News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Jacobs-Strain sticking ‘Close to Home’

David Jacobs-Strain, roots and blues songwriter and fierce slide guitar player is returning to the Sisters stage for the Sisters Folk Festival’s event Close to Home concert event on August 1.

The show is sold out, but there is a waitlist for limited, physically-distanced seating.

David Jacobs-Strain first played at the Sisters Folk Festival almost 20 years ago, as a young up-and-coming musician. He has since been playing shows around Oregon, Sisters included, as well as across the country.

Jacobs-Strain’s livelihood as a musician comes from gathering people together, and nowadays in the pandemic era, he has had to adapt to a different way of performing.

“I’ve been figuring out how to livestream on Facebook as my platform,” he told The Nugget during a break from a recording session at The Belfry last week. “I bought cinema lights to create a specific look and I use studio gear for the sound so I can present something I am proud of.”

He has been doing collaborative live streams with different venues and festivals that were supposed to happen over the summer.

“I’ve been working and tweaking the live streams as a creative outlet and something to focus on,” he said.

The livestream concerts, have allowed for Jacobs-Strain’s audiences to chime in on songs in the comment sections, and connect with his music from across the world.

“The streaming shows are more satisfying than I thought they would be. They still aren’t going to be enough to sustain, but it’s something,” he said.

Jacobs-Strain has also been focusing on some production work in his home studio working on guitar licks and production for other artists. He said that he will eventually dig into his own project at some point.

“I am still brainstorming what I want my next record to be,” he said.

Recently, Jacobs-Strain has been working with Keith Banning, local recording engineer and computer consultant. They have been recording at The Belfry and Banning’s studio.

“There is space here for artists to safely spread out and we want to do other projects here and take advantage of the space,” said Jacobs-Strain.

Jacobs-Strain and Banning have been working on production and guitar sections for an album, for Bend musician Doc Ryan.

During quarantine times, Jacobs-Strain has also been able to take some time to go out hiking and spend some time at home, as he usually tours during the spring and summer months.

“I’ve actually been way busier than I thought I would be and I’ve been going out hiking a lot,” he said.

Jacobs-Strain also re-discovered his love for playing solo while doing his live streams and with extra practice time.

“These streaming shows reminded me of how I can play on my own and the freedom there,” he said.

He also recently was able to do a live stream show with his harmonica sidekick, Bob Beach, streamed from a theater in Pennsylvania through to Jacobs-Strain’s home studio.

“I feel so grateful for the support I’ve had this spring from other artists and from the community,” he said.

As far as coping with the strains of a COVID-affected world, Jacobs-Strain said, “Sometimes it is hard to maintain a sense of purpose and there are moments of unexpected love and gratitude and kindness from people followed by feelings of angst and uncertainty.”

Jacobs-Strain has played one other live show this summer, in a field in Cottage Grove with the audience spread out into pods with a bring-your-own-picnic style, similar to what the Sisters Folk Festival is doing.

“I think a lot of people experience a sadness of the loss of summer rituals and concerts due to all this happening in the world,” he said.

Jacobs-Strain had been talking with the Sisters Folk Festival figuring out what sort of event could be done with regional artists. The Close to Home event on the back lawn of the Sisters Artworks Building is exactly something that can work safely.

“It feels great to be returning to the Sisters stage and I trust the organization to take the needs and concerns of safety and the community seriously and proactively,” he said.

Jacobs-Strain will be performing with Beth Wood during the Close to Home concert event. They first performed together during the My Own Two Hands virtual auction event last May. After they played a few songs together during the livestream performance, they realized they clicked really well together. This will be the first time they play an entire set together.

“I admire her a lot — she is a complete artist with her poetry and songwriting and guitar playing and brings it all together. It is an honor and a treat to perform with her,” he said.

As far as the future of concert events, Jacobs-Strain believes there will be a lot of what he calls, hybrid events where there is a small audience and then the show is live streamed out to larger audiences. He also believes in the adaptation of the homemade music industry by reverting back to backyard concerts.

“I think it allows for the younger generation to get out there and put on smaller events and create new spaces,” he said.

David Jacobs-Strain will be playing with Beth Wood alongside, Ron Artis and The Truth, Hayley Johnsen, and Jeffery Martin as part of the Sisters Folk Festival’s Close to Home event on August 1. Pod tickets are sold out, but a waitlist is available for the event at


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