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N2L

N2L plays two shows on Saturday, March 3, at Silo's Napa

The last line of the band bios for N2L reads, “It’s never too late to be a rock star,” decoding the band name and embracing the collective musical second careers of seven talented locals. The energetic party band will perform two shows at Silo’s Napa on Saturday evening, March 3.

Two band members, N2L kickstarter and rhythm guitarist Jim Anderson and vocalist Jennifer Knight, talked earlier this month about the group. For Anderson, a well-known executive search consultant for the wine industry, N2L was a return to music after a decades-long focus on his consulting career.

“Later in life, all of a sudden you’ve got some time, you’ve got some money,” Anderson said. “I just figured I wanted to take another run at this. I needed an entry point, so I went to Napa School of Music’s Garage Band 101, and I repeated it a few times. A couple of alums from there and I got together and we just said, ‘Hey, let’s start up a band.’”

Anderson said his executive search experience was an asset in bringing the band together. “I’m a recruiter,” he said, “and that, I think, is one of the skills that I’ve brought to the band. I build teams for a living, and I just knew that building the band is not unlike building a business.”

N2L is a powerful female vocal trio fronting a male instrumental quartet — rhythm guitarist Anderson, lead guitarist and coffee business owner Derek Bromley, bassist and optometrist Matt Chan and drummer and wine storage general manager Darren Schauer.

Knight, formerly an occupational therapist and currently a successful voice actress, talked about the background and vocal strengths of the three singers. “We all have sung lead in bands,” she said. “We all have that experience, so I don’t think any of us are too shy to do that.

“I come from a musical theater background, starting in high school, and did community theater and dinner theater, and then, in college, started singing in bands. I sang on Bourbon Street, long hours in smokey bars, and too many gigs for my health.

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“I ended up getting polyps on my vocal chords. The tone and texture of my voice completely shifted, which I now use to my advantage. My persona in the band, the sound that I lend to our blend, is a rock edge.”

Knight is in awe of the singing of bandmate and voice teacher Latifa Kimberly Reeves. “Latifa has this soulful delivery,” she said, “like she’s singing from pain. And she can sing in the rafters. She’s just got so much soul, and she’s a showstopper. When I first heard her, I was like, ‘Sign me up. I want to sing with this woman.’”

Shannon Johnson, who owns a successful window and door company, sang in school competitions, musical theater and church choirs. “She’s got this pure tone that is just like butter,” Knight said. “We have this blend of powerful harmonies. That’s what we market—power harmonies, girl power.”

“People hire us to get people dancing,” she added. “We are in service of fun. We’re a cover band, so we don’t take ourselves so seriously. We’re committed and disciplined, but if someone can say, ‘Oh my God, I love that song,’ that’s what we’re looking for.”

Anderson is effusive about the relationships among the band members. “This is one of the most gratifying experiences I’ve ever had in my life,” he said. “One of the reasons is that this band is so uniquely aligned. We’re all different but everybody gets along so well.

“Everyone is really dedicated. And I mean this literally, there is a tremendous amount of love in this group. Everybody loves each other.”

Saturday, March 3, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. $17-$19. Silo’s Napa. 530 Main St., Napa. 707-251-5833. SilosNapa.com.

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David Kerns is a Napa-based freelance journalist. You can view more of his work at DavidKerns.com.

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