Sunday, August 21, 2011

Do You Know: BUTCH WALKER?




If you do not......YOU SHOULD! I have followed Butch Walker's career since I first heard his band called Marvelous 3 in about 2001 (the same year they disbanded). They were what the "press" labeled "Power Pop", but to me it was just good plain ole' Rock and Roll".
Butch Walker grew up in Cartersville, Georgia. Right out of high school, Butch took his band, Byte the Bullet to LA and they were signed to Virgin Records within the year. They changed their name to SouthGang and released two albums, Tainted Angel in 1991 and Group Therapy in 1992. Butch had 2 more bands with record deals, before forming Marvelous 3 and making 3 albums, 2 of them on Elektra records. Starting his solo career in 2002, I had the amazing luck to have seen him play on his first solo tour at Alvins, the Iconic Music Bar on Cass Ave., downtown Detroit....my home town. In fact, there were 2 little bars wich Mitch Ryder loved to play at, when we were home off tour and Alvins was one of them. I think the capacity is about 150....but on many nights that we played there.....I think 150 people alone...were just on the dance floor in front of the stage. Alvins is just one of those places that has the "magic"..it just sounds right, looks right, and most of all "feels right". Anyway....seeing Butch play there with only about 75 people was a once in a lifetime experience.

This first ( Left of Self-Centered ) album and tour was his "Heavy Rock" period and I remember that it was REAL loud....even for me (who stood next to a Marshall amp for 13 years). But it was amazing!!! I remember leaving there, that night thinking how great it was that here were still "Real Rock" bands left on the planet! Butch's second solo effort (Letters in 2004) took a complete 180.....and still is one of my favorite albums of all time. You have to hear this record. If you do not know about this amazing writer, producer, and performer......start with "Letters" for it is a good cross section of what he does. I had not written a post in quite a while and thought...."who should I write about" and I asked myself..."who is your favorite band/musician"? No Hesitation!!! Butch Walker. He has been recognized as a producer (Once named "Producer of the Year" by Rolling Stone), working with everyone from, Weezer, to Avril Lavigne. But as a rock and roll icon....well, it is a crazy world we live in today. The "Music Business" has changed so much from when I was in it, that there really isn't a "Music Business".....not like there once was. And I cannot say if that is a "Good Thing" or a "Bad Thing"....I just know that finding "GREAT" rock and roll, is not like it use to be. Sure...go ahead and say..."Yea, that Jarvy is just an old fart and just likes the music from when he was a kid. But if that's true, then why do young teens love Jimi Hendrix still.....after 40 years! I don't remember hanging posters of Benny Goodman on my wall when I was 14.
Butch Walker has a band again and they are called "The Black Widows". They have done one album and a new one called " I Liked It Better When You Had No Heart" and have a new album coming out August 30th, called "The Spade"
Do yourself a favor......if you "Do Not Know Who Butch Walker" is: FIND OUT!!!!
Jarvy...Aug. 21, 2011


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