Earlier this year John Butler announced that he was parting ways with his band and would be playing with two different musicians, Byron Luiters and Nicky Bomba. As you would expect, many fans were angry with this decision and while it is sad to see the trio many of us had grown used to part ways, it also gives us a chance to see what else John Butler can come up with.
If you live in Australia, there is no doubt that you would have already heard the new John Butler Trio single One Way Road. It has been all over the radio and is now used on Channel 10 promos. There is a good reason for this: it is one of his catchiest songs and is much more upbeat than most of his Grand National stuff. Admittedly the song is poppier than what we are used to from JBT and it is easy to see where all the backlash from long-time fans is coming from. By now I’m sure you’ve made up your mind about how you feel about it.
What you probably haven’t heard from this single are the B-sides. And let’s face it, in this world of being able to (legally) download pretty much anything, B-sides are one of the few reasons why someone would chose to buy a single. And they don’t disappoint. One Way Road has a B-side, a hotel room demo and a live version of the title track.
The B-side I’m Ready is more mellow than the single and has a real reggae feel to it. The lyrics are not his best work however if you can overlook them, it is a very catchy track and is worth a few listens. The hotel room demo Johnny’s Gone doesn’t quite have the same appeal as the other tracks on the single and seems to be a bit long.
The single ends with a live version of One Way Road. While it doesn’t quite have the same punch as the studio version has, it’s nice to hear the track in a simpler form.
One Way Road is an interesting indicator of what is to come from John Butler and his new trio. Here’s hoping the album will live up to expectations.