Jake Curtis

“Unapologetic love for the Blues”

Jake Curtis

Jake Curtis is a native of Decatur, IL who has adopted St. Louis as his home because of its rich music culture and unapologetic love for the Blues. His playing style is emotional and evocative rather than technical which lends itself well to live performances.

After joining the Army at the age of 18, Jake honed his guitar skills playing wherever and whenever he could. His travels in the military presented interesting opportunities over the years, playing everywhere from the Irish Pubs from when he was stationed in Germany, or playing in front of other soldiers at impromptu gigs in Iraq.

Jake’s playing style is heavily influenced by the music he grew up listening to. At the age of 7, Jake found himself obsessed with the album, “John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers featuring Eric Clapton”, and as he would say, “It was all downhill from there”. That led to weekly trips to the public library to find as many blues records as he could.

These days you can find Jake Stationed at Jefferson Barracks in South City St. Louis by day, and by night stationed at places like Hammerstone’s and The Broadway Oyster Bar.

Jake Curtis also fronts the, “National Blues Museum Jam Band”, and can be found on Washington Street leading the jam at the Museum every Thursday starting at 6:00.

A self-avowed “gear nerd,” Curtis plays Strats, Teles, and Les Pauls but he admits to a preference for Fender amps.

Q & A WITH THE JAKE CURTIS BAND

Q – Where do you hope your guitar will take you?

A – I just want to keep getting better and see how it will go. I hope that eventually when people hear my name they will immediately think… “great blues guitar player.

Q – What’s it like being a blues musician in St. Louis?

A – Playing in St. Louis is refreshing. There are world class blues musicians playing here all the time and lots of outlets to play. The fans are discriminating, and they get the music. Besides gigs you can play at a jam session almost any night of the week. Fellow musicians are supportive and nurturing which feeds the addiction and keeps me coming back.

Q – Who are your musical influences?

A – Eric Clapton, Ace Frehley, Alex Lifeson of Rush, and of course Jimmy Page who was always stealing stuff from the Blues guys. But it goes way back. I came across a Chicago blues compilation called “Living Chicago Blues” at the library that introduced me to the blues at 8 years old. It was so raw it made an impression.

Q – You have a reputation for playing whenever possible, so what’s your favorite; playing live, studio work or practicing in your basement?

A – I will take live performances every time. Being in front of a crowd is like walking a tightrope. You never know what’s going to happen. You’re completely laid bare on stage so it’s time to put up or shut up.

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"Emotional and evocative music" - Jake Curtis band