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By James Cerche
7th February 2014
Six albums deep, The John Butler Trio are back with 'Flesh & Blood', their latest collection of blues stompers and acoustic twinklers.

Uplifting guitar lines seem to tumble from Butler. Even when his lyrics err towards the melancholy, as they do on a number of occasions throughout this album, there's always a sense of hope. “Out of the darkness, only light can come,” he states on opener 'Spring To Come'. A soulful musician, Butler's vocal delivery is laid-back and smooth but always attentive as he uses it alongside every facet of the compositions to create his signature rolling grooves. From start to finish, the record has a rich sonic warmth that demonstrates Butler's dedication to capturing each instrument's most organic tones. Thanks to this detailed production we catch every acoustic scratch and kit rattle with great clarity.


Like a few tracks on the record, lead single 'Only One' is competent Butler by numbers and fits in quietly amongst some of the more adventurous moments. It's on the more daring cuts that the album really earns its shine. As the undisputed stunning centrepiece, 'Blame It On Me' glows with beautifully expressive, playing from each member of the band. Butler's flaming guitar solo cuts and slithers over the shifting percussion and bass jam while a surprising vocal turn cements the whole affair. On closing number 'You're Free', the boys branch out to embrace electronic beat production in a most unpredicted but welcome intrusion to the usual palette. The group handle this inclusion with great style to create another highlight that also hints towards a promising new direction for the band in future.

'Flesh & Blood' is capable of being both confessional and funky, sometimes at the same time. There's plenty of the Trio's signature sound to keep previous fans sated, and just enough new ground broached to warrant attention from fresh faces.

BAND: John Butler Trio
MEMBERS: John Butler
Byron Luiters
Nicky Bomba
FORMED: 1998
FROM: Fremantle
SOUND: Blues Rock
FACEBOOK: JohnButlerTrio
TWITTER: @johnbutlertrio
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