Best Damn R&B Band in Town.

City Pages

The best rhythm and blues outfit in the Twin Cities
(and probably reaching to even further extremities).


A blood and guts blues band.

Sweet Potato

Powerful but tasty.

New Orleans Times-Picayune

The Butanes were formed in 1983 after Curtis Obeda returned home from Chicago. A blues protege, Obeda began his career playing guitar with The Mudsharks as well as the Twin Cities Blues luminaries of the late 70's and early 80's: Mojo Buford, Baby Doo Caston, Lazy Bill Lucas, Big Walter Smith, Percy Strother and W.C. Handy Award winner Sonny Rodgers. He moved to Chicago and began performing around town with Hubert Sumlin, Sammy Fender (Redmond) as well as occasional others. Curt's tenure in Chicago honed his guitar playing skills and cemented friendships with many Windy City Blues men, notably Albert Collins, Jimmy Dawkins, Lefty Dizz, Hip Linkchain and Big Smokey Smothers.

Curt returned home to rejoin the Mudsharks, the first band he ever worked with, only to have the leader of the band abandon music. Left with a band and some previously booked gigs Curt assumed the leadership, revamped the setlist and renamed the band the Butanes. A large variety of local musicians moved in and out of the Butanes' lineup for the next few years. Things began to really heat up when John Lindberg, Curt's grade-school friend, joined on bass and Robb Stupka, ex-Luther Allison, arrived on drums. The band was offered a house gig at the 400 bar and worked every Thursday as a trio from 1987-91. Around this time they occasionally added a pair of ex-Willie & the Bees to the show: baritone sax/vocalist Maurice Jacox and Merlin "Bronco" Brunkow on tenor sax - a "proto-Soul Revue."

They were often seen backing visting luminaries at the Blues Saloon and other midwestern nightclubs and festivals. Earl King hired the band to play behind him at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival from 1991-2002, a 1993 tour of Europe, a 1999 trip to France, various Black Top Records' Blues-A-Ramas, the Bayfront Blues Festival, many dates at Buddy Guy's Legends and the First Annual St. Croix Blues Festival in the U.S. Virgin Islands. In 1992 local promoter Jim "Corps Solide" Callen hooked the Butanes up with Grammy-award winning zydeco accordionist Al Rapone and the band joined him on east coast, west coast, midwest, carribbean and Alaskan tours disguised as the Zydeco Expressmen. In 1997 Al and the Butanes released Al Rapone Plays Tribute - a tribute to Clifton Chenier on Atomic Theory records.

During the evening of April 11, 1998 the Butanes added Michael B. Nelson on trombone and Jim Greenwell on tenor saxophone and started another live recording project at the Cabooze bar in Minneapolis, MN. Originally planned as a promotional and songwriting demo it proved so popular among fans and booking agents that they went back Monday afternoon July 10, 2000 to record the additional material needed to complete the CD. Christened Day & Night the CD was released on Haute records in 2001.

The band recorded two CDs of sweet soul music with former Goldwax/Checker vocalist Willie Walker, Right Where I Belong in 2004 and Memphisapolis in 2006. Both ranked as number 1 "picks to click" on XM Radios' Bluesville station. The as yet unnamed all-but-completed followup Blues recording is shelved for the moment but may still see the light of day with a few alterations.

Willie and the Butanes traveled to Utrecht, the Netherlands to perform at the final Blues Estaffette in 2004. They spent 10 days in 2007 playing at the Lucerne Blues Festival in Switzerland and headlined the first P-vine Blues Festival in Tokyo in the Fall of 2008.

Chord review of Day & Night

Blues on stage live review of the Butanes at the Cabooze 1/20/01

Blues on stage live review of Jimmy Dawkins and the Butanes at Cedarfest 8/22/99

Blues on stage live review of the trio opening for Elvin Bishop at the Cabooze 7/10/99

Short review of the Butanes at the Twin Cities Blues Fest 6/28/97 ...we're paragraph 4.

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