Nothing To Lose Sings Red Butler
Let us all step on board with Red Butler as they say we have Nothing To Lose. Having listened to the ten tracks the British blues world and beyond has everything to gain. Red Butler have an energy that is barely contained throughout as they play British R n’B coloured and shaped by the past but never trapped in a time warp. With hints of Zeppelin, Blind Faith and many more this is a blues album with a rock steady base.
Following the success of debut album Freedom Bound, and performing live, winning awards and recognition as they represented UK at the European Blues Challenge. The experience of performing live to audiences far and wide has honed the guitar skills of Alex Butler, shaped the vocal delivery of Jane Pearce and tightened the rhythm section the combined enterprise of drummer Charlie Simpson and bassist Mike Topp. Nothing To Lose produced by Wayne Proctor at Superfly Studios has the stamp of a House of Tone production, a sharpness of tone and energy controlled but never dampened the spirit of the blues flame is clear throughout as the Rock/blues quartet play the songs they love and many will have heard live.
The first track of the album influences the listener, Got To Make It is a question they are asking. Yes, they will make it, continue to gain recognition if they continue to deliver music that has listenability and struts and pushes aside those who want to box musicians in. This is Red Butler’s voice and they are making us listen to them as the music captures you and the lyrics draw you into the narrative. Closing with Never Go Back, a soulful track that is so true you have to move forward creating and giving music a freshness, Red Butler have definitely achieved this on the second album with the combination of Jane’s vocals that interprets every song to suit the mood and captures the last track perfectly added to that is a stunning Alex Butler solo.
The tracks in between shape the tone that is brand Red Butler, with a version of Sandi Thom’s Belly Of The Blues, starting with guitar that fills you with anticipation then the breath and Jane’s expressive vocals. Mesmerizing, and a track that will always shine whenever and wherever you hear it. Their own compositions slot in perfectly strong and are full of emotive phrasing as they explore the lexicon of modern blues influenced music. Nothing To Lose enters the broad church of blues inspired music but the musicians are not boxed in. What does shine through is the quality of the musicianship, as ever Charlie’s drumming is huge the perfect punctuation marks that keeps adding tonal interest and shape. The interaction between Mike’s bass and the guitar of Alex is a duet that plays throughout competing for attention but never overwhelming the vocals. On the album the additional phrasing from guest Bob Fridzma on Wurlitzer, Hammond and Clavinet gives the studio versions of the numbers additional strength.
The highlights for me are Big Bad Wolf, this is an up tempo whirlwind that suits them and makes a real statement. Say Hello (To My Little Friend) shakes more than a guitar nod to King King as the track opens, then Jane joins the party my little friends this is Red Butler through and through. Like many times before and in the future the shaping of a track reminds you of another band. Black Flies has a deep opening combo of bass and guitar and then as the guitar flies the drums and vocals join generating a measured number that brings in the different the music and turns the corner with a big rock infused chorus.
Nothing To Lose certainly puts Red Butler firmly on the map of bands that just keep giving and music lovers have everything to gain from the music. As the rocky number You Only Live Once says, yes you do and make sure Red Butler experience is part of your musical journey as Red Butler sings you have Nothing To Lose.
EIGHT doodle paws out of TEN ….
- Got To Make It
- Nothing To Lose
- Say Hello (To My Little Friend)
- All You Got To Do
- Calm Before The Storm
- Belly Of The Blues
- Big Bad Wolf
- Black Flies
- You Only Live Once
- Never Go Back