w/ Charlie Mellinger
Kris Lager (solo)
+ special guests:
FRI. February 16, 2024
Doors 7PM | Show 8PM
$15 ADV | $20 DOS
All Ages (21+ with valid ID to drink, $3 minor surcharge under 21)
RSVP: Jackson Stokes Album Release Party + Special Guests
When his latest solo release, Passengers Volume One, arrived as a contender for Rock’s Top 20 chart in October of 2023, Jackson Stokes posted another notch on his growing list of accolades. Whether as a seasoned bandleader, sought-after ensemble player, or valued collaborator, the rock/soul singer-songwriter from St Louis, Missouri continues to rise as a coveted musical commodity. And with tens of thousands of touring miles logged across four continents- including, in 2023, a World Record achievement; performing 50 shows in 50 U.S. states in 49 days with the Devon Allman Project and Donavon Frankenreiter- Stokes is, as well, the consummate rock-and-roll road dog.
A six-song, groove-n-soul EP, Passengers Volume One, features Stokes helming his touring band and a host of special guests, and is produced by the venerable Luther Dickinson, of the Grammy-nominated North Mississippi Allstars. Written almost entirely by Stokes, (with co-write contributions from bassist Paul Brackens and drummer Ben Bicklein on “Ride”), the half-dozen tracks showcase his ever-maturing songcraft, detailed with stripped-clean, riff-driven guitar, and intimate and arresting vocals. Opening with the unadorned, dawning soul of “Until the Morning,” Stokes leads his trusted group through an inspired jam on the coda, then settles into the cycling rock of “Early Riser,” again propelled by his infectious guitar work, and a vocal cameo from Allman.
The second-half teems with the straight-ahead pulse of “Ride,” then shifts to the sunlit, hazy sway of “Gemini.” Closing out Volume One, Stokes dips into down-and-dirty seduction on “Don’t Tempt Me,” and a assuring promise of a second and contrasting volume to come in 2024. Throughout the collection, there are guest appearances from keyboard great, John Ginty, and singers, R. Scott Bryan, Mattie Schell, Allie Vogler, Joanna Sorenko, and Chris Turnbaugh, as well as string accompaniment from Mark Hochberg.
Stokes’ story starts with classic rock- his first concert was Lynyrd Skynyrd- and the good fortune of happenstance: his St Louis neighbor was Devon Allman, who encouraged Stokes early in his musical pursuits. Stokes developed into a prodigious, teenaged firebrand with a passion for the blues, pairing with another area wunderkind, Marquise Knox, and performing his first professional gigs.
From high school garage bands to an All-State jazz ensemble, Stokes expanded his musical palette. He attended Drury University in Springfield, Missouri, earning a degree in music therapy. In 2012, with his band, Delta Sol Revival, he issued an Allman-produced, five-song EP, Witness.
In 2017, Stokes joined the Devon Allman Band and, subsequently, the Devon Allman Project, of which he’s been a flagship member since 2018. In 2019, Stokes put the finishing touches on an inaugural solo LP; a lean and ambitious set of rock-and-soul, including a reimagined Talking Heads cover, and a depth of original material ranging in style and subjects. Guitar Player magazine praised Stokes’ effort, calling it, “a tour de force of soulful rhythm-and-blues guitar playing.”
Over his decade-and-a-half career, Stokes, in his own right, also has been a welcomed guest onstage, opening for or collaborating with a who’s who of artists such as Robert Cray, Warren Haynes, Marcus King, Lucas Nelson, Samantha Fish, Ivan Neville, Eric Krasno, Eric Gales, Robert Randolph, The Waiers, The Allman Betts Band, and Tonina.
He has fused together his passion for blues, soul, funk, zydeco, country, and almost every other ‘American Roots Music’ into a contemporary and refreshing musical gumbo full of soul and spiritually uplifting rhythms and melodies.
Many people are calling him one of the finest songwriters, performers, and guitarists of his generation and for good reason too. Kris Lager’s gravely voice and stirring lyrics combine the realness and authenticity of the blues with a keen sense of the human condition.
Last year World-Renowned Musician and Podcaster, Andy Frasco called Kris "His favorite songwriter!” and also said Kris has inspired a lot of his songs and his desire to have an upbeat and positive stage persona.
Multiple Grammy Award winning and Legendary Rock 'n' Roll Producer, who has mixed two of Kris' albums, Jim Gaines (Santana, SRV, Van Morrison, Steve Miller) says Kris has "A great voice and great songs!"
Paste Magazine explains the music as "The kind of toe-tapping rhythm that sometimes you just need to make it through a day."
A Lincoln native based out of Omaha, Nebraska, Kris and his band have built a reputation as a hardworking Independent band refusing to play by industry rules or pander for awards and accolades. They just hit the road and the stage with an intense purpose of expressing themselves through uplifting music while engaging and respecting their audiences.