Singer/songwriter David Jacobs-Strain, right, will perform Saturday with veteran Bob Beach.

Singer/songwriter David Jacobs-Strain, right, will perform Saturday with veteran Bob Beach.

Blues on tap for Saturday performance

Concert featured at The Palindrome

PORT TOWNSEND — Singer/songwriter and guitarist David Jacobs-Strain will perform with veteran harmonica player Bob Beach at the Palindrome at Eaglemount Cidery on Saturday.

Rainshadow Recording is hosting the touring performers at 7:30 p.m. at 1893 S. Jacob Miller Road.

Tickets are $20 each from or at the door.

In 2001, as concert director at Swallow Hill Music Association in Denver, Rainshadow’s Everett Moran was charged with booking the fifth annual Coors Roots of the Blues Festival.

“He was looking for a young up-and-comer to open the festival, someone with enough chops and soul to play on the same stage with the likes of John Jackson, Corey Harris, Del Rey and others,” organizers said.

“His friend and colleague, Mary Flower, suggested a young, 16-year-old kid from Eugene Ore.

“Well, David Jacobs-Strain most certainly had the chops to hang and an old soul to boot.”

It’s now 20 years later.

“David has evolved from a myopic student of the blues into one of the finest singer-songwriters of his generation and, yes, he still has the chops to hang with the best,” organizers said.

His most recent release was tracked at Sound City and mixed by Jim Scott (Tom Petty, Lucinda Williams). In it, he was joined by an A-list of musicians including Jim Keltner, Viktor Krauss, Greg Liesz and Larry Goldings, organizers said.

Jacobs-Strain’s live show moves from blues to ballads to rock and roll, organizers said.

Said Jacobs-Strain: “I try to make art that you can dance to, but I love that darker place where, in my mind, Skip James, Nick Drake and maybe Elliot Smith blur together.”

He began playing on street corners and at farmers markets as a teenager in Eugene, Ore., and bought his first steel guitar with the quarters he saved.

He dropped out of Stanford to play full time, having already appeared at festivals across the country and often billed as a blues prodigy, but he also had to write.

“I wanted to tell new stories, it just wasn’t enough to relive the feelings in other people’s music,” he said.

Beach, who performs internationally with Jacobs-Strain, has been a working professional musician for 50 years, bringing harmonica, flute and vocals to a broad scope of genres.

The Philadelphia Folk Fest welcomed him in 1998 as a volunteer, and he became a steady performer.

As a sideman, he has recorded or performed with national acts such as Ollabelle, Langhorne Slim, The Avett Brothers, Pat Wictor, Sean Mullins, Kim Richey, Lizanne Knott and many more. He has performed regionally with the Bob Beach Trio, Mason Porter, Wyldlyfe, Hezekiah Jones, Spinning Leaves, the Cat’s Pajamas, Philadelphia Jug Band, the Youngers, Hoots and Hellmouth and others.

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