This year’s Sisters Folk Festival brings back many musicians who have played the festival multiple times and have become part of the Sisters music community. Among them are Martyn Joseph, Ellis, Johnsmith, Beth Wood, Keith Greeninger and Dayan Kai, and David Jacobs-Strain.

Jacobs-Strain has performed in Sisters countless times since his first appearance at the Sisters Folk Festival many years ago when he was just 17 years old. Since, he has played The Belfry’s Halloween extravaganza nearly every year, as well as a performance at Harmony House each year. Jacobs-Strain, who lives in Eugene, appreciates the response he receives from those he knows within the community.

“I remember meeting Dave Carter at the festival when I was just a teenager and this whole world of musical language opened up for me,” he said. He had always known about Sisters, coming here on vacation, but he didn’t realize the musical community that was here.

“I think tourists that come through don’t necessarily know that the community is here and how deeply they listen and appreciate it,” he said. “It feels like the musical spirit has been cultivated well here.”

His most recent performance at the Sisters Folk Festival was in 2012 when he played with his band, The Crunk Mountain Boys. One of his standout memories is the after-party jam session he had with the band and a few other musicians including Hobbs Magaret in the backyard at Angeline’s.

“Some of my favorite times are the after-party jam sessions with other artists,” he said.

Jacobs-Strain has been doing music as his full-time career for the majority of recent years. He plays alongside legendary blues-harmonica player Bob Beach. He recently has started playing and recording songs with musician Christopher Worth.

This year, Jacobs-Strain will be returning to the Americana Song Academy at Caldera as an instructor. He has done it once before and loves the experience of getting to have one-on-one mentoring sessions with artists and those who attend the camp.

“Sometimes people really open up about deep and dark stuff in a space like that. People reveal something that is close to their heart in that space,” said Jacobs-Strain.

Jacobs-Strain’s experience at song camp has allowed him to broaden his musicianship horizons. He would often have impromptu jam sessions and be featured on other people’s songs without the comfort his guitar gives him, just his voice and spirit.

“I get pushed out of my comfort zone, and I personally learn just as much from being there as those attending,” he said.

Jacobs-Strain says having a teaching experience at camps such as Caldera makes him want to be a better musician. When he teaches he is forced to take a close look at his own craft and slow down in order to teach it step by step; he often finds it refreshing to re-learn the techniques himself.

“Because I have to slow down and really think about what I am doing in order to teach a form of something, it forces me to be a better musician overall and pay attention to the details,” he said.

Jacobs-Strain will be teaching a slide-guitar class which involves the mechanics and technique for playing Delta blues slide guitar.

“I will not only be teaching the fundamentals of the sound, but also the emotional side of slide guitar and the history behind it,” he said.

Jacobs-Strain finds that having late-night jams at camp and connecting with students creates more creativity and allows for a connection that is deep with other musicians and whatever instruments you hold in your hand.

“It is really fun to have a campfire jam session and do a song that everybody knows and can sing along to and connect with the music, as we are all having this camp experience together,” he said.

Jacobs-Strain will be performing his sets at the Sisters Folk Festival with Bob Beach and one set alongside Keith Greeninger and Dayan Kai (see related story, page 21). He will be performing some of his new songs that he has recently recorded with Christopher Worth.

Jacobs-Strain is excited to be returning to the folk festival as a featured artist and “return to the choir of the festival. It has been the year of circling back to places I’ve played, it’s my 25th year playing at Oregon Country Fair and a few other places on the East Coast I’ve come back to,” he said.

David Jacobs-Strain will be performing throughout the festival weekend. Tickets and information on the festival can be found at www.