If you've passed by Inked's offices in the past few weeks then you have heard Jake La Botz because we have been cranking his new album Sunnyside on repeat. If American Traditional tattoos had an official anthem it would be growled by La Botz; the blues man puts together songs that will make your sailor tattoos dance off your skin.
Google tells us that "La Botz was reportedly conceived while his parents were listening to an album by Texas bluesman Mance Lipscomb," and we love that so much that we don't want to verify if it is true or not. Between then and now he's been a drifter, busker, actor, punk and now the man who's delivered one of our favorite albums of the year. And that shouldn't be too far a reach, La Botz knows how to work our crowd, he's gone on eight annual tours of tattoo shops. “It started out of necessity,” La Botz explains. “I was drawn to tattoo parlors because of an artistic camaraderie. Tattoo artists, like musicians, are itinerant people... maybe because they can be.” Along with stories of playing to some interesting rooms La Botz has a nice little tattoo collection.
Sunnyside is “a culmination of a lot of lived experience," La Botz says, "much of it very heavy. Still, I think there is a playfulness and even lightheartedness about much it— like reading a eulogy about a ne’er-do-well friend to a group who share in mutual fondness, sadness, and even delight as they recall the character defects of their deceased pal. For me this album marches through the streets like a New Orleans funeral procession—full of groove and joy in the richness of life and remembering all that has passed on.”