- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 2, 2002

Singer-songwriter Daniel Jacobs is hoping his trip to Virginia this month is as inspiring as his visit last spring. Playing in the area and staying with a painter friend on a horse farm in Upperville, Va., Mr. Jacobs, who hails from Boston, had some close encounters of the equestrian kind. The result: "Stallion Shadows," a powerful guitar instrumental piece that Mr. Jacobs recorded on his latest demo disc a follow-up to his disc, "Our World Now," which he released earlier this year.

Listeners in the Washington area can hear him perform it live at Magpie's in Middleburg on Friday at 9 p.m., or at St. Elmo's Coffee Pub in Alexandria on Nov. 10 at 3 p.m.

Mr. Jacobs is one of those artists who defies a label. One minute, he's playing a folky, lyrical ballad about fishing or leading a singalong; the next he's deep into a jazzy open-tuning groove.

It was the latter talent one honed after studying jazz guitar at New York University and classical guitar in Brazil that brought him to participate recently in the Mova Arts Festival in Lake Guntersville, Ala., near Huntsville, in the instrumental jazz and new age category. The competition came from across the United States and around the world.

His song, "Another Piece of the Sky" from "Our World Now," took third place, but more important, according to Mr. Jacobs, is that his playing impressed some Alabama listeners who booked him in an area bar later in the week. Listeners there invited him to be the opening act for a new music series they're organizing.

"It's amazing how these things work," he says.

Mr. Jacobs has been making it work on the folk circuit, playing about 150 dates a year from New England to Texas and all points in between. He recently split a bill at the Point in Philadelphia with singer-songwriter Charlie Strater, but he says he's truly looking forward to his dates in the Old Dominion, where he has bookings in Charlottesville clubs in addition to his Washington-area concerts.

Among his favorite venues is St. Elmo's in Alexandria, where the proprietor is "so supportive."

"You meet people like that, and you just hope you make it big one day so you can come back and play for them, to thank them," he says.

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