In the late 1990s, after swearing off the drama that comes with having band mates, Jersey City resident David W. Jacobsen picked up his guitar and started playing solo.
Now, with the release of this second CD, Walking Away From Wonderland, the singer/songwriter is hoping to find new success within the somewhat forgotten folk genre.
Jacobsen will play at his release party for Walking Away From Wonderland at the Lamp Post Bar & Grille, 382 Second St. in Jersey City, on Feb. 7. To check him out for yourself, visit: www.davidwj.com.
Why the Lamp Post?
“I wanted to keep the CD release mellow and low-key – close to home. I love being in Jersey City. It’s close to the PATH, and there are a lot of things to do like the studio tours, and Art House Productions’ projects. There are great restaurants and bars too, like Bar Majestic.”
What’s playing in your iPod right now?
“I don’t actually own an iPod. But in my CD rack there’s a lot of Bob Mole, Jethro Tull, and a singer called K.T. Wills, who sung on my last album. And Steely Dan.”
How’d you start playing music?
“I started playing [the guitar] at the age of 13 and played various different styles. I studied jazz composition and the bass guitar at Berkeley. When I got back, I was trying to write show tunes, but eventually just started playing on my own in the late ’90s. Having a band is like being in a relationship, but with four other guys. So, I just started playing solo guitar.”
Describe your sound.
“It’s kind of has a folk element with a bit of ’70s progressive rock. A lot of what I do is rooted in progressive rock. I love Leonard Cohen – stuff that has a great emphasis on lyrics and a lot of melodic elements.”
Best/worst covers to play at a show?
“Well, I kind of do this thing I call Patrick Benatar, where I play a lot of ’80s pop songs originally sung by females and turn them into my own. I do the songs with earnest because underneath everything, there are a lot of good melodies. Those songs were written by great song writers. I’ll do ‘Love is a Battlefield,’ by Pat Benatar, or a Madonna song.”
What was your worst gig experience?
“One time, the venue for the show was no longer there [when I got there]. I guess if all your hopes and dreams of having a business just failed, the last thing you’re going to do is think to call the artists coming in. Being double booked is common, too.”
Where are you favorite places to play?
“I like to play a lot of places that are walk-ins, or silly little Starbuck’s shows where the people coming in will know nothing about you, which really gets the music out there. Places I can expose myself – legally – to people that have never heard of me before. I also like to play in the city a few times of year for good measure, to have a good time, like at Kenny’s Castaways.