Thursday, December 20, 2007
John Butler Trio - Grand National
Fremantle-based vocalist/guitarist John Butler is Australia's answer to jam-oriented singer-songwriters such as Dave Matthews and Ben Harper. Butler leads his tight ensemble through an impressive set of folk-tinged rock on 2007's GRAND NATIONAL. Featuring bold, organic production by Mario Caldato, Jr. (the Beastie Boys, Beck), the album showcases the rhythmic mastery of bassist Shannon Birchall and drummer Michael Barker, while fully spotlighting Butler's amiable vocals and deft work on acoustic and electric guitars and other stringed instruments. Highlights of the immediately engaging record include the exuberant "Better Than" and the fast-paced "Funky Tonight." Those looking for another earnest and emotive jam-band hero will find him here.