Whiskey Jam founder Ward Guenther is presented with a plaque commemorating 10 years of the Nashville staple. Pictured (L-R): Randy Montana, Craig Campbell, Ryan O’Nan, Ward Guenther, Cole Swindell, Tyler Reeve and Jessi Alexander. Photo: Jason Myers for Whiskey Jam
Whiskey Jam, one of Nashville’s most beloved ongoing concert series, celebrated its 10th anniversary last night (July 26) with a sold-out show at the Ryman Auditorium.
Founded in January 2011, Whiskey Jam has entertained Music City for more than 500 Monday nights, with 750+ live events, over 1 million in total attendance, and 2,250 performances by artists and songwriters since its inception. Taking place every Monday and Thursday night at Winners Nashville, Whiskey Jam has seen artists including Chris Stapleton, Kacey Musgraves, Maren Morris, Kane Brown, Sam Hunt, Luke Combs, Melissa Etheridge, Jelly Roll and OneRepublic make their debut. The Nashville staple was founded by Ward Guenther, who also hosts his own radio show on Apple Music Radio.
“We started Whiskey Jam over 10 years ago because the guitar-pull set-up felt stale to try and repeat. We’re fortunate to already have places like The Bluebird Café and The Grand Ole Opry, rooms like the Listening Room and Exit/In, however if you’re not able to draw a crowd to those places yet, there really wasn’t a spot that had a built-in audience of music fans each week. As songwriters, we just needed a place to get up, jam, fail or fly and then have a drink immediately after to talk or laugh about it,” says Guenther. “It’s crazy to think that this system based on the currency of time and paying it forward has carried on for 10 years as the crowds invest in the artists on their way up and get to see them when they’re huge stars and vice versa. We are so grateful for this community. We can’t wait to see how this grows in the next 10, and if last night was any indication, the artist community is ready!”
Artists including Old Dominion, Chris Young, Cole Swindell, Jimmie Allen, Lindsay Ell, Devin Dawson, Lauren Alaina, Ryan Hurd, Jessi Alexander, Travis Denning, Lainey Wilson, Randy Montana, Katie Ohh, Ernest, Frankie Ballard, David Nail, Channing Wilson, Tyler Reeve, Craig Campbell, Tyler Farr, David Ryan Harris, and Carter Faith were on hand to celebrate Whiskey Jam at the Ryman last night. Country Music Hall of Famer Randy Travis even appeared on-stage, and was joined by the performers to sing his hit “Forever and Ever, Amen” together.
Whiskey Jam participants join Randy Travis on stage at Ryman Auditorium for a special performance of “Forever and Ever, Amen.” Photo: Jason Myers for Whiskey Jam
Proceeds from the Ryman show benefit the newly-established 501©3 Jam Fam Foundation, created to support organizations that assist musicians, songwriters and the creative community when in need. “When the tornados hit, Chris Young and Whiskey Jam helped donate over 10,000 bottles of water to the communities hit the hardest and many of those folks were fans or participants of our series,” says Guenther. “Over the course of 10 years, we’ve grown as a community-based event and so it’s only natural that we create an avenue in which to give back.”