Jon Butcher

The Best of Jon Butcher: Dreamers Would Ride

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A fixture on the live scene in his native Boston, guitarist Jon Butcher never quite broke through on a national level, although he did attract a following with a string of moderate AOR hits during the '80s. Dreamers Would Ride is highlighted by Butcher's accomplished playing and, although it's all relatively straightforward blues-based rock, there's more attention to the songs as a whole than on most guitar-hero records. "Might As Well Be Free" is surging and anthemic and "Holy War" has a Middle Eastern boogie feel to it. Other highlights include the urban narrative "Life Takes a Life," the lovely, understated "Wishes," and the scorching "Whiskey River." There's also a solid cover of "May This Be Love" which reveals the Hendrix comparisons that he often received, although his bluesy growl of a voice is reminiscent of Phil Lynott. With extensive, well-written liner notes, a balanced sampling of material from throughout his career, and several perks for collectors (including the stripped-down ballad "If I Love You," an unreleased track), Dreamers Would Ride is a well-done collection that will please fans.

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