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The Crooked Road Music Series at Heartwood to feature Allen Hicks Jam

Crooked Road Allen Hicks JamBy CALVIN PYNN

@southwesttimes.com

 

The Allen Hicks Jam from Nickelsville will be the featured Venue Showcase at Heartwood on Thursday, Jan. 23 at 6:30 p.m.

The band formed when loitering pickers at Allen Hick’s woodworking shop began gathering on a regular basis to try out his handmade mandolins and share some tunes. According to a news release from The Crooked Road, visitors to the Jam are greeted by the results of Hicks’ vision.

That vision included a built-in stage and professional sound system, food concessions, and some of the best old time, bluegrass, and gospel music. Jack Hinshelwood, executive director of The Crooked Road, said the Allen Hicks Jam is one of the most popular venue showcases the organization has had.

“They are back by popular demand,” said Hinshelwood, “This time they are coming as one of the newest Affiliated Venues of The Crooked Road.”

The Allen Hicks Jam is held every Friday from 6 to 10 pm at 1844 Bethel Road in Nickelsville. The Jam has been attended by people from all over the world, such as – France, Switzerland, Canada, San Francisco, New York and Pennsylvania.

According to the release, The Allen Hicks Jam is an authentic experience in a setting where the locals gather to share music heritage.

“Visitors seem to enjoy the Jam and it’s nice to meet different people who come to it,” says Hicks. “Mostly, I just treat folks like I want to be treated.”

Hicks spent 32 years as a steel worker and farmed tobacco on the side. About 13 years ago, he created his first mandolin and has made 22 or 23 so far.

According to the release, his son, Larry, has built approximately 30-40 guitars over the years. Allen and Larry both have instruments for sale at Heartwood.

Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway is located of I-81 at Exit 14 in Abingdon and features food, music and craft of Southwest Virginia. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted for the series performances to benefit the venue being showcased.

For more information on The Crooked Road Music Series call  (276) 492-2409 or email:  info@thecrookedroad.org.