John Butler Trio: Talent, Messages And Music

Screen Shot 2013-02-26 at 00.38.24I came across this band years ago and have just re-ignited my love for them so felt the need to share. They are the first band to feature in my music list!

John Butler Trio

John Butler Trio is a three piece band from Australia fronted by, you guessed it, John Butler! Originally formed in 1988 with Jason McGann on drums and Gavin Shoesmith on bass, by 2009 the line up had changed to Nicky Bomba on drums and percussion, and Byron Luiters on bass. They have a lively and upbeat rhythm with hints of reggae, rock, folk, pop and acoustic. They are known for having a political vibe to some of their song messages and often campaign for causes that they support. For example, in 2012 they performed at “The Wilderness Society’s Save the Kimberley” concert which was part of a long-running campaign protesting against a proposal to industrialise the James Price Point area in Broome, Western Australia.

“Grand National” – 2007

This is probably my favourite album of theirs and as I want to share more than one song from it, will be the only album I talk about. Don’t let that stop you from looking up their others though. There are few albums that I listen to without skipping at least one song but this is one where I let it play out until the end. It’s hard to pick a favourite from this collection so I’ll talk briefly about two that I particularly like and why and then let you hear for yourself.

  • Fire In The Sky

This song is one about learning important lessons in life and politics. It’s about how there is too much mindless violence and hatefulness in the world and it’s something that should be addressed. Whether it’s about war, about friends and family, personal experiences or collective experiences, this song simply says that we should let go of nasty thoughts as they hold us back and just do our best to get on with each other.

  • Losing You

This is probably the most romantic and heartfelt song on the album. As you guessed by the title, it’s about him singing about his love for his wife and how she is the only thing he couldn’t stand to lose. He could survive losing all his money, his looks, he could have a rough life but with her by his side he has all he wants and needs. We all want someone who thinks we are important and I guess that’s why I like this song. It’s honest, it’s sweet, it’s from the heart.


John Butler is also famous for his guitar playing and there is one particular song he wrote and plays which has millions of hits on Youtube. I wouldn’t want to deprive you so here he is playing “Ocean”.


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