DRIFTER, ACTOR, BUSKER, FORMER PUNK, DEEP WELLED AMERICANA ARTIST JAKE LA BOTZ READIES FIRST ALBUM IN FOUR YEARS
PRODUCER JIMMY SUTTON (POKEY LAFARGE, JD MCPHERSON) HELMED NEW ALBUM 'SUNNYSIDE', OUT MAY 12 ON HI-STYLE RECORDS
FROM TATTOO TOURS TO ‘TRUE DETECTIVE’ PART, NASHVILLE-VIA-LA-FROM-CHICAGO ARTIST MELDS COLORFUL LIFETIME INTO GRITTY, GROOVING EARLY ROCK 'N ROLL GOLD
"From the first time I heard him playing guitar and singing his songs in a smoky bar on La Brea and Sunset, I became a devoted fan of Jake La Botz. Effortlessly blending authentic blues, rock, country, and gospel, he's created a sound and style that is original and yet instantly familiar. Soulful, personal, painfully funny and sad, he's a true American classic, a gift, and a musical resource that is a joy to be discovered time and time again.” - Steve Buscemi
Cats have nine lives, they say. If that’s true, Jake La Botz must be a cat. A teenage punk, a juvenile delinquent, an actor ( including a part in the classic ‘Ghost World’), a drifter, an apprentice to blues elders growing up in Chicago, self-educated reader, an addict in Los Angeles, a musician in a gospel church, a Buddhist, a meditation teacher, a songwriter touring a circuit of tattoo parlors nationwide. Now, he’s taken all of those experiences and synthesized them with producer Jimmy Sutton (Pokey LaFarge, JD McPherson) for ‘Sunnyside,’ coming May 12 on Hi-Style Records. It’s his first album in four years and finds the new Nashville transplant recounting his past and present atop an irresistible, driving groove. Jimmy Sutton recorded La Botz in his original hometown of Chicago at an all-analog studio, teasing dynamite performances out of the heavily tattoo’d artist.
A master storyteller from time spent at the feet of his grandfather and other elders, La Botz infuses his songs with gritty, deeply imagined characters. The album runs along an axis of spirituality on one side and materialism on the other, with La Botz spinning metaphors and subtle dual meanings throughout. Stories include the absurdity of filling one's life with"positivity" (the title track), a portrait of a decrepit hotel with addicts seeking fixes (“The Hotel [Fix Me Now]”), a prisoner searching for a way out (“The Trees in Cali”), a mystical hobo’s description of freedom (“Hobo On a Passenger Train”), a street musician trading art for spare change in the subway (“For Nickels & Dimes”), and the carefree feeling that comes with the arrival of summer (“Feel No Pain”). La Botz has opened for greats like Ray Charles, Dr. John, Mavis Staples, JD McPherson, Etta James, The Blasters, and Tony Joe White.
Let some of his peers and media tell it:
"Jake La Botz is a creator of dark poetry and haunting song, the kind of music that gets in your bones and rides you for days, a sound and vision only those who've been to the bottom and clawed their way back up can generate. Not everybody will get this music - because not everybody is ready for the truth." -Jerry Stahl (author of Permanent Midnight)
“Music from a deep well, a blues with country, folk and sharply observed lyrics... as affecting as a shot of overproof rum on a hot day." -Tattoo Magazine
LA Weekly said, “Jake La Botz came up the right-proper, fucking hard way: a teen renegade on the streets of Chicago, dabbling in a mixture of antisocial activities (from car theft to jabbing up his own rudimentary tattoos) and exploring the rich, deep blues tradition as a street singer (with Chi-town legend Maxwell Street Jimmy Davis) and beside Delta-blues originator “Honeyboy” Edwards. That lovely, lurid background forged a musical power that… demonstrates not only an innate mastery of the blues, but also displays what he calls a ‘condensed rock & roll mythology.’