Jake La Botz

Currently, Jake has just returned from a European tour with Pokey La Farge, and just aired his episode of Steve Buscemi’s new mini-show “Park Bench”, in which they reminisced about their time shooting the film “Animal Factory” (see the full episode here.)


Jake La Botz (born November 23, 1968) is an American blues singer-songwriter and actor from Chicago, Illinois, United States. He is the son of prominent Ohio socialist activist Dan La Botz, who ran for Senate in 2010.

La Botz dropped out of high school in his early teens. He later attended Shimer College, a small Great Books school then located in Waukegan, Illinois. After leaving Shimer, La Botz learned to play the blues from the last of the prewar bluesmen living in Chicago in the late 1980s and early 1990s: David "Honeyboy" Edwards, Homesick James, and Maxwell Street Jimmy Davis. Since 2006, he has been known for his Tattoo Across America Tour, in which he performs at tattoo parlors across the country.

La Botz began acting after catching the attention of actor, director, and independent filmmaker Steve Buscemi, who cast La Botz as a blues-singing convict in his 2000 film Animal Factory. La Botz performed two original songs in the film, "This Ain't the Way I Came Up" and "Lay Down the Bottle," both featured on his album Original Soundtrack to My Nightmare. In the next few years, La Botz appeared in Terry Zwigoff's arthouse film Ghost World, starring Buscemi along with Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson, as well as Buscemi's Lonesome Jim, featuring Casey Affleck and Liv Tyler. In 2008, La Botz starred in Sylvester Stallone's Rambo, in which he performed two songs from his album Graveyard Jones, "The Wishing Well" and "Tiny."

In 2012, La Botz's songs "Something On My Mind" and "Hard to Love What You Kill" are featured in Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, written and directed by Tamar Halpern. He also appeared in Walter Salles's film adaptation of Jack Kerouac's On the Road, in which he performs "Hard to Love What You Kill," and Timur Bekmambetov's Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

In the spring of 2012, La Botz starred in the stage musical Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, written by Stephen King and John Mellencamp with musical direction by T-Bone Burnett, which premiered at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta, Georgia, in the beginning of April 2012.

Visit the Official Jake La Botz Website