January Jams


January Jams 2017

The Abingdon Music Experience presents January Jams 2017. Our 5th annual series showcases intimate concerts with music legends on stage at the historic Barter Theatre each weekend during the month of January, 2017.

Time – Doors Open at 7:15 PM Show Starts at 8:00 PM



Del McCoury Band performs in Abingdon VA at Barter Theatre

The Del McCoury Band performs January 13, 2017 in Abingdon VA

It’s an all-bluegrass weekend at Barter Theatre, as January Jams presents Del McCoury Band, John Cowan with Darin and Brooke Aldridge, and the Infamous Stringdusters on their new Laws of Gravity Tour.  It’s a journey through the best of bluegrass, from one of the original founding fathers of the sound, to a Newgrass Revival legend, to a hot band that’s redefining the genre.

For more than fifty years, Del McCoury’s music has defined authenticity for bluegrass fans as well as those only vaguely familiar with the genre. McCoury is something special, a living link to the days when bluegrass was made only in hillbilly honkytonks, schoolhouse shows and on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, yet also a commandingly vital presence today, from prime time and late night talk show TV to music festivals where audiences number in the hundreds of thousands. January 13th at 8:00pm, with opening act Bill and the Belles, a popular East Tennessee group.

John Cowan performs in Abingdon VA January 14th

John Cowan performs in Abingdon VA January 14th

John Cowan, also known as the “Voice of Newgrass,” for his work with the seminal bluegrass band Newgrass Revival, has been singing his heart out for thirty-five years, and his soaring vocals have only improved with time. For his current tour, he’s tapped rising stars Darin and Brooke Aldridge to help him bring a fresh take to some of Newgrass Revival’s best songs.  A true innovator, John applies his powerful pipes to genres from country, bluegrass, and gospel to soul, jazz, and rock-and-roll – often within the space of a single concert. January 14th at 8:00pm with opening act Zoe & Cloyd, an acclaimed Asheville duo.

The Infamous Stringdusters

The Infamous Stringdusters

At the helm of today’s bluegrass advancement stands The Infamous Stringdusters. This acoustic quintet combines a collective skillset seldom rivaled, but often reveled. The Stringdusters’ resume includes six studio albums, four International Bluegrass Music Association awards, and a Grammy nomination, but their true brilliance lies in their passion for live performance. Intricate harmonies, cleverly composed arrangements and their profound commitment to presentation induces traditionalists and newcomers to stomp their feet on common ground. January 15th at 8:00pm with opening act Billy Strings.

Justin Townes Earle plays Barter Theatre January 17, 2017

Justin Townes Earle


This show was previously scheduled for January 7. Due to inclement weather, it has been rescheduled for January 17 at 8pm. Tickets previously purchased are automatically reissued for January 17.

Once compared to a man who wears many suits, in thirty-two short years Justin Townes Earle has experienced more than most, both personally and professionally. Between releasing four full-length-critically-acclaimed albums, constant touring, multiple stints in rehab, a new found sobriety, being born Steve Earle’s son, amicable and not-so-amicable break-ups with record labels, and facing the trials and tribulations of everyday life, it’s safe to say JTE has quite the story to tell. “Absent Fathers,” his fifth album (and first ever on Vagrant Records) serves as the perfect platform for such narrations.  As a recently married, sober man JTE writes from a point of maturity and content we’ve not seen before on past records. “One day I just realized it’s not cool to die young, and it’s even less cool to die after 30,” Justin states as he reflects on a life past and his newly found clarity. What he’s created is material that’s raw, honest and personal in a way he hasn’t touched upon since his debut EP, Yuma.  Tuesday January 17th at 8:00pm with special guests If Birds Could Fly,

The final weekend of January Jams at Barter Theatre features

Mandolin Orange and Parker Millsap January 20 and 21


The final weekend of January Jams ends with some of the hottest voices in Americana music. The North Carolina duo Mandolin Orange perform January 20th, while rhythm and blues wunderkind Parker Millsap closes out the series January 21st.

Mandolin Orange plays Barter Theatre in Abingdon, VA January 20, 2017

Mandolin Orange

Touring their new album “Blindfaller,”  Mandolin Orange continues to wow audiences with spine-tingling harmonies and the unvarnished beauty of their lyrics.  Holed up at the Rubber Room studio in Chapel Hill, N.C., with a full band this time around, the North Carolina duo laid down the tracks on Blindfaller in a week between touring. They’ve always been keen on the notion that drawn-out recording sessions don’t necessarily yield better results. A good song, and just one good take, will always shine through any studio sorcery.  January 20th at 8:00pm with special guest The Dead Tongues. For the last 6 years, songwriter, guitarist, and producer Ryan Gustafson has been making music as The Dead Tongues; building his own corner of the new American musical landscape with twangy garage jams, bohemian country shuffles, opened-tuned meditations, and melancholy love notes.

Parker Millsap plays Barter Theatre January 21, 2017

Parker Millsap

The January Jams series wraps up January 21st with one of the hottest new names in Americana. Parker Millsap sings with a depth of experience that belies his young age. At just 23 years old, this self-described “skinny white kid from Oklahoma” howls like a Delta bluesman heralding the arrival of rock n’ roll.  In the midst of a world so fond of condemnation as entertainment, Millsap’s rootsy rock-and-roll poetry offers open-armed love of people and their stories.  January 21st at 8:00pm with special guest Riley Anglen. Anglen was raised up on the knees of Gospel, Bluegrass, Country, Soul, and Rock and Roll in the Tri-Cities of upper East Tennessee. Riley spent his younger years running the banks of the Tennessee River from Bristol, Tennessee all the way down to Guntersville and Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Having been raised on the Bedrock and Cradle of Country Music in Bristol, Tennessee, has a heavy weighted influence on Riley’s songwriting and performance.

Now in its 5th year, January Jams brings nationally known musicians to perform in Abingdon for intimate concerts in the 500-seat Barter Theatre.  Tickets range from $18 and up, and are available through Barter Theatre’s box office. Presented by Blue Ridge Beverage and sponsored in part by Eastman Credit Union, First Community Bank and Universal Fibers, with support from media sponsors 99.3 The X, 101.5 The Mountain Roanoke, and 88.7 WNCW.

Discount ticket packages are available for individual weekends, or for the entire series.  Packages only available through Barter Theatre’s box office at (276) 628-3991.