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Finally Friday with Jake La Botz and Joe Pug

Finally Friday with Jake La Botz and Joe Pug
Finally Friday with Jake La Botz and Joe Pug

Jake La Botz's forthcoming new album, Hair On Fire, out September 9th, is sure to cement his reputation as one of the most compelling songwriters of his generation. It's a gritty, soulful record that captures the restless spirit of America in all its beauty and complexity.

As to where the title of the album comes from, La Botz, who is also a meditation teacher, explains, “There’s a saying in Buddhism 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."

At the end of August, La Botz will embark on his Tattoo Across America Tour, where he’ll play mostly local tattoo shops across the country, along with a few traditional venues and some other unusual places including a homeless shelter in Boise, a “Blues, Tattoos & Recovery” seminar in Indianapolis, and the Outsiders House Museum in Tulsa, which the executive director for, and rapper, Danny Boy O'Connor (House of Pain/La Coka Nostra) personally asked La Botz to play.

Check out La Botz as he performs "First McDonell's on the Moon," "Hope the Sunshine," "The Bankrobber's Lament," and "Tiny" from his forthcoming record.

You might know Chicago-based folk musician Joe Pug from his extremely popular podcast The Working Songwriter, but, as in most cases, it takes one to know one. Pug is a noted songwriter in his own right, releasing a handful of critically acclaimed albums since 2008 and landing his musical mentor, Steve Earle, as a tourmate back in 2009. Folks often throw around names like John Prine and Bob Dylan when describing his work, while he cites artists like John Hiatt, Warren Zevon, and Beck as musical influences.

If any of those names made your ears perk up a bit, you might want to check out his latest release, Nation of Heat | Revisited, which is a reworking of his solo, acoustic album, Nation of Heat, in which he follows in Bob Dylan's footsteps and goes electric. For the new recording, he brought in a full backing band which included contributions from The Killers’ Brandon Flowers, My Morning Jacket guitarist Carl Broemel, Jason Isbell, and The 400 Unit keyboardist Derry de Borja and singer/songwriter Courtney Hartman. As an added bonus: Steve Earle wrote the liner notes.

Check out Joe Pug performing "I Do My Father's Drugs," "Hymn #35," "The Flood in Color," and "After Curfew" for WMOT's Finally Friday From Home.

Rachel Hurley is the Content Manager for WMOT, managing their website content and social media feeds. She currently travels and lives in an RV with her two dogs. She calls home any place she can plug into shore power.
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  • Why does this week’s Finally Friday lineup feel like a film noir? I can see it now: Joe Pug’s a former prizefighter who turned to crime when his career tanked. Jake La Botz is a hard-bitten detective with secrets of his own who’s hot on his trail. But seriously, you won’t need extra drama with these guys on stage, virtually, for our weekly showcase.