Legendary artists like U2, Dave Matthews Band and Stevie Nicks have all released live albums from shows they played at the historic Red Rocks amphitheatre in Colorado, but that’s not why the John Butler Trio decided to put out their recent “Live at Red Rocks” CD/DVD package.
“It was a big deal to play there for us,” says frontman John Butler. “We wanted to capture that moment in time, because it’s such an iconic venue. And if it was good enough, we wanted to share it with all of our fans.”
The Trio’s 2010 concert there instantly became a career benchmark for the Australia-based jam band as their biggest headlining show to date. Butler says it was the venue’s natural acoustics and visual uniqueness that attracted him — not the big names that had already recorded there.
“It’s a no-brainer that at some stage you should record a live album at Red Rocks,” Butler says of Colorado’s majestic amphitheatre. “The other recordings are definitely inspiring moments in time, but even if they didn’t exist we still would have done it.”
While JBT was not trying to follow in anyone’s footsteps with their “Red Rocks,” this isn’t to say that other bands do not influence his music. In fact, Butler routinely incorporates different styles into his own music, refusing to settle on just one genre.
“I feel like the rhythms are all related, and they all can get along, they all can dance together,” he says. “So I can’t just pick a genre. I want to play all the styles I love.”
Rolling with the muse
Writing on the road, John Butler can’t necessarily predict when and where the proverbial muse will appear. But when it does, he takes full advantage.
“It’s such a strange and wild little beast that I don’t really understand,” Butler says. “All I know is that I have a deep respect for it. And I just try to do the best when it comes to me. A song is not really mine — I try to stay humble to that.”