Americana’s Jake La Botz has one of those deep, whiskey-soaked voices that emerge from time spent on the margins of society. As a youth, he rolled some punk kids, stealing cars, and getting into mischief. “The punk rock community was my refuge. If you had a weird haircut and a leather jacket, you fit in there,” says La Botz. Then, he dropped out of school, did odd jobs, and befriended some key Chicago blues artists at the Maxwell Street Market who ended up teaching La Botz a bunch of their guitar tricks. La Botz’s life could easily be a novel and don’t be surprised if he writes it up as a memoir. His life is a very literary affair that you can read more about here.
These days the Chicago-born musician calls Nashville home, and he’s made a name for himself on the Americana scene with his eclectic brand of roots music. La Botz recently released his latest album Sunnyside via HiStyle Records and today we’re premiering a slinky blues number “Hobo on a Passenger Train”, which sounds like the title of a Jimmie Rodgers song, but the sound reminds more of Alabama 3’s “Mansion on the Hill”. “A mystical hobo’s description of freedom. For him, a passenger train is a prison. He points the way out for youngsters who want to experience life beyond conventional boundaries,” says La Botz.
La Botz’s guitar playing is always superb as his style is clean and minimalist, never over showy, just in full support of the melody and voice. That voice. La Botz’s lived-in vocals are knowing and full of experience and will appeal to anyone who is a fan of Tom Waits.
// Notes from the Road
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