Keller Williams and John Kadlecik Play Intimate Sets at The Barn

It started out with a simple email, “Do you want to come to my barn party?” Little did we know the adventure that awaited us.

Tucked deep into backwoods of Virginia, half-way between Washington, D.C. and Charlottesville, Virginia there exists “The Barn”. This indiscreet barn, which looks like so many other dotting farm properties in this part of Virginia is an intimate setting for private events hosted and attended by some of the music scene’s greatest veterans. 

This year’s annual spring party, which took place Friday, May 12, featured a John Kadlecik solo set, Keller Williams Trio, followed by a Keller & John K jam backed by Keller’s bassist & drummer. Magnolia Blue closed the evening out with a late-night set.

Some say,you don’t plan special, special just happens.” Our experience visiting The Barn was just such a night of special. The evening had an air of adventure, starting from the moment we turned onto a local rural Virginia road, passed through the sod farms of Virginia, slithered down gravel backroads, to when we arrived at the beautiful, towering barn, unsure of what to expect. Entering the venue was not without adventure as attendants greeted us at a small tent outside the property. “That will be $40”, the attendant said. Unprepared we looked at one another and said “Um, you wouldn’t happen to know where we could find an ATM around here?” So after a 3.5 hour commute through the rain from Washington, D.C., we found ourselves retracing our steps back to town to find an ATM. Cash in hand we returned to the barn. Sometimes it is the journey to a music event that enhancements the adventure and adds to the lore of the night.

We promptly discovered that there was a host of great company to make the evening both singular and familiar. 

From the moment we entered the barn we realized this was a barn like no other. There was a permanent stage setup where countless late night jams had occurred over the past few decade. The walls were affixed with a combination of framed concert posters and antique farm equipment. Lighting bars were fastened to the rafters throughout the structure so a wide variety of concert lighting rigs could be affixed. This barn was lovingly created to host, enhance, and celebrate music. If the barn walls could talk they would talk about the countless nights of music that resonated inside the barn. Some Oak in this community was destined to mature and impart flavor to some of the best wines in Virginia, while the Oak that build this barn was destined to resonate with some of the best music this region has to offer and impart a very special ambiance to those performances.

Deep into the night the music played, home made dishes were shared across a huge buffet table. Some dishes we were told “only get made for this event, I’ll tell you when they bring it out”. Beer and wine flowed throughout the evening and was accompanied by the performers as well as the sounds of joy, celebration, and an immense appreciation for the intimate and special performance that were taking place. Stories were shared throughout the night and we participated in conversations about a young Keller Williams practicing his guitar as a 13 year old on one attendees couch many years ago. Some roared about their ‘famous’ Butterfingers scones, while others whispered when an exclusive desert was about to be served.

The music flowed all night, amplified by the barn’s enclosure that kept us dry and warm from the slow rain drizzle outside, as we danced the evening away.

For privacy reasons, The Melomaniacs cannot disclose full details of the evening, but we are proud to present you with this photo gallery of the performances. 

Photos by: Jason Herman

About the author

Karina Verlan

Karina Verlan studied Creative Writing at the University of Mary Washington, and Professional Writing at Old Dominion University. Her writing career has been steadily progressing in recent years, with contributions for publications such as The Connection Newspapers of Northern Virginia, and The Poke Around. Karina is currently the Director of Marketing at a high-end photography studio in Fairfax, VA. On weekends, you will find her chasing favorite bands throughout the states; or somewhere out in the mountains hiking, canoeing, or skiing. Her passions include writing, travel, photography and cooking.