Jake La Botz – They’re Coming For Me
Eight records into his lengthy and varied career Jake La Botz is back with ‘They’re Coming For Me’. A renowned story teller with a history based in the theatres and libraries of his native Chicago, La Botz developed a keen understanding of the power of words and quickly learned to combine them with some of his favourite genres of music. Finding tutelage and inspiration under blues players Honeyboy Edwards and Maxwell Street Jimmy Davis, the young La Botz began a career that ranged from busking in subways to playing in bars and theatres eventually leading to television and movie roles.
His film and theatre experience is evident in the dark introspective title track ‘They’re Coming For Me’, in which La Botz spins the listener a paranoid tale of fear and instant death that conjures up imagery of old black and white gangster movies in which the main protagonist lives in fear of his life. The funk heavy ‘Hey Bigfoot’ uses one of the biggest icons of 1970s culture to take a cynical and amusing swipe at celebrity culture, immigration, environmental and employment laws. In ‘The Bank Robber’s Lament’ La Botz creates a conflicted character who’s torn between his beliefs and his chosen profession.
‘Without the Weight’ is one of the more personal songs in the collection. It’s a nostalgia-tinged tale reflecting the carefree days of La Botz’s friendships from his youth that sounds like it might have come straight from the Springsteen songbook. Here it is delivered with a sincerity that The Boss might struggle to find these days. Switching to country-rock, La Botz uses ‘Nashville, Nashville’ as a wry commentary on the less than creative side of the music scene in Nashville, while ‘This Comb’ delivers a sardonic swipe at the evils of commercialism and marketing in today’s world.
Drawing from his influences within blues and country, ‘They’re Coming For Me’ is a work that features vivid fictional characters and situations that takes the listener on an observational and often satirical journey through the mind of La Botz as he delves deep into his creative consciousness to construct characters and situations that captivate and amuse the listener through his inventive use words and music. As 2019 draws to a close, many reviewers will be thinking about their “best of” lists. ‘They’re Coming For Me’ deserves to be on many.
‘They’re Coming For Me’ is released on October 18th on Hi-Style Records.