Butts Band

The Butts Band

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The 1973 debut of Butts Band, produced by Doors engineer turned producer Bruce Botnick, is -- along with Ray Manzarek's 1974 release, The Golden Scarab (also produced by Botnick) -- the true fulfillment of what Other Voices and Full Circle initiated. A release of Golden Scarab and The Butts Band on one CD would be a good companion piece to the aforementioned post-Morrison Doors releases; it's most likely what would have evolved had the Doors' trio given us a third album in the early '70s. Make no mistake, this is very musical and great stuff, it just had no image, introduced us to new personalities, and was saddled with a terrible name (c'mon, the Butts Band? What was Jimmy Castor's line in "Troglodyte"? "Bertha Butt, one of the Butt sisters." It's just plain silly with the world watching the Doors' legacy). Before Robbie Krieger went on his jazz tangent, this folky blues group may have been a necessary diversion. There's none of the Doors' darkness or Ray Manzarek's manic intensity here. It's laid-back, well-played, perfectly recorded music on the Blue Thumb label. What is surprising is that Robbie Krieger was an integral part of the Doors' hit singles. He seems to have put that in the past on these compositions. "Baja Bus," with conga by Larry McDonald, might as well be the Allman Brothers. Side one was recorded in Kingston, Jamaica, with Botnick as engineer, while in London for side two at Olympic Studios they used Keith Harwood on the boards, though Bruce Botnick is the producer of the entire package. More of what you'd expect than the follow-up, Hear and Now, which changes all the musicians save the two Doors and completely reshuffles the sound. Gotta hand it to Krieger and Densmore; they can be as proud of this as Ten Wheel Drive's Zager and Schefrin can be of their post-Genya Ravan disc on EMI. That record wasn't Ten Wheel Drive with Genya Ravan, but it was competent and worth a listen, as is The Butts Band

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