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updated: 9/6/2013 3:39 PM

Buffalo Grove singer/songwriter gaining recogition

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  • Phil Jacobson plays the main stage at Buffalo Grove Days.

      Phil Jacobson plays the main stage at Buffalo Grove Days.
    Hal Norman photo

  • Phil Jacobson plays the main stage at Buffalo Grove Days.

      Phil Jacobson plays the main stage at Buffalo Grove Days.
    Hal Norman photo

  • Phil Jacobson plays the main stage at Buffalo Grove Days.

      Phil Jacobson plays the main stage at Buffalo Grove Days.
    Hal Norman photo


It rained on Phil Jacobson's parade, but he didn't let the weather get him down.

The 27-year-old Stevenson High School grad was the scheduled main stage entertainment Aug. 30 at Buffalo Grove Days when a severe thunderstorm swept through.

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It wasn't the first year he played at the festival. He won the Buffalo Grove Days Idol competition several years ago. He has also played the beer tent.

This year, as he waited out the storm in Buffalo Grove's public works building, he said the band would play in raincoats, if necessary.

"I've played weirder gigs before," he said, recalling a half-marathon in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., that necessitated the band moving a huge generator in the sand along a beach.

Those days seem very much in the rear view mirror as Jacobson, whose band got to play at Buffalo Grove Days after about an hour's delay, looks ahead to a promising future as a singer/songwriter.

On Monday, Sept. 9, Jacobson is scheduled to be the opening act at Schubas Tavern in Chicago.

"I played there last summer, and I've been itching to get back in," he said.

As much as he is driven to forge ahead in his career, his roots remain firmly anchored in his hometown. For Buffalo Grove Days, Jacobson brought a band that included his 23-year-old brother Mark.

"Nothing better than playing for the hometown friends and family and fans," he said.

He said he remains close with friends from Stevenson High School.

"A bunch of my buddies -- we still do fantasy football. We get together every year for a draft and keep in touch. Actually one of my roommates right now is one of my good friends from high school."

Jacobson, who lives in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood, studied music at the University of Miami, where he took, among other things, jazz piano, guitar and voice. He said he's glad to be back in the Chicago area.

"I want to be based out of here. I love this city so much. I came back here from Miami for a reason," he said.

"Love Right Now" is the title track of his most recent EP (extendedplay).

"I like to write love songs for the most part. I write from personal experience and things I see around me. I want to write songs that inspire people and (make) feel-good music."

Its lyrics include the following passage:

"I can't believe how bright the stars they shine at night when I'm with you.

"You know that we could go anywhere.

"Just name a place and I'll take you there

"Don't be afraid to let your mind imagine

"what it wants to."

Jacobson has been using Facebook,, as his main way to connect with fans.

Jacobson, who said he listened to the Beatles, Stevie Wonder and James Taylor growing up, has his ears open to new sounds, most recently the new John Mayer album.

"I'm always studying," he said. "I'm a student of music."

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