Written by Nicole Scott
Despite being written between changing diapers and performing shows, Cris Jacobs rewards Americana-loving ears with this self-produced, soulful gem, Color Where You Are. After touring with legends like Sturgill Simpson and Steve Winwood, it was time to slow down and create something a little bit more raw and close to home.
Jacobs’ extensive touring history and discography has proven the need to maintain constant creative generation. Instead of having the “luxury” of waiting for inspiration to come knocking while being surrounded by fellow creatives, he “colored where he was” and made music probably while working on a home improvement project. That was the birth of this beautiful blend of roots-inspired tracks. In essence, Color provides a commentary to creatives begging to be inspired to take advantage of every moment to craft, giving the album a genuine authenticity surging from track-to-track.
The album’s 10-track repertoire ranges from passionate ballads with instrumentation almost resonant of gospel (“Afterglow”) at points, to songs that take you back to the invention of the fusion between hard-rock/grunge influences and roots (“Under the Big Top”). Jacobs’ vocals are honest and powerful, melding effortlessly to the versatility presented in the melodies. This is with the help of Jacobs’ meticulous bandmates, Todd Herrington (bass), Dusty Ray Simmons (drums/percussion), and Jonathan Sloane (guitar), curating songs homey enough to be played at your favorite local bar or the grand stage with equal precision and triumph.
The instrumentation is not the only crowning glory of this record. The lyricism is emotionally evocative, demonstrating everything from fatherhood to the current political sphere. All of this is done with delightful pacing and movement, the album never taking a jarring drop in an attempt to make itself overly-provocative or current.
Ultimately, Color is not worth missing, especially as the seasons change. The nostalgic overtones of the album take listeners to a comfortable place on their porch with friends and family or in their car driving with the windows down as the sun beats down in summer.
Be sure to check out Cris Jacobs on tour by visiting his website.