Jake La Botz




PopMatters says Sunnyside is "ONE OF THE YEAR'S BEST AMERICANA ALBUMS"

David Dye of WORLD CAFE says "LOVE THIS NEW ALBUM". full interview/performance here

"Midnight Songster Strikes Gold" full article at No Depression

"Bluesman Jake La Botz taps into vintage roots" full WNYC podcast 

"Blues man 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, as heard on his current CD, Graveyard Jones, demonstrates not only an innate mastery of the blues, but also displays what he calls a “condensed rock & roll mythology.” - L.A. Weekly

"sadder than hell balladry, razor sharp testifying, storied takes on loneliness, beatnik-on-the-Mexican-border music, coffeehouse chic. This is 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 Botz avoids the mainstream like a Dracula avoids the dawn..." -Macon Telegraph

"La Botz is skilled at crafting talking-blues numbers that are pure poetry. His storytelling roots lie deep in the Delta and Piedmont, and his material is at once timeless and totally fresh." -Chicago Sun Times

"The songs pierce and scrape at the listener’s skin like the needle of a tattoo gun, his harsh, grainy rasp—not unlike Tom Waits’—spewing forth blunt, morbid narratives about threadbare lives and the nearness of the grave." -Nashville Scene 

"Dont miss alert: Blues veteran Jake La Botz, an L.A. denizen via Chicago and a musical descendant of Son House, Tom Waits, Skip James, and Honeyboy Edwards, returns with 'Graveyard Jones' (Charnel Ground 108). La Botz...is one of today's darkest and most original writers. 'Jones', like several of his previous efforts, is a sonic roller-coaster ride; he spans country blues, Rolling Stones grooves ('Grandma's Photographs'), and off-kilter Waits sounds ('Graveyard Jones'), elsewhere doing his own thing ('Something On My Mind'). La Botz's superb dry vocals and expert fingerpicking anchor the band on idiosynchratic, compelling compositions." -Blues Revue Magazine 

 "La Botz's music may be on the fringes, but that is only because the mainstream is so out of touch with art born from American roots. His tunes are plain and homespun, and often darkly humorous. Bob Dylan is an obvious influence; so too are Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Tom Waits and a legion of bluesmen. On record, his vocals are weather-beaten and gravelly, in sharp contrast to his gentle speaking voice." -L.A. Times 


Reviews from Ghost Brothers of Darkland County


The Shape (Jake La Botz) lives in a shadow world somewhere between a “True Blood” vampire king and the MC in “Cabaret.” ...he is slithering, salacious, manipulative, delightful. ...the Shape struts off like some diabolic cowboy. - LOS ANGELES TIMES

His melodramatic yarn opens with a creepy, tattooed singer named the Shape ascending out of a trap door. A redneck version of the M.C. from “Cabaret,” played with oily glee by Jake La Botz, he presents himself as our conscience’s evil alter ego. About church he says: “I get bad reviews there. Always have. True artists usually do.” The musical comes alive in Mr. La Botz’s every bravura entrance. But his stage time is too brief. - NEW YORK TIMES

...it's hard to see this show and not think the one member who stole the entire performance was Jake La Botz (The Shape).  In fact, if this show went to Broadway, almost any member of this cast could be replaced except for Jake's portrayal of The Shape.  It was truly a role he was born to play.  Jake's character, The Shape, is basically the Devil.  He is so charismatically charming - one can see the danger in finding him so likable.  - ATLANTA COMMUNITY EXAMINER

Now, let me play the devil's advocate for a minute: Jake La Botz was creepy and funny and devilishly good as "The Shape," the smartass, Vegas-by-way-of-Deliverance apparition who slinked around every corner of the set waiting for a character to screw up. His comic relief was so dead-on, it wouldn't surprise me if Ghost Brothers gets re-tooled into a musical revue called "The Shape Shack" (now there's an idea those finicky New York audiences could sink their teeth into). - HUFFINGTON POST

The Shape (Jake La Botz) continually undermines the good intentions of the living. A tattooed, gap-toothed, swaggering rock 'n' roller who could be Satan himself, The Shape preens through the opening numbers of both acts with deliciously hateful songs about leading humanity astray. Readers of King will notice similarities between The Shape and Randall Flagg, a demonic recurring figure with a vicious sense of humor and fondness for "the devil's music."  - ATLANTA CREATIVE LOAFING

An outer demon takes the form of a tattooed punk-rock narrator of sorts called The Shape (an unforgettable Jake La Botz), who lurks throughout the story, not simply a detached observer of events but often subliminally guiding the characters and their actions from the beyond. - ATLANTA CONSTITUTION JOURNAL