Archive for james austin

1997 Tamines bootleg given mainstream release

Posted in 13, lester butler with tags , , , , , on October 31, 2015 by J.J.

Lester Butler is back — sort of — on the above-board release of the long-bootlegged Tamines show from Aug. 29, 1997, at the 7th South Blues Festival in Belgium.

Live at Tamines 1997The two-disc set “Lester Butler featuring 13 Live at Tamines 1997” comes from RockBeat Records, the same folks who reissued “13 featuring Lester Butler” more than four years ago, with bonus tracks from the Tamines festival, clearly taken from the bootleg that had been circulating for a decade by then.

Here’s the back-cover info from the new release:

Lester Butler was a brilliant harmonica player. He rejuvenated the LA blues scene with his group The Red Devils. After they disbanded, Lester formed a group on Hightone Records featuring a back up band he called 13. The live intensity of this show demonstrates how adept he was singing and playing the blues. He died not long after this show from 1997. The blues was hot and Lester was on fire.

Though Amazon shows a release date of Oct. 2, our copy is already on backorder.

So though we don’t have the physical package in hand just yet, there are a few things we know already:
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13 reissue producer: “We want to carry on his legacy”

Posted in 13 with tags , , , on April 6, 2011 by J.J.

“13 featuring Lester Butler” reissue producer James Austin is obviously a big fan of the harmonica player. In a recent email Q&A with nofightin.com, Austin, vice president of A&R for RockBeat Records, talked about the project, his goals and his continuing amazement at Lester Butler.

Q: How were you brought aboard this reissue project? Were you a fan of Butler’s before you started working on this?

A: When we started RockBeat Records in November of 2010 we were looking to start with re-issuing CDs from the HighTone Records as we had access to that catalog through Richard Foos of Shout Factory. He made it possible for us to release CDs that Shout was not going to issue.
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Review: Bonus tracks, new packaging highlight 13 reissue

Posted in 13 with tags , , , , , , on April 3, 2011 by J.J.

“13 featuring Lester Butler” is available again. The reissue, out March 22 on RockBeat Records, features new art, new liner notes and three bonus tracks previously available only on bootleg.

We are on record with our love of “13,” so the quality of the music is not in doubt on this reissue. Instead, let’s look at what’s new here:

BONUS TRACKS: The three “new” live cuts will be of most interest to Butler fans — though they’ve been in circulation for years. The liner notes wrongly (and incompletely) claim the songs are from the “Tamines Festival, France, 1997.” In fact, “I Wish You Would,” “Boogie Disease” and “So Mean to Me” were actually recorded Aug. 29, 1997, at the 7th South Blues Festival in Tamines, Sambreville, Belgium.

The bonus cuts show the “other” 13 — the live unit of Alex Schultz, Eddie Clark and Mike Hightower that took Europe by storm in 1997-98 with its wild, expansive blues explorations. Amazingly, the three bonus tracks clock in at more than six minutes each, making them the three longest cuts on the reissue by far. The 19 additional minutes are literally half the length of the lean, mean original album.
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