Harmonica man Bob Beach, left, will have a cross-country musical conversation with David Jacobs-Strain on Friday. The duo, seen here at the 2015 Juan de Fuca Festival in Port Angeles, will do a free online concert. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/for Peninsula Daily News)

Harmonica man Bob Beach, left, will have a cross-country musical conversation with David Jacobs-Strain on Friday. The duo, seen here at the 2015 Juan de Fuca Festival in Port Angeles, will do a free online concert. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/for Peninsula Daily News)

Blues, rock ‘In Your Living Room’

Juan de Fuca Foundation to host online concert

PORT ANGELES — The Juan de Fuca Foundation for the Arts will host its first “In Your Living Room” live-streamed concert — free to the public — at 6 p.m. Friday.

The performers, slide-guitarist and singer David Jacobs-Strain and his longtime partner, harmonica man Bob Beach, hail from Portland, Ore., and Philadelphia, respectively.

The Juan de Fuca Foundation’s YouTube channel is the place for the hour-long concert, accessible from JFFA.org/calendar, or by subscribing to JFFA’s YouTube channel. The stream will start at 5:30 p.m. and the concert promptly at 6 p.m.

From their home studios, the pair will put on an all-out show, Jacobs-Strain promised in a phone interview. The experience is teaching him how to orchestrate sound, lighting and his signature fury.

Jacobs-Strain and Beach are beloved around here, said Kayla Oakes, executive director of the Juan de Fuca Foundation. Jacobs-Strain has been appearing at the Memorial Day weekend Juan de Fuca Festival since 2012, bringing his style of Pacific Northwest-roots music to Port Angeles.

Beach and Jacobs-Strain were among nearly 75 acts set to play the 2020 festival before it was canceled. Oakes said she can hardly wait to see the duo again for a live show.

“They do funny, subversive blues and soulful ballads, and then they swing back to swampy rock ’n’ roll,” she promised.

Jacobs-Strain did quite a few online concerts last spring, and then he took a summer break since he wanted to get outdoors while the weather was good.

Now it’s time to reconnect, he said.

“There’s this other kind of intimacy on Zoom,” Jacobs-Strain believes. “I just have to play and create my own mojo. People can share their stories, and say, ‘Hey, we’re sitting on our porch, we just poured a microbrew; we’re having our Saturday night concert.’ ”

In this case, it’s a Friday evening show, with no tickets needed. Donations are welcome and will be shared between the nonprofit Juan de Fuca Foundation and the artists.

Zoom has improved its sound in recent weeks, Jacobs-Strain said.

“You can now broadcast in stereo. That opens up the possibility of a more immersive sound — a lot better than your average conference call,” he said.

The musician has been “holed up in Portland,” working on an album with Christopher Worth, another performer who had been scheduled to play at the Juan de Fuca Festival.

Despite the fact he can’t go on tour and play gigs and festivals as he loves to do, “I’m feeling hopeful right now,” Jacobs-Strain said.

He and Worth wrote a song Friday morning that he’s in love with; he revels in the feeling of cooking up something out of nothing.

“I’m feeling creatively excited,” said the artist, who has nearly a dozen albums to his credit, including “Terraplane Angel,” “Ocean or a Teardrop” and “Live from the Left Coast.”

Samples of his and Beach’s music can be found at DavidJacobs-strain.com.

This Friday, he and Beach will engage in a slide guitar-harmonica conversation, mix in some resonator-guitar groove and add some stories.

“Everyone can sing along,” Jacobs-Strain quipped, “in any key they want to.”


Diane Urbani de la Paz, a former features editor for the Peninsula Daily News, is a freelance writer living in Port Townsend.

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