Butch Walker – Artist SpotlightGuitarSpotting
Butch is good friends with popular recording artist Pink, and they occasionally work together. One popular song they co-wrote was a single from her album I’m Not Dead called ‘Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely)’.
In 2007, Butch was renting a house from Flea (of the Red Hot Chili Peppers) in Malibu when the house was destroyed by wildfires in November. Butch and family were in New York at the time, but they lost most of their possessions in the fire, including the masters to every song he’d ever recorded.
In 2008, Butch released the live DVD Leavin’ the Game on Luckie Street, recorded in his home town of Atlanta. He also created a band called 1969 with Michael Chislett and Darren Dodd, and they released the album Maya.
“I’m not happy with myself these days
I took the best parts of the script and I made them all cliches.
And this red bandana’s surely gonna fade
Even though it’s the only thing the fire didn’t take.”
– Butch Walker (Going Back / Going Home)
In November, 2008, Butch released his next solo album Sycamore Meadows, named after the road where the house that burned down had been located on.
Pink returned the favor by singing background vocals on the song ‘Here Comes The …’
Butch’s songwriting reached yet another level on this album, and it’s full of intelligently constructed pop-rock songs for adults, exploring more mature lyrics and themes. Tracks worth checking out include ‘The Weight of Her’, ‘Ships in a Bottle’, and ‘Closer to the Truth and Further from the Sky’.
Afraid of Ghosts
Butch remained quite busy over the next couple of years, releasing a couple of EPs and producing a bunch of songs for other artists.
He was close to his father, who passed away in 2013. Butch released the folky, introspective album Afraid of Ghosts in 2015, written largely while he was dealing with the aftermath of his father’s death.
It’s a more intimate and personal album overall, quite different from most of Butch’s recorded output, and produced by Ryan Adams. Cool songs include ‘Chrissie Hynde’, ‘How Are Things, Love?’, and ’21+’.
The highlight of the album is the simmering ‘Bed on Fire’, which also has a unique and interesting (and dark!) music video.
In between all the writing and producing and rockstar-ing, Butch Walker also found time to write a biography in 2011 called Drinking With Strangers (available at Amazon).
Butch tells his life story candidly with a wink and a smile, including how he got to where he is in the music business, what he thinks about the current state of the industry, and what happened that time he was hired to produce songs for Lindsay Lohan.
It’s got lots of great insider stories, and some quality advice for aspiring musicians. Well worth the read.
We always say that you can really tell how talented an artist is, and more importantly how good a song is, when you can strip away all the veneer, and still have a memorable melody and performance.
In addition to all the rocking out, Butch has recorded several songs where it’s just him and a guitar or piano. Plus he will occasionally perform re-worked solo versions of his songs. And he always delivers in the clutch.
Butch has worked with quite a few artists on many different projects, but we’ll quickly mention a couple of really catchy rock songs he co-wrote and produced that are worth checking out, namely Bowling For Soup’s ‘Girl All the Bad Guys Want’, and Weezer’s ‘If You’re Wondering If I Want You to (I Want You To)’.
As mentioned earlier, Butch Walker’s latest album Stay Gold was released on August 26, 2016. You probably won’t be surprised that we like every song on the record. A lot.
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