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Allen Hicks Jam at The Crooked Road's Heartwood

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Allen Hicks JamThe Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail music series at Heartwood in Abingdon showcases communities of the region through their traditional music venues and their youth music. At 7:00 pm on Thursday, January 24, 2013 the Allen Hicks Jam from Nickelsville, Virginia will be the featured Venue Showcase at Heartwood. Instrument makers’ shops are a popular hangout for local musicians and a natural place for jamming.

This is exactly how the Allen Hick’s Jam got started when loitering pickers at Allen Hick’s woodworking shop began gathering on a regular basis to try out Allen’s handmade mandolins and share some tunes. “We had the Allen Hicks Jam here in September and it was one of the most popular venue showcases we’ve ever done at Heartwood”, says Jack Hinshelwood, Executive Director of the Crooked Road, “so they are back by popular demand”.

This mostly bluegrass jam has been attended by people from all over the world, such as—France, Switzerland, Canada, San Francisco, New York and Pennsylvania. Allen recently put in a completely new gathering room for the Jam with a professional sound system and concessions upstairs.

Allen spent 32 years as a steel worker and farmed tobacco on the side. About 12 years ago he created his first mandolin and has made 22 or 23 so far. His son, Larry, has built approximately 30-40 guitars over the years. Allen and Larry both have instruments for sale at Heartwood.

They are carrying on a family woodworking tradition as Allen’s granddad was a furniture maker near Nickelsville. “Visitors seem to enjoy the Jam and it’s nice to meet different people who come to it,” says Allen. “Mostly, I just treat folks like I want to be treated.

Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway is located of I-81 at Exit 14 in Abingdon, Virginia and features food, music and craft of Southwest Virginia.

Admission is free but donations will be accepted for the series performances. For more information on The Crooked Road Music Series call (276) 492-2409 or email:

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