December 13 2018 The 8×10 Baltimore, MD + December 14 2018 Gypsy Sally’s Washington, DC + December 15 2018 Ardmore Music Hall.

by Christopher Snyder

Friendships in the music world usually start with having mutual friends or chatting it up at a festival, but for Cris Jacobs and Ivan Neville, their friendship started at the poker table. A few years back, Neville and Jacobs, met at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and hit “21” so to speak.

For those lucky enough to be on the East Coast, the five all-star musicians performed three shows ending at The Ardmore Music Hall on Saturday evening. Joining Neville and Jacobs was Tony Hall (Bass/Vocals), Jonathan Sloane (Guitar/Vocals), and Brady Blade (Drums).

You could feel the energy from the band on the audience with the opening number, “Wasted,” led by Jacobs, standing center stage, the nitty gritty tune got the feet tapping and heads bobbing early on in Ardmore Music Hall. Early on, the fans knew this was going to be a special evening as the five musicians locked in. “Dance For Me Mama” gave the legendary Neville a chance to showcase his vocal range, as Cris Jacobs and Jonathan Sloane wielded their impeccable guitar skills. Funktify things mid-set, “I Wanna Know,” with Tony Hall’s groovy bass lines and Brady Blade’s deep pocket on the drum kit, was proven to be one of the evening’s highlights on the Ardmore stage. Slowing up the tempo was a beautiful rendition of “City Rain” that allowed Jacobs and Neville to harmonize together.

Photo: Jim Mimna

Paying homage to one of the greats, “Heartbreak Hotel,” originally written by Bill Withers, showed why the quartet really gelled together. Bringing the set to a close was Cris Jacobs penned, “Good To You.”

As Neville greeted the Ardmore crowd for the encore, the legend was grateful to share the stage with such incredible musicians, as well as the gracious crowd. Leading the crowd in “Yes We Can” by the great New Orleans songwriter, Allen Toussaint, that gave way to Sly & The Family Stone’s, “Everyday People.” Bringing the soulful and funky evening to an end and bringing smiles all across the venue was fan favorite, “Don’t Do It.”

Even though this was a short but sweet run by Neville Jacobs, they sure brought their A game to each night.

From the video channel of Chris Cafiero