Cris Jacobs Band (LATE SHOW)
10221 Wincopin Circle
Columbia, MD, 21044
Doors 11:00 PM / Show 11:30 PM
This event is 21 and over
Watch & Listen
Cris Jacobs Band
When Cris Jacobs began dreaming about a follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2016 album
Dust to Gold, he realized early on he'd have to do things differently this time around. His life
had changed drastically since writing those songs: he'd toured extensively and attracted a
legion of new, devoted fans; he'd come off the road into a world, with its divisive rhetoric and
troubling headlines, he no longer recognized; and, most importantly, he'd gotten married and
had his first child. Things had changed, and Jacobs had, too.
Color Where You Are is the work of an artist at an exciting new stage in his life and career,
ready to use his talents to share a little beauty with the loved ones and fans who have already
given so much to him. The title nods to Jacobs' experience writing the album, which, as he
puts it, he had to do "between tours, coming home, changing diapers, fixing things around the
house.... You name it." He no longer had the luxury of waiting for inspiration to strike, so he
colored where he was.
"It was a new discipline for me and a new level of focus that I think brought out the best work,"
he explains. "I feel like I grew up a little bit. There are people in my life who I truly care about
and things in the world I feel deeply about. That really pushed me in a stronger direction and
forced me to feel things on an honest level."
Opening track "Painted Roads," with its soulful groove and clever arrangement, is the perfect
encapsulation of just how far Jacobs has come since releasing Dust to Gold. Jacobs is self-assured and confident in his soulful, infectious vocal, while his lyrical craftsmanship shows
Jacobs to be a thoughtful songwriter who continuously strives to grow and evolve.
"It's about choosing to live in the present, and see the everyday details of the world, rather
than postponing living or paying attention in hopes of some distant prize or destination,"
Jacobs says of "Painted Roads." "We get so caught up in 'success' and ambition, and are so
goal-oriented, that we sometimes lose sight of the beauty in the everyday. 'Color where you
are' is the notion of creating beauty now, no matter the circumstance."
"Painted Roads" was one of the first songs Jacobs and the band (who co-produced the album
together) recorded for Color Where You Are, with his band mates taking Jacobs' original Tom
Petty-inspired arrangement and giving it an off-kilter, syncopated groove. For the first time,
Jacobs wrote the bulk of the album's songs in the studio, camping out at Richmond's
Montrose Studios to flesh out "germs and ideas that had been floating around" with band
members Todd Herrington (bass), Dusty Ray Simmons (drums/percussion) and Jonathan
"I booked the studio time and put a gun to my head and that sometimes works," Jacobs says.
"In this case it did. It feels like a specific time period and specific vibe and emotional space
that came through in all of these songs. It was a really organic process."
While life as a family man changed Jacobs' perspective (and schedule), current events also
had a profound impact on Jacobs' songwriting, with commentary on social and political issues
finding its way into tracks like "Afterglow" and "Under the Big Top." Color Where You Are is a
hopeful affair, though, with Jacobs employing thoughtful criticism and messages of
empowerment instead of wallowing or ruminating.
"The political climate is causing a different sort of energy and angst in me that’s never been
there before," he explains. "It’s not a political album by any means, but those forces out there
certainly dictated a lot of the writing on this record."
On "Afterglow," Jacobs searches for optimism and healing in trying times. His emotional vocal
is buoyed by a passionate, swelling performance from the band, making the track one of Color
Where You Are's most poignant moments. "It's about the hope that after the storm we are
currently trying to survive in, we will see true light like never before," Jacobs says. "That the
constant threats to our foundations will cause us to examine and strengthen them, and come
out the other side with stronger hearts and clearer vision. 'There will come horses, there will
come voices' -- that we will be forced to show our true hand like never before because of our
dire need to defend it."
Elsewhere, on "Under the Big Top," Jacobs channels swampy, gritty Southern rock influences
to shine a light on narrow-mindedness and lazy thinking. Crunchy riffs and a fat bass groove
make the track, despite its heady message, one of the album's many songs you can't help but
"'Under the Big Top' is commentary on society’s evolution into gullible, easily distracted, lazymindedness," Jacobs says. “'Pretty lights junkie like a moth to candle,' always distracted by
the brightest, loudest, biggest, rather than remembering how to seek for ourselves and find
truth and love. We instead over-consume and are given every opportunity to do so. What we
end up with is a circus of sorts, with tricksters and hucksters and loud mouths with no real
value taking up all of our attention and ruling us, because we are too easily manipulated."
Grooves abound on Color Where You Are, as on standout track "Rooster Coop," which finds
Jacobs and the band sniffing around the henhouse over greasy slide guitar, a deep, deep
pocket and a truly funky bass line. "All I knew was that I wanted to write a song that merged
country and funk," Jacobs says of "Rooster Coop." "We started out with the main groove of
the tune and the first line that popped into my head was, 'There’s something funky in the
barnyard.' So naturally, I wrote a song about a scandalous love tryst amongst farm animals."
Spanning rock, folk, soul and funk and drawing from inspiration that runs the gamut from the
henhouse to the White House, Color Where You Are is a kaleidoscopic portrait of Cris Jacobs
as a songwriter, musician and bandleader. It's the work of a devoted father and an empathetic
member of the human race. More than that, it's a reminder that there's beauty to be found
everywhere, if you just take a moment to color where you are.
"What am I trying to do with my music?" Jacobs muses. "The simple answer is this: I’m trying
to connect with people. To express real-life human emotions and make people feel things. To
connect my love of music with my love of writing and conjure up all of the joy and emotions
that those things bring to me. To hopefully have people walk away feeling lighter or happier or
more inspired to go be a better person somehow after listening... I want to create a body of
work that my family will be proud of one day, and to show that I had compassion to the human
condition and wasn’t just a self-indulgent show off."
For any wheelchair or ADA needs, please contact the Box Office in advance of the performance at (443) 283-1200.
Tickets $20.00 at the door on the day of the show.