John Butler Trio: “Flesh and Blood”
I distinctly remember when I first heard theJohn Butler Trio: I was fifteen years old, it was shortly after they released Sunrise Over Sea, and their concert at the Sydney Opera House was being shown on PBS one night as I was flipping through the channels. I was blown away by their truly original style, which is a weird blend of everything to rootsy folk jams, to blues with a touch of hip hop and reggae. I just couldn’t believe that an acoustic guitar could make the sounds that he was making (granted, he plays his acoustic instruments through a Marshall stack with no less than a billion effects pedals). Since that day, I have seen the John Butler Trio play no less than five times, almost every time they came through Boston. But in 2010, John changed out his lineup and released April Uprising. I hated it. All those funky jams on his previous releases were replaced with commercial, soulless radio pop. It left a bad taste in my mouth, and I walked away from the John Butler Trio for a while.
Well, when I saw that JBT had released their first album in almost four years, I hesitantly decided to give it a listen. The songs off of Flesh and Blood have some bits that remind me of Sunrise Over Sea and Grand National, but a lot of it was stepping into uncharted territory for the band. Thankfully, it was a big step away from April Uprising.