Following are Jasper Heikens’ original introduction and personal history from the Lester Butler Tribute Site:
Harp player/singer Lester Butler sang blues with conviction and blew a mean harmonica. In the early ’90s he led The Red Devils, a hot blues band who tore up the L.A. club scene. Their Rick Rubin-produced live album called “King King” led to their nationwide endless touring schedule. Many famous names used to sit in with him: Mick Jagger, Bruce Willis, Lenny Kravitz, Peter Wolf and ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons. He opened for such bands as The Allman Brothers and Los Lobos and was known for playing at local L.A. venues including the House of Blues in Hollywood, Killian’s in Torrance, The Blue Cafe in Long Beach and at many of the worldwide Planet Hollywood opening events. Hightone Records recently released his second album called “13 feat. Lester Butler” with his current band, 13, and he had just returned from a European tour.
Lester, who grew up in Santa Monica, began playing harmonica at the age of 6 and has loved it ever since. He said, “It’s a hard life playing music for a living, but on the other hand, I’d rather be happy poor and playing music for the rest of my life” and credits “the healing force of the blues.”
R.I.P. Lester Butler, May 10th 1998
I started this website because there wasn’t much on the web about Lester Butler. But why Lester Butler? Well, I saw him couple of times playing, in Holland on Bluesrock Tegelen in ’93 with The Red Devils.
And with The Red Devils in Ospel, also ’93. Pretty wild! When i saw them in Tegelen in ’93, he was as the main act there, and he really made the crowd wild, and I mean WILD! After that show, I instantly bought their “King King” CD. This CD has so many scratches on it now, because i played it so many times.
Then in 1998, at the Moulin Blues in Ospel (where I come since 1981), 13 feat. Lester Butler was there as the main act. Man, did they give a show. With Billy Branch, Joe Louis Walker, James Harman and Lester’s old pal Paul “The Kid” Size on their stage as well. Then a couple days later, I read that Lester passed away … Damn, I really didn’t liked that.
I searched on the web, nothing much there about him. So I started this website about him. Hell yeah, he deserves it. After I set up the website, many people gave reactions, comments, questions and stuff about it. I came in contact with some close friends and family of him. They all think it’s good what I do, doing a site about him. This man can’t be forgotten. Listen to his music, put a CD from him in your stereo and listen. I love his sound. And I hope you do too. On 5 May 2001 there was a Lester Butler Tribute at Moulin Blues in Ospel in Holland. Lester Butler deserves many more tributes.
– Jasper Heikens