Steamboat Springs Although he wasn't born in the bayou of Louisiana, he may as well have been. Rockin' Jake has swamp blood flowing through his veins.
"There's nothing like New Orleans. I've been to so many wonderful places and I couldn't believe it everything (there) suits me so well," Jake said.
He doesn't have much to hide, except his real name, but it's nothing you couldn't get out him after a few or five beers, he said.
He simply is Rockin' Jake with a band that has experienced a lot of turnaround in the past decade.
When passion for music and Louisiana hot sauce runs through his swampy veins, he'll do the best he can to live and breathe the soulful music and food that creates such a lively culture in the land below sea level.
New England, Jake's original stomping grounds, doesn't give him much to talk about, but living in New Orleans gets his fiery blood pumping.
"I was ready for a major change in life," Jake said. "There's a lot more freedom in New Orleans. It's OK to be a musician in New Orleans."
His almost 12-year residence there has shown Jake that other cities with stricter laws always will land him back in cajun country.
He's been through a few band names, but the funk, soul, zydeco and rock of the swamp land has continued to progress.
"I used to book gigs, then hired the musicians," Jake said.
Jake is satisfied with his current lineup of Kevin Aucoin on drums, Randy Ellis on guitar and Rene Richard on bass.
The Rockin' Jake Band will present jazz without a saxophone and zydeco without a washboard and it's all with unique style of a harmonica.
Although Jake was enamored with the harmonica at an early age, picking it up to play was a catastrophe. Jake has no problem admitting his handle on the harmonica still is evolving.
"I'm still developing my own musical style. I don't like to have total definition," Jake said.
And New Orleans helps Jake's evolving sound and style. Meeting loads of musicians in New Orleans and being exposed to new sounds has matured this harmonica player into a man with sophistication for music.
As a part of his "It's All Good" Tour, the Rockin' Jake Band's three-month summer travels have landed them in a van with a trailer driving from coast to coast and wishing for more sleep.
Southern California to Telluride was a tough 28-hour trek and the band is uncomfortably familiar with all the Burger Kings, Taco Bells and Wendy's in the country.
But, hey, that's the road and it's well worth it to the band when new people float in and out of their lives for a reason.
"The best thing about the road is meeting so many awesome people," Jake said. "It's a wonderful learning experience. Even the bad experiences, in retrospect, are good."
Jake said he remembers playing at BW3's, now the Tap House, about five years ago in Steamboat Springs when the International Hell's Angels Convention took place in town.
"This guy wanted to come play with my harmonica on stage," Jake recalled.
Although he wasn't about to hand over one of his harmonica's, Jake said he would sell him a harmonica.
"Later, he got really drunk and came up on stage anyway," Jake said.