Lawrence Field Day Fest hits Lawrence this week, and you may notice a trend with some of the bands that are set to rock the local music festival. Most of them fall into the garage rock category. Right now, garage rock is king in Lawrence. The genre is thriving, and LFD will feature some of the best garage rockers in the area. But if you’re looking for something a little different, then you’ll want to turn your attention to Sona.

The band has a fuzzy shoegaze sort of feel, and you’ll find yourself immersed in a mesmerizing wall of sound and lengthy songs. But bringing this sound to Lawrence hasn’t been an easy journey for the husband-and-wife duo. Guitarist Brian Goodman and wife Jenna, on bass, originally lived in Warrensburg, Missouri. The Lawrence music scene, however, eventually lured them over. So it was time to pack up and relocate the band to Larryville.

Feeling Accepted

They planted their roots in Lawrence, but it took a few years to get connected with the music scene. “There’s a little intimidation in the scene here, how to get a show,” says Brian. “There aren’t a lot of places to play here, and a ton of bands. Just getting that first show in Lawrence, it was daunting.” Also nagging in the back of their minds was their age difference. “We’re kind of older people who are in a band, and we moved here because we love Lawrence and we always come here to see bands,” says Jenna. “I think that feeling accepted as a band was just as important as feeling accepted as members of Lawrence, and actually meeting new people, and being a part of the town… We just wanted to find our people.”

After a while, Brian and Jenna did finally find “their people.” They found a solid drummer (Bobby Reeves, of Red Lefty) and eventually connected with strong Lawrence bands. “Major Games, we kind of hooked up and played with them several times back in the winter,” says Brian, who says “scrounging” for opening spots became less of a problem. “Those shows were some of the best shows we’ve played by far. It made us excited to keep doing what we’re doing, and to have bands that wanted to play with us, seeking us out to book shows with us.”

While Brian credits connecting with other bands in the area, Jenna says what finally made them feel like they’ve arrived is getting booked to play a local music festival. “We’ve been here for almost four years, and this is kind of cool, to feel like we’re actually living in Lawrence,” says Jenna. “Just to be a part of something Lawrencey makes us feel like we’re a Lawrence band, which is really nice.”

Keeping up the pace

Now that they finally feel established here in Lawrence, the next step is to keep that momentum going. They recently put out an EP, but are hoping to get back into the studio. “It’s one of those things where we worked so hard at making a recording, and you get excited about it, and you put it out… and then you come to this point, well now what do we do,” says Brian. “We just recorded, and the newness has worn off. We gotta remain productive, and that’s the hardest part is to remain productive and do it again.”

Part of that momentum includes developing their sound. “We want to be noisy, but we also want to be melodic at the same time,” says Brian. “We kind of want to come at people as a wall of sound, and if people are into that, surely they’ll be our fans.” Brian says the overall gaol is to keep at it, and avoid slowing down. “I’ve been in bands since I was 19 years-old. For me, if I wasn’t doing it, I just wouldn’t feel like me… We’re married, and it’s something we’ve been doing together for a long time now. It’s just something that we can’t seem to stop doing.”

Brian and Jenna admit that relocating to a new music scene and establishing themselves as a band isn’t something most people their age tackle. “It’s great to be around other people that share the same interests. When we play with bands that we like, we feel lucky to be around those people,” says Brian. “We should be having kids, working our careers should be our most important thing. But this is the side of our lives that most people don’t know about.”

Jenna says she’s ready to continue the labor of love. “It’s just hard work, but I think, it doesn’t have to be hard at the time. You just work and do it because you love it,” says Jenna. “I think that having something you created is the really fun part, and also being a part of something feels really good.”

See what Brian and Jenna’s hard work amounted to when Sona takes the stage Friday at 6:00 during Lawrence Field Day Fest.

Here’s a sampling of what they’ll sound like:



Fally Afani is an award-winning journalist with a career spanning more than 20 years in media. She has worked extensively in radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and more.

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