Abingdon, VA – For the 6th summer in a row, Abingdon hosts free outdoor concerts at the Abingdon Market Pavilion. The popular Thursday Jams series brings a wide range of nationally recognized artists to Abingdon, each Thursday night for 10 weeks. The series kicks off Thursday May 17th with the soulful modern country sound of Sam Lewis, and continues through July 19th.
Presented by Blue Ridge Beverages and the Abingdon Music Experience, the concerts are free and open to the public; a beer garden will be provided by Abingdon Main Street, and local food vendors will be on hand each week.
Highlights this year include the joyful blues of Reverend Shawn Amos, the beloved bluegrass band Acoustic Syndicate, and Sweet Crude, a South Louisiana indie-pop band that sings in in an enchanting mix of English and French. For a full listing of musical acts and dates, visit www.abingdonmusicexperience.com.
The series, which draws thousands of locals and visitors to downtown Abingdon each year, is sponsored in part by Eastman Credit Union, Universal Fibers, First Community Bank, Bank of Marion, Food City, and Johnston Memorial Hospital, with media and hospitality sponsorship from WNCW 88.7, The Loafer, and JJ’s Restaurant.
Music will begin 7:00 pm each Thursday at the Abingdon Market Pavilion, with a beer garden benefitting Abingdon Main Street opening at 6:30 pm. A variety of food truck and local vendors will be on hand offering concessions. The events are family-friendly, and attendees are encouraged to bring their chairs and or blankets to enjoy the shows. No outside alcohol is allowed. In case of inclement weather, updates will be posted to social media, and Wolf Hills Brewery will serve as the alternate venue, located at 350 Park Street SE in Abingdon.
The series will host a variety of musical genres including Americana, southern rock, bluegrass, indie folk, soul and roots. Bands performing during Thursday Jams have also appeared at internationally-recognized festivals like Willie Nelson’s Luck Reunion, SXSW, Rhythm & Roots Reunion, Floyd Fest, and Bonnaroo as well as NPR’s Tiny Desk and Music City Roots. Local talent will open each Thursday for the headliners, who will start their sets at 8pm.
For a full listing of musical acts and dates, visit www.abingdonmusicexperience.com. For more information, call 276-676-2282 or email email@example.com.
Thursday Jams 2018 Lineup
May 17, 2018
For Fans of: Parker Millsap, Anderson East, Townes van Zandt
Like many before him, Sam Lewis came to Nashville to make music. But unlike the majority, Lewis managed to hop on one of the most successful tours that country music has seen as of late. He's collaborated with everyone from John Prine and Kacey Musgraves to The Wood Brothers. Chris Stapleton dubbed him "a modern Townes Van Zandt". And while he's often labeled with some form of the word 'soulful' (some have even compared his voice to molasses), Lewis' style meets at a juncture of many different genres. There's something about Sam Lewis that is indescribably different -- and with his newest project, he's discovered what most musicians spend lifetimes working for -- the place where feel-good music meets vital social commentary.
Reverend Shawn Amos
May 24, 2018
For fans of: Keb Mo, Gary Clark, Jr., Jonny Lang “modern blues with a nod to the past”
From West Coast clubs, to Deep South joints, to European festivals, to YouTube, to the podcast universe, the Reverend Shawn Amos’ message of joyful blues is reaching an ever-increasing flock. The Rev’s distinctive blend of black roots music, R & B, and stripped down rock n’ roll brings a bracing, soul-deep musical experience to audiences starved for authenticity, for connection. “I derive a lot of satisfaction bringing people joy,” he says.
Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics
May 31, 2018
For Fans of: Amy Winehouse, The Broadcast, Charles Bradley
Deep,raw funk…stax-style Southern soul…positively uplifting & ORIGINAL…Motown-channeling anthems. Atlanta’s Ruby Velle and the Soulphonics are the heirs to the thrones of the old-school masters. But they’re much more than just a group of revivalists trying to create a period piece. Powerhouse singer Velle and her band will settle for nothing less than bringing these classic sounds glimmering into the now with a fresh, new contemporary sheen.
