Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
John Butler Trio
The John Butler Trio is a jam band from Australia led by guitarist and vocalist John Butler. Two albums released by the band Three (2001) and Living 2001-2002 (2003) have gone platinum in Australia and reached the top ten of the Australian album charts in those years. The 2004 album Sunrise Over Sea debuted at number one on the Australian charts on March 15, 2004 reaching gold record status in its first week on sale. This success is more impressive given that the bands releases are marketed independently by Jarrah Records which John Butler co-owns with West Australian folk band the Waifs.
The band has won an ARIA award for "Best Independent Release" for Three in 2001 and has been nominated for three others. Three was released in the U.S. in 2002 and the John Butler Trio toured the U.S. in that year supporting the Dave Matthews Band and John Mayer.
Searching for Heritage - the Early Years
John Butler was born on April 1 1975 in Torrance, California from an Australian father and American mother. He was named after his paternal grandfather, a forestry worker who died in 1952 while fighting a bushfire in Gannup , Western Australia. He moved to the small Western Australian town of Pinjarra on January 26, 1986 when he was eleven.
At sixteen, he started to learn the guitar and his grandmother gave him his grandfather's 1930's dobro guitar. This guitar was to be presented to the first child to learn the guitar and as none of his grandfather's children did take up the guitar, it was awarded to the first grandchild to learn the guitar. It is still one of John Butler's most treasured possessions.
In 1996, John Butler attended Curtin University in Perth studying to be an art teacher. At Curtin University, he learned open finger tuning which allowed him to play Celtic and Indian music. He started busking on the streets of Perth where his home grown compositions received a strong response. In mid 1996, he released a self-recorded cassette of his own instrumental compositions called Searching for Heritage which eventually sold 3,000 copies in Perth. By the end of 1996, he had dropped out of Curtin University to pursue a musical career and started playing at open mic nights.
Phil Stevens , a local music promoter and later to become John Butler's manager, was one of the people who brought Searching for Heritage. He offered Butler his first residency every second Tuesday at "Mojos" bar, which he owned in 1998. John Butler further built his fanbase at this gigs and by the end of 1998, he was planning his first professionally recorded album.
With Jason McGann on drums and Gavin Shoesmith on bass, the first version of the John Butler trio recorded the "John Butler" album in December 1998 which was launched at Mojos. The band toured throughout Western Australia in 1999. The Waifs invited John Butler solo to perform on their Australian tour and he also performed his own gigs. The John Butler Trio then launched its own tour where John met his future wife Danielle Caruana in Broome.
The John Butler Trio released the "JBT EP" in April 2000 as an attempt to put out three to four songs that would be short enough to win radio play. Triple J picked up "Pickapart" and put it on high rotation. The band also developed a reputation on the east coast of Australia with a stunning performance at the East Coast Blues & Roots Music Festival in Byron Bay in 2000. The John Butler Trio has become a fixture at this event.
Three - an evolving band
In April 2001, the band released Three which was the first album recorded as a full band and moved to Melbourne to promote the record on the east coast. Three stayed in the Australian alternative charts for nine months reaching as high as number 3 which was an outstanding success for an independent band. The album won an ARIA award for Best Independent Release.
Gavin Shoesmith left the band to form his own band Katamaran . The band replaced him with 19-year-old Rory Quirk , who toured with the band on their first tour of the US in 2001. Rory Quirk in turn left the band in 2002 to pursue a career with his band Quirk . Andrew Fry joined the band as the new bass player.
The success of Three led to its release in the US in 2002 and two tours of the US followed. The band supported the Dave Matthews Band and John Mayer as well as playing at the Bonnaroo Music Festival and the South by Southwest Festival. The band also played at the Splendour in the Grass Festival in Australia.
As a result of intensive touring, the band developed a great live reputation in Australia. The band released Living 2001-02 in February 2003, a double live album which had a top ten debut in the ARIA album charts and went on to achieve platinum sales. John Butler took a brief break after the five years of solid work since 1992 for the birth of his daughter Banjo.
Sunrise Over Sea - a new Trio
In late 2003, John Butler entered Woodstock Studios in Melbourne owned by Jo Camilleri , the leader of Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons and the Black Sorrows . He had a new band consisting of percussionist Nicky Bomba and upright-bass player Shannon Birchall . While Birchall will probably be a permanent member of the Trio, Bomba will continue playing in his own reggae band.
John Butler told the Australian edition of Rolling Stone released in April 2004 that he wanted greater freedom to pursue his vision. "Essentially what I learnt out of this process was, more so than ever, I'm the keeper of the music. I have the intuition and the foresight to pick the right players to my music. I've learned it's not always about having the same players for five, six or 10 years, itís having the right chemistry for these songs at this time. Some of my favourite Jimi Hendrix music is off-the-cuff stuff with Band of Gypsies."
The title "Sunrise Over Sea" is probably a reference to his home in Byron Bay which is one of the most easterly points in Australia and therefore one of the first points to see the sunrise. The album debuted at number one in the national album charts in March 15, 2004 and achieved gold record status in its first week of release.
The Zebra EP was released in December 2003 and made the ARIA singles charts in early 2004. It was number 5 in the Triple J Hottest 100 for 2003 and also had significant airplay on commercial FM radio across Australia. John Butler would win an Australasian Performing Rights Association award for Song of the Year in March 2004.
- Searching for Heritage (1996)
- John Butler (1998)
- JBT EP (2000)
- Three (2001)
- Living 2001-2002 (2003)
- Zebra EP (2003)
- Sunrise Over Sea (2004)
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details