The Bootstrap Boys are a four-piece country band who have developed a fresh take on the classic country sound. Their original songs might bring to mind the likes of Waylon Jennings, George Jones, or Johnny Cash. More than once The Boys have been compared to contemporary country acts such as Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapelton and other artists who have embraced the return of the country sound of the past.
Based in Grand Rapids, MI, The Bootstrap Boys have developed a unique sound that is less influenced by the contemporary “Nashville” stylings, instead their original tunes take their cues from that particular mix of country and gospel found in the small churches of rural Michigan, spiced with the redneck flavor of the small town honky tonks of the Midwest. While tunes about whiskey shots and getting stoned have landed The Boys with the brand “outlaw”, there’s more to their music to be found. There’s no shortage of thoughtful, well-crafted lyrics written by lead singer, Big Jake Bootstrap.
Big Jake started with the simple idea of getting back to his roots and making a country album after several rock & roll and singer/songwriter style projects in the late ‘90s through 2015, when he approached some old friends about forming a band around the project and in 2015 The Bootstrap Boys were born. The Bootstrap Boys are: Big Jake Bootstrap, Nicky Bootstrap, Clyde Bootstrap, and Jeff Bootstrap. Their manager, personal chef, and spiritual adviser is Li’l Mama Bootstrap.
Starting with the old cowboy and traditional tunes made famous by acts such as Sons of the Pioneers or the Carter Family, The Boys developed a style embracing simple, solid musicianship with rich, four-part harmonies and rounded out with twangy electric guitar riffs and a very memorable performance style. It didn’t take much time to work out five original songs and in late 2015, Country Songs for Sale, The Bootstrap Boys first EP, was released. The Boys hit the ground running, bought a classic Chevy Rockwood RV (affectionately dubbed The Delta Dawn), and started ramblin’ all around the Midwest and beyond.
The Bootstrap Boys have had toes tappin’ and boots stompin’ in places as far flung as Nashville, TN clear up to the tip-top of the country in beautiful Copper Harbor, MI, making friends everywhere they go.
In 2016, ten more original songs were ready for the studio. The Boys recorded their first full length album, titled All Boots Aboard, in December 2016. They were honored to be nominated and win the award for Best Roots/Revival Album of the Year at the WYCE Jammies. In early 2017, The Boys played with the likes of classic purveyor of Juke Joint Swing, Wayne “The Train” Hancock” and Nashville darling Nora Jane Struthers, as well as having the pleasure of opening for another player in the “new outlaw” pantheon, Shooter Jennings. To round out 2017, they were asked to perform at Wheatland Music Festival, a long time bucketlist performance for them, they were lucky enough to play to a packed house (tent) that night.
The Bootstrap Boys are a fully independent band with a special talent for, of course, pulling themselves up by the bootstraps.