Cris Jacobs at Lincoln Theatre: Concert Recap

Cris Jacobs at Lincoln Theatre: Concert Recap

By Graham Boyle

Photographed by Emily Gill


Cris Jacobs; Emily Gill

On the evening of March 28, the seats of Washington D.C.’s Lincoln Theatre were full of people wearing tie dye and drinking beer, awaiting an opening performance from country musician Cris Jacobs before the main set by folk band Kitchen Dwellers. It was quite the sight to see: There were people from all walks of life, in all sorts of state of mind… probably not the typical crowd for the Lincoln. However, the excitement in the room was palpable, and the thunderous applause that Cris and his band got when they walked on stage proved it.

Lincoln Theatre Stage; Emily Gill

Cris Jacobs is a country musician from Baltimore, Maryland whose vocal power and guitar abilities are making waves in the bluegrass and folk scenes. His previous albums, Dust to Gold (2016) and Color Where You Are (2019), are bluegrass-inspired country albums, but for his next record Jacobs has decided to go whole hog and embrace a more freeform, experimental style of folk. His run opening for Kitchen Dwellers is in support of his upcoming new album, One of These Days, out April 26.

Cris and his four-piece band are a modern bluegrass outfit, switching out instruments to feature the fiddle, the mandolin, and Jacobs himself on the dobro (an American bluegrass instrument similar to the steel guitar). The set was a brief 5 songs, as Kitchen Dwellers were the main act, but Jacobs managed to keep the audience engaged and get the crowd warmed up perfectly. He started with “Lifetime to Go”, his most recent single, and led the band through a freeform, exciting rendition featuring mandolin and banjo solos. Jacobs then addressed the audience charismatically, introducing the band and offering thanks to the theater. Following this address, he treated the audience to “Heavy Water”, the yet-to-be-released opening track from his new album, an at times chaotic song with poignant lyrics.

Cris Jacobs’ Band; Emily Gill

Cris’s vocals are unique, soulful, and pair perfectly with the sound he has created for himself. The music, as he performed on this occasion, were reminiscent of blues, early doo-wop and rock and roll, as well as traditional folk, creating a well rounded modern bluegrass sound that was fun to listen to and got the audience on their feet and clapping. It’s obvious that Cris has found his niche; the improvisation and musicality flows out of him so easily on stage. After some banter with the audience, Jacobs brought out the dobro for a couple of songs, which provided for a unique sound and some really interesting interaction with the banjo and bass. Overall, the show was highly enjoyable, and the perfect way to warm up the audience for the psychedelic folk stylings of Kitchen Dwellers.

If you can get out to a Cris Jacobs show, don’t miss the opportunity to see one of new bluegrass’ most forward thinkers. You can catch Cris on tour with Kitchen Dwellers until April 5, and then supporting Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel on his tour later this year. As far as shows in the DMV, Cris is holding an album release show in Towson, MD on 4/26, he’s with Tommy Emmanuel in Richmond on 5/8, and finally is bringing a solo show to The Foundry in Waynesboro, VA on 6/15.

Check for all upcoming dates, and stream the new single Lifetime to Go featuring three brand new tracks from the upcoming album wherever you get your music!

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