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Ambassadors, a rock band from Brooklyn, find big audience in Hampton Roads

EntertainmentMusicHampton RoadsRadioPhil SpectorGeorge HarrisonSam Harris

Over the years, many Hampton Roads radio stations have been content to follow more often than lead. For example, once rock hits were broken in major markets, local outlets would jump on and ride the wave.

That's started to change recently as stations including WROX-FM (96.1) have taken chances on new artists and watched those bets pay off.

The latest instance of this new appetite for innovation comes from the Ambassadors, a Brooklyn-based modern rock band. I saw the group play to a packed NorVa on Saturday night. From the way the crowd reacted, you'd think this was a band already ruling the national airwaves.

Not so, but they're getting strong radio support here in Hampton Roads. WROX and WPTE-FM (94.9) have been spinning "Litost," the moody, string-sweetened title track to the band's 2012, self-released album.

Having just sold out The NorVa, the band is coming back to play the Virginia Beach Jewish Mother on March 6. As of Tuesday morning, the show wasn't posted on the club's website, but a spokesman for the band assured me that the date is real.

Here's part of a news release I received this week:

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Ambassadors – Sam Harris (vocals, guitar), Casey Harris (keyboard), Noah Feldshuh (guitar), Adam Levin (drums) – started playing music together in college, but it wasn’t until 2010 that they decided to commit themselves full-time.  Over the next couple of years this young band of close knit friends and brothers would craft together their debut album Litost, a record filled with both darkness and hope, songs that are groove based like “Unconsolable” (whose official music video features Girls star Zosia Mamet) and some that are truly anthemic “Bodybag.”  It is a phenomenal genre bending rock album, influenced by everyone from the Stooges and Phil Spector, to George Harrison and Ginuwine. 

Now with a breakout story in Norfolk, VA thanks to 96x and 94.9 The Point, the Ambassadors have begun to find love in other cities across the country.  The up and coming Brooklyn band will continue to tour in support of their debut album Litost throughout the Spring.

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