Laura Reed and her band (complete with horn section) kicked off the evening with a set of soulful R&B with a good bit of blues and funk flavors throughout. She's got an incredible voice and also plays a custom ukulele and a mean harmonica. She invited out a guest guitar shredder, Emily Musolino (formerly of Dark Water Rising), to crank the rock up to 11. Reed, a Raleigh native, had lots of friends and even her family on hand to enjoy the show. We're especially proud of her as we first met her long ago when she was a teenager and a rep for Home Grown Music Network.
Cris Jacobs Band was up next. We've been a big fan of his since first hearing his band The Bridge circa 2003. Cris has hand-picked some fine musicians to complement his signature funky soul country rock hybrid sound. Near 20-year rhythm section team Dusty Ray Simmons and Todd Herrington (listen to them on DJ Williams Projekt - Projekt Management from 2005) hold down the deep groove that allows Jacobs and second guitarist Jonathan Sloane to soar away on their respective instruments. Jacobs sometimes switches it up with a gritty cigar box guitar that always gets the crowd into it (hear it on the opening track of the fantastic Neville Jacobs release from 2018 with Ivan Neville).
The band highlighted some great songs from their brand new release Color Where You Are along with some from Dust to Gold and also some select covers. For a part of their set they invited Laura Reed back out to do a few songs and it was right on time.