Local Wire

John Butler Trio

John Butler Trio regularly sells out venues with multi-thousand-person capacities in Europe, Asia, and Butler's native Australia, but the U.S. is proving a harder nut to metaphorically crack. There's an irony to that, since so much of the group's success is based on the world's fascination with roots rockers like Dave Matthews Band, Jack Johnson, and Ben Harper, whose fans should be lining up to watch Butler attack his acoustic guitar and swing his magnificent dreadlocked coiffure about his head. Yeah, sure, while mixing the blues and reggae with funk and even Appalachian folk, front man Butler does stand a little too tall on his soapbox, righteously pontificating on corporate greed, the environment, and Aboriginal rights, but his trio's musicianship -- which includes an upright bass and drums -- makes up for what he lacks in lyrical accomplishment. After all, his heart is in the right place, and how many of us can even claim that much?
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Cole Haddon