Dark Star drummer talks Grateful Dead with fellow Jewish musician Cris Jacobs

Cris+Jacobs

Cris Jacobs

Eric Berger, Associate Editor

Robert Koritz, who plays in a Grateful Dead tribute band and chairs the Camp Sabra committee, knows something about Jews and the Grateful Dead.

So does the latest guest on Koritz’s podcast, The Music Plays The Band.

Cris Jacobs, an Americana-soul musician who is Jewish and leads the Cris Jacobs Band, tells Koritz that he grew up in a household with Deadhead parents who were constantly playing the band’s music and leaving him with a babysitter while they left to catch a weekend of shows.

“I hated it growing up,” Jacobs, formerly of the band The Bridge, who broke up in 2011, said on the podcast. “My sister and I used to make fun of them and be embarrassed when my friends would come over.”

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But around age 14, he went to a Dead show with his father.


“That was when I said, I want to do this; I want to play guitar, and that was it,” said Jacobs, who is from Baltimore.

Koritz, who lives in St. Louis, on the latest episode also hosts members of RVA Fadeaway, who he describes as the “country’s youngest Grateful Dead cover band,” featuring 16 and 17 year olds.

“Once again, the path of having parents who were into [the Dead], and they grew up around it,” said Koritz. “They are really good.”

Koritz also recently launched a website, Themusicplaystheband.net,  for his podcast and blog.