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Sunrise Over Sea
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Performer Notes
  • John Butler (Australia)/John Butler Trio: John Butler (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, lap steel guitar); Shannon Birchall (double bass); Nicky Bomba (percussion).
  • Personnel: John Butler (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, lap steel guitar, E-bow, banjo); Nicky Bomba (electric guitar, drums, djembe, shaker, tambourine, background vocals); Shannon Birchall (strings, piano, double bass, electric bass, background vocals); Stephanie Lindner, Fiona Furphy, Helen Ireland , Janette Mason, Airlie Smart, Amanda Rowarth, Ceridwen Davies, Caerwen Martin, Andrea Keeble (strings); Michael Barker (marimba, bass drum, congas, cymbals, spoons, tambourine); Danielle Caruana, Dave Pensabene (background vocals).
  • Audio Mixer: Robin Mai.
  • Recording information: Woodstock Studios, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
  • Photographer: Tom Walker.
  • Arranger: John Butler.
  • The John Butler Trio's U.S. debut album, Sunrise Over Sea, is phenomenal -- from the opening notes of "Treat Yo Mama," a muscular and soulfully expressive roots rocker, to the final strains of the expansive, ten-minute-long opus "Sometimes." The John Butler Trio is arguably the best musical group Australia has to offer in 2005, and Butler's superb, bluesy riffs and innovative melodies are only part of the JBT musical equation. The sturdy rhythm section of Shannon Birchall (on bass) and Michael Barker (on drums) gives added life to hit contenders like the powerful "Company Sin" and the buoyant, breezy "Better Man." If the mid-album blues vignette "Damned to Hell" seems an ill fit at first, its lo-fi, banjo-strummed presentation shifts effortlessly into the warm, heartfelt "Hello." On occasion, as with the uplifting acoustic number "Peaches & Cream," Butler's voice recalls the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Anthony Kiedis, but Butler and his bandmembers are without question on their own trip. And one only needs to hear the magical love song "Seeing Angels" to feel the trio's transcendental power. ~ John D. Luerssen
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