Archive for andy kaulkin

Lester Butler tributes in Netherlands, California

Posted in related music with tags , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2011 by J.J.

It seems we’re heading into a little Lester Butler renaissance. Not only is “13 featuring Lester Butler” being reissued on March 22, but two tribute shows are set up featuring many of the musicians heard on that record.

First up is Lester Butler Tribute Night March 25, 2011, with the Lester Butler Tribute Band at Raodhoes, Blerick in The Netherlands. The Lester Butler Tribute Band — this time Pieter “Big Pete” van der Pluijm on vocals and harp (below), Alex Schultz on guitar, Rick Reed on bass and Johnny Morgan on drums — will headline, with openers The Nines (as best we can tell; we still haven’t learned Dutch here at No Fightin’).

Johnny Morgan tells us there will also be a Lester Butler tribute set at the 22nd Annual Simi Valley Cajun Festival in Simi Valley, Calif., Memorial Day weekend, May 28 and 29. It’s the same band as on March 25, but adding ANTI- Records head Andy Kaulkin, presumably on keyboards as he was on the “13” record.

Blowin’ out reeds with Lester Butler

Posted in 13, lester butler with tags , , , , , on September 9, 2010 by J.J.

This is one of the more readily available interviews with Lester Butler, but we’re including it here anyway:

Blowin’ out reeds with Lester Butler: Blues harp player/singer says the bad luck made him better
By Fred Shuster, Los Angeles Daily News Music Writer
March 28, 1997

Blues harpist Lester Butler says 13 is his lucky number, even though it spells bad news for others.

“There’s lots of symbolism behind it — bad luck and that whole deal,” Butler said. “But it’s always been lucky for me. All the bad things that happen make you stronger. The 13 thing is where the worst stuff can happen, but you can turn it around, and it actually helps you survive.”

Butler, who sings the blues with conviction and blows a mean Chicago-style harmonica, has been through the music-biz ringer. In the early ’90s, he led the Red Devils, a popular local combo that scored a deal with producer Rick Rubin’s Def American label. The band recorded an EP and a well-received live album titled “King King,” after the then-jumping club.

On Mondays, the Devils played to star-studded, packed houses at the now-defunct La Brea Avenue night spot. ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons and Mick Jagger often dropped by. Queen’s Brian May, members of the Black Crowes, Lenny Kravitz and Peter Wolf sat in with the band. Angelo from Fishbone would recite spoken word when he wasn’t playing saxophone.

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Mannish Boys go “Way Down South” on new CD

Posted in related music with tags , , , , , on July 18, 2010 by J.J.

Get a rotating cast of blues legends and superior players, a lineup of classic-but-not-beat-to-death tunes, mix in some excellent production and a loose vibe, and you get The Mannish Boys, one of the coolest concepts in modern blues.

The Boys (with a foundation of Finis Tasby and Bobby Jones on vocals, Randy Chortkoff on harmonica, guitarists Kirk “Eli” Fletcher and Frank Goldwasser, Willie J. Campbell on bass and drummer Jimi Bott) are back with a new(ish) album on Delta Groove, “Shake For Me.” The disc celebrates the collective’s fifth anniversary, and several special guests abound to join the party, including Rod Piazza, Kid Ramos, Nick Curran, Johnny Dyer, Rob Rio and more.

Debuting with the Mannish Boys on the album closer is longtime Lester Butler Tribute Band frontman “Big Pete” van der Pluijm, who covers 13’s “Way Down South” (with original 13 member Andy Kaulkin playing the keys on the tune yet again).

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13 years later: Another look at “13 featuring Lester Butler”

Posted in 13 with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 10, 2010 by J.J.

“When you’re talking about blues, you’re talking
about storytelling. … You have to bring something to the table.
You have to have a story to tell.”

13 years ago tonight, Lester Butler and his gang took the stage at the Bar Deluxe in Hollywood to celebrate the release of the album “13 featuring Lester Butler.” [*]

Fans of The Red Devils’ “King King” were in for a surprise with this new disc: While “King King” was raw, buzzy and live, “13” was sharp and edgy. “King King” was a tight ensemble record; “13” sounded like a blues band riot. “King King” relied on classic blues shuffles; “13” pushed the envelope into punk, rock, boogie, R&B and jam. “King King” celebrated women, cars and booze; “13” was a junkie travelogue, documenting the seedy side of life as seen by Butler in the five years since The Red Devils’ triumphs.

For all their differences, “13” and “King King” still go hand-in-hand; if you love one, you probably love the other.

But 13 was a mission statement by Butler, with one foot firmly in blues and the other somewhere in space. Distribution on the small independent blues and roots label Hightone seemingly gave Butler carte blanche to follow his muse (check out the psychedelic cyber-tarot nightmare album cover and confusing labeling for proof).

The album he crafted is filled with tales of chaos, desperation and regret, the music stripped raw in the studio — simple, pounding drums; barrelhouse piano; snaky, funky guitar; and Butler’s vocals in front, the singer damn near ingesting the mic and screaming in your ear.
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