Joel Stroetzel

BIOGRAPHY – John Butler

John Butler is an Australian guitarist, musician, and singer. He fronts the John Butler Trio and the band is very popular in Australia. John Butler’s music is not easily pigeonholed but has influences of styles including folk, rock, Eastern, Celtic and bluegrass all rolled into one. He sings and plays a variety of instruments including the guitar, the lap steel guitar, ukulele, banjo and didgeridoo.
John Butler was born in California in 1975– his mother American and his father Australian. After his parents divorced in 1986, John Butler was taken to live in Australia by his father along with his brother and sister. The family moved to the small Western Australia town of Pinjarra where John Butler attended school.
John Butler started learning the guitar aged 16 and was given his Grandfather’s 1930 Dobro guitar by his grandmother. This guitar was to be given to the first grandchild in the family to learn the guitar and it is one of John Butler’s most treasured possessions.
In 1996 John Butler attended Curtin University Perth to train as an art teacher, but continued with his music.
One of John Butler’s strongest musical influences was fellow Aussie musician Jeff Lang. John Butler was inspired by Lang’s use of open tunings which gave his music a slightly Indian / Celtic feel and he started to compose his own music in the same way.
He started performing in Freemantle, performing his own songs and compositions, selling his home recorded cassettes of his instrumental compositions titled “Searching for Heritage”.
He dropped out of university in 1998 to concentrate on his music and after local music promoter Phil Stevens bought his cassette and offered him a regular spot at his Mojos nightclub in Freemantle, John Butler quickly gathered a fan base and Stevens became his manager.
John Butler formed the trio in 1998 with the addition of bass player and drummer and recorded first album “John Butler” in 1998.  
However, the breakthrough came with the bands second album “Three”, released in 2001, which later went Platinum.
“Sunrise over the Sea” followed in 2004 was awarded 5 x Platinum and is the most successful album to date. “Grand National” from 2007 and “April Uprising” released 2010 have also reached number one is Australia and gone Platinum. The band has also released two successful live albums.
John Butler has started playing outside of his native Australia but has yet to become a household name aboard. In 2009 he toured the US and also played a couple of dates in the UK including the Cambridge folk festival.
John Butler is known as the million dollar hippy after making it onto the Australia rich list and he has won numerous Australian music industry awards including Best Male Artist in 2004.