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Meet Mr. Uninhibited Wild Cat

Posted in 13, lester butler with tags , , , , , on March 22, 2017 by J.J.

Reporters never knew what they were going to get during a Lester Butler interview, as this Aug. 8, 1997, piece by Randy Cordova for the Arizona Republic shows.

Chief among the surprises are some hotel hi-jinks between Les Butler and another guest, the unfortunately named Wes Butler.

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‘Blast furnace blues’: Dec. 3, 1992, ‘King King’ review

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , , on June 1, 2009 by J.J.

Looking around a few months ago, I found this review of “King King” from the University of Houston Daily Cougar Online archives, Dec. 3, 1992. I really like the exuberance and imagery in this review.

As a bonus: A Jeff Healey review!

BLOSSOMING BANDS BESTOW PLEASING PLATTERS
by Manuel Esparza
Daily Cougar Staff

"King King"

How do you like it, live or studio? Well the Red Devils cut a live disc and the Jeff Healey Band is fresh from recording 12 new tracks.

Got your asbestos gloves handy? Good. Now get ready to handle some blast furnace blues. Captured on the Red Devil’s live album King King is blues in its most elemental form — fire.

The album, King King, takes its name from the L.A. club that has adopted the Devils. It is a beer sopped, cigarette stench, sweaty bodies, dimly lit, watch where you sit, graffiti ridden, wrong side of the tracks, eardrum rupturing disc.
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Live in Bloomington, 1992

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2009 by J.J.

Just a few months after first hearing The Red Devils in 1992, I was thrilled to learn the band would be performing just down the street, at Jake’s Nightclub in Bloomington, Indiana.

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The show — originally Sept. 28 — was rescheduled for Oct. 13, one week ahead of my 21st birthday. A press pass from my college newspaper, the Indiana Daily Student, would basically get an underage reporter into any bar — as long as the reporter promised not to drink.

The show was advanced in the local media; I imagine they all received the same Def American press kit I did. Dave Mac of the daily Herald-Times said:

The music is rough, raw and rootsy, and the gut of the sound is Chicago blues. But the Red Devils push the sonic requirements of traditional blues to include more bass lines and more guitar sound. The result is a band that is as rock and roll as it is blues, and mainly young and hungry. Size is the youngest member, the Texas-bred guitar whiz being only 20 years old.

btonvoice_red_devils_100792The weekly alternative the Bloomington Voice actually interviewed Butler:

“Blues is a shared language,” says Butler. “It’s still really fun for me … Because of the chord structure, it’s similar to jazz. You can go and have a jam session, and it sounds f—in’ great. It’s different than rock … We all share that language. Music is a dialogue between five different individuals.”

The Voice also noted that Texan Mike Flanigan had taken over rhythm guitar duties from Dave Lee Bartel for the tour.

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Lester Butler — 13 with a bullet!

Posted in lester butler with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2009 by J.J.

One of the best interviews with Lester Butler floating on the Internet is a 1997 Q&A with New Zealand music magazine The Real Groove called “13 with a bullet!” It touches on blues, drugs, religion and spirituality, tattoos, death, rehab and more. The interview is getting harder to find on the web, so here it is once again:

LESTER BUTLER — 13 with a bullet!
By Arsenio Orteza, The Real Groove

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Were truth serum forced down the throats of blues aficionados, many of them might confess to admiring or respecting the importance of the blues a lot more than they actually enjoy the music. And who could blame them? The blues is, after all, the most repetitious music in the Western world, and let him who has never trumpeted music for ulterior motives cast the first rolling stone.

Lester Butler, the 37-year-old, harp-playing force of nature who first came to notoriety as the front man for the late and much-lamented Red Devils, plays a different kind of blues altogether. In fact, he and his new band 13 don’t so much play the blues as allow it to inhabit them and throttle them within an inch of their professional viability. (“We broke mics, and it was fun,” laughs Butler in reference to the recording of 13 Featuring Lester Butler, their new Hightone album. “But we’ll never record in that studio again because they’re totally pissed at how many mics I broke. That wasn’t ‘respectful.’”) As a result, the 13 songs on 13 Featuring Lester Butler — especially the homicidally maniacal “Plague of Madness” – don’t sound performed so much as possessed.

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