Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1090

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Review

Red Butler: Nothing To Lose (self released)

Red Butler CD pic

7

6.1

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UK release date 11.11.2016

Promising young British female-fronted four piece making waves on the UK blues scene.

The four-year-old outfit have an ace up their sleeve with guitarist Alex Butler, the best thing about their second album. The material is a mixed bag and kind of gives the impression that they are still searching for their niche sound and own identity, as it doesn’t really nail what their core sound is or wants to be.

Is it blues? Is it rock? They label it as rock/blues/soul, but I am unsure where the soul bit comes in. Jane Chloe Pearce does a good job. But for me, at times her voice doesn’t match up to the power and the energy of the music. It needs more oomph on the rockier stuff.

But that is not to say she isn’t an accomplished singer, as she clearly is. Her voice works better on the less heavy songs, but a raunchier more aggressive approach with a rawer, less sweet vocal would add greater value at times on the more rambunctious cuts.

Mike Topp provides bass and Charlie Simpson occupies the drum stool, both solid players. Dan, Alex and Charlie worked together in the band Cold Heat in 2008, when they were teenagers.

The Brighton band have taken two runner up places in this years British Blues Awards; Alex second in the Young Artist category and the band third in Best Blues Band category. They won the UK Blues Challenge competition last year, to represent the UK at the European Blues Challenge in Italy this year. Last year, again they were runners up in the British Blues Awards in Young Artist and band categories.

They spent 18 months crafting the 10 cuts on the new record, produced by Wayne Proctor, a man who knows how to make drums sound like drums. The follow up to their 2014 debut, "Freedom Bound." They extended the line-up for the new one, adding King King keyboard man Bob Fridzema to the team. Nine original songs written by the band and a cover of Sandi Thom's "Belly Of The Blues."

Red Butler has toured with Laurence Jones, Billy Walton and Danny Bryant, and tour in their own right until December.
Words SIMON REDLEY

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