In the past I enjoyed listening to and reviewing Kenny Butterill's first album, "No One You Know". I am so pleased to find that Kenny has been writing and recording since and has released the brand new CD, ""Just A Songwriter". In the past, Kenny was best known in musician circles as a songwriter creating songs and lyrics for performing artists to record - it is ironic that the new release delineates this in title. This Canadian artist [now a Californian] has the charming ability to create songs that are first pure fun - very easy to listen to - yet some how quite compelling - and then perform them masterfully. In a style all his own, Kenny delivers 14 fresh sounding tunes. While enjoying them, one might be lured to draw comparison to other music greats such as Mark Knofler, JJ Cale, and Willie Nelson. 16 recorded works will keep your interest high as you listen to his newest songs in the first 14 tracks - the last two are extended versions of two of the tracks.
Just a songwriter - Kenny scrutinizes his own realm and comments on how life is as a songwriter - he likes it. The song rolls along with vamped chords and a rocking in the saddle beat. The line from the chorus says it all, "Trying to be heard". An extended version is included as track 15.
     My Austin Angel - Kenny writes about a memory from the past of a beautiful woman who he had a relationship with that was based on mutual love and fun but without ties. He finds himself thinking about her. A beautiful acoustic performance with inspired solo work on guitar by guitarist Billy Don Burns.
Canadian Road Trip - A bouncing number with a strong harmonica backing and fills by Ray Bonneville who also provides the electric guitar chops. Willie P. Bennett [a favorite of mine] provides

added flavor with his mandolin teasing with just the right fills. Kenny describes a road trip playing from roadhouse to roadhouse bar with miles and miles between. Drive and percussion are all provided sans drums.
The Email Song - Email has put many old friends back together many years letter. This song relays the story of an old love getting back in contact and the memories that come to mind. Kenny's voice rides on top of a beautiful montage of guitar, mandolin, bass, and percussion [note: played by "no one you know" - a line note quip].
Gotta Find A Woman - Peter Morrison steels a haunting sound out of his guitar and delivers a bluesy set of fills to the richly textured song about a lost love of a musician. A choir of male voices helps the musician's belt out their cry to find a woman who knows the blues and all of the songs he wrote.
Felton's Place - Norton Buffalo guests on harmonica blowing a series of fills and licks reminiscent of the "Urban Cowboy" soundtrack. Add the luxurious guitar work of Jim Lewin with Kenny backing on guitar and you have a rich song about cliff over looking rolling water on a beach where Felton and his old hound must have lived a great life. Kenny's voice puts you right there.
Are You Surprised? - Vamped guitar, bass and drums create a tight beat while harmonica laces on top. He tells his closest friend/lover how much he needs them. Funky - funky - nice! An extended version of this song is included on the CD's track 16.
Making Love In LA - Seemingly out of nowhere, John Lee's pungent saxophone and keyboards join Kenny in telling the story of a lover in LA. It is a jazz inspired minor lament about the waiting for the moment they can join together.
Joanne - A story about a lady who has a man and a fellow who worships her. He makes it known that if her love ever leaves - he will be there when she calls.
A Couple Of Lines - A reflection on a woman's life who is biding time using drugs to ease her pain of a nowhere life in a work a day world. He asks her to look in the mirror and see where she is going. The minor keyed reggae feel with spanking guitar riffs make this tune a standout.
If We Were Alone - Love from afar is described with reverberant ascending and descending slide electric guitar on top of a guitar backing. This song has a huge soundstage. There is great solo and rhythm guitar work by guest guitarist Doug Huchison featured throughout.
Vegetarian Dead Cow Blues - Poking fun at a vegetarian's dietary demise gets a rocking and rolling backdrop by Kenny's group. Clearly fun!
Is There More? - Articulated guitar solo doubled up by guitarist Jim Lewin adds a wonderful flavor to this tune. So many questions - just enough song - pure pleasure!
The Townes You Left Behind - This acoustic guitar backed tune recalls a musician who has passed on. It has the feel of being on location - listening live in a small pub. Intimacy reigns here.
     Kenny's songs are learning experience not dissimilar to enjoying fine wine. Like developing an admiration of fine wine, as you listen more and more - your appreciation for Kenny's work will grow and grow. So pop the cork by spinning up his new CD and start enjoying fine listening today. You will not be disappointed.--Steve Ekblad                          return to

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