Born in San Francisco and raised in the “Motor City” Detroit, Jacobs career began at the age of 13. His first professional gigs were working with some of Motown’s leading writers, producers and artists, such as songwriter Sylvia Moy (“Mi Cherie Amour”), singer/songwriter Barrett Strong (“Money”), and producer Don Davis (Johnny Taylor, The Dramatics, Robin Trower) all the while developing his no plectrum style as he continued to gain experience as a player.
It was while working with former Miles Davis bassist/singer Michael Henderson fresh out of high school, that Jacobs showed he had a gift for songwriting when he co-authored the Top-Five R&B hit, “Wide Receiver.” After a number of years working in the Motown scene Jacobs became one of the core members of Was (Not Was), an eclectic pop band that developed a strong following in the U.S. and abroad during the 1980s. While with the band, Jacobs co-authored the Top -Ten hit “Walk the Dinosaur.”
After they disbanded he became a member of Soul Mission (a gospel R&B project featuring Tata Vega, Mavis Staples, Booker T Jones and Steve Cropper), with one release for Sony/Epic Records. In 1994 he formed his own outfit The Boneshakers finally projecting his vision of funk, blues, R&B, rock and soul into the universe. He released two CDs, “Book of Spells” which included his rocking arrangement of James Brown’s “Cold Sweat” and “Shake the Planet” both featuring his longtime Was (Not Was) band mate Sweetpea Atkinson on vocals for Pointblank/Virgin Records. Three more followed “Pouring Gasoline”, “Put Some Booty on It Live, Vol. 1 featuring Austin vocalist Malford Milligan and then Put Some Booty On It Live Vol 2” released on his own Bad Monkey Recordings. Randy continued his relationship with Pointblank Records President John Wooler co-producing and performing on the critically acclaimed I-10 Chronicles series which included Wiilie Nelson, Joe Ely, Charlie Musslewhite, Adam Duritz and Emmy Lou Harris among others and the Bill and Bonnie Hearn project for Backporch/Virgin Records.
In 2005 Randy released “From Me To You” his first jazz influenced solo instrumental CD on his Bad Monkey Recordings label. With appearances from Mindy Abair, Andre Berry, Rick Braun, Euge Groove, Wendy Moten, Bob Sheppard, Wayman Tisdale and co-producer Jon Gilutin, it was a stellar first outing and was well received.
Now with the release of his latest “The Return Of Randy Dynamite”. Randy looks to move forward in the instrumental music arena. “I have always done instrumental music as part of the Boneshakers tapestry and this move seemed a natural progression. On the my last project it was about making a jazz/funk CD. With this offering I wanted to go back to a time when I was more about playing and less about genres”. A conversation with a friend from his early days as a teenager in Detroit gave Randy the creative germ he needed. “He asked me why I didn’t play some of the songs I wrote in high school and I hadn’t thought about those songs for years but after reviewing them I chose five to start from and wrote six new ones. Jacobs decided to record live in the studio and chose Gregg Bissonette on drums (David Lee Roth, Toto, Steve Vai), former band mate Jervonni Collier on bass ( Bruce Hornsby, Brecker Bros, Herbie Hancock, Was (Not Was), Jon Gilutin on keys (Linda Ronstadt, Joe Walsh, Rick James, Flora Purim and Airto Moreira), and percussionist Lenny Castro (Boz Scaggs, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Rolling Stones, Quincy Jones) for the recording band. Trumpeter Rick Braun, harp man Teddy Zig Zag, sax men Paul Shilt’s Weimar, Jimmy Roberts, and Bill Bergman and also joined the party.
Jacobs’ hard-driving, always-in-the-pocket talent has been sought out by such diverse artists as singer Robbie Williams, Ofra Haza, Mindi Abair, producer Trevor Horn, Australian singer/songwriter Paul Kelly, rappers Coolio, Warren G and Dr. Dre, pop star Elton John, punk rocker Iggy Pop, Brook Benton, Alicia Myers, English ska band General Public, European-Arabic superstar Khaled, Steve Cropper of Booker T and the MG’s, Depeche Mode, Ivan Neville, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Ringo Starr, Kris Kristofferson, Michael McDonald, Paula Abdul, Jewel, Brian Simpson, gospel singer Fred Hammond, producer/guitarist Stephen Bruton, Billy Preston, Ringo Starr, Seal, Tears for Fears, Rachid Taha, Bruce Hornsby, the B-52s, Apollo 4 Forty, Republica, jazz flutist Alexander Zonjic, producer/mixer Ben Grosse, jazz singer Diane Schurr, singer Wendy Moten, Brian Culbertson, producer Don Was, French singer Faudel, blues singer Delbert McClinton, saxman Dave Koz, singer/songwiter Joe Henry, Lisa Stansfield, producers The Matrix, smooth jazz saxophonist Warren Hill, jazz trumpeter Rick Braun, guitarist Earl Klugh, blues singer Marcia Ball, rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson, Euge Groove, Willie Nelson, 98 degrees lead singer Nick Lachey, Hillary Duff, St Leonards and many more.