Metro Weekly

October highlights at Jammin’ Java & Union Stage

Luke Brindley, Torres, Phony Ppl, Evann McIntosh, and more!

jammin java, union stage
Whitney — Photo: Alexa Viscius

Last year, Luke Brindley released not one but two full-length albums, Thin Spaces and The Devil’s Drum, both of which made the cut of American Songwriter magazine’s “Top 12 Indie Releases of 2020.” Because of familial and business demands during the pandemic, the stalwart folk-oriented singer-songwriter has refrained from touring — a fact that should only fuel excitement for his show Friday, Oct. 16, at Virginia’s Jammin Java.

One in a special “Jammin Java 20th Birthday Bash” series, Brindley’s concert will be about as big as it gets at the little venue that could. In fact, the 200-seat space, located in a suburban strip mall in a former Rite Aid space, long ago became a nationally recognized local institution owned by Luke and two of his brothers. In recent years, it has also started to function as the star of a small, hyperlocal constellation of music venues, like a mini-I.M.P., propelled by a similar kind of indie-music spirit. Beyond the anniversary festivities, October is shaping up to be a banner month throughout the Jammin Java community.

The month will usher in a number of notable concerts at Union Stage, the Brindley Bros.’ newer, larger venue down on the Wharf. The lineup includes New York’s quirky and infectious horn-and-percussion trio Moon Hooch (10/15), the return of jam band Perpetual Groove from Georgia (10/16), Torres, the stage name of queer, nonbinary musician Mackenzie Scott (10/17), innovative, multi-genre young hip-hop/reggae five piece Phony Ppl (10/23), and the transfixing R&B-tipped alt-pop from Evann McIntosh, a queer teenager from suburban Kansas (10/28, presented at Adams Morgan’s Songbyrd).

jammin java, union stage
Torres– Photo: Shervin Lainez

The Brindley business has also become the exclusive live booker for shows at the Capital Turnaround, the new 850-capacity venue in a former car barn in Navy Yard. (J.J.M.C. also has similar arrangements at Eastern Market’s Miracle Theatre and the Pie Shop on H Street NE.) Head to the Turnaround this month if you’d like to catch Todd Rundgren in concert supporting his new autobiography The Individualist: Digressions, Dreams, & Dissertations (10/17-18). Also coming to the Turnaround: Whitney, the young indie-folk band from Chicago known for its imaginative covers (10/29).

Back in Virginia, upcoming highlights at Jammin Java include American folk artist Sam Amidon (10/12), the Grateful Dead tribute band Gettin’ Weir’d (10/13), and Boston-based folk revivalist Ellis Paul (10/23). And then there’s the show with the greatest LGBTQ appeal of them all: the return of Erin McKeown, who will no doubt welcome everyone with a “Kiss Off Kiss” and other playful and wry odes from her new solo album by that name, a breakup-for-self-love kind of adventure (10/17).

For the full lineup and info on COVID restrictions, visit

Read More:

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