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John Butler Trio keeps looking for new achievements

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

Posted: Thursday, July 16, 2015

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John Butler has a couple ways of looking at the musical life he's had so far.

The Australian singer, songwriter, guitarist and leader of the John Butler trio says that after seven years and six albums he's "very thankful to have the career that I have." But he's also not shy about what hasn't measured up yet.

"There's more to do, and I'm still waiting to achieve something I haven't achieved," Butler, 40, says by phone from a tour stop in Tucson, Ariz. "I think that's always going to be the case when you're somebody who's driven. But I don't let that control my life or my view of success or happiness like i used to.

"Now I seem to achieve a lot more and I'm a lot more happier when I look at what I have, and very thankful. There's a lot of evidence in my life for me to see and go, 'Hey, wow, you have an outstanding career that in a lot of ways kind of defies logic a lot of times.' How can you not be thankful about that."

Butler and company's latest achievement is "Flesh & Blood," an album that came out during February of 2014 and debuted at No. 2 in his homeland. The Trio's current tour is a kind of victory lap for the project, and Butler has been pleased that there's more familiarity with the material at this late juncture in the album's cycle.

"People have a year and a half under their belts of having a relationship with these new songs," he explains. "America is so freakin' big; half the places we're playing we haven't played in three or four years. If you try to go to every place where you have a fan base in America, by the time you get done it will be three years later, but the upside is people have more time to live with the music and know it better when you get there."

Butler has "definitely been writing" for his next album, but he's also not planning to rush the process.

"Life is already going very fast as it is," he says. "The music comes very easily, but I'm very fussy with the lyrics, even more fussy as I do this longer. And then I like to rehearse the album for a long time before we even record it, 'cause it seems like so many things happen to the songs once you've played them long enough. I'd rather do it that way than have them change after the recording and wish you'd done it a different way.

"It's always been the same way. It's always been three years between every album because of how much we tour. The last one was four. We're still here, so it's worked so far. No need to change."

John Butler Trio

Friday, July 17. Doors open at 8 p.m.

Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St.

Tickets are $27.50 in advance $35 day of show, $55 reserved mezzanine.

Call (248) 399-2980 or www.royaloakmusictheatre.com.

Web Site: www.royaloakmusictheatre.com

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