Jake La Botz tours Europe with new album "They're Coming For Me"03-01-2020
As a hard-luck kid wandering the streets of Chicago, young Jake La Botz chased the magic he found in stories. He volunteered in theatres as a boy to get closer to the stage, he haunted Chicago libraries picking up books and records, and he busked in the subway, learning from elder blues legends like Honeyboy Edwards and Maxwell Street Jimmy Davis who took him under their wing. All of this set him up for a life of storytelling, in streets, subways, juke joints, and eventually on the big screen and stages around the world. A noted film and stage actor, La Botz approaches music with an ear for the unusual, a knack for speaking for the fragile characters and half-mad sages he encounters on his own travels.
His new album, They’re Coming For Me (out on Hi-Style Records/Free Dirt Records), is a collection of tall tales and strange stories ranging in subject from a magic comb that can save the world, to a bank robber who moans gospel hymns, and a confessional from Bigfoot himself. The eclectic subject matter reflects La Botz’s own wide-ranging interests and unconventional career arc. He’s experienced the highest highs and lowest lows of life, and his own story is so unbelievable that it’s currently being adapted by La Botz and actor/writer Ian Barford as a stage musical for Steppenwolf Theatre. Some of these highs and lows saw La Botz racing across the Midwest in stolen cars, finding refuge in the early 80s punk scene, touring tattoo parlors for years because his music doesn’t fit in noisy bars, playing guitar in an all-Black church in LA, educating himself in public libraries, acting in Hollywood movies, and, most importantly, kicking a years-long drug addiction.
Jake La Botz is living in Nashville now, writing music and finding a place to rest from the road. He’s a man that exudes calm in the heart of a hurricane, but this calm is hard won. He turned to meditation after kicking heroin 20 years ago, and teaches meditation now at home and in prisons, trying to give a little back. Experience is the key word here. It’s what he was chasing as a kid on the road, it’s what he’s looking for now, and it infuses every part of his new album. To record They’re Coming For Me, La Botz returned to Chicago with his old friend Jimmy Sutton, of Hi-Style Records and JD McPherson’s band. At Jimmy’s studios in Chicago, the two worked to meld Sutton’s background in the vintage sounds of American roots music with La Botz’s natural inclinations toward country blues, gospel, 60s pop, and 70s rock-n-roll. The result is an album that seems torn between the sacred and the profane, high art and low art, the dichotomy at the heart of all American music.
In March Jake La Botz and his band will bring the album to Europe, on these dates:
06/03: Lessines, BE - CC Rene Magritte
07/03: Ris Orangis, FR - Le Plan
11/03: Recklinghausen, DE - Creative Outlaws
13/03: Bremen, DE - Lila Eule
15/03: Hoogeveen, NL - Het Podium
17/03: Nantes, FR - La Scène Michelet
18/03: Liérganes, ESP - Los Picos
19/03: Valladolid, ESP - Sala Portacaeli
20/03: Lugo, ESP - Club Clavicémbalo
21/03: Madrid, ESP - Funhouse Club
22/03: Valencia, ESP - 16 Toneladas
25/03: Basel, CH - Atlantis
26/03: Schwäbisch Gmünd, DE - KKF