stenosis surgery in 2018, Tyler faced a long road to recovery and suffered nerve damage in his foot that made it difficult for him to walk. Instead of taking the easy route, he refused a wheelchair from his doctors and worked his way back to walking, making music and performing. Later in 2018, he released the EP "Breathe," which focused heavily on his recovery from the surgery. A quick note to the listener, this episode contains offensive and explicit language.

Lena Klett

Lena Klett is a singer/songwriter originally from New Jersey. She moved to Virginia in 2008 for school, and has been living and playing music in Hampton Roads ever since. In this episode, we talked about the song "Hand Me Down," which she wrote after a visit from her older sister. Lena talked about how she didn't perform the song for years, but was inspired to add some new lyrics to it while packing up her apartment for a move. Combined with her original lyrics, the song is an ode to the changes in life and the ones still to come.

Dariel Clark

Dariel Clark is a hip/hop artist from Virginia Beach. His music blends the surf rock influences of his hometown to create a unique style of guitar driven rap. He dropped his debut, "The In-Between Times EP," in early 2020. On this episode, we discussed the song "I'm Not Black (Word?)" It's a tongue-in-cheek exploration about dealing with other people's expectations of who he should be as a black man. Dariel shares his journey to finally becoming comfortable and confident about who he is. A quick note to the listener, this episode contains offensive and explicit language.

Anthony Gragnano of The Lazy Dangers

Anthony Gragnano is the songwriter and front man for the band The Lazy Dangers. They are a six-piece folk/rock band based out of Virginia Beach. In 2018, they released the full length album "Kill the Past," and in 2019 they followed it up with the EP "Lost Dogs." In this episode, Gragnano and I discussed the title track to that EP. When he wrote it, he was living in Shreveport, Louisiana and just getting out of a destructive relationship. At the same time, he was watching a close friend go through their own struggles. The result was the song "Lost Dogs." A quick note to the listener, this episode contains explicit language.

Narissa Bond

Narissa Bond has been crafting intricate, lyrical narratives ever since her first album came out in 1996. Combined with her smooth, soulful voice, she weaves together stories of her family and her experiences in the vein of songwriters like Joni Mitchell and Paul Simon. Family photos grace the cover of her most recent album, 2019's "Rhythm of Love," and in this episode we discussed the song "Wishbone," a dedication to her grandfather. The song is inspired by memories and stories passed down between family members. A quick note to the listener: This episode contains brief references to violent crime and some offensive language.

Dan Villanueva of Astropop3

Dan Villanueva is the lead singer and songwriter for the band Astropop3, an indie-pop group that formed out of Virginia Beach in the mid 90s. On this episode, he talked about the song "The Courage to be Great Lies in Every One of Us" from their 2001 album "Eclipsing Binary Star." He shared how the song took on new meaning after his former bandmate Keith Vanetta was diagnosed with cancer in 2017.

Koren Grace

Norfolk singer/songwriter and musician Koren Grace has self-released a pair of singles and an EP called "The I.D. & the Ego." On this episode, she discussed how the 2016 election inspired her to write the song "Perfect World (Imagine)" as an anthem for the LGBTQIA community. Watch the live performance of "Perfect World (Imagine)" in our studio here.

Bennett Wales of Bennett Wales & the Relief

Bennett Wales is a songwriter, guitarist and frontman for the band, Bennett Wales & the Relief, a blues/rock powerhouse hailing from Virginia Beach. Their debut album, "Flood Without Water," was released in 2017 and their self-titled follow-up will be out this summer. On this episode, we talked about the upcoming album's closing track,"Bubblehead," which explores his hopes and fears as an artist and human being. Watch the live performance of "Bubblehead" in our studio here

Bennett Wales of Bennett Wales & the Relief

Jessica Scheck

Jessica Scheck is a Norfolk singer/songwriter and former singer/ukulele player for the indie folk band The Native Pines. She also writes and sings on the mandolin and was a finalist in the 2019 Lyrical Singer Songwriter Contest. Jessica harnesses an emotional and commanding voice that pairs beautifully with her intricate and swaying mandolin playing. Despite her upbeat demeanor, her songs pack an emotional punch that hits you right away. When it comes to lyrics, she told me in this episode that she's "Just trying to have an honest conversation." She certainly achieves that in her songwriting, like in "Cycles" where she explores the different stages of a relationship. And in "Sunshine," where she takes the central theme from the movie "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and applies it to her own life. I hope you'll enjoy her performances and our conversation about her songwriting and her inspirations.

Neal Friedman of Super Doppler

Neal Friedman is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist for the band Super Doppler. The members of Super Doppler formed out of Norfolk where most of the members went to Maury High School. From those humble beginnings, and after playing together for nearly a decade, they've developed a sound that pays homage to their 60's and 70's influences while maintaining a sound that is uniquely their own. Their latest self-titled release effortlessly blends those influences together - with hints of Steely Dan, The Beatles, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and other classic rock artists. Integral to the overall effect of their music are lyrics that place you somewhere in between the past and present. There are three core songwriters in the band - Harry Slater, Neal Friedman and Michael Adkins. I was happy to have Neal in the Lyrical studio to play a track from their recent self-titled release and another from their previous album "Moonlight Anthems."

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