Local Rock Band’s Original Song up for Award

With a handful of original songs and a show every weekend, the Mojo Aces have an ace in the hole this time around.

Local rock band Mojo Aces are hitting the right chord on the local heavy metal scene and are now approaching Wammie status too. Their latest song “Too Late” has just been announced as a finalist in the category of “Best Hard Rock/Metal Song” for the DMV Wammie Awards.

"Too Late," is about cheating and betrayal on one level, and then a fatal car crash and it is too late. The song was partially inspired by experience of one of the band members and by teen tragedy songs of the early 1960s. Throw in some Guns N' Roses guitar riffs and turn it up to 11. 

"Overall the song took us about six months on and off of getting it to a place where we felt good about it," said Ean Eschenburg, the singer.

The 36th Annual Wammie Music Awards will take place Saturday, April, 20 at the Capital One Hall in Tysons. At the event, nearly 50 awards will be presented throughout the evening, representing a multi-genre playlist in categories like Best Music Venue, Best Music Video, Best Youth Artist, Music Educator of the Year, and Hitmaker of the Year Award.

A local music entity called "The Musicianship," is part of the Wammie 2024 production and their mission is to envision a future where all young people have access to the joy and opportunities made possible by the transformational power of music, they said. The Mojo Aces experienced the power of music through the past few years around Arlington, D.C. and at least one performance in Old Town, Alexandria.

Some of their other originals rose to the top like foam in a beer glass. Songwriting is very much an evolutionary process for the Mojo Aces and they bounce ideas off each other. “Drinking and Smoking,” was penned by their lead guitarist on the way to Costco. “Running to You,” is another original that they released last fall.

They started out with some originals but a lot of cover tunes that everyone knows at the clubs. Led Zeppelin covers are always part of the playlist, and other covers from the 1970s best-of list like Elton John, AC-DC and more recent pop-punk tunes. They throw in a country song occasionally.

“You’ve got to play to these kids what they want,” said Eschenburg after a past performance. Sometimes they open up with "Too Late,"  because it immediately sets a tone with the audience, and “definitely let’s you know immediately who the real rockers are in the crowd each night,” he added.

New Name, New Attitude

The song ended up being their first release after they rebranded themselves from “The Summer of George” to “Mojo Aces.” At that point they were really looking to put something out that said ‘hey, we’re ready to stop messing around and want to start being taken seriously as a band.’ “Too Late” was a great first song to release to reflect that change, Eschenburg said.

In October 2022, they shot a music video on an Arlington rooftop adding a touch of the Beatles rooftop concert to their repertoire. The roof was the home of rhythm guitarist Jakob Markham, but the rest of the band lives across the river in Virginia. Singer Eschenburg lives in Burke, Jon Kraft, the lead guitarist and songwriter, lives in Arlington.

The Mojo Aces are:

Jake Simon - Drummer

Ean Eschenburg - Vocals

Jakob Markham - rhythm guitar

Jon Kraft - lead guitarist

Derek Tay - Bass