A! Magazine for the Arts

January Jams opens Jan. 5 with Amythyst Kiah.

January Jams opens Jan. 5 with Amythyst Kiah.

January Jams brings diverse lineup

December 27, 2017

Abingdon Music Experience presents the sixth annual January Jams at Barter Theatre, Abingdon, Virginia. The music series runs four weekends during January.

The Abingdon Music Experience strives to build a quality of place by connecting the community through innovative and high-quality events that attract, entertain and enrich diverse audiences, promoting and increasing local tourism and Abingdon as an artistic and cultural destination.

"This is our most diverse January Jams lineup yet," said Sara Saavedra, special events coordinator for the town of Abingdon. "From African-American alt-country singer Amythyst Kiah; the soul musician and living legend Booker T. Jones; to the Nashville-based Muddy Magnolias, currently exploding on the scene with a sound that Rolling Stone says "melds city grit and delta dirt,' we have something for everyone."

Concerts start at 8 p.m., and prices vary for each concert. Nightly, weekend and series passes for the January Jams series are available. Season passes are $210. Call Barter Theatre's box office at 276-628-3991 or visit www.bartertheatre.com to purchase tickets.

January Jams opens Jan. 5 with Amythyst Kiah. A professed Southern Gothic, alt-country blues singer/songwriter based in Johnson City, Tennessee, Kiah's commanding stage presence is matched by her raw and powerful vocals-a moving, hypnotic sound that stirs echoes of a distant and restless past. $15.

Lillie Mae performs Jan. 6. She's been singing and playing on stages since she could stand on her own two feet. "Forever and Then Some," her Third Man Records debut, sees the Nashville-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist weaving her own experiences with the myriad strains of Americana to create a song cycle of romance and struggle, solitude and adventure. $18.

John Paul White takes to the stage Jan. 12. His latest album is a diverse collection spanning plaintive folk balladry, swampy southern rock, lonesome campfire songs and dark acoustic pop. Gothic and ambitious, with a rustic, lived-in sound, it's a meditation on love curdling into its opposite, on recrimination defining relationships, on hope finally filtering through doubt. $25.

John Moreland performs Jan. 13. Oklahoma based Americana-folk-alternative country singer-songwriter, his lyrics, fingerpicking and vocal delivery were touted by Rolling Stone Magazine as "an emotionally riveting performance" after his performance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert." Three of Moreland's songs, "Heaven," "Gospel" and "Your Spell", have been featured on the TV show, "Sons of Anarchy." $22.

David Grisman and John Sebastian perform Jan. 19. Grisman has been a guiding force for nearly half a century in the world of acoustic music. An acoustic pioneer and innovator, he forged a personal artistic path, combining elements of jazz and bluegrass with international flavors and sensibilities to create his own distinctive idiom of "Dawg" music (the nickname given him by Jerry Garcia.) In doing so, he inspired new generations of acoustic string musicians, while creating his own niche in contemporary music.

Sebastian is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, harmonicist and autoharpist. He is best known as a founder of The Lovin' Spoonful and for his impromptu appearance at Woodstock and his No. 1 hit, "Welcome Back." He was inducted into the Rock "n Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. Whether the stage is at Carnegie Hall or a folk festival in some far-flung locale, he is still out there spreading his gospel of American roots music. He is the subject of the PBS special "Do You Believe In Magic: The Music of John Sebastian." $57.50.

Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen with Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley perform Jan. 20. Solivan is a Washington D.C. based mandolinist, recording artist, composer and leader of the progressive bluegrass band Dirty Kitchen. They were named IBMA's 2016 Instrumental Group of the Year for the second time, with a third nomination in 2017. Their critically-acclaimed album "Cold Spell" earned a 2015 Grammy nomination for Best Bluegrass Album of the Year.

Nashville based Ickes and Hensley were sure that their musical partnership was the right move at the right time, but it was still welcome news when their debut project, "Before The Sun Goes Down," earned a nomination for the Best Bluegrass Album Grammy. With the release of their new project, "The Country Blues," the pair built on the first one's strengths to take their musical conversation to an even higher level. $25.

Muddy Magnolias, a Nashville-based rock band fronted by Brooklyn native, Jessy Wilson, perform Jan. 26. After landing in Nashville, Wilson formed Muddy Magnolias-a raw, soulful extension of blues, roots rock. Her stage essence embodies her influences Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin and Tina Turner. The band found quick success touring with Gary Clark Jr., Zac Brown Band, Grace Potter, Record Company and debuting at Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits music festival and more. Their debut album "Broken People" was praised by New York Times, NPR and named number one on Yahoo's "10 best new artists of 2016." $20.

The legendary Booker T. Jones set the cast for modern soul music and performs Jan. 27. Jones earned a place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Musicians Hall of Fame, as well as a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. His new album "Sound the Alarm" finds the Hammond B3 organ master looking ahead yet again, laying down his distinctive bedrock grooves amid a succession of collaborations with some of contemporary R&B's most gifted young voices. Rolling Stone raves "Booker T. Unleashes The Blues on "Sound The Alarm,'" and No Depression proclaims "With ...'Sound The Alarm' marking a brilliant return to Stax Records after 40 years, Jones is currently on tour. Catch him if you can, and change your plans to make it if you think you can't." $57.50.