Jake La Botz tours Europe with "Hair On Fire" this May and June25-01-2023
Born and raised in Chicago, Jake La Botz spent his early days studying under the last of the city’s pre-war era bluesmen. He began releasing his own albums in 2000 and would go on to spend the next two decades amassing a litany of critical acclaim as he worked his way up from playing street corners and tattoo parlors to sharing bills with luminaries like Ray Charles, Etta James, Dr. John, and Mavis Staples.
When he’s not on the road, La Botz can be often be found onscreen (he’s appeared in everything from True Detective to Rambo and even starred in the stage musical Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, written by Stephen King and John Mellencamp) or teaching meditation in prisons, Buddhist Centers, and living rooms around the country.
“There’s a saying in Buddhism,” La Botz, “that one should practice as if their hair is on fire, which means there should be an urgency towards using the tools of meditation to open up and see what is. The message is: life is short and, if you want to wake up and discover what it’s about, now is the time.”
Jake La Botz was teaching meditation in a northwest Georgia prison when something unexpected caught his ear. He wasn’t sure at first, but he could swear it sounded like a band was playing in the room next door. And not just any band, for that matter, but a genuine, bonafide, soul-shaking gospel band. “I remember getting really excited because I could feel both of my worlds coming together in that moment,” La Botz recalls. “The two sides of my life converged into this one, beautiful experience, and it just stopped me in my tracks.”
La Botz didn’t realize it at the time, but that marriage of music and meditation would go on to form the bedrock of his captivating new album, Hair On Fire. Recorded with an all-star band of players including engineer/drummer Alex Hall (JD McPherson, Neko Case), bassist Beau Sample (Pokey LaFarge, Cactus Blossoms), and NRBQ guitarist Scott Ligon, the collection balances the wisdom and patience of La Botz’s decades of Buddhist training with the grit and vigor of his Chicago upbringing to create a sound that’s at once unabashedly vintage and decidedly present.
Jake La Botz will tour across Europe this May and June:
04/02: Torremolinos, ESP - Rockin' Race
25/05: Kleinstaasdorf, AT - Mojo Music Club
26/05: Kempten, DE - 13th Floor Kulturetage
27/05: Zurich, CH - El Lokal
28/05: Walldorf, DE - Rock’n’roll Weekender
29/05: Hildesheim, DE -Jazztime Festival Bischofmühle
30/05: Hamburg, DE - Stellwerk
01/06: Dortmund, DE - Subrosa
02/06: Zaandam, NL - Flux
03/06: Oud-Turnhout, BE - Goezot in 't Hofke
03/06: Cologne, DE - Blue Shell
05/06: Eindhoven, NL - Muziekgebouw Frits Philips
07/06: Apeldoorn, NL - Gigant
08/06: Paris, FR - No.Pi
09/06: Lessines, BE - CC René Magritte
10/06: Strasbourg, FR - Le Bateau du Rhin