The John Butler Trio

The John Butler Trio is one of those jam bands that inevitably ends up compared to acts like, oh, John Mayer, The Dave Matthews Band, and Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals. In the band's native Australia, it's more likely that those other guys get compared to The John Butler Trio. Butler, famous for his beehive of dreadlocks, has built an influential career Down Under by marrying the aforementioned roots to reggae, much in the same way heroes like Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix did. The result is a wildly entertaining live show, chock-full of lengthy improvisations as Butler, strings-savant Shannon Birchall, and percussionist Michael Barker revel in their impressive musicianship. Butler's lyrics can be called preachy, even obvious at times, but they do tend to linger — though the real kick comes from his knack for repetitive, albeit catchy choruses like the one found in "Used to Get High."


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