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The Game Has Just Begun

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Album Review

Henry Butler goes all-out electric on his first Basin Street release, outfitting his rootsy brand of blues-rock with synth textures, keyboard bass, even drum machine on a few tracks. Raymond Weber lays down real drums most of the time; the guitar solos by June Yamagishi and Shane Theriot are often blistering. Artistically, however, the results are mixed. The disc gets off to a strong start with four hard-hitting originals, then loses its way until track eight, a grooving rendition of "High-Heeled Sneakers" featuring Butler's superb piano. But the rock covers ("Great Balls of Fire," "Riders on the Storm") are listless, the pop arrangements ("You Are My Sunshine," "When You Listen With Your Eyes") are middle of the road, and the three electronic mood instrumentals are interesting only up to a point. (A 15-minute question-and-answer session with Butler ends the disc.) This is definitely not the best starting point for anyone new to Butler's music. ~ David R. Adler, Rovi


Born: 21 September 1949 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Henry Butler's blues-based, New Orleans funk-style piano playing is not for every blues fan, to be sure. Butler is a local legend in New Orleans, but rarely tours other parts of the country; most any time of the year he can be found playing in one of New Orleans' famous night spots. It's not an exaggeration to say Butler is a piano genius who has yet to be discovered by the masses. His recordings demonstrate that he can do it all: he writes his own songs, does his own arrangements of classic tunes...
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The Game Has Just Begun, Henry Butler
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