Singer/songwriter Jake La Botz plays roots-drenched music that reflects his time performing in streets, bars, churches, and even tattoo parlors. You can also hear the various places La Botz has lived in his music — including his time in New Orleans, the Mississippi Delta, and his native Chicago where, as a young man, he found kinship with some of the last of the pre-war era bluesmen: David “Honeyboy” Edwards, “Homesick” James, and “Maxwell Street” Jimmy Davis. In 2017 Jake released his studio album Sunnyside on Hi-Style Records to critical acclaim. Produced by Jimmy Sutton, the album won two Independent Music Awards. Jake has toured extensively in the U.S. and Europe and has shared the stage with Ray Charles, Etta James, Dr. John, Mavis Staples, JD McPherson, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells, Tony Joe White, Low Cut Connie and a host of other greats.
“I wanted to be an actor when I was a kid so I bought a second-hand suit at Salvation Army and volunteered as a theatre usher to see stage plays for free,” La Botz recalls. “I wanted to be near the action, and the magic, the mythology and the storytelling, that creativity. Later in life I crashed a movie premiere (which is something everyone in LA ought to do at some point), and there I met Steve Buscemi; I invited him to a gig, and he actually came out! Such a cool dude.” Buscemi began to frequent La Botz’ shows, and the two struck up a friendship; before long, Buscemi was set to direct a film (Animal Factory), and wrote in a role for La Botz. From there, La Botz went on to act in a number of other films including Rambo, On the Road, and The Grace of Jake. He also starred in the stage musical Ghost Brothers of Darkland County written by Stephen King and John Mellencamp.