Steel Wheels with Special Guest Sinners & Saints
June 7, 2018
For Fans of: Mandolin Orange, Mipso, Black LilliesHailing from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, The Steel Wheels are familiar with the traditions of folk music and how a string band is supposed to sound. In fact, they’ve been drawing on those steadfast traditions for more than a decade. Yet, their name also evokes a sense of forward motion, which is clearly reflected in their latest album, Wild As We Came Here. Their musical style weaves through Americana and bluegrass, folk and old-time music, and the acoustic poetry of the finest singer-songwriters.
Special Guest: Sinners & Saints. Perry Fowler and Mark Baran infuse their acoustic, country-tinged tunes with compelling harmonies and foot-powered percussion on repurposed drums from an abandoned kit.
Cris Jacobs with Special Guest Trongone Band
June 14, 2018
For fans of: Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Ray LaMontagne
“Outlaw swagger meets blue-eyed soul, with evocative, heartfelt songwriting thrown in for good measure” ~Rolling Stone
Whether alone with just the guitar and his voice or surrounded by a full band, Cris Jacobs enchants listeners with his inspired, poignant songwriting, virtuous guitar playing, and soulfully transcendent voice. Artists across the board have discovered Jacobs’ musicianship and supple versatility, resulting in an impressive variety of formats in which he has played over the last few years.
Special Guest: Trongone Band. Rapidly gaining momentum with a sound that falls perfectly between Southern Rock ’n Soul and Americana Jam, The Trongone band is turning heads and making an impact on the east coast.
Heather Gillis Band
June 21, 2018
For fans of: Butch Trucks, Allman Brothers, Samantha Fish
Heather Gillis is the TOTAL package as a guitar player, lap steel player, singer, songwriter, and arranger. You may not know her yet BUT listen up, as you are going to hear a lot about this young lady in the next few years! Heather is an amazingly versatile player and performer. She and her band have the stage presence and confidence to appeal to a variety of musical tastes be it rock, blues, soul, jazz, roots or gospel. At 22 years old, Heather has not only formed a strong southeastern following but has played alongside and befriended the likes of The Allman Brothers Band, Col Bruce Hampton, North Mississippi All-Stars and Damon Fowler just to name a few.
June 28, 2018
For fans of: Keller Williams, Mountain Heart, Town Mountain
Acoustic Syndicate is a musical institution. Since 1994, their unique blend of bluegrass instruments, rock sensibilities, and conscious songwriting has inspired a generation of musicians. Through seven albums, thousands of performances, and tens-of-thousands of miles, Acoustic Syndicate has long been heralded as one of the important influences on the modern roots-music revival.
July 5, 2018
For fans of: Charles Bradley, Antibalas, The Beatles
Produced by fellow Virginia wunderkind Matthew E. White, Super Doppler’s new album ‘Moonlight Anthems’ is a raucous blend of soul, roots, and rock that tips its cap equally to Levon and Lennon. The album is the debut under the band’s new name “Super Doppler”, and it finds them building off the wave of critical success garnered by their eponymous ‘Major and the Monbacks’ 2015 debut. Pop Matters hailed that album’s “propulsive soul energy,” while The Huffington Post described its sound as “Chicago meets the Grateful Dead meets The Band,” and RVA Magazine raved that it had “not only revived, but given a psychedelic face-lift to the soundtrack of the dancehalls of the ’50s and ’60s.” The record offered but a taste of Super Dopplers’ ecstatic live show, which began to draw sell-out crowds across the region and earned the band a slew of high profile festival slots everywhere from Firefly to Floyd Fest in addition to support dates with Charles Bradley, Os Mutantes, Antibalas, and more.
July 12, 2018
For fans of: Tift Merritt, Gillian Welch, The Be Good Tanyas
July 19, 2018
For fans of: Tank & the Bangas, The Revivalists, Rebirth Brass Band
“Sweet Crude is an extremely exciting new group with haunting and mesmerizing
vocals sung in Louisiana French and English.”
Over the past few years, Sweet Crude has managed to take the music and language of Louisiana and produce a completely fresh music that thrusts century-old traditions into the present. The six-piece band consistently delivers exciting shows featuring enough drums for a small marching band, exuberantly bellowed harmonies, and lyrics that jump from English to Louisiana French in a single verse. Boasting surnames like Marceaux and Chachere, Sweet Crude seeks to reconnect with their lineage in a way that draws on their own modern influences, while nodding to the music and language of their ancestors.