The John Butler Trio

JBT is an extraordinarily good musical trio the likes of which are rare indeed. Theres' a sound there which is almost a sort of signature Australian musical style which synthesizes so many elements..but which has an idiosyncratic mix that is as
personalised as much, say, as the Red Hot Chili Peppers from the first chord you hear.

That the group came out of the West with a political perspective in place is all the better.

When you look at Australian pop music history -- and all the super groups fostered here -- from the Oils, BeeJees, INXS, ACDC..etc None are really separate from the main international swill although some -- such as ACDC -- do it better than most others in their genre.

And the BeeJees are one of the best song writers of the 20th century.

Nick Cave strangely is an exception but he is so very cosmopolitan as though he belongs in Berlin rather than as a creature of the rural Victoria (which he is).

But this element -- this sound and almost a musical genre unto itself-- is a cultural and political package that reminds me of Reggae and reflects a sort of musical avaunt garde thats' been festering here primarily on the East Coast I would have thought -- but Butler is from WA.

It is very much performance & live music with excellent musicianship and an eclectic choice of instruments. Consider Xavier Rudd as part of the same dynamic.

Its a hippee sound in a way -- a sort of concerned and considerate fight back against pap and crude and raucous angst.

And it has "crossed over" so strongly in the form of the JBT with their rich mix of sounds -- sometimes jazzy sometimes with a lot of funk and using instruments that are thought to be old hat -- like the 5 string banjo and a bass fiddle(but with carbon strings!)


JBT are special, folks,really special. I've got the record collection to prove it!

Channels