Singer-songwriter Cris Jacobs has explored the outer realms of bluegrass, folk, funk, country, blues, soul and rock with stylistic reverence, adventurous alchemy and emotional sincerity. Throughout his musical travels he’s amassed a dedicated fanbase engaged by the warmth and high-quality of his lived-in songs.
“I’ve always just accepted and respected that evolution is part of the creative process,” the Baltimore, Maryland-based artist explains. “But I’ve made sure that throughout my work, I’ve always been honest. That’s the end goal, writing music that is meaningful to me.”
Cris Jacobs began his career fronting the acclaimed band and award-winning jam band The Bridge. The sextet released four albums in 10 years, and averaged 200 shows a year. When the band went on permanent hiatus, Cris continued on following the music. In 2012, he issued his solo debut, Songs For Cats And Dogs, a masterful album featuring poignant songwriting, honey and whiskey-soaked vocals, burly riffs, dazzling guitar playing and bucolic pedal steel guitar. Jacobs’s solo career was welcomed by fans and media alike, widening his profile as he appeared on television, on NPR’s Mountain Stage sessions, and was personally tapped by Stevie Winwood and Sturgill Simpson for national tours. Currently, Jacobs is readying his sophomore album.
It’s been a profoundly inspiring new beginning for Jacobs. Away from the band mindset, he realized he could be more reflective and explore more intimate ends of the Americana spectrum. As he prepares his second solo album, he embraces these new expressive avenues deeper, exploring more confessional topics and the broad creative range of instrumental configurations. Lately, Jacobs has been performing captivating guitar and voice shows, and his upcoming album will feature this inviting setting alongside rollicking full band excursions.
In addition to his own record in the works, Jacobs has recently completed an interesting collaboration with New Orleans-based keyboardist and singer Ivan Neville, son of Aaron Neville of the world famous Neville Brothers. The band, simply called Neville Jacobs, features co-written songs by Cris and Ivan, exploring R&B, blues, folk, rock and soul. The album will be released in 2016.