Life is Live

Jake La Botz by Celeste E Hall

Jake La Botz by Celeste E Hall

i went to a blues concert last night by Jake La Botz, a man who partied his demons to death and came out the other side with a sacred clarity that is so scarred it’s poetic.

While the show was superb, the thing i didn’t like about it were the drunks. The gig was in a cafe here in Yeaman and most of the patrons were either too young to know the blues or too drunk to feel them.

Then, in a moment of clarity, i realized that this is Live Music. It also explains why i prefer to sit at home and listen to studio recordings through my headphones; still, in a live concert the noise and the talking and the mistakes are all part of the music. That’s when i understood that Life is “Live”. That even if i want Life to be a pure and flawless studio recording filtered through the bubble of my headphones, Real Life is full of noise and mistakes and surprises. And all of it is part of the music.

Here’s Jake La Botz singing an apt song for this blog, “Lay Down The Bottle”.

Also, i interviewed him for the Bar None, so be looking for that soon.

PS Thanks are owed my wife, Celeste E Hall, for her permission to use her great photo!

About Al K Hall

Like a battered drinker or a punch drunk boxer, i am here for another round. For those of you who don’t know me, i’m a semi-professional writer on the rocks and a non-practicing alcoholic (if after 30 years of practicing, you still can't do something well, it's best to just give it up). For those of you who do know me, thanks for stopping by anyway and where’s the ten bucks you owe me? Welcome to my Bar None. A hole in the wall where we can hang out and trade the kind of stories you swap only when you’ve had one too many and either can’t find your way home or are afraid to. Hell, it’s cheaper than therapy and plus the pictures are prettier. Here we’ll crack open bottles and jokes and ‘last call’ are the only dirty words you’ll never hear. Pull up a stool and make yourselves at home.

Posted on June 11, 2012, in Alcoholism, Lessons in Recovery, Recovery, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. jumpingpolarbear

    Sometimes I hate hearing the live version of a song, and other times I love the raw atmosphere, with the mistakes, improvisations and background noise!

    • Polar Bear!

      It’s a different experience to be sure, and there are some live versions i prefer more than studio versions, but those are definitely the exceptions.

      Keep coming back, Brother Bear,

      AL K Hall

  2. I generally don’t like live music. I’ve been to a few concerts of my fave music groups and of course it was cool to be at a live event but most of the time I didn’t like the live performances/music.

    I love what you said here:

    Life is “Live”. That even if i want Life to be a pure and flawless studio recording filtered through the bubble of my headphones, Real Life is full of noise and mistakes and surprises. And all of it is part of the music.

    That so hit home with me! Now that I’m sober I want everything to be ‘perfect’ and flawless…hahaha considering I have a whole crap load of messes and mistakes and all sorts of junk to clean up now! And you know how boring would life be if we didn’t have surprises or mistakes to learn from? Thanks for the much needed reminder that life is “live” and that’s the way it should be!

    • Hi Ginger!

      i went to tons of concerts when i was in college and i was drunk for most of them. Seeing concerts sober is a relatively new thing for me, as i go into in this post: Live!

      But when i realized that life is like live music, it was really like a mini revelation for me. Now if i get annoyed at the details of life (and like many alcoholics, i’m a control freak), i try to remember to tell myself,

      Life is Live and it’s all part of the song.

      Keep coming back, my friend!

      Al K Hall

  3. Yea. I know exactly what you mean. HOW PROFOUND of me. But i love listening to my tunes through my lovely apple and bose products … all the voices are perfection … the singers don’t miss notes … and yea, i’d say, all the drunks are cut out.

    Unfortunately, the noise is pretty intense sometimes, but it makes the peace and joy OH SO delightful. It’s good to get out and join the “fray” yea … then kick back with Mrs. D (aka, the photo lady).

    • Thanks for the visit and the comment, Mel!

      i agree, i still listen to mp3s on my smart phone through the headphones or on the ‘puter with the speakers in my face, but it’s improtant for me to remember real life isn’t so controlled, unfortunately!

      Keep coming back, Melis,

      Al K Hall

  4. Reblogged this on Todd's Perspective and commented:
    Well, I appreciate good blues even if the people in ‘Yeaman’ don’t. Thanks for sharing…

  5. Thanks for introducing me to Jake. I’ve just gone to his website and listened to his music. Fantastic. Thank you. I really love listening to both recorded and live shows. Different, but both valuable. Although I haven’t been to blues show without a beer. Yet. Is Jake sober?

    • Dudette!

      Isn’t he the greatest!? i couldn’t believe my luck when i “discovered” him and saw he was coming to Yeaman. If you have Spotify, you should check out his albums there…unbelievably cool!

      Funny thing, as i began the interview, i explained to him the concept of the Bar None and the tongue in cheek style but i told him up front i was in AA. He asked me for how long and i told him 17 months, and that was it. But then, when i asked him what his favorite alcoholic drink was (as part of the Bar None Questionnaire) he told me he hadn’t had a drink in 19 years. So, to answer your question, yes, he’s sober!

      Keep coming back, my friend!

      Al K Hall

  6. working on it

    Just when I think I’ve seen your best, you post again. It doesn’t surprise me that he is from Chicago as that is where many great blues come from. I’m always the inverse. I love live performances. It gives me a chance to compare the style to the substance (no pun). I lose a little respect for the artist if the live is way off base from the recording. They don’t have to be spot on but they shouldnt make you ask if it is the same group. I don’t mind imperfection. My eating disorder clearly taught me that there is no such thing. I just need to brush up on that lesson in the current state. Can’t wait for your interview at the bar none. Thanks again!!

    • working on it

      Part of my point is that when I sing, dogs start baying in concerto, but set me up with the right equipment, it may not sound bad. Id hate to become the next best thing that way yet it happens all the time…

    • Working on it!

      Thanks for the compliment; i’m always pleasantly surprised when something i need to get off my chest resonates with someone.

      Jake credits Chicago with giving him his Blues talent for sure. His autobiographical song “Hungry Again (Put Me In A Hole)” (you can find it on Spotify) goes:
      Discovered magic in a brown paper bag

      Passed around on Maxwell Street
      Trash can fire, honey
      I learned to sing just to keep from dying
      And I’m hungry again

      Hopefully i’ll post the interview next week sometime! i’m glad you’re OK with imperfection, you came to the right place!

      Keep coming back, my friend,

      Al K Hall

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