ALBUM REVIEW: John Butler Trio – ‘Flesh & Blood’

The first track on Flesh And Blood, ’Spring To Come’, has a distinct vibe similar to that of Rusted Root and Ben Howard – lots of light acoustic guitar work fielded by some heavy floor tom percussion.  It’s brave.  It’s beautiful.

The rootsy feeling is quickly changed as soon as track two pipes up.  This time think more early Black Keys –  raw blues guitar with staccato verses and catchy choruses that you can’t help but sing along with.

My personal favourite is a song called ‘Bullet Girl’. It’s a haunting harmonic introduction, with vocals explaining an argument with a girl that John regrets.  The words-  “I can’t believe what happened here tonight, I know there is things I said you know those things were not right” – set the mood, then the song builds layers of acoustic instruments into the bridge which declares “you were the bullet girl and you know I’ve been your gun”, telling the girl that they are both to blame.  It is very easy listening and easily relatable.

Just like the live show, ‘Devil Woman’ (perhaps cunningly placed in the track order) lifts the entire mood.  Just sitting listening to this on my sofa I felt an urge to tap my feet, bounce my head and wish I had a guitar in my hand to join in.  It’s a real jam; though I’m not sure if this track was recorded live, this is definitely the impression you get.

If you haven’t check out JBT, it is my strong recommendation that you at least Spotify the new album. However, this is not a patch on seeing the band live, I can promise you that.  Like I said, masterclass.


Must Hear Tracks: ‘Spring To Come’ – ‘Cold Wind’ – ‘Bullet Girl’ – ‘Blame It On Me’

Similar To: Ben Howard, John Mayer, Rusted Root, (Early) Black Keys

Tour Dates:


Track Listing: 

  1. Blame It On Me
  2. Bullet Girl
  3. Cold Wind
  4. Devil Woman
  5. How You Sleep at Night
  6. Living in the City
  7. Only One
  8. Spring to Come
  9. Wings Are Wide
  10. Young and Will
  11. You’re Free


Jack Rowberry.