The Abingdon Music Experience, a program of the townâ€™s tourism department, began in 2013. It organizes January Jams at Barter Theater, Abingdon Main Street Buskerfest in September and Thursday Night Jams from May through July.
Thursday Night Jam concerts are held at the Abingdon Market Pavilion, Abingdon, Va. A beer garden and food truck are available. No outside alcohol or coolers are allowed. Concertgoers are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket and enjoy the show. The concerts are free. Opening acts perform at 6:30 p.m. and the main event takes the stage at 7 p.m.
Thursday Jams continue June 6 with a concert by Devon Gilfillian. Devon Gilfillian fires twin barrels of gospel-blues and southern soul on his debut EP. Fueled by groove, guitar and the punch of Gilfillianâ€™s voice, the songs shine a light on a young songwriter who grew up outside of Philadelphia, absorbing everything from the R&B swagger of Al Green and Ray Charles to the rock â€˜nâ€™ roll heroics of Jimi Hendrix. Now based in Nashville, Gilfillian puts a personalized stamp on those childhood influences, rolling them into five original songs that showcase not only his songwriting and singing, but also his talent as an instrumentalist. Carl Anderson opens the show.
The New Respects perform June 13. The New Respects mesh pop, soul and rock â€˜nâ€™ roll with overlays of acoustic tones. Comprised of twins Zandy and Lexi Fitzgerald, brother Darius and their cousin Jasmine Mullen, the Nashville-based group is a family affair, evidencing the undeniable soul and musical legacy that flows through the roots of their family tree. The opening act is Ladybirds.
The Commonheart take to the stage June 20. With gritty vocals over rock riffs and horns, The Commonheart delivers an emotion-packed, soulful sound that lights up the stage. Frontman Clinton Clegg is a powerhouse who commands full attention with his onstage energy and vocal range. The new album â€œGrownâ€ is a display of each memberâ€™s talent interlacing heavy blues, soul and gospel influence across trumpet, saxophone, keys, guitar and singers. Magus and the Movers are the opening act.
Love Canon performs June 27. The group brings their acoustic-roots sensibilities to the electronic-tinged pop hits of the â€˜80s and â€˜90s to create â€œCover Story,â€ their fourth album. With â€œCover Story,â€ Love Canon delivers a fresh set of classics, crossing genres to recount music of decades past from the likes of Peter Gabriel, Billy Joel, Depeche Mode and Paul Simon. The opening act is Virginia Ground.
For more information, visit www.abingdonmusicexperience.com.