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John Butler Trio- Sunrise Over Sea

John Butler Trio- Sunrise Over Sea

John Butler is doing pretty well for himself.  He was named the male artist of the year by the Recording Industry Association in his native Australia.  He also appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman on 29 March.  It’s pretty easy to see why he’s doing so well.  The John Butler Trio is a talented group of musicians that is not easily categorized.

Trying to describe the sound of the John Butler Trio is not an easy task.  They take elements of roots, blues and indie rock and fuse it all together into their own sound.  I have to go out on a limb to compare them to anyone.  They remind me most of Xavier Rudd (“Hello”) and Dave Matthews Band.  Vocally, John Butler is nothing like those two, but all three incorporate a lot of influences in their music.  The other part of the comparison might seem like a reach to some, but this is my take and I’m sticking to it.  The energy they bring to some of these songs (“There’ll Come a Time” and “Mist”) reminds me a lot of James’s experimental album Wah Wah.

This is a very mellow, sort of groovy album.  Butler best shows his chops as a guitarist on “Mist.”  He features the banjo in a couple songs (“Damned to Hell,” and “Bound to Ramble.”)  This isn’t your typical bluegrass or Irish folk banjo, though.  “Bound to Ramble” sounds pretty similar to Steve Earle’s song “The Truth.”

There are a couple things that fall into the “miss” category for me.  First, the album could probably be a lot shorter and not lose anything.  It weighs in at seventy-six and a half minutes.  This actually leads right to my next point.  The length probably wouldn’t be as noticeable if there wasn’t such a similar sound in each song.  I didn’t find any “replay” songs or “shirtgrabbers.”

All in all, it’s a good effort. The John Butler Trio is a talented group that could be around for years to come and Sunrise over Sea is a good showcase of their talent.

CD Info 

John Butler Trio - Sunrise Over Sea
Label: Lava/Atlantic
Treat Yo Mama
Peaches & Cream
Company Sin
What You Want
Damned To Hell
Bound To Ramble
Seeing Angels
There'll Come A Time
Listen to samples and Purchase this CD online

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