Erwin Lake, CA – May 19, 2013 – Songwriter, actor, raconteur Jake La Botz will present a Performance Workshop for students at Chautauqua High School on Monday, May 20, bringing a sample of strikingly original, acoustic folk blues to Big Bear Lake. The Open Sky Music Foundation, Inc. is presenting the event at no cost to the high school, with generous support from Open Air Big Bear and Northwoods Resort.
La Botz’s back-story dramatically inspires his performances. After dropping out of school at 15, the teenager hit the road, frequenting punk rock shows, hobo camps and libraries. He found employment as a roofer, boilermaker, graphite factory worker and obituary writer. In the midst of this he learned how to play guitar. He played on the streets and in the juke joints of New Orleans, Chicago and the Mississippi Delta, finding kinship with some of the last of the pre-war era bluesmen, David “Honeyboy” Edwards, “Homesick” James, and “Maxwell Street” Jimmy Davis. The wealth of experience he acquired during that time still provides a deep well of tales from which to draw.
La Botz also leads a successful acting career, having worked in several motion pictures, often performing his own original material. Some of those projects include; “Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter,” “On The Road,” based on the Jack Kerouac novel, “Rambo,” directed by Sylvester Stallone and two films directed by Steve Buscemi, “Lonesome Jim” and “Animal Factory.” Most recently he was part of the original cast in the opening of “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County,” at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta. He played the character “The Shape” in this new stage production written by Stephen King and John Mellencamp with musical direction by T-Bone Burnett.
As a recording artist, La Botz has released six solo CDs, each filled with his own evocative storytelling style. He has toured extensively in the U.S. and Europe and has opened for Dr. John, Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal, Tony Joe White, John Hammond and a host of other greats. Screenwriter Jerry Stahl describes his music, “Jake La Botz is a creator of dark poetry and haunting song, the kind of music that gets in your bones and rides you for days, a sound and vision only those who’ve been to the bottom and clawed their way back up can generate. His midnight gifts evoke Hank Williams and Skip James as much as Tom Waits and Dylan. Not everybody will get this music because not everybody is ready for the truth.”
The Performance Workshop will allow the students to experience their own private Jake La Botz concert and learn about his personal journey.