I don’t know why I hadn’t heard of John Butler or the John Butler Trio until now, but my friend Susan introduced us when she played some of his songs for me recently. Oh, so good! With commercial radio mostly serving up the musical equivalent of junk food, it’s nice to hear talented musicians who can really play and sing without heavy digital enhancement. I’m listening to Fool For You a lot right now. It has a nice, mellow groove.Revolution is pretty great too.
I’m drawn to the intricacies of a finger picking style of guitar playing. I particularly love Bossa Nova (I’m learning to play one of my all time favorite songs on the guitar right now – Girl From Ipanema. That song is so pretty when stripped down to just a nylon stringed guitar. I love the original Getz and Gilberto version. Astrud Gilberto’s voice kills me with its understated sexiness. It’s like butta!) I digress.
In general, I like how finger picking sounds. It requires so much skill to do it well, so when a guitarist with John Butler’s obvious talent makes it look so effortless, I have to give him my full attention. His music is really beautiful and his guitar chops are stunning. Here’s a solo instrumental called Ocean that he wrote years ago when he was busking on the streets in Australia. It’s a 12-minute instrumental, but put it on in the background while you are doing something and just let it roll over you and sink in. And if you can watch rather than just listen, do that because his sure-fingered dexterity is a sight to behold. Oh, and you can get a free download of Ocean here on the John Butler Trio site.
Side note: That John Butler wears acrylic nails on his right hand and uses his guitar percussively reminds me of Kaki King – another talented guitarist and an Atlanta native. A few of my favorite songs of her’s are Carmine Street, Can Anyone Who Has Heard This Music Really Be A Bad Person?, Gay Sons of Lesbian Mothers, Life Being What It Is.