David Jacobs-Strain is a virtuosic slide guitar player and a storyteller with a passionate one man show that is both humorous and deeply lyrical. A bridge between today’s indie folk troubadours and the delta guitar slingers of the 1930′s, David plays with precision and sings with emotional abandon. He’s a six-foot-two Jewish blues singer from Oregon, a Stanford drop-out in a trucker hat, and a Left Coast poet; one part Leo Kottke, one part Ken Kesey, and one part Robert Johnson. Is it Delta Blues? Gangsta Grass? Geekabilly? Secular Humanist Gospel? It’s a sound big enough to land David at the Newport Folk Festival —as a teenager— and later at MerleFest, the Strawberry Music Festival, the Montreal International Jazz Fest, and on tour with artists as diverse as Lucinda Williams, Etta James, Bob Weir, and Boz Scaggs (for three summer tours).
David’s new record “Live From The Left Coast” features harmonica legend Bob Beach. “Rainbow Junkies” could be a lost Jimmie Page tune, “Hurricane Railroad” grooves like a young David Lindley, while “Dirt And Wildflowers” is a quirky but sexy revelation (like the Moldy Peaches meet Towns Van Zandt). The cascading harmonics and retro tinted lyrics of “Halfway To The Coast” and “Pescadero Beach” evoke the damaged but wild Northwest: heartbroken but beautiful, melodic and spare.
David also appears with his amplified string band The Crunk Mountain Boys. It’s not just a funky name: John is a drummer with a tambourine instead of a hi hat, Zak plays the standup bass behind his head like Hendrix, and Blake bangs on as much of the Hammond B-3 as he can haul up the stairs. They all sing as if their souls and their supper depend on it. You could compare them to Avett Brothers with a slide guitar player and a west coast twang (though the Avett’s do have better suits!). One fan described The Crunk Mountain Boys as the “Black Fleet Foxes”, but they probably sound more like acoustic Little Feat…. with more plaid and less cocaine…